Once upon a time, Carguy and Lolclient were introduced through mutual car-loving acquaintances. Carguy was known for making good cars for people that didn’t know how to make their own or didn’t feel like paying somebody a lot of money to make one. Carguy liked to trade cars for stuff he liked. And Lolclient had lots of car stuff Carguy liked.
So they talked on the phone (different states) and they liked each other, and they came up with a plan to make Lolclient a really nice car. A car everybody would like that would eventually make Lolclient some good money when he raced it. Lolclient didn’t really know how to drive either, especially not racecars, but Carguy assured him that this car would be easy to learn and easy to drive.
It was a fairly common car, you see, and Carguy not only had a manual for it, but another, bigger, manual called “Google”.
So Carguy drafted up a few mockups of what the car would look like. Lolclient liked them. So one of the toughest parts was over, Carguy thought. He thought wrong.
He needed stuff from Carguy, some design specs and measurements. He couldn’t just build this car sight unseen, you see. He needed to work with Lolclient to make the right car for him. Carguy didn’t press it, but would get pretty annoyed when weeks would pass and then Lolclient would text and ask, “so can we race next week lol”
Carguy would remind Lolclient, every time, exactly what he needed for the car and why. Carguy would remind Lolclient that he preferred to communicate through email, because his life is crazy and busy and he’s not only very busy making cars but he’s also got a house full of dependents that are, well, depending on him, pretty much all the time. Email was the only way Carguy could devote his already-scattered attention to building the right car for Lolclient.
Lolclient emailed, but kept texting too, and requested talking on the phone nearly every time. Carguy would patiently remind him that it’s very hard for him to talk on the phone, and he needs to schedule specific times so that he can have peace and quiet. Lolclient didn’t seem to understand this, and every few weeks would send a text or email reading, “got time for a chat lol”. Carguy would patiently ask to schedule a call, only to find out that Lolclient only wanted to know, once again, what colour they were painting the fenders.
Carguy helped Lolclient along, teaching him how this specific car would drive. How the steering would work, the gas pedal, the brake pedal, the clutch and gearshifter. It wasn’t terribly complicated, nor that different from other cars that Lolclient had driven, but Carguy wanted to make sure he explained everything just right. He thought he did.
But then, weeks later, Lolclient would text asking “hows it shift again lol” or “whats the clutch do again lol” Carguy figured that he wasn’t explaining in the proper medium, and that it had been so long (few months now) that Lolclient had clearly forgotten everything from their first phone chat. So they scheduled another one.
Carguy figured that Lolclient was asking these questions over and over again because he was trying to drive and it wasn’t working out so well. Or maybe had a friend that had a similar car that was subtly different. Or even wanted to make further modifications while racing.
Nope, Lolclient had just forgotten all the stuff Carguy had told him. Carguy patiently explained everything again, assuring Lolclient that this would all work and he’d know how to race and drive that car when he was ready. Time passed, again, and Lolclient started texting and emailing questions through, again.
Carguy got fed up. He got as much information about the car as he could, and just built it. As much as he could anyway. He put all the bits and pieces in there that were needed. He did basically everything except put in all the important driver data from Lolclient. Lolclient, with all the information Carguy had given him, could surely do the rest.
Lolclient, being the most important piece in this project, needed to put the driver and racing data into the car’s computer. Carguy had explained that. A few times. He’d even explained that he could upload the bulk of the data if Lolclient would send it to him. He explained this a few times too. Carguy had many Carclients racing on his track, and they’d ALL learned how with half the info Lolclient had been given.
Finally, after several months, Lolclient started putting in data. It appeared to be working. There were still too many texts and emails with “lol how tall am i again lol” and “lol how hard to i hit the brake to stop lol”, but at least the data was making it in. Slowly, sure, but that’s good at first. Carguy felt that they would be ready to race soon. Because after all, it was Lolclient’s information that was all that was left.
