Muschamp Rd

A few more email excerpts

July 30th, 2006
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These are taken from emails I mostly sent to various former Sauder MBA classmates. After March 17th 2005 I decided it might be wise to have a record of what was actually said. I continue to lie awake every night going over who said what trying to make some sense of it all. Maybe this blog entry will help, I’ve avoided writing it long enough, I need some peace of mind.

To paraphrase Neil Young again, “My posts are all so long and my words are all so sad.

To Steve Keller, February 16, 2005:

It was a real learning experience and a bit of an odd evening. I got a massive dose of Marlene. I thought she was mad at me because I never talked to her yesterday and her last email was a bit odd. Marlene is hard to read. I also had complained to Gary on MSN that I hadn’t heard back from her recently which maybe is the root of the problem.

Since I ended up sitting beside her, I suggested we become networking buddies. We never got to talk to any of the people we were targeting, but we made the rounds and collected a few cards. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but I plan to send brief thank you/follow up emails anyway.

To Marlene Lau, February 23, 2005:

See you at the MBAS thing. Once again I can’t sleep. I think too much.

I also try not to get out of bed once I get in, but I’ve been tossing and turning for hours… Usually when I go to the gym it helps me sleep.

As for you hamster story, I am so the same way. I’m still mad at myself for selling my Star Wars toys at a garage sale for like 50 cents or so a figurine when I knew they were worth piles more if I just took them to Victoria. I had all the guns for them and everything. I’m also still pissed off about being given the run around in Thailand. I hate it when people lie to my face. How stupid do they think I am?

We can now add to our list of simularities:
Glasses
Hate to be ripped off
hold grudges

I wish I could get to know you better.

To Gary Lau, February 25, 2005:

I’ve come to the conclusion I enjoy talking to Marlene more than the vast, vast majority of my other classmates. And since this semmester I’ve tried to get to know her better and it isn’t easy seeing as how we’re busy and our schedules don’t jive and she can be distant.

I got my infernal nice guy reputation and I’m trying to be respectful of her wishes, but I’m starting to get stressed out about this thing, it’s definitely affecting my sleep.

I’ve been trying to play it cool, trying to build a relationship slowly dispite it being hard, but now I wonder if I’m setting myself up for even more frustration.

I try to cope as best I can with the real world but this is starting to cause me to lose sleep as you can see. ;-) I still can smile a bit about it now but it’s getting harder to do so, I just wish things would work out for once, I mean I’m not getting any younger and I’m pretty set in my ways so I’m unlikely to change much, there must be someone for me out there, could it be Marlene, I’d like to find out but I don’t want scenario one or two. What I’d also like is to be able to think less about this and sleep more.

To Gary Lau, February 25, 2005:

I still am unsure when and how to broach this subject to Marlene. We are going on a networking outing on the 17th, kinda together. I thought about trying to keep it together until then, but I also think sooner might be better considering how frazzeled I’ve been the last week or so.

To Gary Lau, February 27, 2005

I hope I salvaged some sort of platonic relatioinship and maybe there is some tiny tiny tiny hope for the future. But I still see scenario one happening unless I really work at it and Marlene is true to her word and lets me get to know her.

She made it pretty clear she isn’t looking for a relationship right now, but that can also be construed as the polite way of saying never…

I’m not going to be a good frame of mind for a long while…

To Marlene Lau, March 8, 2005:

PS Friends help each other, hell MBA classmates help each other find a job.
PPS This was the kind of long email I wanted to avoid. That’s why I called. I’m trying to avoid “The Eternal Return of the Same”, it’s a concept Nietzsche came up with. I thought by focusing on our mutual internship search it would be a platonic way to get to know each other. You seem to think otherwise… Tell me what you’d have me do.

To Marlene Lau, March 13, 2005:

I’d hate to think I was being lied to. I’d hate to think I was the butt of jokes in Cantonese. I wasn’t aware it was wrong to care or particularly funny that I’m sad, disappointed, despondent, alone, depressed, frustrated, etc. etc. etc.

