debug.cpp TesterHook.cpp entityidxarray.cpp graph.cpp graphnode.cpp modAI_Memory.cpp aAI_CommsInstructions.cpp aAI_EntityInterface.cpp cAI_Action.cpp cAI_AdminManager.cpp cAI_Agent.cpp cAI_CommsModule.cpp cAI_CommsPrefix.cpp cAI_CommsPrep.cpp cAI_EntityGame.cpp cAI_EntityPlayer.cpp cAI_TransitionData.cpp cAI_Variables.cpp modAI_Audio.cpp modAI_Communication.cpp modAI_Identifier.cpp modAI_Interaction.cpp modAI_Interface.cpp modAI_Senses.cpp modAI_Synchronisation.cpp aAI_PerformTask.cpp cAI_ActionManager.cpp cAI_AnimInterface.cpp cAI_LowLevelInterface.cpp cAI_PerformanceManager.cpp cAI_PerformancePhase.cpp cAI_PerformTaskAction.cpp cAI_PerformTaskAnim.cpp cAI_PerformTaskAudio.cpp cAI_SpeechInterface.cpp aAI_Controller.cpp aAI_ControllerCombat.cpp aAI_Coordinator.cpp aAI_EntityIDArray.cpp aAI_Objective.cpp cAI_ControllerBoundary.cpp cAI_ControllerCamp.cpp cAI_ControllerCombatBlind.cpp cAI_ControllerCombatCover.cpp cAI_ControllerCombatMelee.cpp cAI_ControllerCoverSeek.cpp cAI_ControllerFollow.cpp cAI_ControllerFollowThrough.cpp cAI_ControllerGoto.cpp cAI_ControllerGotoGunfire.cpp cAI_ControllerGuard.cpp cAI_ControllerHide.cpp cAI_ControllerIdle.cpp cAI_ControllerOrbit.cpp cAI_ControllerSearch.cpp cAI_ControllerStop.cpp cAI_CoordinateBoundary.cpp cAI_CoordinateGenericAction.cpp cAI_CoordinateGenericCombat.cpp cAI_CoordinateGuard.cpp cAI_CoordinateIdle.cpp cAI_CoordinateInvestigate.cpp cAI_CoordinateKillEnemy.cpp cAI_CoordinateSearch.cpp cAI_Goal.cpp cAI_GoalDefinition.cpp cAI_IdleActions.cpp cAI_ObjectiveBeBuddy.cpp cAI_ObjectiveHuntEnemy.cpp cAI_ObjectiveIdle.cpp cAI_ObjectiveScriptedAction.cpp cAI_Pack.cpp cAI_Subpack.cpp cAI_HearingSense.cpp cAI_SensesData.cpp cAI_SensingPhase.cpp cAI_VisionSense.cpp meleeTraits.cpp traits.cpp acts.cpp atomicActs.cpp combatUtil.cpp coverActs.cpp gunActBase.cpp meleeActs.cpp pedBodyAnimFSM.cpp pedTorsoAnimFSM.cpp compDriver.cpp weaponController.cpp formation.cpp motion.cpp navigation.cpp navPoint.cpp navTactics.cpp pointTracker.cpp squad.cpp pedSpace.cpp gunPerception.cpp itemPerception.cpp meleeCombatPerception.cpp pedRelationshipPerception.cpp selfPerception.cpp Senses.cpp Vision.cpp AnimBlendAssociation.cpp AnimBlendClumpData.cpp AnimBlendHierarchy.cpp AnimBlendNode.cpp AnimBlendSequence.cpp AnimHierarchy.cpp AnimManager.cpp Compressed.cpp EntityAnim.cpp App.cpp GameTime.cpp AmbientTransitionManager.cpp AudioAnim.cpp audiobloodfx.cpp AudioCollision.cpp audiolog.cpp audioman.cpp AudioMisc.cpp AudioScripted.cpp AudioTextMap.cpp CriAdxStream.cpp CriAixStream.cpp CriInterface.cpp dmaudio.cpp music.cpp SampleManagerChannelFunctions.cpp sampman.cpp ScriptedStream.cpp SpeechManager.cpp VolumeFader.cpp AgeSupport.cpp manager.cpp sfx.cpp system_wii.cpp BufferedSoundWii.cpp CRC.cpp SectorReadables.cpp ColAABox.cpp ColArch.cpp ColData.cpp ColFrustum.cpp ColLine.cpp Collision.cpp ColModelLine.cpp ColModelPoint.cpp ColModelSphere.cpp ColModelTri.cpp ColPrim.cpp ColSphere.cpp ColTri.cpp ContactInfo.cpp ColCylinder.cpp ColModelCylinder.cpp console.cpp skel.cpp wiiplatform.cpp CollectableEffect.cpp CreationManager.cpp Entity.cpp EntityManager.cpp OddEntity.cpp TypeData.cpp Character.cpp ped.cpp pedstates.cpp attackdirectiondata.cpp attackdirectionlookup.cpp pedcombatlookups.cpp pedspinecontrol.cpp pushporter.cpp Climb.cpp Crawl.cpp Crouch.cpp Detector.cpp Dive.cpp Jump.cpp JumpPredictor.cpp autoped.cpp Hunter.cpp Leader.cpp PedHead.cpp delayedHunterSpawn.cpp RsvGoreEffectForExecutions.cpp CameraData.cpp collectable.cpp conveyor.cpp door.cpp EntityLight.cpp Lift.cpp mover.cpp ShotEntity.cpp slidedoor.cpp switch.cpp Trigger.cpp Useable.cpp EntitySound.cpp EnvironmentalExecution.cpp Helicopter.cpp ShadowPlane.cpp FileHandler.cpp FileNames.cpp LoadSave.cpp eyelayerinset.cpp Frontend.cpp FrontendMenu.cpp GameInfo.cpp