San Franization

        Awake from a sleep as comfortable as can be expected aboard a bus to find myself in San Francisco. Initial walking around yields nothing extraordinary… we find the bay, which is a beautiful area, but have yet to see the Golden Gate. More wandering and the only differentiating things I’ve found are steep hills, trolley cars, and what seems to me to be an abnormally large number of guys walking around together.
        We got a ride with Marvin’s uncle to San Mateo, where we thought we’d be staying with him. A welcome surprise: the uncle manages an apartment building and has gotten us our own place! Definitely a nice way to stay the next few nights, just wish it wasn’t half an hour out of Frisco… I manage to almost break the glass door to our little balcony by trying to walk through it head first and then we’re off to the city.
        It’s more like an hour as we take the train in for the night. A conductor recommends what turns out to be a great area for us to stuff ourselves with pasta. After dinner, I get a call from Transcontinental Talent; I’d missed their call that morning, they’d left a message, and I was still debating whether to even bother calling them back. I acted enthused about the “digital comp card” with the lady as she recorded my personal info but then finally asked about the cost; “yes, there’s a $795 start-up fee.” After I explained that I already have my own website to which I could easily add a “digital comp card,” suggesting that instead of charging me an initial fee they take a percentage of any revenue from jobs I find through their service and arguing over her objections, I was transferred to a different, slightly more intelligent glorified telemarketer. He put up a better debate but still wouldn’t buy the no-in-fee argument and eventually told me that “maybe that’s a good idea, but that’s not how we do it” and that “maybe you should start your own company.” I felt like kind of a chumb, but at least had fun outarguing them. Final result: I’m on the waiting list and they’ll contact me again in a year:).
        We wander around, seeing nothing particularly special. Cable car and coffee, then we head back to the train for San Mateo. We almost sleep through our stop and are zombies throughout the walk to the apartment. A long day, and I’ll pass out now.

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