Then the car’s program crashed, on a weekend. Lolclient hadn’t paid any attention to how much data to put in, and he was putting in very, very big pieces of data. Even though the car would never need to know every member of Lolclient’s primary school, it was in there. The car would never need to have the data for entire recipe books from Lolclient’s kitchen, but it was in there. There was so much information in there that it spilled out and was taking over Carguy’s other cars!
Carguy’s entire racetrack was ground to a halt while all this extra information spilled out of Lolclient’s car and ran all over the other cars. Carguy had a lot of work to clean all that up. He wasn’t very happy.
Still, he blamed himself. He thought he had explained to Lolclient how to load information properly. Lolclient was just dumping things in and hadn’t given any thought about how big it was. Carguy thought Lolclient would have checked with Google or the Car’s Manual on how to do these things without mishap, but he hadn’t. Lolclient hadn’t checked anywhere other than with Carguy, who had grown increasingly Less Patient the more Lolclient had asked.
Carguy explained all of this. He was pretty-well fed up, but he wasn’t going to leave Lolclient hanging. He still hadn’t received any of the agreed-upon barter from Lolclient, but he was going to make sure Lolclient was set up before he cut him loose and vowed never to work with someone so needy and lacking in attention and independence.
Carguy gave Lolclient all the options, listed out in an easy-to-read format, even for Lolclient. They nearly all involved Lolclient doing a bunch of work himself or spending a bit of money.
Lolclient told Carguy he had been sad because of This Disaster and That Disaster in his life recently. Carguy felt bad, because Lolclient did have a few disasters, and it’s understandable to be a bit more needy when life is busy disastering around you.
But Carguy kept wondering why Lolclient hadn’t told him differently. Lolclient, in his limited communication styles, hadn’t even said, “i’ve had some tough times, so I appreciate you putting up with my neediness. If you help me get through this I’ll definitely make it up to you… lol” Lolclient probably thought he said that. But instead it came out “sorry i’m a pain i had This Disaster and That Disaster but need you to pretty much do the driving of this car for me lol”.
Carguy didn’t want to drive. This not only wasn’t his car, but his own life is so full and so busy, there was NO WAY he could fit in driving someone else’s car too. He’d explained this to Lolclient before, but it didn’t seem to matter now. This was already costing his life too much, all this time and energy spent on somebody that only seemed to care about his own car and his own disasters, all without paying for any of it yet. When Carguy mentioned some serious changes needed made and most of the work Lolclient had done would need fixed, Lolclient said this was “annoying”.
Carguy hit the roof. Then he carefully, but frustratingly, explained why he couldn’t let this continue and Lolclient needed to move on to another racetrack. Carguy had built a fine car that could be driven nearly anywhere, but Lolclient would have to figure out how to move it, because Carguy was done working with Lolclient he said.
Lolclient told Carguy he was “sorry for being a pain lol” and casually mentioned even more disasters. Carguy was starting to think that Lolclient was the unluckiest guy in the world… or that he was someone that seemed to wallow in his own misfortunes. Lolclient also told Carguy that he “took the email wrong” and that Carguy was wrong for thinking that Lolclient was wrong for acting annoyed.
Carguy sat and thought about this. Took the email wrong? he thought. No, he thought, I didn’t. Carguy once again thought that Lolclient must have not been paying attention when Carguy was explaining things over, and over, and over again during all those months. Carguy figured that if Lolclient was somebody that couldn’t look at his own behaviour and recognise issues when someone else brought them up, but only have excuses and defensiveness, then he wasn’t even going to talk to him any more.
Lolclient persisted though. Sending nicely-written emails that said things like “sorry” and “i promise i’ll listen from now on” and “i can’t do this without you”. Carguy noticed that Lolclient still took no responsibility for driving the car and still acted as if Carguy was the one that was supposed to be driving it. The only mention of paying Carguy back for his immense patience, time and energy, was that Lolclient promised he’d live up to his end of the bargain. He didn’t say thanks, and he didn’t say when he would pay Carguy back.
Carguy was done being used, so instead of continuing this harmful relationship, he sat down and wrote this story.
But he changed it a little bit.