GameInventory.cpp GameMap.cpp randomuvanimator.cpp tvlayerinset.cpp confirmnewgamepage.cpp inventorystatussettings.cpp layeredbackground.cpp layeredpage.cpp pageeffects.cpp randomoverlay.cpp screenanim.cpp screeneffectsmanager.cpp startpage.cpp texanimator.cpp weaponslotcolours.cpp weaponswapper.cpp weaponswappersettings.cpp backgroundPicAnim.cpp bar.cpp confirmingameQuitPage.cpp ContextButtonDisplay.cpp controllerPage.cpp defaultSettingsPage.cpp ExecutionBox.cpp ExecutionFrame.cpp FlexText.cpp GoalFlexText.cpp hud.cpp hudItem.cpp ingameMainPage.cpp InventorySelector.cpp inventoryStatus.cpp item.cpp LevelNameFlexText.cpp LoadProgressScreen.cpp menu.cpp newGameBrightnessPage.cpp page.cpp radar.cpp saveGamesPage.cpp sceneselectionPage.cpp screen.cpp startLanguageSelectionPage.cpp textures.cpp cGEN_String.cpp cGEN_Timer.cpp gGEN_Globals.cpp gGEN_StandardFunctions.cpp modGEN_Housekeeping.cpp modGEN_Memory.cpp stats.cpp aGEN_Array.cpp cGEN_CharArray.cpp cDBG_DebugFile.cpp modDBG_LowLevelDebug.cpp aGEN_Memory.cpp modGEN_MemoryReporting.cpp rwcore.cpp TextUtils.cpp UniCodeUtils.cpp MhGlobalData.cpp MhLoadSave_Wii.cpp MhPeripherals_Wii.cpp Pad_Wii.cpp WiiLoadSave.cpp CheatHandler.cpp InputManager.cpp WiiAccelerometer.cpp WiiGesture.cpp ActionMapping.cpp KeyCode.cpp Inventory.cpp fx.cpp fxEmitter.cpp fxInfo.cpp fxInterp.cpp fxKeyGen.cpp fxList.cpp fxManager.cpp fxPrim.cpp fxSystem.cpp fxUtils.cpp MHtoFXinterface.cpp Maths.cpp Matrix.cpp Quaternion.cpp Vector.cpp MemManager.cpp PoolAllocationManager.cpp PoolAllocator.cpp CutsceneCamera.cpp EntityFadeController.cpp SimpleLinearAllocator.cpp Cylinder.cpp FrisbeeArm.cpp CriAfsPartition.cpp CriDataStream.cpp DataStreamManager.cpp Portal.cpp StreamedLevelSector.cpp StreamedLevelSectorCore.cpp StreamedLevelSectorManager.cpp StreamedAnimation.cpp StreamedAnimationManager.cpp TexturePool.cpp TexturePoolGroup.cpp TexturePoolManager.cpp AiHelpers.cpp EntityAttrReader.cpp EntityAttrWriter.cpp EntityTextureRenderer.cpp EnvironmentID.cpp PathSearch.cpp RsvDebuggingInfoForUseables.cpp RsvTvpChecker.cpp StringHashing.cpp OverlayMgr.cpp RwRGBA_Globals.cpp ScreenStringsOverlay.cpp TextOverlay.cpp Physics.cpp collisionFrame.cpp camglobals.cpp Crosshair.cpp ExecutionTutorial.cpp handicam.cpp ImpactDamageMap.cpp player.cpp playercam.cpp PLayerLimits.cpp playerstates.cpp WiiExecutionMap.cpp WiiQuickTimeMoment.cpp grenade.cpp responder.cpp Atomic.cpp Camera.cpp CharacterDamageManager.cpp CharacterDamageMap.cpp Clump.cpp ClumpDict.cpp clumplist.cpp collisionmaterial.cpp EntityShadow.cpp EntityShadowManager.cpp Frame.cpp Geometry.cpp Light.cpp lights.cpp material.cpp materiallist.cpp scene.cpp sceneData.cpp skin.cpp spline.cpp texdictionary.cpp texture.cpp tvp.cpp utils.cpp uvanimator.cpp World.cpp WorldSector.cpp CutScene.cpp CutScenePlayed.cpp EntityShadowFader.cpp MaterialMapper.cpp lit_environmentmap.cpp lit_singletexture.cpp lit_singletexture_uvanim.cpp lit_texreconfig.cpp unlit_32indtexture.cpp unlit_notexture.cpp unlit_singletexture.cpp entityData.cpp LoadedScript.cpp ScriptCaseFloat.cpp ScriptCaseGame.cpp ScriptCaseGame2.cpp ScriptCaseGame3.cpp ScriptCaseGameRsv.cpp ScriptCaseInternals.cpp ScriptCaseStandard.cpp ScriptCaseStrings.cpp ScriptLoader.cpp ScriptManager.cpp ScriptVM.cpp BreakingGlass.cpp clouds.cpp Decal.cpp dualtexture.cpp fogpatch.cpp FXMode.cpp LightFX.cpp ParticleEffect.cpp ParticleModel.cpp rats.cpp Renderbuffer.cpp rubbish.cpp SFXManager.cpp StreakEffect.cpp TrailEffect.cpp Weather.cpp jitter.cpp lipsync.cpp spotlight.cpp spotlightcone.cpp throwgraphic.cpp OverbrightEffect.cpp VideoScreenEffect.cpp Str.cpp Timer.cpp Shot.cpp Weapon.cpp WeaponManager.cpp colramp.cpp Gu.cpp GuProfiler.cpp main.cpp renderer.cpp rslengine.cpp shadermgr.cpp vectorASM.cpp volatilemem.cpp WiiGeometry.cpp WiiShader.cpp