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Last May I was briefly involved with a startup that was test-marketing disposable jumpsuits that were pre-treated with Sawyer Permethrin spray at the annual Loudon Lyme 10K/5K/1K Fun Run. I basically did administrative work (including helping with designing flyers, doing online research into filing for trademarks, and manually spraying each disposable jumpsuit with Sawyer Permethrin). During the course of my two weeks with that startup, I was convinced to write a blog post in this very blog about that startup instead of getting a separate blogging account just for that startup. (I was unable to get the owner/founder to devote any time to setting up that blog. In addition, he insisted on using my Square card reader that’s connected to my PayPal account because he couldn’t be bothered with getting a separate Square card reader/PayPal account for that startup.)

At one point he accused me of being secretive and he said that I couldn’t help it because of my birth order. The reason for that accusation: I hadn’t used my Square card reader in a while (due to the fact that I had to cut back on selling my handcrafted goodies at various shows because of declining sales after the 2008 economic crash) so, ON HIS REQUEST, I was silently trying to figure out how it worked. According to him, I was “secretive” because I didn’t orally announce within his earshot “I’m going to do Option A. If that doesn’t work I’m going to try Option B” and so on.

There were more incidents like that but I’m not going to get into any of them since I wrote all about it last year.

Ironically today is the one-year anniversary of the 2016 Loudon Lyme event. (This year’s event was just held on May 7. No, I didn’t attend this year.) A day or two after that event, the startup’s founder sent me a text message asking me what should have been done differently. I replied that maybe we should’ve started with a smaller run of 10-20 jumpsuits to test market instead of 60 jumpsuits we attempted to sell. That was when he sent me a multi-part text message accusing me of being into self-sabotage. (Never mind the fact that he was the one who didn’t register for a vendor booth and had this unrealistic expectation of selling stuff from backpacks.) This was on top of the fact that I was paid for the first couple of days I worked for him but the payments stopped because the founder had plowed the bulk of the startup money into getting 60 jumpsuits and Sawyer Permethrin.

I finally walked away from that startup a day or two after he accused me of being into self-sabotage when he sent another text asking me to show up at a few upcoming Lyme disease related events selling those jumpsuits from out of backpacks. (He didn’t register for vendor booths at those events either.) Between the self-sabotage insult and the fact that I wasn’t paid the rest of the money I was owed for the work I had done, I realized that I had no future with this startup. I wrote a retraction post where I announced that I would no longer write about work that I’m doing for other people in this blog until after the work was finished or there was some kind of a closure.

The startup founder eventually paid me the rest of the money he owed me last November. Granted six months is a long time to wait for a paycheck but at least he paid so I thought I had some closure on this startup.

But then there was new drama earlier this year when the founder had decided to try reviving the Sawyer Permethrin-sprayed jumpsuit idea on a Facebook page using a selfie I took of myself wearing one of the jumpsuits without asking permission first or even trying to get me to sign a release. I didn’t hear any further from my ex-boss for a while after that incident.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I spent the entire day basking in the sunshine while attending the annual Greenbelt Green Man Festival (which I’ll write about in a future post). I had brought my laptop with me so, from time to time, I posted some of my pictures from the previous day’s Gateway Arts Open Studio Tour (which I’ll also write about in a future post) on to various social media sites like Facebook. I saw a lot of people writing online Mother’s Day greetings and posting pictures of mothers with their children. Imagine my surprise when my ex-boss posted something outrageous on Facebook where he not only accused his sister of doing something horrible to their mother but he even posted personal information about her that should never have been posted online. I took a screenshot of that post, which you can see below. I edited out the personal information but you can still get an idea of what he wrote.

He not only named his sister but he posted her personal phone number and encouraged anyone who read that post on Facebook to call that number. In a nutshell, this post says a lot more about him than his sister. That post reminded me of last year’s Square card reader incident when he accused me of being secretive (and my birth order only confirmed his suspicion) because I didn’t verbally announce “I’m going to do Option A…”

What’s more, he immediately made this one comment where he only linked to the notorious documentary Grey Gardens. (For the record, I have never seen that documentary. I did see the made for HBO movie that featured Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as the dysfunctional mother-daughter pair back when I was still happily married and we still had cable TV.) It’s like he’s cryptically implying that his mother is trapped into a similar dysfunctional relationship with his sister (I think but I don’t know what is going on inside that man’s head). That is so reminiscent of when he cryptically sent me that text asking for feedback on what we could’ve done differently at the Loudon Lyme event, I provided a straightforward opinion, and he responded with that multipart text saying that it was really a trick question because he expected me to write about my own mistakes and he accused me of being into self-sabotage.

Because of my past dealings with him, I’m not inclined to immediately side with him or even accept his version of events—especially since I have never met his sister or his mother. It’s possible that his sister is a total elder-abusing bitch but it’s also possible that she’s not doing anything wrong and it’s her brother who has issues with her for some reason that is none of my business.

If he has concerns about how his sister is taking care of their mother, he should seek legal advice from a lawyer instead of making that nasty post on Facebook urging anyone who sees that post to call his sister (regardless of whether that person even knows the sister or not).

If his sister ever finds that post, all she has to do is take a screenshot of that post, print it out, show it to a lawyer, and he could end up getting sued for things like libel, slander, and invasion of privacy.

Last night I sent an email about that post to a friend of mine, who was the one who recommended me for that job in the first place, because he is still housemates with my ex-boss and he rarely goes on Facebook these days. (Twitter is his preferred social media platform.) I wanted to warn him because there’s the chance that he may end up being indirectly involved with this drama, especially if his housemate’s sister decides to go by their house to confront her brother in person. He basically thanked me for alerting him to this.

I’m still looking for a new day job to replace that startup. (I’ve been applying to various temp agencies and employment agencies to no avail.) At least I have an unedited version of that screenshot that I could show to any hiring manager or recruiter who wanted to know more about that startup and why I had quit it after only two weeks because it basically proves what kind of person I was dealing with as my boss when I worked there. What’s more I can prove it using his own words that he wrote himself on Facebook.

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