Sunday, March 27, 2005


It is a pity that my only update to this blog in nearly a year was in the form of my last post, when my general, present sentiment of events related to FUEL new york has been that it was an educational, interesting experience, with numerous humorous and sometimes not-so-humorous incidents.

I sincerely believe that it was the case of good, noble intentions (both on my and even Jeremy Tick's behalf) gone terribly wrong due to several key mistakes, poor decisions, and misfortune. However, when things did go awry, despite the many much less strenuous exit options otherwise available, including providing excuses for myself and denying responsibility; running away from the massive problem; or immediate closure of the company, absolving all parties of any outstanding debts, I'd proactively sought to resolve the issues at hand. I’d corrected the problems, despite the fact that I myself was due several thousand dollars as well and despite the fact the wrongdoing itself was not my own doing -- the latter fact confirmed by all parties who were due money that were fully aware that I was not the cause of the predicament.

Although I am not content with the fact I had any association with the situation itself, I am happy with the way in which I’d dealt with it. Even if portions of the experience itself may have been forgettable at best, I know that the lessons learned will not be soon forgotten, and I appreciate the good people around me that much more, the good people I may have taken for granted otherwise.

For those reasons, I will continue to strongly recommend being aware of key warning signs before getting into a similar situation, warning signs I may or may not continue to discuss on this blog -- there is no reason other good people need to learn the lessons the hard way, and my sincere hope is that good people will never find themselves in a similar situation.

With that said, Happy Easter, Passover, and Ostern Day -- may Spring and the coming days bring to you all the good things you truly deserve!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

...and nearly a year later...

I hadn't written in either of my blogs for quite some time, yet, I was recently reminded of their existence by an e-mail I received from Blogger a few days ago. As might be indicated by the very fact I hadn't visited either of the blogs in quite some time, I was no longer as intrigued in the newness of the technology and have been too engrossed in present activities to even update the blogs as regularly as I used to.

Apparently, Jeremy Tick had posted a comment on my blog about a month ago. Although I have no intent of dwelling in the past, and despite the fact that the comment was, at worst, a minor nuisance given the weight with which I carry his opinions, given the explicit and implicit vulgarity of his comments and the fact that he didn't leave a point of contact for me to respond to directly, I'm addressing the points raised in his comments here.

Overall, Jeremy Tick's comments and general attitude is akin to that of a criminal who is angered by the fact someone would blow the whistle on him, and then attempts to evade accountability by accusing others who had to endure his wrongdoings of not having moved on. Sure, it's easy for him to "move on" -- he's been on the run, conveniently failing to mention that he has done nothing to correct the very wrongdoings he'd done, and worse, showing no remorse.

If that's the definition of moving on, why should societies have bothered with any kind of a criminal justice system? Or what purpose does recognizing history serve? Why bother maintaining archives of historic artifacts and accounts? It would seem like distasteful dwelling does it not?

More, he seems sincerely as delusional as to consider too highly of himself to "succomb" to my humble lowly level, "the shame [he] feels for ever having been involved with slime like [me]," which, again, amazes us in its magnificent psychological anomaly. If in fact everything in the blogs were false, what would be so lowly in presenting actual facts that correct any information that is incorrect? If in fact the contents of the blogs are untrue, what should he be ashamed of? If he felt some type of "shame" in being associated with me, why did he live off of me like a parasite for 16 months, during the course of which the door was always open for him to leave?

The shame he feels is clearly one that ought to be self-directed, for not yet acknowledging the fact that he was the cause of models not getting money due them, the shame he ought to feel for not having done anything to correct it to this day. I sincerely hope for his sake that he seeks psychiatric assistance, although, it does seem to hold true those who need it the most are usually unaware of the need.

Nevertheless, surely a criminal would never dare succumb or sink to the level of polite society, much less a discussion of facts. Accountability and responsibility for his actions were not exactly his strong-points, not that that's a surprise to any of us who'd gotten to know him -- most became keen to the fact that expecting such attributes of Jeremy Tick would be utterly futile. With Jeremy Tick, it's the: long on the talk, short (i.e., never) on the walk, except when running. And he wonders why few actually believed in his sincerity...

Which ties in with the fact that, in the mostly exaggerative, irrelevant, and often self-contradictory rant, he has accused me of being untruthful (a "pathologically lying pathetic piece of shit," to be exact), while offering no relevant points to state his case. Not surprisingly, the angered communication seems to stem from the fact that many of the recorded facts pertaining to him reflect, at best, poorly on him. In that vein, and exactly as predicted, he also seems to feel I'd obsessively maintained the blog with him as the centerpiece and as the primary concern.

To the former, in regard to his vulgar accusation of my supposed misrepresentations of truths, if he would be so kind as to point to specific areas where he feels I am being untruthful and were to present actual facts, I would be happy to correct them in such an unlikely event -- most, if not all, of the facts contained in the blogs are verifiable truths and facts, in writing and as witnessed by the individuals mentioned there who have reminded me of and/or confirmed them as such.

Which is to say, whether the contents of the blogs pertained to Jeremy Tick or otherwise, they have been factual. Given this, I cannot fathom a reason why I would fabricate facts solely surrounding Jeremy Tick. I would imagine I'd have to be significantly more imaginative and ingenious than I am in order to have conceived of and fabricated as banal a character, and to have dreamt up all of the individuals who have reminded me of incidents mentioned in the blog.

In an attempt to somehow "correct" the facts he deems inaccurate and untrue, rather than presenting facts which would show the supposed mistruths to be false, the only point of reference he offers is a presentation of credentials of a colleague he'd met at a company far removed from the incidents laid out.

It's akin to saying: you're a liar about my stealing because I'm friends with this person, who doesn't even know you, about the stealing, and wasn't affected by the stealing at any time. Is the fact that he has an associate or a friend completely unrelated to the events laid out somehow supposed to justify his previous actions? If that were the case, why don't people go robbing banks and engage in all ilks of criminal activity, absolving themselves of the acts by becoming friends with people completely unaware of these acts?

Logic, another missing capability in the delusional mind of this Jeremy Tick. I'm happy for him that he has a supposed believer in his abilities and talent, but that does not change the facts two years in the past far removed from this individual, whom he has dragged into a conversation that had no relevancy whatsoever to the actual discussion of events in the blogs.

As such, although Jeremy Tick seems to be eager to give her phone number away (despite the fact that, even if I wanted to get this phone number, as mentioned, he left no way for me to actually request this of him), and even if she is willing to receive calls from complete strangers in regard to Jeremy Tick's past performance, given her irrelevance to the matters at hand, I don't find it necessary nor tasteful to involve her in a circumstance between Jeremy Tick, the models he is indebted to, and myself.

The facts laid out is what is at concern, and Jeremy Tick offers no facts to refute any of the facts laid out in the blogs. His claim and accusation of my being untruthful are empty and completely without merit, and is simply a juvenile attempt at somehow defending or deflecting attention from his own actions, under an unsuccessful guise of being far too superior than to stoop to the level of factual discussion. Nice try. No really, we almost just fell for it.

In response to the latter sentiment that he feels he is the centerpiece and the primary purpose of my having maintained the blogs, simply, the amount of information pertaining to him was a minuscule portion of the blogs. In my assumption, this post alone contains more information in regard to him than contained in my blog, only due to the fact that he provided no point of contact for me to respond directly and fact by fact to his vulgar tone and suggestive comments.

In a total of 38 posts I'd written over the course of nearly four months I'd maintained the blog (5/2 - 8/19/2004), I'd written endlessly on various topics such as: recent events at that time; events related to those then recent events; my ten most favorite buildings in New York City and factual account for each of those buildings; my 20 most favorite cars; and so forth in far lengthier a format than many might care to read on, in part because of the large amount of facts contained therein relevant to the topics -- not surprisingly, I've received several e-mails from readers of the blog that have only confirmed the verity of the facts mentioned in the blogs, along with those that supplant the facts.

Given the then recent, "unique," and educational experience that FUEL new york proved to be -- a company that ceased operations just over five months prior to those posts in November 2003 -- I'd dedicated some time recording the company's history, and some of the important lessons learned during that experience. That said, I spent a few weeks in May 2003 on the topic, yet I'd spent considerably more time on other topics during the ensuing months.

Because they were a series and precisely because that period of time had left such a distasteful mark in my and others' lives, I'd separated the posts in regard to FUEL new york into a separate entity. Within those posts, information that pertain to Jeremy Tick was contained primarily in four posts written in a single Saturday morning. By most measure, a single morning's worth of writing within a series of passages written over nearly four months could hardly be considered a dedication to him.

Again, to reiterate, the purpose was to wean lessons learned through the encounter with the type of an individual one would never wish upon his or her colleagues, and to communicate those lessons as warnings to other good people, so as to avoid parasites of society that Jeremy Tick was a grim reminder of.

In short, Jeremy Tick is incapable of proving those facts to be untrue, since, after all, they are facts -- accordingly, there are no items within his comments that actually refute any of the facts; those facts pertaining directly to him were a small minority of the information contained in the blog; that information, although related to him, was by no means "about" him, but in regard to lessons learned through those facts; and finally, that these facts reflect poorly on him was not my doing.

It is highly unlikely that the very little information contained in the blogs in regard to him have tarnished his name any more than it already was due to his own actions. To that point, I should mention that far prior to the existence of these blogs, he had attempted to go by the name of "Jeremy Aaron" immediately after his departure from FUEL new york for a sustained period of time. Somewhat unusual a thing for a person to do, and hardly a sensible thing for a person to even consider doing, if he or she were proud of the accomplishments achieved in the past.