WorldCollision.cpp actor.c control.c displayObject.c dmabuffer.cpp fileCache.c geoPalette.c GQRSetup.c List.c normalTable.c SKNControl.c SKNMath.c string.c texPalette.c Tree.c HomeButtonMenu.cpp display.cpp binkfunctions.cpp binkplayer.cpp wiitextures.c adler32.c infblock.c infcodes.c inffast.c inflate.c inftrees.c infutil.c zutil.c binkwii.c binkread.c wiiax.c wiifile.c binkacd.c radcb.c expand.c popmal.c radmem.c fft.c dct.c bitplane.c ai.c arc.c AX.c AXAlloc.c AXAux.c AXCL.c AXOut.c AXSPB.c AXVPB.c AXProf.c AXComp.c DSPCode.c AXFXReverbHi.c AXFXReverbHiDpl2.c AXFXReverbHiExp.c AXFXReverbHiExpDpl2.c AXFXReverbStd.c AXFXReverbStdExp.c AXFXHooks.c PPCArch.c gki_buffer.c gki_time.c gki_ppc.c hcisu_h2.c uusb_ppc.c bta_dm_cfg.c bta_hh_cfg.c bta_sys_cfg.c bte_hcisu.c bte_init.c bte_logmsg.c bte_main.c btu_task1.c bd.c bta_sys_conn.c bta_sys_main.c ptim.c utl.c bta_dm_act.c bta_dm_api.c bta_dm_main.c bta_dm_pm.c bta_hh_act.c bta_hh_api.c bta_hh_main.c bta_hh_utils.c btm_acl.c btm_dev.c btm_devctl.c btm_discovery.c btm_inq.c btm_main.c btm_pm.c btm_sco.c btm_sec.c btu_hcif.c btu_init.c wbt_ext.c gap_api.c gap_conn.c gap_utils.c hcicmds.c hidd_api.c hidd_conn.c hidd_mgmt.c hidd_pm.c hidh_api.c hidh_conn.c l2c_api.c l2c_csm.c l2c_link.c l2c_main.c l2c_utils.c port_api.c port_rfc.c port_utils.c rfc_l2cap_if.c rfc_mx_fsm.c rfc_port_fsm.c rfc_port_if.c rfc_ts_frames.c rfc_utils.c sdp_api.c sdp_db.c sdp_discovery.c sdp_main.c sdp_server.c sdp_utils.c db.c dsp.c dsp_debug.c dsp_task.c dvdfs.c dvd.c dvdqueue.c dvderror.c dvdidutils.c dvdFatal.c dvd_broadway.c euart.c EXIBios.c EXIUart.c EXICommon.c fs.c GXInit.c GXFifo.c GXAttr.c GXMisc.c GXGeometry.c GXFrameBuf.c GXLight.c GXTexture.c GXBump.c GXTev.c GXPixel.c GXDisplayList.c GXTransform.c GXPerf.c HBMBase.cpp HBMAnmController.cpp HBMFrameController.cpp HBMGUIManager.cpp HBMController.cpp HBMRemoteSpk.cpp db_assert.cpp db_console.cpp db_DbgPrintBase.cpp db_directPrint.cpp db_mapFile.cpp lyt_animation.cpp lyt_arcResourceAccessor.cpp lyt_bounding.cpp lyt_common.cpp lyt_drawInfo.cpp lyt_group.cpp lyt_layout.cpp lyt_material.cpp lyt_pane.cpp lyt_picture.cpp lyt_resourceAccessor.cpp lyt_textBox.cpp lyt_window.cpp math_triangular.cpp snd_AnimSound.cpp snd_AxManager.cpp snd_AxVoice.cpp snd_Bank.cpp snd_BankFile.cpp snd_BasicSound.cpp snd_Channel.cpp snd_DisposeCallbackManager.cpp snd_DvdSoundArchive.cpp snd_EnvGenerator.cpp snd_ExternalSoundPlayer.cpp snd_FrameHeap.cpp snd_InstancePool.cpp snd_Lfo.cpp snd_MemorySoundArchive.cpp snd_MidiSeqPlayer.cpp snd_MidiSeqTrack.cpp snd_MmlParser.cpp snd_MmlSeqTrack.cpp snd_MmlSeqTrackAllocator.cpp snd_NandSoundArchive.cpp snd_PlayerHeap.cpp snd_RemoteSpeaker.cpp snd_RemoteSpeakerManager.cpp snd_SeqFile.cpp snd_SeqPlayer.cpp snd_SeqSound.cpp snd_SeqSoundHandle.cpp snd_SeqTrack.cpp snd_SoundArchive.cpp snd_SoundArchiveFile.cpp snd_SoundArchiveLoader.cpp snd_SoundArchivePlayer.cpp snd_SoundHandle.cpp snd_SoundHeap.cpp snd_SoundPlayer.cpp snd_SoundStartable.cpp snd_SoundSystem.cpp snd_SoundThread.cpp snd_StrmChannel.cpp snd_StrmFile.cpp snd_StrmPlayer.cpp snd_StrmSound.cpp snd_StrmSoundHandle.cpp snd_TaskManager.cpp snd_TaskThread.cpp snd_Util.cpp snd_WaveFile.cpp snd_WavePlayer.cpp snd_WaveSound.cpp snd_WaveSoundHandle.cpp snd_WsdFile.cpp snd_WsdPlayer.cpp snd_WsdTrack.cpp ut_binaryFileFormat.cpp ut_CharStrmReader.cpp ut_CharWriter.cpp ut_DvdFileStream.cpp ut_DvdLockedFileStream.cpp ut_FileStream.cpp ut_Font.cpp ut_IOStream.cpp ut_LinkList.cpp ut_list.cpp ut_ResFont.cpp ut_ResFontBase.cpp ut_TagProcessorBase.cpp ut_TextWriterBase.cpp ipcMain.c ipcclt.c memory.c ipcProfile.c KPAD.c mem_heapCommon.c mem_expHeap.c mem_frameHeap.c mem_unitHeap.c mem_allocator.c mem_list.c mix.c remote.c mtx.c mtxvec.c mtx44.c vec.c psmtx.c nand.c NANDOpenClose.c NANDCore.c NANDCheck.c