At Cafe 976 there was always one annoying tag along, a bore that nobody really liked. And as soon as one bore disappeared another one popped right up.

From 2002-04 things were bad for computer people. There were five of us at 976 (give or take) and almost all of us had job trouble during that period. I even met two of them because we were sitting around, drink coffee and reading the want ads all day. One by one the careers picked back up, except mine.

Days spent fruitlessly looking for work, evenings at 976 was the only thing I had to look forward to. But I began to suspect that I wasn’t welcome anymore, I stopped talking and see if anyone noticed. Day after day I got an earful of three of the computer people talk about what they’re buying next. I had $200 and no income and I had to listen to these guys trying to out spend each other. If favors had point values helping them move is pretty high up there, and I’d helped two of these guys move. One of them was staffing a company, knew I was unemployed and never asked if I could use a job.

Well since I’d become the annoying tag along, the bore that nobody really liked then I’d be the first to realize without being told. I left.

I used to think that friendship was a binary state; two people are friends or they’re not. But I learned that friendship is really two values: What you’re willing to do for your friend. And what your friend is willing to do for you. And if the ratio of those two values isn’t close to one then it’s better to just walk away.

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