Finally, I would have balanced those facts that reflect poorly on him with those that reflect well on him, yet those facts were scarce during the 18 months I'd been directly exposed to him, save for comical value he provided unintentionally, as he continues to do. The very reaction, in which he continues to deny his responsibility and accountability to this day, in of itself is not exactly a point that reflects well on him.

As mentioned repeatedly, I would still be delighted to see him own up to his actions, and note that I would not be the beneficiary of such actions.

Now, to respond to his specific comments.

To the point that I often did sleep in during the day. We had one computer -- MY computer -- for the company. We'd attempted in a few instances to have him work off of a printed copy of the contacts list while I worked on the computer, yet this proved to be a frustrating arrangement for him as he'd had to check his e-mails, access contact information, update the calendar (all of which, by the way, was set up, paid for, and maintained by none other than me), and otherwise needed the computer during the day. As such, he'd requested to and it was sensible that he have use of the computer primarily during regular business hours.

When and during the times there was a separate computer available to him, whether the availability of an extra computer was through temporary arrangements with Fusion or V Models, or when he had gone upstate to his family, this was no longer an issue and I was available during the days. And to that point, I will say that, he never at any point owned his own computer despite the fact that a new computer could easily be bought for the price of two nights of his alcohol binging, and on my end, in order to enable this mobility on his behalf -- not necessarily an easy feat, given that my computer was a desktop -- there were more than several instances where I'd stayed awake for two days straight in order to enable this mobility, HIS mobility.

The time I'd spent on my computer was primarily on the contact database he mentions, which came from various sources I'd compiled into a single, easily usable source -- the database is a comprehensive assemblage of the nearly 5,000 contacts we'd scanned in (as mentioned in the blog); taken from mass e-mails sent by other agencies and clients; taken from various industry web sites; etc. -- NONE of which Jeremy Tick was in possession of prior to FUEL new york's inception, and ALL of which I'd entered into a unified, categorized, and easily manipulated source.

For him to claim the contact list was "his," given these facts, in conjunction with the fact that it was done on my equipment, within my property, and through services I'd paid for out of my own pocket, seems slightly exaggerative. It was "his" database in a sense that he was the primary user of the database, but certainly by no means was he the owner, save for the fact that he took it with him without express permission upon his departure.

His claim of the database as his own, despite having no previous possession of the information and having done very little to actually compile or maintain the information, is not too dissimilar to his claim immediately after the trial partnership with Fusion, in which he claimed Jody Gordon at Fusion had "stolen" his contacts, which turned out to be an underhanded, blatant misrepresentation of the fact that HE was actually the one who'd found new clients and two excellent test photographers through taking calls at Fusion during that time.

This was a deceitful tactic he'd used repeatedly under the assumption that the people he was making statements of this ilk to would not have the opportunity to verify those statements -- a behavior I became keen to during the latter days, which made me proactive in verifying his statements despite my inclination to be polite and non-invasive. As mentioned in the blogs, this is one of the more important lessons learned: do not blindly believe another individual, as we naturally tend to do -- found trust and rapport on verifiable facts.

It was this type of behavior, as mentioned in my blog, that made me put a significant value on background checks and other forces of verification inherent in society that most of us take for granted, and furthermore, a new-found, keen awareness of this type of behavior by some individuals that prey on the general inclination to grant everyone and anyone that initial level of trust -- for better or worse, previous to Jeremy Tick, I had not been exposed to such callous and parasitic motivation.

Nevertheless, it is true that my availability during the day was limited, given that I would work on my computer when it was available, and caught sleep when I could. There were no real workarounds this issue unless we were to purchase a separate computer for his use, which he did suggest he would do at one point to his credit, yet this suggestion never took fruition -- again, long on the talk, short, if any, on the walk, aside from running away.

Worse, he expresses frustration toward me, who had provided him with MY computer to work on since he didn't own one to start with, all the while not providing a real solution, which would have been to do just that -- purchase his own computer. With that said, however, if I were mostly asleep during his working hours, as I will admit to and as the models and others would confirm, how could I have been micromanaging him, as he claims? Just another self-contradictory complaint with no factual merit.

As I was going to mention in the chronological history, he'd specifically requested of me, as witnessed by the models on several occasions, to be out of his way during the day. Given the necessity of the situation -- that he needed a computer during the day more so than I; that my work centered on the computer, such as design, finance, and database compilation/management; that he at no point actually bought or otherwise acquired a computer of his own despite PC's being available for mere several hundred dollars -- it was agreed that he would wake me at any time he needed me during his working hours (which happened with relative frequency given the technical and functional issues that arose regularly), and I would otherwise work during the non-business hours or whenever else the computer was available for use.

In short, his statement is partially true -- I was not available during the day in that period of time very often. Yet, as obviated by the fact I'd held regular hour full-time occupations for seven years prior and have ever since his departure, this was due to the necessity of the situation that was directly caused by Jeremy Tick's lack of assets he'd brought to the company and his refusal to supply his own computer. Despite that, he has the cowardice to complain or attempt to guise what was ultimately his own shortfall as something I'd done with intentional malice or sloth, while he never provided a solution himself...and I am to feel badly?

To another point, as he states, I will agree, it could be said that I had money by "playing the system," and it is possible I may have said as such myself -- I did collect unemployment for the first six months, and I did receive my tax refunds from the federal, state, and city governments, as I myself mentioned in the blogs. Yet, using such vulgar a term as "raped the government" to describe my collecting unemployment insurance and my refunds seems overtly suggestive.

Those unemployment funds were accumulated on my behalf while I was gainfully employed for all of the years prior, the 12 years since 1989 (including part-time work during high school and college) and mostly in New York State, in case were I to be unemployed due to some misfortune. I was laid-off by Accenture in September 2001, and I'd put off collecting unemployment as long as I could, beginning in late December 2001.

If the reference in those vulgar terms was an attempt to make light of the fact I'd collected unemployment while starting the business, I'd already openly admitted to this fact in the blogs themselves, and the IRS is aware of this fact as shown in my tax returns for the year 2002, which they had accepted upon their review. So what is his point?

Perhaps he is referring to the fact I received nearly $7,000 in refunds that same year. Yet, considering I'd paid a total of $31,014.49 in taxes for the year 2001 from which the overpayment of taxes was REFUNDED to me, I would hardly call the funds I'd rightfully accepted from the IRS and NYS as the government entities' "charity" to me. I've paid my due taxes to all appropriate government entities since 1989, and those entities had agreed to and returned to me only the amounts I'd overpaid each year.

For the year 2001, I'd still paid all appropriate government entities at least $24,000 in taxes -- an amount which, given that I'd helped him prepare his taxes for the years 2001 and 2002, I am aware was well over ten times the amount he'd paid in taxes for those two years combined.

Furthermore, having actually examined his resume, it is very safe to say that the total amount of taxes I've paid are considerably more than his total lifetime gross income before taxes (so much for my "slug-like pathology" -- I guess I ought to be thankful that there was no salt at any of my workplaces). In that vein, I should mention that, he could not comprehend why, although he'd only paid $94 in taxes for the year 2002, why his refund was only $94. If he sincerely believes he is in the right to accuse me of "raping the government," then that can only be attributed to his complete lack of intelligence and lack of self-reflection. It would be one thing if he was a bigger financial contributor to the government than I to accuse me of such, but really, is he serious?

If he is pointing to the fact I'd received a significant amount of money due to refunds as "charity" from the government, it is only reflection of how poorly he understands the tax system, combined with the fact that he doesn't seem to comprehend that the funds came to me as a result of having been a productive employee in the workforce for all of the years prior, unlike him.

Finally, I'm particularly not certain what his point was, especially since much of those funds I received went directly into the company, precisely because he did not put in much funds to support the business. As would have been mentioned, the revenues generated were far below expectations he'd set, and the expenses much higher than initially anticipated or planned strictly due to his wanton accumulation of unnecessary expenses (e.g., magazine subscriptions, service subscriptions I'd specifically mentioned we could not afford, business agreements he'd had no intention of actually making good on, etc.). The difference, the net loss, was covered by the models and myself, but in no part by the person who was the primary cause of this very net loss, Jeremy Tick.

Given this, and despite this, he has the gall to complain that I had money, the very funds I'd earned for having worked in the years prior, which I hardly got to spend on myself since those funds went to cover for expenses he'd incurred?

The fact I rightfully collected my portion of the overpaid taxes, and that I continued to collect unemployment due to the fact that the company never saw black ink and because his financial contributions were minimal, could hardly equate to a statement that I "raped the government" or that I was the subject of the government's "charity."

If anything, he benefited the most from the arrangement, since he sustained himself free of living expenses for the majority of those 16 months. He will likely respond that he paid the living expenses by working for the company, yet, I know of no arrangements in which expenses were covered through accumulation of further for how some governments and large corporations operate, but that is a whole separate topic -- and even then, the assumption is that the additional expenses are meant to be a step toward debt resolution, not the actual "payment" as Jeremy Tick seems to be convinced of.

In regard to his claim that his success was due to the fact he "cared" and because of his "commitment to people and [having] lived it through as best [he] knew how"...again, his delusion of grandeur never ceases to amaze, fascinating from a psychological standpoint, and is simply laughable.

Commitment? To whom exactly was his commitment, and whom or what did he care for? In the year 2003 alone, he'd moved between three different agencies, and during that movement, NONE of the models, except for one, moved with him, nor had the desire to do so. The only reason another model entertained the idea of joining SVM was because Richie Wheeler, a top booker originally from NEXT and Elite, had joined SVM at a much latter date, as mentioned in my blog -- even then, we had to discuss the idea because he wanted minimal contact with Jeremy Tick, and was unsure if this move would be prudent.

