“Hello, I’m Cindy and I’ll interview you today.”

 — “Could you tell me about this company a little in advance please?”

“Sure, the company is called ‘We Don’t Do a Thing Like Our Lifes Depend On It Incorporated’, we’re proud of the name, as it covers what we do so well. Which, as you probably can guess is exactly… zip.”

 — “I like the sound of that!”

“Ok, I’ll ask you some questions and you’ll answer them, alright?”

 — “Sure.”

“Ok, to start off, tell me, how motivated are you to get this job?”

 — “Not very.”

“Good, good. Very good. What kind of jobs have you had before this one?”

 — “I’ve worked as a system administrator at an elementary school.”

“Ok, and what did that job involve, what kind of things did you do at a regular day?”

 — “Pretending to be awfully busy, mostly.”

“And you quit your job voluntarily?”

 — “No, no, they found out.”

“They found out and fired you? That’s absurd! Well, don’t expect such absdurd actions taken here. The less you do at WDDaTLoLDOI Incorporated, the higher your sallary. But I think we’ve talked enough, you’re hired.”

 — “Cool, thanks ma’am!”

Fiction? Not entirely. My brother launched a site with a friend a couple of months ago. It’s one of those sites where you can buy ringtones and logos for your mobile phone. There are companies that deliver all the scripts and services to do this and allow others to resell their services. All you have to do is create a nice lay-out, insert the javascripts and there you go. The site will be automatically stuffed with new ringtones every day. The trouble is to promote it and get customers. Apparantly my brother and his friend did this. Now they make like $100 per day, that’s $50 each, while not doing anything for it.

Until recently they had a “Dutch site only”:http://www.mobilelogos.nl. Now they’re expanding, there’s already an UK site and many more are coming up. I heard my brother even approached his German teacher to translate the site. Apparantly he forgot he could do it himself, oh sorry, that’s against company policies. Stupid me.

The fact that he might now be making around $1,500 per month causes some problems. He’s only 16, our dad pays his taxes. The trouble is that as my mom and dad make enough money to be in the highest tax scale (which is, don’t be shocked) 50% in the Netherlands. Which would mean $750 would go to the governement. On top of that our parents, until now, received some amount of money to pay for each of the children. But they’re not eligible to this money if this child makes more than, say $1,100 per 3 months or so, which is an amount he might just pass. My brother will have to pay the $250, they used to get, back to our parents aswell. He’s now probably going to start a company because of tax reasons. “Can you drive me to the chamber of commerce mom?”

You can understand that the meaning of the word “earn” has changed over the past few months in our family. In a way, sure he’s lucky, made the right deals, so he “earned” it. But in a way, to me, “earning” implies you doing something. Which is not really the case.

This reminds me of Ben Woldring. Ben Woldring, a boy from Groningen (like me), launched a little website which compared mobile phone contracts, he made this site as a school assignment (he was about 15–16 back then). At some point a TV programme invited him to talk about it which made the ball start rolling. He got different deals from different phone companies, got a domain name (bellen.com, “bellen” means to call) and launched his own company inventively called “’BenCom’”:http://www.bencom.nl. At some point he had his mother working for him as his secretary. He appeared to have great businessman skills, debated with the Dutch parlement and spoke to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. He’s a millionair now and does business school at the same university I’m on. I sometimes see him walking the halls.

Had I mentioned the world isn’t fair?