PS I know it’s at least a little hard on you, sorry for being me.

After seeing the CEO of Mainframe Entertainment speak downtown, I sent this next email to Gary.

To Gary Lau, March 17, 2005:

Perhaps there is something you can do. If you could get Marlene to treat me a little less poorly it would be apprechiated.

When I called her she said we could still have a platonic relationship and suggested we could hang out if we both got internships in Vancouver. She claimed she was too busy to do anything but study and play music during the semmester. However I’m beginning to doubt the veracity of some of her statements.

I’m having a real hard time of it right now. I don’t have any optimism. I’m definitely depressed. I tried to be honest and open as opposed to my usual modus operai. Next to Marlene and myself you know the most. I don’t know what rumors you’ve been hearing but they weren’t started by me. I’m not going to start ‘badmouthing’ Marlene or getting people to take sides. That is not my style. That is one of the reasons I wrote you that long email. I’ve been down this road before and it ended with me be very depressed and alone. The same thing is going to happen again…

Here is an example from today. I got invited to see the CEO of Mainframe Entertainment speak. I registered and sent the information to Marlene. She also registered and insisted I not back out. This was a couple of weeks ago. At the event today, we arrived separately. When I went to get a drink I saw her and said ‘hi’ and told her I had a big table right at front. I was sitting there with one other guy. She was the only person I knew at the event and I the only person she knew. Yet she said “she preferred to sit at the back”. She wouldn’t even come over so I could introduce her to the head of an animation studio who I had been telling all about her prior to her arrival. That’s cold.

I had trouble eating lunch. I had to keep it together to network and so I could approach the CEO of Mainframe. I haven’t been getting much sleep lately or eating much and I’m definitely losing weight though that might be partly to do with going to the gym more.

I wasn’t aware it was a crime to care.

Muskie

PS I still don’t understand why she doesn’t want me to help her find an internship. She wouldn’t let me see her resume. She says she doesn’t want any obligation between us.

This email was sent later that night after things changed dramatically for the worse.

To Gary Lau, March 17, 2005:

Remember you can’t take sides. You can’t say anything. You can’t do anything. I told Anne DeWolfe I was going to tell you so if you want to talk to her about it I guess you can, but apparently I’m just suppose to put this all behind me and pretend like nothing is wrong. Who do these people think I am? I can’t magically stop caring about someone. I can’t put something like this behind me at the drop of the hat. It’s going to take me years to get over this if I ever do. This pretty much condemns me to live alone forever because if I ever start to care for someone I’ll always have to think “Am I being harassing.”

This is way worse than either scenario number one or scenario number two which pretty much justifies my pessimistic outlook on life, my affinity for sad songs, and my ever growing belief no relationship will ever work out for me.

Now you and Marlene know so much about me, but you can never talk about it, at least not for years. This probably damages your relationship with Marlene too. It’s all too bad. I said so several times in my emails.

I guess everyone expects me to just get on with my life but I’m going to just suffer alone tonight and many, many, many nights going forward.

I don’t think I deserved this. You get to be the only judge, the silent witness, cause Marlene is unlikely to ever say why she did it, and you’d be unwise to ask.

A lonely fool.

To Anne DeWolfe, March 19, 2006:

Our relationship has always been based around email. Our reading group never met in person. Whenever I had information I thought she would find useful I passed it on. I understand now she isn’t interested in me non-platonically and that she doesn’t appear to want to ever have anything to do with again which is really hard to swallow coming from her.

I asked Gary what to do about Marlene and he told me to tell her. I told my sister it didn’t work out and she said try to be her friend. The BCC is always telling us that our fellow classmates are our strongest network and that we should leverage them in searching for an internship, get them to proof your resume, cover letter etc. I did all this in the hopes that Marlene and I wouldn’t drift apart.