Furthermore, even within his tenure at FUEL, he'd attempted to jump ship as soon as I'd personally run out of funds -- likely when he begun to think of me "not worthy of his time." He expressed minimal concern for the models or the agency in his intention to leave in October 2002, while the only reason for me to continue the agency was precisely because of my commitment to the models that had come on board.

At any time during the 16 months he'd stayed in my apartment, I could have kicked him to the streets and pursued another salaried job earning six figures, and seeing how things turned out, I ought to have. I did ask him to leave when I'd noticed some warning signs in late December, at which point very few people were reliant on the agency, yet he'd convinced me to let him stay.

As things progressed on, and as more models had begun to actually move to New York to join the agency, I'd decided to continue with the agency despite my distaste for the industry and my continual frustrations with Jeremy Tick, precisely because of the very commitment to a group of individuals who were relying on us, some even living in my apartment -- I didn't stand to benefit personally from that decision, and stood a lot more to lose from it than Jeremy Tick ever did.

The only reason he remained at FUEL was because there was nowhere else for him to go -- as soon as the opportunity appeared in May 2003 at the financial cost to myself and the models, he jumped ship, while not concerning himself with the future of the models. During this period of time, he was often heard saying "this is time for me, this is time for me" while the models' response in general was: "as opposed to when?" They weren't joking. It was obvious to most around him at the time, and clearly, he is still not in touch with the fact, that the only person he cared for and had committed to was himself.

Now on to his sentiment in regard to the inheritance of a "foundation [he] created," at each of the agencies he'd graced with such gift, and that I'd "let the agency die" due to a lack of "ability" or "commitment" to the people, despite having "inherited the foundation [he] created;" unlike SVM for whom he'd also graced with such similar foundation in his eyes.

To begin with SVM, although I'm not fully familiar with their history, I am aware that both Satchi and Vision were in existence well before his entry. In the case of Satchi, they'd established themselves first in the Washington, D.C., area, before having expanded into the New York market, far prior to Jeremy Tick's arrival. As part of that expansion, Satchi had joined forces, whether in the form of an acquisition or a merger, with Vision Models, an entity that had established itself, again, far prior to Jeremy Tick's arrival, in the New York market to form SVM.

Is he serious in his belief that he'd helped found these organizations? Does he somehow think that he was instrumental in their individual inception, existence, and the work produced by all of the individuals that were part of those organizations previous to his arrival that enabled them to afford the mistake of hiring him in the first place? If this in fact is true, forgive me for my ignorance of having been in the presence of Greatness, the Creator.

In all fairness, it is possible that Jeremy Tick had contributed to SVM's success in some capacity, and an expansion into a new market could be construed as an establishment of a new organization, particularly in the case of the fashion industry with somewhat localized markets. Yet, for an individual who had been hired into Satchi, later SVM, an organization that had already been in operation for several years whether as Satchi or as Vision prior to his arrival, to claim that the people of SVM "inherited the foundation [he] built" in a single year of his tenure would seem somewhat disproportional.

I would be curious to hear if SVM reflects a gratitude to him for having created the foundation from which SVM is seeing its current success -- it would seem contradictory, given that they'd let Jeremy Tick go barely five months (on June 1st, 2004) after SVM was officially established in January 2004. During Jeremy Tick's tenure, Satchi/SVM was so grateful to Jeremy Tick as to preclude him from the web site itself:

"SVM New York, the fashion division of Satchi Management, is proud to introduce a team of personal managers brought together to utilize inventive and aggressive marketing and branding techniques, along with our own exclusive cutting-edge back end e-business technology, to create a formula that has quickly made us a leader on the scene during this time of transition and opportunity within our industry.

"Our innovative management lineup is comprised of a unique group of creative visionary relationship specialists who combine communication, commitment and integrity, all held to an unsurpassed level of standards:

"Peter King, a top women's manager for over ten years with both Wilhelmina Models & Company Management; Richard Wheeler, a leading manager direct from Elite Men; Deirdre Todaro, who brings over two decades of management experience from Ford Women; Stewart Ross, the legendary IMG model promoter; Maguy Gagnaire, a seasoned manager with both Elite (New York) and Premier (London); Memsor Kamarak, former Market Editor at Vibe Magazine; and Rachel Mitchell, a former Marilyn Model herself, turned SVM New Faces Manager, all form a diverse collective of experts brought together with the common goal of creating an international management powerhouse of unparalleled success.

"This distinctive philosophy provides a firm foundation for our models to achieve rapid and sustained success within the industry."

Where is his name, if SVM were in such debt to the foundation he'd built? Does Jeremy Tick sincerely believe that SVM's success previous to, during, and post his tenure there is due not to the highly qualified individuals who would have likely seen as much success with or without his involvement, but because they also "inherited a foundation [he'd] created"? Is he serious?

In regard to FUEL new york's discontinuance, despite the "foundation" that he had provided. First off, if he'd graced us all with such a firm foundation, why would one need to "salvage" it? Wouldn't the appropriate action be to *build* on it, or *grow* from the foundation? Or does he mean somewhere in the enormous mess he'd created there was some type of a foundation that he alone built worthy of being salvaged? What "foundation" does he sincerely think he'd built?

Most physical assets were my own -- the branding and design work involving the comp cards, corporate communications, and web site were all my work during the late hours of the business as mentioned, and entirely paid for myself; the contact database was something he was, at best, peripherally involved in compiling or maintaining, and at worst his stealing the information from others; and all equipment were mine previous to his involvement in the company, and as evidenced by the fact that he had no material belongings to claim in regard to FUEL assets, there were no physical assets that were rightfully due him at any time.

Worse, Jeremy Tick had caused more material damage, loss, and consumption than he ever contributed to the material assets during that course of time. As mentioned, his usual response was that he'd fix or replace them, which never actually came about. Later, his response became "I've lost so many things too," which I couldn't believe he was actually saying in earnest -- did he sincerely consider himself a peer
in the loss when most material damages, loss, and consumption of my and his belongings were his own doing?

Was I supposed to sympathize with him, when he had done nothing to replace or fix my belongings he'd consumed/imbibed, lost, and damaged in a matter of 18 months that were in perfect safekeeping for years prior? Items such as:
-All bottles of alcohol I'd kept, including a bottle of Glenfiddich Millennium Reserve I'd received as a gift and of which only 2000 were bottled, and considered still by many to be one of the best reserves from from that distiller. The fact that this bottle was consumed in a matter of a few weeks I was gone, along with a bottle of gin and rum can only indicate that Jeremy Tick has no sense or appreciation for Single Malt Scotch or other fine things in general.
- Priceless family heirloom, including a hope chest he managed to split despite my imploring him to take better care of.
- A collection of rare high quality pens collected over the years whether as gifts or personal purchase.
- the small TV/VCR I'd loaned him
- A cell phone I purchased for him that he then later lost, etc., etc. etc.

If he were attempting to accuse me of causing such damage, loss, or otherwise to his property (which, knowing him, he would), I can safely say that there was nothing I needed, wanted, could have used, or did actually use among his meager belongings, most all of which fit into the aforementioned hope chest that he later broke.

Among his utterly tasteless GAP and Banana Republic possessions, the only thing that may have had some value was an ugly pair of Cartier glasses which he likely stole from Cohen's while he worked there. I already had two pairs of Silhouettes with my prescription that I very much liked, I would have had no use for them. I should mention further that, his collection of Glamour Shots "modeling pictures" served only to cause horror among us.

Nevertheless, onto "softer" assets, I'd discovered that the majority of the models had come on board with FUEL because of their faith in me and myself alone, despite the fact that I was not the booker, as obviated by comments I'd heard repeatedly throughout that period (e.g., "I knew there was a brain of the operation elsewhere [from Jeremy Tick]," "I never trusted Jeremy, but I thought he was ok because I thought you [meaning, me] were his friend," "can you fix my book (portfolio) because I don't trust in Jeremy's 'eye'," "typical Jeremy...," "I knew I should have known better than to hang out with someone with a name like 'Germ-y Tick'," etc.); most all of the test shoots he arranged at the models or my financial cost proved to be of such sub-par quality for the most part (save for the ones with Eric Fischer and Joseph Bleu which were arranged through Jody Gordon) that they were taken out of the models' books as soon as I took over, while retaining some of the tests that the models were already in possession of prior to joining FUEL; and so forth.

This misconceived sentiment of having left a "foundation" behind for all of our benefit is a direct echo of a sentiment he'd expressed to me upon his departure from FUEL new york, a comment that left me temporarily puzzled: "I am giving you ALL of this [in reference to a place to live, the company, equipment to continue running the company, etc.] to you. You can have it all and I will quietly walk away with nothing." Was I to thank him for the things I already was in possession of far prior to his arrival and would have had without his presence (and would have likely been able to improve considerably more), aside the company with $12,170.66 in debt he'd incurred? Gee, thank you -- truly a gift I never would have conceived of asking for.

So, what foundation, exactly, is it that he thinks he built for all of our benefit?

Were it not for this "foundation" of debt he'd never helped repay, the company would have been in the black during the "two months" period between May and November 2003. Our agency did just fine as evidenced in the amount of work we did book after his departure, including editorials in GQ, Paper, and V Magazines, a fashion show with Betsey Johnson, etc.

As much as he may attempt to take credit for that revenue and our small success, that revenue was generated from fresh contacts I'd made completely unrelated to his tenure and those who hadn't heard of the agency before; through referrals from the models; and due to several new repeat clients because of the fact that the models did a fantastic job, all on equipment and space he'd never previously or at any time owned or paid for.