OS.c OSAlarm.c OSAlloc.c OSArena.c OSAudioSystem.c OSCache.c OSContext.c OSError.c OSExec.c OSFatal.c OSFont.c OSInterrupt.c OSLink.c OSMessage.c OSMemory.c OSMutex.c OSReboot.c OSReset.c OSRtc.c OSSemaphore.c OSSync.c OSThread.c OSTime.c OSUtf.c OSIpc.c OSStateTM.c __start.c OSPlayRecord.c OSStateFlags.c OSNet.c OSNandbootInfo.c __ppc_eabi_init.cpp Pad.c scsystem.c scapi.c scapi_prdinfo.c seq.c SIBios.c SISamplingRate.c syn.c TPL.c usb.c vi.c i2c.c vi3in1.c wenc.c WPAD.c WPADHIDParser.c WPADEncrypt.c WPADMem.c debug_msg.c WUD.c WUDHidHost.c debug_msg.c DebuggerDriver.c exi2.c float.cpp alloc.c ansi_files.c ansi_fp.c arith.c buffer_io.c ctype.c direct_io.c errno.c file_io.c FILE_POS.C locale.c mbstring.c mem.c mem_funcs.c math_api.c misc_io.c printf.c qsort.c rand.c scanf.c signal.c string.c strtold.c strtoul.c wctype.c wstring.c wchar_io.c uart_console_io_gcn.c abort_exit_ppc_eabi.c math_sun.c extras.c e_atan2.c e_exp.c e_fmod.c e_log.c e_log10.c e_pow.c e_rem_pio2.c k_cos.c k_rem_pio2.c k_sin.c k_tan.c s_atan.c s_ceil.c s_copysign.c s_cos.c s_floor.c s_frexp.c s_ldexp.c s_sin.c s_tan.c w_atan2.c w_exp.c w_fmod.c w_log.c w_log10.c w_pow.c e_sqrt.c math_ppc.c w_sqrt.c __mem.c __va_arg.c global_destructor_chain.c NMWException.cp ptmf.c runtime.c __init_cpp_exceptions.cpp Gecko_ExceptionPPC.cp GCN_mem_alloc.c mainloop.c nubevent.c nubinit.c msg.c msgbuf.c serpoll.c usr_put.c dispatch.c msghndlr.c support.c mutex_TRK.c notify.c flush_cache.c mem_TRK.c string_TRK.c __exception.s targimpl.c targsupp.s mpc_7xx_603e.c mslsupp.c dolphin_trk.c main_TRK.c dolphin_trk_glue.c targcont.c target_options.c UDP_Stubs.c main.c CircleBuffer.c MWCriticalSection_gc.cpp HashKeyFunctions.cpp MemMan.cpp Random.cpp RelocatableChunk.cpp fmod_eventi.cpp fmod_eventsystemi.cpp fmod_sounddef.cpp fmod_eventcategoryi.cpp fmod_eventparameteri.cpp fmod_eventprojecti.cpp fmod_eventgroupi.cpp fmod_reverbdef.cpp fmod_channel_revolution.cpp fmod_os_misc.cpp fmod_os_output.cpp fmod_output_revolution.cpp fmod_sample_revolution.cpp fmod_dsp.cpp fmod_dspi.cpp fmod_codec_aiff.cpp fmod_codec_dsp.cpp fmod_codec_fsb.cpp fmod_codec_user.cpp fmod.cpp fmod_async.cpp fmod_channel.cpp fmod_channel_emulated.cpp fmod_channel_real.cpp fmod_channel_realmanual3d.cpp fmod_channel_stream.cpp fmod_channeli.cpp fmod_channelpool.cpp fmod_channelgroup.cpp fmod_channelgroupi.cpp fmod_codec.cpp fmod_debug.cpp fmod_file.cpp fmod_file_disk.cpp fmod_file_memory.cpp fmod_file_null.cpp fmod_file_user.cpp fmod_listener.cpp fmod_memory.cpp fmod_metadata.cpp fmod_output.cpp fmod_output_emulated.cpp fmod_output_polled.cpp fmod_plugin.cpp fmod_pluginfactory.cpp fmod_sound.cpp fmod_sound_sample.cpp fmod_sound_stream.cpp fmod_soundi.cpp fmod_string.cpp fmod_stringw.cpp fmod_system.cpp fmod_systemi.cpp fmod_thread.cpp fmod_time.cpp fmod_globals.cpp fmod_output_nosound.cpp fmod_output_nosound_nrt.cpp fmod_reverbi.cpp fmod_speakerlevels_pool.cpp submitted by
Do something for me, will ya? I want you to think back to when you were a kid, think back to those innocent days when the world was your oyster and you could be anything you wanted. Tell me what was that anything? What was your dream job as a child? Most people will say a football player, an actor, a world-famous musician, maybe even an astronaut. Well, not me. I wanted to be a cab driver. I was obsessed with being a taxi driver, I had toy taxis and a taxi costume including a cabbie hat, I even had a bed that was shaped like a taxi instead of a racecar! I drove my parents crazy with my obsession but I was a kid from Brooklyn growing up in the big city surrounded by yellow cabs, I’m not sure why I loved them so much but ever since my Pops brought my brother Vince and me in a cab to a Net’s game when we were younger I knew what I wanted to do with my life.