She told me we could hang out together in the summer after school was done if we both got internships here. So I tried to help find one cause it gave me something to look forward too. Now I have nothing to look forward to except being the class pariah for causing Marlene Lau so much grief.

Can anything be done?

To Gary Lau, April 1, 2005:

For the record, I’ve never said Marlene was not right. If it helps you can tell anyone you want that Marlene is right. The MBA Office assumes Marlene was right so does the councillor. It was never the “rightness” of her actions I questioned, just the necessity.

Things were already bad for me. I was disappointed Marlene wasn’t interested, though I kinda knew that would be the answer, because it is always the answer. Maybe I was a little too enthusiastic in trying to help her find an internship. Perhaps it would have been better if I had not gone to seen “Phantom of the Opera” that Saturday night, but surely I had the right to. Marlene was already suspicious of me before that. A few days after our one phone call she stopped trusting me and I don’t know why…

In my last email I stated my intention not to email her and to limit my contact, I’d previously said I wouldn’t phone. I thought things were as bad as they could possibly get and that I would be sad and lonely for a long time. So the meeting with Anne and Brian came as a complete surprise. I still don’t understand what she was thinking or how things went so wrong so fast. Hopefully she has a good reason for doing this. Hopefully she didn’t just do it out of spite.

PS Hopefully it has nothing to do with Marlene, but Peter Chow has not been to replying to my emails lately. I’ve busted my ass securing guest speakers he said he wanted and we can’t confirm any until he starts making some decisions. If you see him during PDP week ask him if he got my emails and tell him to get back to me.

To Chi-Wei Wang, April 27, 2005:

I tried Chi-Wei. I tried. Perhaps I tried too hard, but it was because I was scared and alone and tired. Being a “nice person” was one of the only things I had that was good in my life. Now it has been taken away from me. I don’t feel like a “nice person” anymore. I feel like a sad, pathetic, person who’s doomed to suffer alone.

Remember at the movie when I said “I’d tell you later”. Now is not that time. That time likely won’t be in Hong Kong either. That time will possibly never come. Gary knows some things because he had too. But even he doesn’t know all the bad things that have happened to me over the last 10-15 years.

To Armen Barha, April 27, 2005:

I try Arman. I try to be honest and giving. I thought I was a nice guy. It was the only thing I had in my life besides music. Music is so important to me. I’ve gone through a lot, more than any one person realized. Now Gary and others know a lot about me, but I still have secrets. Sad and pathetic secrets and thoughts which keep me awake at night and can bring me to tears despite the drugs. I have a hard time reaching out to people and when I do, well things don’t seem to work out. Things just don’t seem to work out for me.

To Gary Lau, April 28, 2005:

I really thought Marlene was great. She gave me hope. She was the first person I reached out to in 10 years. After she wouldn’t go to the Supersuckers concert I didn’t think things would work out ‘happily ever after’. Eventually I wrote you when I couldn’t take it. I called her. I almost cried on the phone. She seemed more concerned about what Troy or Steve said about her dream posting months before. She said we could still be friends that we could hang out. I thought that would help me so I worked towards it. I don’t know if she lied to me or not. I don’t know what I did wrong or even if it was just one thing.

To Troy Kelly, April 30, 2005:

As for your question. I try to live a certain way. I’m not the best person, but I used to think I was a good person. I try to treat people a certain way. I try to be honest. I had to lie, for the first time ever, to my now deceased grandfather about what has happened to me, that is how bad things are. My mom didn’t want him to worry so much so I told him and the rest of my family I suffered a concussion playing soccer.

I never lie, never. I pride myself on that. I don’t have much pride left. My honesty and willingness to help others led to my downfall. Now my willingness to suffer alone in silence just prolongs the time I must suffer alone in silence.

To Dennis Lei, April 30, 2005:

I’ve tried to be honest and to treat everyone, including the Chinese students in the program, with respect. I know how hard it is to live overseas and to struggle with a foreign language. Every single Chinese MBA student is doing far better in English than I could do in Japanese and I spent years trying to learn the language. They all have my respect and admiration.