During that time, I'd learned that the functions he'd performed weren't terribly difficult, despite having heard him complain to the models and myself how "hard" and "exhausting" the work was time and time again, so difficult that it was "the reason why [he] drink[s] so much," and his continually assuring me that I was not cut out for the work. It was a matter of establishing solid relationships with key people in the industry, key individuals, a majority whom hardly stayed out until 4AM and beyond consuming massive amounts of alcohol and other drugs.

As mentioned in the blog, the models remained with me despite my complete lack of experience as a booker, precisely because of the commitment to them I'd demonstrated in my actions by proactively responding to and seeking to resolve a wrongdoing, and because they felt that the majority of the *weakness* in the company's "foundation" embodied in Jeremy Tick was gone due to his departure (to quote: "i am so glad things are going well for you, you deserve it. a lot of the stuff was beyond your control, and i am thankful that you are thoughtful enough to remember me!!!," etc.).

We'd moved on since and despite the "foundation" of the very unpleasant experience and wake Jeremy Tick had left behind, including a $12,170.66 debt, primarily to the models he'd incurred while not having paid living expenses during his stay in my apartment for 16 months. Although he'd recognized that they were debts that he needed to repay for the sake of the models, a recognition for which I do give him credit, he hadn't and has not to this day followed through with actions to verify this intent. Again, to whom was his commitment? And what "foundation" had he graced us with?

One of the simplest ways in which he could have helped repay the debt due the models was to help collect the $7,101.40 due to FUEL new york that remained uncollected due to a whole other banal situation surrounding V Models and Jeremy Tick (again, something I would have touched on at a latter time -- I will clarify here that that fiasco may not have been entirely at his doing).

On a related note, this financial agreement we'd gone into with V Models made me aware of how lacking in ability as a booker Jeremy Tick actually was, both through the volume of revenues V Models was generating and feedback directly from Lana Winters.

While comparable in terms of company age, size, and points of client contact, Lana Winters was producing far more revenues through her models than Jeremy Tick ever did, which was reason we'd investigated the potential joint venture to begin with. Although this revenue was generated consistently and through Lana Winters' efforts well previous to, during, and after Jeremy Tick's tenure, Jeremy Tick's perception of the situation was that: "since joing V in April, I have brought in more money than I did in all of 2002."

Surely this "sudden" influx of revenues was due to the firm foundation he'd established at V Models in all of two or three months he'd begun taking calls at V Models, or his masterful ability to communicate with Lana Winters' existing clientele -- a foundation so solid that it had retroactive effects. Amazing to think that companies worldwide aren't vying for him to join their sales force.

Worse, due to this misconceived boost to his ego, his attitude was that I was the cause of this discrepancy -- that I was limiting this enormous potential as a booker he had within him that I'd been the limiter on.

To be fair, let us suppose the discrepancies in the environment and tools provided by myself and Lana Winters could have contributed to the difference -- it's fair to say that the environment could have been much better.

Yet, I'd provided every resource available to me, all of which Jeremy Tick was not in possession of previously nor contributed to during his tenure -- Jeremy Tick made minimal efforts at best to actually put in action many of the improvements that he could have made. Furthermore, the environment, as less than ideal as it may have been, was not the likely cause of the disparity as evidenced by the fact that, with no previous experience as a booker, the revenues I'd generated in each of the two quarters following his departure exceeded his performance in any given previous quarter. Finally, even when my highest quarter revenue and his were combined, that sum was still less than the revenues V Models was producing, previous to, during, and after Jeremy Tick's tenure there.

Fact is, this disparity in revenues between FUEL new york and V Models was not a reflection of Jeremy Tick's ability or some type of an environmental hindrance -- it was simply a reflection of Lana Winters' ability to generate revenues. In the two months V Models had gone into an agreement with FUEL new york, Lana Winters generated $20,567 in revenues, while Jeremy Tick generated $2,292 within V Models' working environment, using all of V Models' equipment, FUEL new york's assets, and the futon in their office as his bed.

This revenue benchmark is consistent with Jeremy Tick's performance as a booker for the previous 16 months -- confirmation that Jeremy Tick's underperformance was not related to environmental factors. Furthermore, during that time, Jeremy Tick himself had helped calculate and agreed that FUEL new york was due $7101.40 of the total revenue as part of the agreement, rather than $17,144.25 which would have been due if Jeremy Tick had actually been the generator of the total revenue. For him to make any claim that he'd generated the sum of those revenues himself is, at minimum, inconsistent with these facts, and was mostly just his attempt at taking credit for Lana Winters' and her models' work.

This habit of taking credit for other people's successes while blaming others for his shortcomings was a tiring trait, and apparently from his recent comment, is the same mentality he continues to carry two years later. It's bad enough that he creates misrepresentations, but to see that he actually believes in his own mistruths that have clear inconsistencies with truths? If only Dr. Tim Leary were alive, he'd be fascinated with this non-chemically induced delusion...

Nevertheless, despite having paid $2,285.99 in V Models expenses as agreed upon aside the strictly FUEL expenses during that period of $1,446, as mentioned, FUEL new york was not able to collect its rightfully due portion of the revenues because of a bizarre situation that arose in June 2003 between V Models and Jeremy Tick.

He'd made minimal effort in resolving that particular situation which limited FUEL new york's ability in collecting payments rightfully due to it from V Models -- an opportunity to both clear his name (if in fact what he claimed had happened was true), to reaffirm his claim of having "brought in more money than [he] did in all of 2002" (again, if his claims had any truth to it), and to resolve the debts to the models in a single stroke. As of initial writing in the blog, I'd waited a full year for him to do the right thing, and frankly, I would be elated to see him do so even to this day.

Instead, he'd evaded his responsibilities, even temporarily going by the name of Jeremy Aaron immediately after his departure from FUEL new york, despite my numerous calls to him while I was aware of his phone number (due to all of his moves, I no longer had a means to reach him -- even in his recent communiqué, he has declined to provide such a point of contact...although, if I've read his comment correctly, apparently, he himself has no idea of his own number as well...?), all the while playing the role of a "wounded dog licking his wounds," as he stated to several people during that time -- and now he claims I'm the one who is "a useless user of people who paints the portrait of victim"?? I realize the intent was not to be comical, yet...

Now that I've stopped laughing, to address his "user" generalization of my character. In the "two months" between May and November 2003 I remained the agency operating, all agency revenues went straight to the models who were due payment. This was the singular reason for my having kept the agency running -- as mentioned in the blogs, I had a slight distaste for the industry since the onset, and one of the lessons I'd learned is to never start a business in an industry you dislike or are not passionate about.

I'd continued to run a business in an industry I despised solely for the purpose of righting a wrong (or wrongs if the circumstance at V Models is included) that was not my own doing. I'm not certain that could be considered using people, unless user in his statement was intended as a user as in utilizing other people's services -- yes, I did use MCI to place calls, and yes, I did use Citibank for my banking activities, and yes, ConEdison for my energy needs. How terrible of me. Here's my monthly payment as consolation.

Perhaps he is referring to his sentiment, as he once accused me of doing, that I somehow forced him, who had no job, no place to live, no money, no bank account, minimal of belongings, and no identification, to live in my apartment (admittedly, no Taj Mahal), use my bank account (definitely not a Swiss), and work in a company he wanted to build (that was going to make us both six-figures in the first year!), by providing a majority of funding (albeit as much as I could afford at a measly $10,000 or so), use the equipment he was not in possession of (admittedly no government supercomputer, Zoolander cell phone, nor high-end telephonic system), just for my very own benefit and no one else. And let's also ignore the fact that I'd asked him to leave in December 2001, to which he begged me to let him stay.

Oh yeah, I WORKED him! Ooooooh and as an added bonus, I got: a $12,170.66 debt to the models; $9,961.03 debt on my credit line; $7,101.40 in receivables I couldn't collect because of some fiasco I had no part in; aside innumerous personal and family possessions lost, damaged, imbibed, or destroyed (all the while Jeremy Tick provided the usual assurances of: "I'll fix it," "I'll get a new one," "I'll replace it," etc. etc. etc. -- did he fix or replace a single item in that time or since? Take a wild guess). I definitely made out like a bandit on that one. Oh...maybe he meant that's how I'm a "useless" user of people. Makes total sense to me now.

In all seriousness, I hardly considered myself a victim, my conscience was and is clear. I was driven by the desire to right a wrong. Rather than attempting to draw sympathies from others (although unsolicited, kind, supportive words came aplenty from all those who'd witnessed or had somehow caught wind of these events, to whom I remain grateful to to this day), I'd spent the time and energy into correcting a wrongdoing.

My anger stemmed on behalf of the models that were left without the money due them for so long because he refused to right a wrong that he'd committed. The models and I'd waited a year for him to do the right thing, and, again, I would be elated to see him do so even to this day, despite the fact I would not be the beneficiary if he were to do so.

Given all of the above, who is really the "user" who manipulates others through pretending to be a victim? I'm not the one that's quipping "leave me alone" or made a career out of leeching off of others like a parasite, never having had a lease or a place to live that was his own and living off of five different people in a span of two years in the period I knew him, while attempting to incite sympathies with proclamations such as: "I never had anything in my name -- you have your lease and bank accounts," "[I'm] like a wounded dog, licking my wounds," etc.

I've had my own apartments and legitimate sources of income that, as the IRS could verify, have been sufficient enough to sustain my lifestyle previous to, during, and after Jeremy Tick's existence -- and as evidenced by the fact that my guest sofa continues to be occupied by colleagues who need a place to stay, I was and have been in a position to be able to offer that to colleagues. Clearly, this cannot be said of the very individual who is accusing me of being a user with a victim mentality. I believe the pop-psychology term for this type of behavior is "projection."