“Taxies are disgusting, Freddie why the hell do you like them? They smell like liquor and look like Grandma’s wrinkly butt” Vince would say to me, he had a way with words but whatever way that was it wasn’t the right one. Nobody could understand my love of taxis but that was okay they didn’t need to, I loved the thought of driving through the city and meeting new people every single day, sure many taxis were filthy but mine wouldn’t be...or so I thought when I was 8. Vince, however, had much more ambitious goals.
“Me? I’m going to play for the Jets.
I’ll be the best Tight End the NFL will ever see”
Vince was pretty great at football, he even went on to play some college ball but he always reached for the stars with his dreams and that could make failure hurt so much more. I was more realistic in my goals from a young age, I couldn’t kick snow off a rope and I could barely throw a ball from one side of the road to the other, being a taxi driver was a dream but unlike most of all of your dreams when you were all kids, mine was doable.
I received my yellow cab certification when I turned 21 making me a lot younger than my co-workers who were usually in their 40s. I worked for over 8 years as a taxi driver and I never once regretted it bar two robberies at gunpoint and a handful of casually racist remarks from tourists or some freshmen on Wall Street
who wanted to know if they can say the n-word since their friend in college said he was cool with it. Eventually, though my time as a cab driver came to end...well my driving of the living came to an end anyway. Now I drive souls to the afterlife for the Styx Taxis
cab company. Every day I bring multiple souls to the Great Divide
where judgement is made against them to decide if they go to Paradise
. I hear many stories on the clock, people begging to be given another chance or sobbing for forgiveness but I’m just the driver, the car makes the judgement and the car is never wrong.
My day starts like anybody else’s, my alarm goes off at around 6.30 am, I shower, brush my teeth, get my clothes on - usually a pair of black skinny jeans, a loose tee, some Air Force Ones and my Grampa’s brown suede jacket he gave to me in his will - and I will usually grab something to eat from a drive-thru Starbucks once I’m out on the road. My alarm didn’t go off today but thankfully my body jolted me awake before 7, this meant no breakfast and I was behind on at least one passenger though on a good day I could get through three before 8.30, this would hurt my place on the standings but if I worked effectively I could make up the lost points.
My first passenger was a Charles Monroe, a 45-year-old stockbroker who died from a coke overdose after partying too much during a promotion party. At least he was a Jets fan. It took me around fifteen minutes to reach him, he was sitting on a bench in his clothes from the night before, if the coke didn’t kill him that hangover would have. I pulled up and the backdoor opened for him. The crossing over process had begun.
“Charles Monroe?” I asked knowing damn well I had the right guy.
“Yeah...who’s asking. What the hell is going on, why am I stuck here?” he replied while slurring some words.
“You’re dead buddy, bit too fond of the charlie there...Charlie. I’m here to pick you up and bring you to your eternal resting place. Get in” I said. The emotions of people when they are told they have died can range from anger to sadness to in some cases jubilation though that is usually due to a sense of smugness that they were right about an afterlife existing.
“Fuck off” he shouted at me while spitting at my car, his dirty grey phlegm landing on my passenger side window cleaning some dust off of it, it was safe to say Charlie’s fell into the former category, he was pretty angry.
“I’m not fucking dead, I’m fucking invincible”
You often got these types of people, usually rich white guys. They genuinely buy the bullshit they were sold about dying peacefully in their bed surrounded by loved ones even though they knew full well that no one loved them.
“Nah bro, you are absolutely dead, here look I’ll show you.” As I replied I began to pull some pictures up on my iPad and cast them to the screen attached to my passenger side mirror, as I scrolled through the array of pictures the reality of the situation began to dawn on Mr.Monroe.
“See there’s you face down in a pool of your own vomit, there’s you being zipped up in a bodybag, there is your mother Margaret identifying your body at the morgue...ignore that last picture that’s my Greyhound ‘Rufus’ not sure how that got in there”
The tough bravado wasted away as Charles fell to the floor and burst into tears, he continued to do that for another few minutes - taking more time off my schedule - before I decided it was time to get a move on.
“Look, dude, I know this is a shock for you and all but there is no changing it. It’s science, what's dead is dead. Your energy is being used for something else now so hop in and we will bring you to wherever you are meant to spend eternity. Paradise or Damnation.”
He lifted his head to look me in the eyes, his tears caused his deep blue eyes to shine immensely bright in the blistering sunlight. He wiped his tears from his face and took four deep breaths to compose himself.
“I’m not going with you, not a chance. I will fight this, I have gotten out of worse situations” he said, his air of invincibility only momentarily shattered.
“I can promise you that you haven’t. You better come with me because the second that door shuts it’s over you don’t get second chances.” I responded mostly hoping for him to get in so I could add some points to my tally but also because I knew the punishment of disobedience.
“LISTEN BUDDY CLEAN YOUR FUCKING EARS OUT, I’M NOT GOING. END OF STORY,” he screamed back at me.
“Close your damn door, see if I care” were the famous last words of the jackass.
“Okay, suit yourself” I replied while exhaling loudly, I pressed the large red x button beside the radio and the door slammed shut, once that happened his fate was sealed a lightning bolt shot down from the sky and he slowly dissipated right in front of my eyes, he screamed and begged for help and even tried to bargain with me to get the door open but the door can’t open once it has been closed. There are no second chances.