I’d like to think my classmates like me and believe me, but my entire sense of self esteem and self worth has been destroyed by what has happened to me recently. I came back, but every day is still a struggle. Somedays I don’t want to get out of bed and face the world.

To Jason Shultz, May 1, 2005:

I’ve dealt with a lot of death as well. I’ve gotten numb to it. It’s the living who can hurt you more. They have a choice on what they do and how they treat people. I don’t understand why people do what they do. I don’t understand why bad things happen to me. I used to think I was a good person, a nice person, a person who tried to help out his friends. Now I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore it seems.

To Peter Helland, May 1, 2005:

I can’t tell you all the details or at least it’s best I don’t. You’ve known me for months as have others. I’ve tried to treat everyone decently and with respect. I’ve always been honest. Remember my presidential speech, it was all about honesty and humor and integrity. Besides music being a good person was all I had in my life that gave me joy. Now both things seem to have been taken away from me in one fell swoop and all because I tried.

To Gary Lau, May 16, 2005:

It’s unfortunate what Marlene did, especially to me, someone who really does have problems reaching out to people, and who really does go out of their way to help others. Everyone else seems to believe me and appreciates my efforts but the more I helped Marlene and the more I told her the less she believed me and the more suspicious she became. Even James thinks I have good intentions… Perhaps she’ll have an epiphany or someone can give her some perspective, in the mean time I just try to get through one day at a time.

To Gary Lau, August 6, 2005:

I’ve tried so many things to change my life, but the best I seem to be able to do is distract myself for a little while and to put on a mask for the benefit of those around me. That’s why the Phantom wears a mask, not for protection but for the benefit of those around him, so they don’t have to see how damaged he is. I understood that movie all too well, probably better than Ms. Lau.

To Lanre Arikenbi, August 18, 2005:

Danna says similar things to you. She says that I shouldn’t care what bad people think of me or worry about what they say or do. Gary says I’m better than that, better than them and that I should realize this. Realize that I’m better off with them not in my life, to start a new life. I’m tired of starting over. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of doing the right thing. I’m tired of being the nice guy. All it has lead too is unhappiness, loneliness and frustration.

To Peter Chow, September 4, 2005:

…I guess you’ve learned a thing or two. I learned a thing or two at Sauder too, and they were painful lessons. Know that I never lied. I always did what I was told/requested/asked. I really did go out of my way to help a lot of students. That and caring seem to be my crimes.

“No good deed goes unpunished.”

I really am leaving the country. I trust you can get along without me. I seem to be a mere annoyance rather than a classmate or a friend. Not even worth talking to really, best to ignore him and hope he goes away.

To Wendy Chang, Irene Leung, Anni Cao, Tracy Yang, and Peter Chow, January 4, 2006:

The MBA program is over but my life isn’t yet… I’ve suffered considerably due to events that occurred during the MBA program. I was going to urge you to have a frank discussion with Gary concerning Marlene and I, but he doesn’t want to have anything more to do with this sordid saga. I have always tried to be honest and to treat people with respect. Perhaps nothing can be done, but maybe now that so much time has past, the program is over, some illumination and cooler heads can prevail. I would appreciate some clarity and closure to go with my sorrow and solitude.

The last excerpt was from one of many emails I had hoped I wouldn’t have to send, but things did not improve with the passage of time so I tried one last time… Peter was the only person who saw fit to reply. Of course he had already gone many months without replying to other emails I had sent him. Perhaps he had a guilty conscience. I don’t know what that says about the others…

Update March 2015

Having battled depression for over ten years, I can not recommend blogging about your personal problems. Some people will never believe you and they just do not care how much their words and actions hurt you. I doubly do not recommend blogging about your personal problems while looking for work. Depression has left many gaps in my resume and I’ve never recovered from doing my MBA at the Sauder School of Business.


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