Speaking of wishful projection, in spite of all of the above, and although I realize his intent was not that of comedy, he seems to be sincerely convinced that he somehow "absolved [me] of any responsibility to [him]."

What responsibilities specifically had he absolved me of? I would like to know if I had any accountability to him, especially if it has been due for years. I'd really like to see that list, if not for the sake of finding out what my indebtedness to him were, but also for the simple sake of feeling the relief of having been relieved of that accountability. Does he, who had minimal of (in which I mean *NO*) assets to bring to the table at the onset and incurred a $12,170.66 debt which he continues to evade to this day, sincerely believe that others have responsibilities due him that he is in a position to absolve those others of?

Is this because he still sincerely believes, as he seemed to at the time, that he was due a portion of the revenues, while considering himself exempt from the very expenses he'd incurred in generating that revenue, despite the fact that the revenues fell far short of those expenses for a considerable net loss, a difference which I and the models had paid for? He never did seem to understand the difference between revenues and profit/loss -- or who knows, it all could very well have been part of an act to absolve himself of the debts he'd incurred. Is this "confused" or "inconceivably dim-witted" behavior all an elaborate act? Ah, the mystery.

To return to the closure of FUEL new york -- again, were it not for the "foundation" of debt he'd never helped repay and left behind apparently for my and the models' benefit, the company would have been in the black.

By September, we were approached by potential investors, and financing conversations ensued, including a reassessment of how badly the FUEL name was damaged due to Jeremy Tick's tenure -- which is why a decision was made to create a wholly new separate entity to be called . However, and despite an investment deal on the table, by October of 2003, the models had suggested that my talents might be better rewarded in other industries, noting my credentials, demonstration of ability, and level of sincerity.

They felt that even with the kind of investment laid out on the table, someone of my ilk may not necessarily be content within that particular industry, stating they couldn't envision my being content in the industry five to ten years from then. This is reflected in the fact that, although by no means a small feat to maintain things on course despite Jeremy Tick's wake, my credentials in regard to FUEL are minimal in perspective of the remainder of my career -- my previous engagements were in implementing or building technical strategies for various Fortune 100 clients, most systems that are still in place; and my ensuing project was in building an economic development initiative in the West Bank in order to promote Israeli-Palestinian accord, partially backed by George Soros.

Nevertheless, the models' sentiment was in direct accordance with my own opinion that, as mentioned, I had a slight distaste for the industry, which had only grown stronger given encounters I'd had with Jeremy Tick's ilk, and the fact that the models were fully aware that the sole reason I'd remained the agency operating was out of my commitment to them. In turn, as I'd mentioned in the blog, despite the moderate success we'd seen, I knew the models would likely fare better with more established agencies or agencies with more seasoned and better-established agents than myself.

We'd individually and mutually decided to cease operations of the business. As noted in the blogs, during this process, I'd encouraged and helped the models in whatever way I could to go to other agencies or continue with their lives in other venues. The decision to close the business was not out of lack of ability or commitment to the people, but due to an overwhelming amount of exactly both. We'd decided to close the agency out of mutual respect, and our mutual commitment to each other's individual success. That is why I remain in active contact with these individuals.

Which ties into addressing the comment, "tell the parents of the sixteen year old child with whom you maintained intimate contact while you fast approached thirty of all the terrible things I did while you slept," which doesn't make any sense to me, and is typical of his falsely suggestive, underhanded method of communication.

The only sixteen year old models in the agency were Ruth Elena Castellanos and Sarah Griffin. My interaction with Ruth Elena or her family was minimal at best (and to Jeremy Tick's credit, he had nurtured that relationship for a very long time), so I would imagine he is referring to the relationship I've built with the Griffins. Yet, the Griffins were aware of many of the events in regard to Jeremy Tick even without my mention, and would voice innumerous frustrations to me in regard to him -- when Jeremy Tick left FUEL new york, Sarah Griffin had adoringly offered to beat Jeremy Tick up on my behalf, a sentiment that was prevalent among the models during that time.

Nevertheless, the Griffins and I remain in active contact to this very day (quite literally, in fact), and if he were aware of the tight relationships that exist in their family, he would know that their trust in me stems from the very fact that I've dealt with them with respect and candor at all times. As mentioned, it is true that I cared very much about most of the models we represented, and still do with the many whom I remain in active contact, although I would hesitate to refer to any of those relations as "intimate contact."

I'm not certain if by phrasing it as such and addressing the ages of myself and the model specifically, he is attempting to suggest at some type of a sexual relation at any time prior, during, or after the existence of the agency between myself and any of our models, yet that is simply false, ridiculous, base, and one aspect of his activities I would have not touched on during my accounts of FUEL new york, precisely because it was distasteful, disturbing, and may be considered private information that the other parties would not feel comfortable with having been disclosed. The models have no such fear or discomfort with me -- never did, doesn't now, and will not in the future.

Although I myself would never claim as such, I have been fortunate to have been in environments some might consider as "good breeding" as he refers. And yes, it is this environment and my own constitution which has made me "taste worthy" to warn others of Jeremy Tick's ilk, without delving into some of the truly disturbing behavior of his I was witness to -- which is why any discussion in regard to him has centered on professional behavior and on topics of ethics and morality other than this aspect of his behavior.

My assessment of his comments is that, in his fear of my potentially revealing this aspect of his behavior, it has only backfired and has forced me, as part of my own defense, to touch on a subject which I was inclined not to. Even so, I will not delve into as much detail as I have with other aspects I have thus far, primarily for the protection of the other individuals affected.

In regard to this particular suggestion, the Griffins and I can openly laugh at in bemusement. I'd remained completely non-sexual with the models we represented, and never did I even think of or actually attempt to solicit sexual activities with the models we represented at any time, as any and all of the models would attest. It is precisely because of this fact that many of them came to confide with and trust in me (and have jokingly accused me of being asexual), and especially why Mr. and Mrs. Griffin had specifically requested that I, not Jeremy Tick, chaperon Sarah Griffin.

The truth is, the very definition of moving on does not exist in the physical realm, but a journey within oneself -- owning up to and coming to terms with one's past, and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of oneself through facts, and bringing that knowledge to the present and future.

By this very definition, we've all moved on, glad that the mess is in the past, and reflect on the events occasionally as cautionary and somewhat entertaining tales. We've all walked away with many lessons we'd learned, and strong friendships were forged which actively remain, because of that shared experience. Jeremy Tick is correct in one assessment -- I'm most certainly not worth his time, I've become more than wise to him and his attempts of manipulation, precisely because of this review process. As our beloved president once attempted to say: you fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

However, as clearly evidenced in the violent manner in which Jeremy Tick reacted to the factual account contained in the blogs and the fact that he has yet to own up to his own actions two years later, remaining in denial that continually contributes to his misconceived self-portrait as some type of an incredible success story, he has yet to have actually moved on.

With ALL of that said, and despite the countless evidence pointing otherwise and in what might seem contradictory to some of my candid sentiments, just as confident as I am with the verity of the facts laid out here and in the blogs originally, I am confident that somewhere deep within the psychological enigma and perhaps abyss of Jeremy Tick's psyche, there is a decent, good human being. Not that I would put myself in a situation for him to have access to my belongings again, but, as mentioned time and time again, I would be elated if he were to own up to his mistakes and at least make some type of an effort to correct what he'd done, it would make me content, despite the fact that this would not benefit me personally in any way.

If you, Jeremy Tick, have any specific comments or feedback you would like to send my way, I suggest you do so through e-mail, which has been readily available on my profile and is also available in the forwarded e-mail below -- I say this more for your sake. I've no intention at this time of maintaining this blog.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeremy Tick []
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2005 10:56 AM
Subject: [The Story of FUEL new york] 2/25/2005 01:55:09 AM

You pathologically lying pathetic piece of shit. I take that back. You're just a useless slug apparently so consumed by your own misfortune that you have actually devoted time - a ridiculous amount to say the least - to tarnishing my name. Thanks.

Now I have to find that you have obsessively written about me? Would have thought that your "good breeding" would have made you a little more taste worthy than to plaster my name across the internet.

Congratulations. You have created an enemy. I was happy to leave you alone. But - while I had hoped never to succumb to your slug-like pathology - is that proper grammar you pathetic fuck? Or would you like me to repeat myself? You are a useless user of people who paints the portrait of victim - years after anyone would care. Leave me alone. I did that for you. I ask the same.

You claim that I used you - conned you out of your "money". Lest we forget you slept for the majority of those two years that I built a book of business, worthy of taking with me first to V Models, and then to SVM? Fascinating that "your" agency lasted a whole two months after my departure - you, yourself admitted to me that you had no idea how I did my job! It is because I cared -- you asshole. That's how I did my job. I built a business because I made a commitment to people and lived it through as best I knew how. And you let it die within two months. What does that say of your ability to maintain anything? Maybe if you had been awake during business hours, you too, could have salvaged something.

Oh yes, I was fired from SVM. So too was Deirdre Todaro, who was with the Ford agency for twenty one years, and then Company Management for eight. Would you like her opinion of my abilities as an agent? She is still working in the business-and we worked together for a year. If you like, I‘ll give you her number. She was awake for the thirteen months we worked together and so participated in my business dealings. Guess what you fucking fool? She and I still speak… because we were partners. She knows what I did whilst with her. You could not possibly - so consumed were you by your website and micromanagement of my abilities… and your need for twelve hours of sleep.

Thanks for sharing the shame I feel for ever having been involved with slime like you to anyone who might not have cared about your meandering. SVM is still in business you asshole. Because the people who inherited the foundation I created were capable of maintaining something - because they were awake enough during business hours to manipulate my contacts -- while you - during your slumber could not. Hence the crumble of something you could have maintained. I left you alone so that you would be ok! And I find this ridiculous blog thing when looking for my number on the internet!