Charles Monroe paid the price of disobedience, his soul was zapped and sent to NULL, a plane of existence outside of all other realms, NULL is an empty grey room with no directions. No up, down, left or right. To meet another soul in NULL is about as unlikely as anything, odds don’t go that high. This is where Mr.Monroe would spend the rest of his eternal life. NULL was quite literally a fate worse than hell.
They say all things are binary, they are either a 0 or a 1. They are or they aren’t. NULL was -1.
That little escapade took even more precious time away from me, when a new passenger request popped up on my screen I accepted in an instant and sped to the pickup point. My second passenger of the day was a Ms.Melina Cortez, a 28-year-old mother of one who had died in a drink-driving incident, the child’s father was not involved if you wanted some good news. When I arrived Melina was sitting on a bench, her knees pointing in and her arms wrapped tightly around herself, she looked scared but also like she knew what had happened to her.
“Hey there, Melina. How are you doing? I’m Freddie, I'm your driver today, I’ll be bringing you to the afterlife” I calmly said to her as the backside door opened once more. She did not respond to me, no questions about who I was or what was happening. Nothing, she just stood up with her head down and took her seat in the back of my cab. I decided to take my foot slightly off the pedal for a few moments to slow our trip and allow her time to cope but she wouldn’t have much, she would need to speak or the judgement would be made for her. After five minutes of cruising, I broke the silence.
“You know I’ve driven some celebs, I’m legally not allowed say who but fun fact those people who post memes about them all in Paradise are going to be sorely disappointed when they die”
She lifted her head and smirked, the best I could ask for given the situation and I had an opening so I continued on.
“Listen, Melina, I know it is tough for you but you need to tell your story, your life, your successes and your failures and any transgressions you may have cause it’s your best chance of getting into Paradise”
“I know it’s tough but you have t-” “I’m not getting into Paradise,” she said matter of factly cutting me off in the process.
“I’ve done horrible things, any God with even a little sense of respect would know not to let me in”
“What have you done, Melina?” I asked bewildered by the emotionless tone in her statements.
“Oh you know, you got your little screen there with my name on it. I can see it from back here. Just look through my file.” she said while placing her head onto the window and staring out into the abyss.
“Actually I don’t know. This file is filled with the bare minimum I need to convince someone I’m not some fraudster. It has your name, the names of family and loved ones, how you died, some miscellaneous pictures and a list of hobbies, sometimes I don’t get anything bar a location. I know how you died but I know little of the circumstances bar the fact it was a drink-driving accident with one car involved so I would guess you were driving, that is bad Melina but no one else was hurt, I’ve seen people survive Damnation for doing a lot worse.” I responded to her factually, another rule of the job. I couldn’t lie to the passengers.
“I wasn’t even drunk” she responded before a whistle went off, this whistle was the car notifying me and our passenger that they were telling a lie. The whistle was a sort of smug ‘hih hoo’ sound similar to a phone notification, the smugness of the sound often got under the skin of passengers causing them to blurt out truths or half-truths.
“The car says you are lying, Melina. This car has been imbued with the power of an Old One it can tell what is true and what is false.” I ensured her, hoping it would stop any further lying but knowing from past experiences it would not.
“Okay, I had a bottle of wine but I’ve driven drunk before it wasn’t the drink that caused the crash. It was the percs...and my rage. I just couldn’t think straight then I saw the tree and knew what had to be done” she replied, this time to no whistle. She killed herself, why?
“I’m sure the cops have already rang the bastard and told him about everything that happened, my only regret is not getting to see his face when they tell him. The son of a bitch”
“Who are you talking about, Melina? What did you do?” I responded
“Jorge, my boyfriend, Marlon’s father. That son of a bitch, he caused it all, when he eventually eats lead from one of those girls’ fathers he for sure as hell won’t be going to Paradise, no need to even question him” she responded.
“What did you do to Jorge, Melina? Is he hurt, did you hurt him?” I replied, each response from the woman further bewildering me.
“Oh he’s hurting that’s for sure,” she responded before bursting into tears.
“The bastard was fucking underage girls!”
“I found texts and pictures, oh God so many sick fucking pictures, the stuff he would say to these...these kids, these 14 and 15-year-old girls it would make you sick, they did make me sick. I was sent into a haze, I didn’t know how to react so I just drank and drank glasses of white wine, washing down the percocets with it.” she had stopped crying and was now on her knees leaning forward and pushing her face and hands up on the partition window separating us.
“I knew what I had to do, I had to protect myself but most of all I had to protect my son, I couldn’t let that fucking pervert go anywhere near him ever again so I did what needed doing”
I had now taken my eyes off the road and turned to look Melina in the eye, her crazed stare transfixed on me, my heart was in my throat as I struggled to ask her the question I felt I already had the answer to.
“What needed doing, Melina?”
She smiled at me with a wide grin from ear to ear, her blue lips stuck together not allowing her teeth to bare themselves to me.
“I took a pillow to my son in his sleep. It didn’t take long and he didn’t fight, he knew deep down that this was for his own good.”
I gripped the steering wheel tightly in both hands attempting to hide my anger, signs of emotion behind the wheel of a Styx Cab could see me terminated. I waited for the whistle of the car, I prayed the whistle would come...but it didn’t. I didn’t respond, I couldn’t respond, I needed to relax before I could, her next statement didn’t help.
“I protected my son as any mother would”, this time the whistle did sound, a statement too late sadly.
“The car disagrees and so do I. You killed your son, you murdered him in his sleep then you drove your car into a tree to save yourself the jail time. You could have turned Jorge in but you didn’t” I responded to her, the words barely dragging themselves out of my mouth through gritted teeth.
