Monday, November 05, 2007

Scenes from a Marriage: Bill's weekend junket

Friday night. I am dividing up weekend chores.

"So you have to go pick up clothes from the cleaners tomorrow..."

"I can't"

"You can't?"


"I am assuming there's a reason why you can't"

"Oh, didn't I tell you? I am going to be out over the weekend"

"You are?"


"You have to go to work?"

"Sort of"

"So you are going to Cambridge tomorrow?"


"Where are you going then?"

"To Malmo"

"I see"

"Yeah, I leave tomorrow morning and I should be back Sunday night"

"So you are flying?"

"I don't see how else I would get past the North Sea"

"This is work?"


"In Malmo? On a weekend?"

"Its bloody November. Why else will I go to Sweden in November if its not for work?"

"How do I know? Isn't Malmo the tropical part of Sweden?"

"Hello, its still Sweden. Way North of where you are"

"Whatever. Who is paying for this trip?"

"Not you"

"You can say that once we have settled accounts"

"It isn't going out of my bank account either"


"No. The firm is paying"

"What firm?"

"Emil's firm"

"I see. Where did Emil's firm get the money from?"

"From Bamse"


"He got some sort of seed funding. From one of the govt agencies"

"The Swedish government has nothing better to do than fund random startups?"

"Bamse knows best. He knows who to fund and who not to"

"Of course. But why is Bamse flying you?"

"Its a company meeting"

"A company meeting? How many people are in the company?"

"There's Emil and J. And then there's S~ and yours truly"

"S~ is in Europe?"

"Some conference in Brussels. He will fly back to India next week after this meeting"


"He's going to run the India operations"

"India operations? Like how many people are there?"

"As of now, none. But once S~ gets back, that will change"

"I see. What are you going to do?"


"I asked what were you going to do"

"I don't understand"

"Emil and J are running this thing in Sweden. Working like crazy. Hacking. Evangelizing. Building a brand. S~ is going to start dev ops in India. What are you going to do?"

"Oh, that way"

"Yeah, that way. Why are they flying you then? What is your contribution to this company? To this meeting you are going to go tomorrow?"

"I haven't thought about it"

"I should have known"

"Its not that bad. I am sure I can find something to do"

"Like what?"

"Do I have to tell you?"


"If you have to know, I am the academic advisor"

Two minute silence. Followed by howls of laughter.

"You are what?"

"I knew you would laugh. I am academic advisor"

"What does that mean?"

"That doesn't have to mean anything"

"Well, lets try it this way. What do you have to do?"

"Nothing much really. Once in a while, I email some kid who's doing research on this product about what to do next"

"Have you found a kid?"


"I see"


"I feel a little better now"

"Because I am doing something useful?"

"No, and you are not doing anything useful"


"Because I am not alone in the world. There's people like S~ and Emil. Who make exactly the same mistake I make. Idiots"

"Well, what can I say?"

"Nothing at all darling. Just go have a good trip. I will go pick up clothes from the cleaners"

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