Tell the story - by all means, please. Tell the government how you raped them - lived off of their charity by "playing the system,' in your own words. Tell the parents of the sixteen year old child with whom you maintained intimate contact while you fast approached thirty of all the terrible things I did while you slept.

You are not worthy of my time. I am just sick of finding your name when trying to look up my phone number. Get over it. It is years now… I absolved you from any responsibility to me when we stopped working together. I encourage you to do the same.

Posted by Jeremy Tick to The Story of FUEL new york at 2/25/2005 01:55:09 AM

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Thursday, May 20, 2004

Picking up where I left off...January, 2002

OK, so, I guess I should get back to my chronological account of what happened with my company, FUEL new york....

Around this time, in early January 2002, I’d received an unusual call from my mother. She was crying. As you might imagine, being Japanese, this is a truly rare occasion, and I can literally count the number of times I have heard or seen my mother cry on a single hand. This was serious. I was somewhat shocked since I'd spent some time with my parents on New Year Day, just a few days before, and they seemed fine as usual -- I asked her to take a breath and tell me what was wrong, and she was immediately apologetic, which I assured her she needn’t be.

She'd begun to share with me that, due to financial problems my father was having -- the Japanese bubble had burst and the economy there was still declining -- this, in conjunction with 911, there was a severe drop in Japanese business coming to my father. My mother was upset as it appeared that, in order to make ends meet, they may have to sell their beloved property in Westchester, where they'd lived in for over a decade, the property they'd spent a significant amount of energy (and money) into renovating.

I knew that, even with the slowing economy, their Westchester property was worth well into seven figures. Thankfully, I'm a little more familiar with the American financing system/industry in some respects than my parents, and I assured her immediately that the property needn't be sold -- there were other ways to leverage the property. I told her that, as hard a pill as it may be to swallow, they could rent their property out to someone, and as much as it would be difficult to have to move and to let someone else live in their property, it would allow them to retain ownership. Further, the money coming in from rent would likely be enough to provide them with a comfortable enough base income to make minimal adjustments to their lives. Plus, if they did want to ultimately sell the property, it would allow them to buy some time to ride out the economic slowdown, allowing them to sell the property for a lot more, should they choose to down the road.

This seemed to calm her, and we talked some more before deciding that I should come out there to talk it over dinner with both my parents. My father decided that the renting route was the way to go, and they needed to act on the decision relatively quickly -- their financial situation was fairly dire.

As you may recall from my earlier postings, at this point, Jeremy Tick and I’d decided fairly conclusively to move ahead with FUEL new york, mostly based on Jeremy Tick’s repeated assurance that we would be certain to make well into six figures with this venture by the end of the year (again, which was why I’d made sure we’d met with Steve Kleiner, my financial advisor at UBS). However, given my core apathy for the fashion industry (I couldn’t care for the “glamour” of the industry --having grown up in New York most my life and being of relatively down-to-earth constitution, I was jaded by the glitz), I was still not emotionally committed to the idea, which is why I was still entertaining the idea of the job in Tokyo with Siebel Systems.

In addition to the apathy, given my lack of experience in the industry, the only reason I was interested in the venture at the time was for the experience of helping build and running a business -- as I used to frequently say to potential models and other colleagues: “I want this to be a business, that happens to be a model agency.” Since day one, I didn’t want to have much contact with the industry people, given my sentiment regarding poseurs in general I mentioned before in a separate post and given that this industry was ripe with poseurs more so than any other given industry, and my main focus was on the back-office.

After having had the discussion with my parents in regard to their financial situation, however, it became more definitive that this was no time for me to go to Japan...even with the plan of renting the property and seeking somewhere else to live, it was going to be a time of tremendous change and stress for my parents. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I'm an only child and my parents haven't much family here in the States (another long story I will get to later on...) -- my parents and I were a small unit of mutual support that needed to stick close, especially during trying times, which were certain to come (albeit in a far different manner than anyone might have imagined at that specific point in time...!).

That night, upon returning from my parents' and to my apartment in Manhattan, I'd told Jeremy Tick that our venture, FUEL new york, had to work. It was at this point I'd made my full emotional commitment to the venture -- if in fact Jeremy Tick was right in his repeated assurances that we would be generating "well into six-figures by year end," I would be in the position to remain in close quarters with my family, and I could look to picking up where I'd just left off with Accenture within a year as far as income was concerned.

The decision was final -- that night, I sent Geofferey Dallas at Siebel an e-mail, communicating the decision. I'd followed up with him with a phone call explaining that I needed to remain close with my family, and that regretfully, I was not in the position to be able to relocate to Japan at that time.

In retrospect, to be fair, I should have been a lot more skeptical in believing Jeremy Tick outright, especially what with my past experience in reading and helping prepare business plans for other start-ups -- rarely do you see companies making profits within the first year of operation. However, it was an industry I was wholly unfamiliar with, and, on paper, there was minimal overhead -- the bare minimum needed to operate the company was a live telephone line (at least as we knew at that time). With such minimal overhead, and given that one of my ex’s was making six figures a year as a model, barely working four months in total per year, it wasn’t infeasible that with 15-20 models we were aiming for, we could be generating six figures in profits within the year.

Finally, both Steve Kleiner and I had the repeated assurances of Jeremy Tick (whom we thought was) a Skidmore grad who had worked at John Hancock. Upon having reviewed all of the contact information we'd collected over New Year's, Jeremy Tick was even more confident we could do it, and to his defense, he probably did really think he could achieve those figures, likely because of his minimal brain power. Unfortunately for all, his guestimation was FAR FAR off the target, as we would discover relatively soon.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Sarah Griffin, et. al.

...that said, Sarah Griffin, who used to be one of our models, called from Seattle, and we talked for some time for the first time in a while. I'll get to her eventually in my chronological account of the sagas around FUEL new york, but, I will say she's a dangerous little thing. Dangerous, because she's a free spirit and is a little trouble-maker -- when we'd first met, she'd just turned 16, and she'd made it a point to tease guys, full well knowing that she was two years younger than the "legal age." However, it needs mentioning that she's a real sweetheart and a loyal friend. When I mentioned what happened recently with another business associate, she, again, as she did when the Jeremy Tick debacle occurred, offered to beat the crap out of him on my behalf. Jokingly, we'd agreed that every new person I meet from then on would have to be stringently screened by her -- Sarah Griffin, an 18 year old waif, would essentially be my bouncer.

Nevertheless, just as Sarah Griffin, most all of our models stayed by my side (both as my models and friends) when all hell broke loose, but Sarah Griffin is one of the few that still stay in touch with me, aside Lee Zumdome, Ian E., Sergio Gatti, Jennifer Joiner, Inese, and Juliana Fine -- all of whom I'll mention more on later...

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Saturday, May 15, 2004

Jeremy Tick, the Poseur

If you're a New Yorker, have lived here long enough to rightfully claim to be one (in my opinion, that would be for the equivalent of at least three presidential terms, giving you enough insight to know that each twenty-or-so-block section of Manhattan is a distinct neighborhood, and can name most of them -- if you're really good, you can even name the zip and the precinct number for each), or simply are as down-to-earth as most native New Yorkers are, you know the one thing even more tasteless and futile in this town than cheering for the Red Sox at a Rangers (not even Yanks) game is simply being a poseur. At least the Red Sox fans get a token respect for being loyal to their team and for being bold enough to state it. We generally grow a sense real quick about poseurs, and we have a healthy dislike for this imported quality often mistakenly associated to New Yorkers as a whole by anyone who has never actually lived here.

With that said, I did sense a poseuristic quality about Jeremy Tick since the moment I met him. For instance, he claimed he was from the UES or had lived there, yet I saw in him nothing that is commonly associated with the people (both positive and negative) of this neighborhood, and only the "stereotypical" qualities. My suspicion was confirmed when I'd asked about certain buildings and clubs (not night clubs...the somewhat staid, traditional clubs whose libraries are lined by portraiture of many men who have gone on to become presidents and other dignitaries), and he had no sense of what I was referring to, claiming that he'd always taken cabs so he wouldn't know.

Sure enough, when I did finally ask him about where specifically in the UES he'd lived, it came to light he had actually lived in a neighborhood more commonly known as Yorkville or Carnegie Hill, almost Spanish Harlem. To most New Yorkers, the UES designation is usually reserved for the neighborhood between 59th and 79th (maybe 86th these days) between Fifth and Park (maybe Lexington these days), a neighborhood where old money is truly old money. Furthermore, one would be aware that there are at least two other neighborhoods of equal caliber, all on the east side -- I could get into the whole age-old discussion of East vs. West in Manhattan, but I'll save that for another day...

Irregardless, I do want to distinguish what my disgust with Jeremy Tick stems from, and it is not from the fact that he hadn't ever lived in the UES, hadn't completed university, hadn't graduated from a prep school, or hadn't actually been in the employs of respectable organizations other than as a temp. As I've mentioned before, I will say that my appreciation for the weaning process that occurs as part of this selection process has increased ten-fold --

I, like most others do, had taken this for granted, that the people you are in school or are working with has gone through a rudimentary or strict level of screening. There is a lot of merit to this process. I do believe that the great sense of camaraderie, for instance at Accenture, I did experience doesn't stem solely from the commiseration factor of being overwrought, but also in the knowledge that Accenture (at least, at the time when I got hired) has run a thorough background check, seen your university transcript, done a brief psychology profile, has contacted a minimum of three of your professional references, and has put you through three rounds minimum of interviews, even BEFORE putting you through a basic, yet globally common, level of training -- there is a basic level of standard, whether at an intellectual, moral, and/or ethical level, that you have met, and you know full well you are in company of those who have met this minimal standard. At Accenture, I would like to think that this was a relatively high standard.