“Turn him in? You must be joking, he’d get 12 years at best. He’s a 30-year-old man he’d be back on the streets in his early 40s, plenty of time to get back to his sick work...plenty of time to abuse my beautiful boy” she responded, the words she spoke had such conviction, she truly believed she was right no matter what me, the car or anyone else said.
“So you murdered your son to protect him from abuse? That makes no sense” I replied my foot pressing down on the gas pedal at full force.
“I saved him,” she replied instantaneously before the car let out another loud whistle.
“I wouldn’t expect you or this piece of junk to understand that”
That was the last we spoke before reaching the gates of the Great Divide, I tipped my hat to Reginald the Gatekeeper and he lifted the barrier to let me through. We drove towards the fork in the road, two large stone doors blocking both paths, the doors had large runic patterns chiselled into them, they both looped and swirled around the stone faces, one pattern gold the other onyx. The door flung open on the car and Melina stepped out, we did not exchange goodbyes. As she walked to the doors the golden runes lit up and the door slowly opened, a warm beam of orange light beamed out from the road and she stepped into it, the door flung shut and her fate was sealed. She was sent to Damnation.
The rest of my day was mostly uneventful, many old people going up or down, mostly down. I did have one interesting passenger named Laney Richards, she had caused her brother to fall from a tree at a young age confining him to a wheelchair for life, she had also gotten involved in the wrong crowd as a teenager and done some pretty minor shit like vandalism and breaking and entering. She bawled her eyes out when we arrived at the doors fully sure her fate was Damnation, them tears stopped unnaturally fast once I took a detour left through the Mariana Forest and out the other side to the tram to Nocturland
, a type of purgatory where people can work to gain entry to Paradise. She had made some mistakes but she had mostly learned from them and her brother’s accident was exactly that, an accident. I’m not a betting man but I would be positive she would end up in Paradise sooner rather than later.
After a hard day's work, I drove to a McDonald’s to pick up a quick bite to eat and then drove to The Depot
so I could clock in my points for the day and update my table standing, I also needed to pick up my paycheck. Once everything was sorted I threw my bag into my locker and grabbed my hat I had left there yesterday, I went to head back out to the car and finish for the day, however, the manager of The Depot, Mr.Anyew stopped me on the way out.
“Freddie, just the man I was looking for. We got another lost soul that needs transporting and I know you were complaining about missing out on some points the past while so I thought I’d give it to you especially since it’s on your way...of course, I can just give it to Grigor he’s in the rec room at the moment.”
Mentioning Grigor was a low blow, we were both at the top of the rankings and Mr.Anyew knew I wouldn’t say no if Grigor was the second option.
“Nah, it’s okay I can do it boss” I responded before putting my hat on and turning to leave. “Great, I just sent the details to your vehicle, enjoy!” I heard the large Eygptian bellow towards me as I walked out the front door.
I got to my car and checked the iPad for the details, only a location and a cause of death was given, this was pretty uncommon but it had happened a few times before, sometimes details got lost in the mix but thankfully you only needed a location, so I set off towards the pickup point to collect Mr Died From Gunshot Wounds.
The best thing about working for Styx was also the worst, you really never know who you might have to pick up on any given day, they could be interesting or horrible. They could truly be anyone, it is a real double-edged sword and when I arrived at the pickup point I was cut by the sword. “Vince?”
When my manager sat me down in our 1:1 to deliver me the news that I was about to be put on a PIP the next week and to use the weekend to think what my next step should be, my initial reaction was to want to take it and save my job. I knew I've been in a bit of a slump, sleeping very poorly, and not outputting as much as I could have. But to be quite honest, this was a blessing in disguise.
The company I've been working at wasn't doing that well to begin with. We raised a series D in just under two years of existence and my options have quintupled in value since joining, but we've had regulational troubles and the hardware team has been slipping. Our CTO was fired four months after I joined, and our new CTO promised to double our engineering headcount by the end of last year. We've maybe only added 5 people to a team of 30 instead by that point. To that end, I've had multiple manager changes within that time period: a total of five managers and six manager changes all within 12 months. As this was my first job out of college, I thought this was all normal for a startup.
In addition, the pay was very low. For a new grad that didn't know better, like yours truly, that number was a lot for someone who was only ever paid hourly. But after discussing with friends that went onto working at FANGs and other, more established unicorn startups, it was abundantly clear that me and my fellow colleagues were severely underpaid. Like, over 50% lower in base salary alone underpaid for the same line of work and more stress.
The work itself wasn't that great either. It was a system that had to be supported globally with different rules in different countries and with physical hardware that we had little control over. Nobody left the office before dinner was served, and seldom did people start going home after dinner was finished (well, up until recently since people stopped giving fucks). We had almost no senior engineers either, most of the work was done by fresh grads or interns from top CS schools. We maybe had only four veteran IC's, but the rest of the "senior" staff were in management. Everyone else was a new grad or junior engineer. You wouldn't find anyone that had more than two years of experience in the rest of the crowd. It's fun to be around people my age, but the work was sloppy and stressful when shit broke because you're trying to build something with little guidance and your code reviewers are other new grads that are equally as experienced as yourself. Nobody (besides maybe three people) has ever coded in the framework we used, and everyone learned the language and framework right on the job. Our only training was a link to an official guide.
I'm not going to get into the company politics, but it's sufficient to say our Blind was so spicy to the point screenshots of several call-out threads were brought up in meetings and mentioned in all-hands. It was pretty bad.
