Whenever I look down at the ground racing below me, I’d be well advised to remember that I only got this job in the first place because some recruiter ended up getting my number mixed up with some other candidate and calling me on accident.

I was heading south on the outer drive and Res (“They Say Vision”) came up on the radio. Steve used to always play a Robbie Rivera mix of that track and he’d just gone off to prison for dealing again.

I’d just warned him: Dude. You have got to get out of the game because you have a gigantic neon sign over your head that says “Arrest me.”

Be he said he’s “got this.”

He wasn’t going to slip up this time.

It was cold outside but it was sunny and beautiful.

I shook my head and I thought “Thank god you’re not on that horrible fucking drug.”

I was on US-41, right next to Soldier Field. Where I’m still banned for life. The phone rang. It was a call from Tina Clark.

Tina sounded a little manic. She said she was airjamming a pretend guitar in her office to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” while she looked for a Puppet Master.

I was ostensibly leaving for Texas on vacation that morning, but I had despaired at the thought of returning and I honestly had half a mind not to. I wasn’t sure but I had some time to think about it and perhaps begrudgingly make the right choice to turn those wheels back north towards February, the looming cloud of my boss’s halotosis, and an alarm clock set for 5:15am.

I wasn’t actively looking for another job. I didn’t even have a resume posted anywhere. But I had a feeling that I was about to say adios to the doublemint twins and the stock exchange after all.

Before I was doing stadiums or chatrooms, I was staring at > 250,000 transactions per second and porting all the stuff that starts and stops the CBOE every day from Linux to Solaris.

I did what I was hired for and stayed until it was completed. The migration and the move from Chicago to New York was successful. They had offered me permanent work and I didn’t want it. I loved it there but I have sleep apnea like a motherfucker and it was all I could do to show up on time every day and finish the scope of work I’d promised to and crawl across the finish line.

“Well, I’m really beginner to intermediate with that and I only learned it under duress. I was kind of forced to learn it so how about a Puppet Slave instead?”

“That’s closer than I’ve gotten all day!”

Before that phone call was over, she was like “OK fuck that other guy, we’re submitting you instead!”

“All this time I’ve spent looking for a Puppet Master, and I should have been looking for a Puppet Slave…”

Tina ended up placing me at eBay and Cisco. I literally owe everything else … from that point forward … to a recruiter calling me on “accident.”