That point aside, obviously, I have colleagues of background lacking in experience with renowned organizations or even universities, yet they have all applied themselves effectively, and the reasons for their not pursuing "the norm" was overshadowed by their pursuit of their passions, or something noble, such as their family business. They all have good reasons for their alternate pursuits, and most importantly, they do not hide the fact they hadn't completed university, nor do they outright lie about having been in the employs of this organization or the other -- as a matter of fact, and rightfully, many of them announce it rather proudly, that they have accomplished much without staying the course of the norm.

In the case of Jeremy Tick, my disgust stems from the fact that he had blatantly and continued to lie about it -- and even had the nerve to scoff at Tufts University, simply because it isn't an Ivy League university -- all in attempts to lead others to believe he is what he is not, and probably to make himself feel somewhat better in some pathetic sort of a way. Again, as someone put it aptly, he is a figment of his own imagination, and he seems to expend quite a bit of energy and what little mental prowess he might possess into creating this fictional character.

Even more disturbing, when the facts he never went to university or didn't actually graduate from a prep school did come to light, it wasn't out of a meek, confessionary note, but rather out of anger and blame -- he blamed his own mother for not "having been more forceful on [him] to go to college." It's one thing to have chosen not pursue and/or complete these goals, but to blame someone else, worse, his own mother? THAT is base, especially in this day and age when a college degree has become so much more accessible, with degrees from relatively decent universities readily available through online coursework. I venture to say he was perhaps attempting to draw sympathy of some sort, as twisted as that may be, and obviously, feeling sympathy for someone of this ilk was no longer in my system, especially in this type of a pretext.

Furthermore, he has had the nerve to suggest or openly criticize our models, many of whom WERE college-educated and have traveled to and from various nations around the globe, as being unworldly. Clearly, these comments are rooted from his own deep insecurities, yet their arrogant, insolent tone in conjunction with the overall absurdity of it all borders on pure comedy... laughable, really.

The well-read might be able to point to numerous great literary works centering on characters who'd projected false-images of themselves, yet, these stories tend to center on the greatness of core character or accomplishments achieved that ultimately shine through. The case of Jeremy Tick is clearly not to be taken as anything in similar ilk of (and will not be easily mistaken with) those tales, although that is what I personally had naively tried to believe the entire duration of my working with him. In the case of Jeremy Tick, the motivations are far more base and reprehensible.

The great works I refer to tend to be marked with clear lessons to be learned, undeniable truths that graciousness, grandeur, and nobility of character stem from the core irregardless or bloodlines or upbringing -- I would have fiercely protected Jeremy Tick's deceit and false-pretense had there been even a minute tinge of these characteristics been present in Jeremy Tick. However, in this particular case, in the case of Jeremy Tick, he has become so engrossed in his own deceit that he feels he has the right to snobbishly scoff at others who often have more right (should they have the nerve -- which most who rightfully do, do not) to scoff at him.

I will say, to his credit, he has mastered the English language to a certain degree, albeit his innumerous spelling and grammatical errs. I am angry, yes, but mostly because I consider myself an intelligent being, and when my intelligence and kindness are taken advantage of all under a false pretense and manipulation, I feel I have the right to be somewhat flustered by it...

With that said, thanks to Jeremy Tick, I've learned to recognize a tactic that people of his ilk use to mislead other good people. [Lesson Number 6: They will often and frequently make vague, general statements knowingly, that either make them look better than they actually are, or make others look badly, and when asked for specifics and details, they tend to stammer.] Granted, there are occasions many of us find ourselves in a similar type of situation, but we stammer only for consideration for the sake of protecting those we're disclosing something that reflects on them poorly, or fall under discretion. This, in the case of the Poseur, is not the case and is done wholly for the sake of far more self-serving intent. Furthermore, in polite society, most people will not usually venture to ask for specifics, and this is precisely the inclination of most that people of this ilk prey on.

I highly recommend digging in a little more when you have suspicions -- as I can tell you from my experience, it's better to be safe than sorry. Also, if in fact the person is whom they claim to be, chances are, you may find mutual acquaintances through some of those findings, as I have with many and have discovered time and time again how small this planet can really be. Nevertheless, in the case of Jeremy Tick, when he mentioned the prep school and the college, I'd asked if he'd known certain people, whom he obviously had no way of actually knowing -- similarly, he'll lead you to believe he's well traveled, yet, I came to discover that he's only stepped out of this country once -- decidedly far less frequent than the worldly, traveled air he attempts to carry.

The reason this came to light was when I had a friend's little brother come in town -- J. Harry Edmiston that I've mentioned before. Jeremy Tick, as usual, was drunk, and he kept on parroting J. Harry's English accent every time J. Harry said something. Obviously, it was entertaining to Jeremy Tick (and to no one else, pretty much...we WERE laughing AT Jeremy Tick, I will say), but it obviated how un-worldly Jeremy Tick actually is, and it was somewhat appalling to witness so blatantly how simply dumb he is.

Again, the point here isn't to snobbishly discredit him simply because he isn't well-traveled -- obviously, there are plenty of good people who haven't ventured outside of the United States. I am perfectly aware that the statistic on this is something like only 8% of American citizens have traveled outside of the United States. The point is how the poseur attempts to lead others to believe that he is in fact well-traveled -- he speaks of Paris, French culture, or his ability to speak French as though he's lived there or visited on many occasions, for instance, yet he cannot communicate with you the aromas of the city nor the one thing the Parisians have New Yorkers beat in terms of their construction of their subway/metro...

And it's not because he has traveled other French-speaking nations, islands, and cities other than my best knowledge, I don't think he's even been to cities in North America that have a strong French influence (i.e., Quebec or Montreal) or even, a stretch, I know, New Orleans (all three great cities, and I have great stories from each, but I'll post those later...). Even if he'd been in these cities, the French would scoff at the idea that the languages spoken there are "true" French!

Again, all of this wouldn't be an issue whatsoever, if he didn't pose as though he's some sort of a connoisseur. In this posturing, he has, unbeknownst to him, spoken down on several of my friends who are actually French or have lived in France, which one wouldn't know at first since their English is impeccably American. Aside the embarrassment this has caused me, which my friends have shrugged off thankfully, what these experiences demonstrated to me is that poseurs have this eerie ability for selective hearing...I think in this one instance, my friend was making some joke with the Eiffel Tower, and Jeremy Tick was off and running, or I should say, his mouth was off and running as soon as he'd heard Eiffel.

As well, another thing I can credit him for is his uncanny ability to plagiarize others' words as though they were his own. I've witnessed him do this in various context and occasions -- I guess this is another talent of the poseur: [Lesson Number 7: be weary of those who seem to plagiarize others' words and opinions as though they were their own.] I noticed this blatantly done by Jeremy Tick most recently when I was on the phone with him, while attempting to collect monies he still refuses to cough up -- in attempting to find out more facts through him, I'd mentioned that there are two sides to every story, and he immediately parroted this phrase (word for word!) as though it was his own, so that his immediate neighbors at his office who might overhear the conversation could hear. Obviously a maneuver in an attempt to make himself look more balanced and intelligent than he actually is, despite the fact he was obviously upset.

However, if anyone were to think on it a moment, one might see that, from my point of view, I have no reason to bother calling him, had I thought there were no reasonable justifications for his behavior. As anyone who knows me will attest, I'm not exactly the petulant, immature type that would reach out to others simply to nag or harass. I can only reason his behavior stemmed from his fear I may threaten his facade he was attempting to maintain at his occupation...sadly, what he doesn't seem to realize is that people ultimately wise up to him, no matter how much effort he puts into this appearance maintenance...


Jeremy Tick's "Resume"

Because I was somewhat fascinated by how deceitful Jeremy Tick is, I've pieced together his employment history. Below is Jeremy Tick's resume I found, pieced together with his resume I found on that there are still gaps and dubious dates of employment...the glaring one being the one at John Hancock -- he claims he was at Skidmore College until 1998, yet he's also claiming he started working at John Hancock in March, 1997. It would be one thing if the college was in the same town as John Hancock, but, as you likely know, Skidmore College is in Saratoga Springs, NY...I am going to venture a guess that he only went to Skidmore between 1995 and 1997 at most.

Also, he's obviously not going to include them on a resume, but other places I know he's worked are: Cohen's Fashion Opticals (both in Boston and in New York), Gateway Diner (Albany, NY), and other random restaurants here and there as a waiter (like the Village Den, a diner, and L'Express, a French Bistro on Park Avenue South). The Gateway Diner accounts for the gap in 2001. I'm not sure when exactly he worked at Cohen's Fashion Opticals in Boston, it could be either: before he was supposedly at John Hancock, which would further shorten his tenure at Skidmore; after he claims he'd begun working for John Hancock in March, 1997, shortening his stay at John Hancock; or during the time to account for the gap in early 1999. The last option seems least likely, since I'm also aware he was a temp at both Vogue and at Ralph Lauren at one point through United Staffing -- I'm not sure where all that would fit in.

Details aside, what does matter is this singular, undeniable fact: in the time between 1997 and 2001, he had worked at a total minimum of TEN different employers (John Hancock; Cohen's Fashion Opticals, Boston; Vogue; Ralph Lauren; Dean & Deluca;; AIG; Prudential; R. Models; and Gateway Diner). And in the less than three years since 2001, he has worked for seven companies -- he'd been with FUEL new york, the Village Den, L'Express, Gateway Diner (where he worked prior to FUEL new york as well), V Models (which I'll get to later on...), Cohen's Fashion Opticals in Manhattan, and now at Satchi Model Management/SVM. In other words, he has worked for a minimum of FIFTEEN different companies in the course of roughly seven years -- sixteen if you count the two different branches of Cohen's Fashion Opticals separately, seventeen if you count the two separate instances of working for Gateway Diner individually. And those are only the companies I'm aware of!