But going back to me getting served a PIP. My manager gave me an ultimatum: either take the PIP, or take severance and interview for another company. Over that weekend, I thought really hard about all the things I've seen and done in the past year, and quite frankly, I found that I haven't been happy at that place for a while now. It doesn't make sense to try to save a job I wasn't going to be happy at, where I get paid peanuts, and where my contributions are invisible to upper management because the longest I've had the same manager for was two and a half months. I decided to take the severance and leave.
This gave me time to relax, exercise, enjoy hobbies I haven't done in months, and most importantly, spend time with family and friends I haven't been around with because of this job. Oh, I forgot to mention that the company moved headquarters halfway through my tenure and bumped my commute from 20 minutes to over an hour.
I haven't touched leetcode or interview prep materials in ages since joining, so I really only hit the books about two weeks after leaving. My daily routine would be to exercise in the day, eat a protein heavy meal, and study up leetcode into the night at a 24/7 cafe. I would usually do this with a buddy or two who are freelance developers. I also kept a spreadsheet of jobs I was interested in and updated their statuses in where I was at in the process, who the point of contact was, when the interview dates are, etc. I wanted to end up at a FANG company since their offices were much closer to where I lived and the culture there would help me grow more as an engineer. My process was that I started off with companies I didn't quite care about to practice interviewing, and then build up to places I did want to end up working at.
I slowly but steadily practiced coding problems, took my time to understand what the solutions were, and apply those skills onto other problems that came up. In reality, most programming problems you encounter are really just other problems in disguise, and you just need to know the fundamentals of CS to get through them. I'm sure everyone wants to know what my stats are, so here they are: 64 easy, 50 medium, 15 hard.
After a few months of practice and interviewing at companies I wasn't particularly interested in, I started applying for places that actually interested me. In the end, I got two offers and was able to negotiate with a FANG company that has an office 10 minutes away from my house. I not only nearly tripled my TC, but I also got leveled up to an L4. After being stuck in L3 for almost two years with shit pay, I am glad my patience and steady progress paid off.
My lessons learned in this whole experience:
- It's nice to have coworkers to hang out with that are your age, but it's not good for your growth if you don't have senior engineers or good managers that you can learn from and ask questions.
- Companies that say they're struggling to hire good engineers usually mean they're underpaying their engineers and end up hiring new grads with little experience who don't know any better.
- You need to have a consistent manager that will actually give a shit about your growth.
- When looking for a new job, don't settle for something just because it pays slightly better than what you previously had. Why knowingly put yourself in a situation you don't want to be a part of?
- Be patient with the job search. New things come all the time, and set up alerts on LinkedIn for jobs in your area. Again, don't settle for something you'll regret taking.
- Commute time matters. Sure, I can listen to podcasts on a train for an hour or sleep on it, but I'd rather use that time to get an extra hour of uninterrupted sleep in my own bed and be more energetic and productive for the whole day. Not to mention gain more time in the afternoon and evening to do activities with friends and family.
- Know your worth. levels.fyi is a great resource to see what you should be aiming for in pay.
- Blind and this subreddit will make you feel inadequate. Don't take it to heart and always focus on your own progress. But at least know what you should be aiming for and what others have experienced in interviews and in their own companies.
- Leetcode's interview experiences forum is a hidden gem (in my opinion) and is a great place to learn what processes are like at various companies and how people react to their own interviews.
As for my tips for the interview prep:
- Start with LC easy problems. I'm talking about two sum and fizzbuzz easy levels. These problems you should know how to solve blindfolded. Do a bunch of them, and do a couple new ones each day to warm up.
- LC medium problems are the most common I've encountered in interviews. Some can be hard, and some are stupidly easy. For the harder ones, don't be discouraged if you can't solve it right off the bat. Spend maybe at most 10 minutes thinking about it, and if you're still completely lost on how to solve it, there's no shame in looking at the "discuss" tab and seeing how others have solved it. Read the code line by line, understand what each piece is doing, implement the solution yourself, and move on to similar problems. With practice, you'll learn the patterns and tricks in these problems, and maybe you'll learn a few new syntactical party tricks in your language of choice.
- LC hard problems will come up, but not often. YMMV. You should practice them at least solving one hard problem per week, if not more. I've had N Queens asked on a phone screen, so you never know what will come up in interviews.
- There's a curated list of 75 problems you should solve that's been circling around here and on Blind. It's a good starting point.
- Common topics you'll encounter: linked lists, binary trees, binary search trees, DFS, BFS, heaps, stacks, queues, strings, arrays.
- I was recommended to use Interview Cake. While I didn't use it daily, it is a good resource in my opinion and the step by step solutions do help with guiding your thought process.
Most of my system design solutions came from experiences I've had and a lot were creative, open-ended questions. My advice is to be likeable to the interviewer and not BS your thought process. For some reason, system design is something that comes the most natural to me, so I sadly can't give much tips for studying on it besides seeing for yourself how current systems are built.
And in general, you should be likeable to the interviewer. Smile, ask them what they work on, what cool projects they've done at the company, what their work life balance is like, etc. You're interviewing for the company and you're interviewing the company for yourself. Your interviewer is judging on whether you'd be a good person to be around with for 8 hours and help contribute to solving their problems, and you're judging whether the company you're interviewing for will make you enjoy yourself being there.
Everyone's experience is unique and certainly not as relaxed as mine. I thankfully had enough savings to last me almost a whole year without a job, but I realize others might not be fortunate enough to have that luxury. It'll be hard, but worth it to study up in the evenings and then take days off to go to onsites. In the end, what matters most is your sanity and happiness.
Tl;dr: job sucked, I got PIP'd, quit, took time off, studied, interviewed, and accepted a FANG offer that tripled my pay in four months.
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