It's one thing to have so many employers in such a limited time period if one is simply seeking income to support oneself while pursuing other goals, as in the case of many of my colleagues who are actors/models/artists/musicians (...yet, even among them, I don't know of anyone who has had that many different employers in that short a time period). However, as will be made evident in my chronological account, such is not the case with Jeremy Tick. Again, I'm not going to venture guesses as to why he has had so many different employers, but these are simple facts.

As a reference, here's what he claims, all in his own words, from his resume and on

10/2001 - Present
FUEL New York
Agent/Managing Partner
Responsible to scout, develop, and market fashion models in New York and International Fashion Markets
Manage daily sales efforts of full service model agency
Coordination of test shoots, relocation, placement efforts, trafficking, and overall management of daily activities for 20 models
Manage all marketing and publicity activity through use of grass roots/guerilla media outreach

(note: he'd left to go to Albany during this time, to work at Gateway Diner. Also note that, given the fact he was ineligible for unemployment insurance in December 2001, whose relatively lax requirement is that an individual work full-time for any six month period within the previous 18 months, he was either not on a full-time salary with R Models or is completely falsifying this record and potentially the tenure as a temp with Adecco Staffing as well)

12/2000 - 7/2001
R. Models
Responsible to scout, develop, and market new talent while managing the daily activities of a full service talent agency.
Managed all public communications, publicity, marketing activity, client relations, and talent bookings.
Directed placement efforts, coordination of test shoots, photography selection; sourced alternate means of income for individuals in pursuit of modeling as a career.

5/2000 - 12/2000
Adecco Staffing
Temporary Associate
Acting Assistant to Director of Executive Development, Prudential Securities
Special Assistant to Director Human Resources, AIG Insurance - hired to develop and coordinate annual divisional outing (450 attendees)

11/1999 - 5/2000
Marketing/Merchandising Associate
Worked with VP of Marketing to develop brand image through selection of copy and imagery, management of online partnerships and development of supporting product.
 Responsible to develop product that would "communicate and facilitate romance" for high net worth, aspirational males aged 35 – 50. Responsible for all aspects, from concept to development to execution.

4/1999 - 11/1999
Dean & DeLuca
Marketing Associate
Supported the management of the Corporate Brand and Mission Statement through development and implementation of traditional and grass roots marketing initiatives.
Managed corporate communication efforts, including press relations, marketing activities, product placement, sponsorships, online affiliations, and customer service scripts. Represented Company interest at industry related functions.
Liaison between catalog, e-commerce, and retail management teams to ensure consistency in product offerings, promotional efforts, and professional affiliations.

(note: somewhere during this gap is where I would have to guess he'd worked for both Vogue and Ralph Lauren, through a temp Agency)

3/1997 – 11/1998
John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance:
Senior IGP Assistant:
Supported Senior Vice President in the solicitation and initiation of new members into the John Hancock International Group Program, a multi-national pooling of insurance risk.
Responsible for all communication efforts for the John Hancock IGP program to its Western European and Asian client base. Tasks included drafting of all written correspondence, outbound client service calls, direction and distribution of annual and bi-annual reports. Provided account service as necessary.

Broker Relations Analyst:
Provided extensive costumer support, performing account maintenance, resolving service issues, performing market updates, minor financial planning, and marketing funds to prospective buyers.

(note: somewhere during this period is when he'd worked for Cohen's Fashion Opticals in Boston)

EDUCATION: Skidmore College US-New York-Saratoga Springs
Some College Coursework Completed

(note: how is it that his college coursework at Skidmore, located in Saratoga Springs, NY, could overlap with his work history with John Hancock in Boston, MA? I don't believe remote education was in place as of yet at that time, so it is most likely he is being untruthful either in his educational history or in the length of his tenure at Hancock.)

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Stand Your Ground / Jeremy Tick's Twisted Psyche

I guess were I writing all of this out for some type of a literary format, I would have left a lot of these unpleasant surprises down the road just as I'd discovered them. But it's just that there were so many red flags from the very onset that I CHOSE to ignore, and that is the main reason I was angry with myself. Obviously, everything is much more obvious in hindsight, but...

Another personal quality of mine that was often deemed highly in my professional past that was taken advantage of by these self-serving idiots is my tendency to be a devil's advocate -- always seeking a balanced perspective before drawing any type of conclusions. As much as I did notice many of these red flags along the way, I had proactively rationalized or justified reasons on their behalf.

This proved to be my downfall ultimately, when Jeremy Tick and I'd parted ways -- I'd spent quite some time coming to understand his perspective, which apparently made Jeremy Tick feel even more justified in his actions solely because I understood intellectually his motivations, and he couldn't understand, nor did he bother to spend much time in attempting to understand, my rationale. Needless to say, my rationale would be considered closer to that of common sense, as verified by many who have had the similar displeasure of having worked with him or gotten to know him, yet, as one put it aptly, you cannot discuss things rationally with someone who "is a figment of his own imagination" such is the case with Jeremy Tick.

Unfortunately, as I'd come to discover again with another individual, as unique an instance as I thought he may be, I have come to encounter another character of a similar psychological constitution that I am beginning to suspect that there may be others like those -- which is why I have really begun to appreciate all people I have encountered in the past who are not of this ilk. Thankfully, people unlike Jeremy Tick are in the bountiful, for the sake of all humanity. (Knowing him, he'll probably take that as a compliment, as testimony to his "uniqueness"...)

Nevertheless, another important lesson I did walk away with from my dealings with Jeremy Tick was [Lesson Number 5: as prudent as it may be to always try to have a balanced opinion, always know what your stance is, and your stance should take your own motivations and benefits as the main account -- unfortunately, when dealing with certain people, you are the only person that is looking out for your own interest.]. It seems like common sense, but, putting aside your own ambitions and desires for the common good of the group of otherwise isn't exactly a common trait, I'd come to learn.

With that said, I'm fairly certain that, were Jeremy Tick to somehow discover my ramblings here, he would be flattered in some twisted sort of way, flattered by the fact I would spend the time and energy into jotting down these thoughts...however, as obvious as it is to anyone aside himself, stroking his ego is hardly the motivation I am writing these thoughts out -- it is mostly for my own exercise, and also as a precautionary note to whomever that may encounter this shady character. He managed to fool me through his charm and twisted psychology, despite the general opinion that I am a fairly intelligent being, albeit too generous for my own good at times.

Obviously, there are two or more sides to every coin of the truth -- but most of what I am laying out here are hard facts, and areas that are vague to me, I have left it explicitly clear as only estimations...

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Jeremy Tick's "credentials"

There were other things around this time that I really should have been more attentive to in regards to Jeremy Tick's credibility. For one, he didn't have his own checking account. For two, when I'd suggested he look into collecting unemployment in order to help sustain himself in the coming months, he wasn't eligible to collect unemployment.

Again, I didn't really think about it at the time, and instead, in my eagerness to help, I'd offered to let him use my personal checking account for the time being -- truly a stupid move on my part. [(an OBVIOUS) Lesson Number 3: NEVER, EVER, EVER let anyone else access your personal checking account unless you really truly know them well enough, and even then, for only a short-term, for emergencies only -- like DUH, right??]

Also, the very fact he wasn't eligible to collect unemployment is somewhat suspect, since, almost anyone who has worked at least six months in a (I believe) 12 or 18 month period is eligible, at least, in New York State -- to this day, I'm really not certain why he wasn't eligible for unemployment, especially since he claimed to have worked for Dean & Deluca in New York City and also at a diner in Albany. I can only venture a guess that the diner may have been paying him under the table in cash and/or that he actually really didn't work for at least six months within a period of 12-18 months up to December 2001. I didn't really press the issue much at the time since I thought it was a relatively private issue. However, given that this was someone I was allowing to LIVE in MY apartment, going into BUSINESS WITH, and ALLOWING into my PERSONAL CHECKING ACCOUNT, I really truly should have pressed for clear answers that were factually backed.

Nevertheless, in a similar vein, all of these factors are obvious as somewhat suspect in hindsight, yet, as many of my colleagues and I have come to agree that, most of us hardly suspect that these things are indicative of other things, since most of us WANT to believe that all people are "good" people at the core. Even in an extreme instance, such as one with my most recent encounter with a business associate (whom I'll get to later on) who ultimately ended up date raping someone I know, even after the fact it happened, when the girl who was raped and I talk, underneath the obvious rage that she and I both feel, we still want to believe somehow that there is a "decent" person in there, despite an obvious criminal and horrendous act.

With that said, however, that belief does not -- and should never -- equate to condoning those actions. My most important lesson I've learned is that: [Lesson Number 4: there are people that, whether consciously or subconsciously, PREY on this basic belief of many people that WANT to believe that all people are good, and TAKE ADVANTAGE of those inclinations of others for their own, and only their own, benefit.]

I sincerely hope for the sake of many that they will not have to learn this lesson on their own -- it is an unpleasant truth to have to encounter. I have yet to decide if I am fortunate or unfortunate for having learned this lesson at this stage in my life. I'm inclined to say I am fortunate overall, since I have learned the lesson, yet I really prefer that this planet was devoid of such people altogether. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, however, it is because of these types of people I have really become appreciative of the innumerous good people I have been fortunate enough to encounter otherwise in my life.

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