The scariest thing that can happen to a programmer is taking on a contract when you're stuck for money and finding out you did a contract for a drug dealer.

You have 48 hours to do a two week job. No sleep, intravenous drip of the strongest caffeine based beverage, you're in the zone, focused.

You have to SMS your boss every two hours with updates, your eyes are blurred, carpal tunnel syndrome is kicking in, your nails are chewed to the quick. There are bugs everywhere, nothing is working, your net connection goes down without warning, yet somehow you remain focused. Sleep is taken in dribs and drabs by leaning your head on the desk, then waking up, looking at the clock and freaking out even more. Hours pass like minutes, people drift about you but they're not really there. All that exists is you and the computer.

Nothing else.

Time, hunger, cleanliness. All swept aside as lesser tasks.

You've chain-smoked 60 cigarettes, off your tits on ProPlus and coffee, yet somehow.... somehow you make your deadline. The code works. Fast, lean and clean. Bug free.

You are a golden god.

"It's finished. Where are you?"
"Good. I'm on my way. How do you want to be paid? Coke or money?"
"Excuse me?"
"Simple question, do you want to be paid in uncut cocaine, or Euros?"
"Cocaine... or Euros?"
"Yeah, is there a fucking echo on this line or what?"
"Ehh, I'll take the money if it's all the same with you."
"You sure my man? This is some good shit. I'll give you a royal sampler when I get there."
"Nah, I think I'll just take the money man."

Boss arrives, on a motorbike, coked up to his eyeballs. Has a look at the work, likes it. Closes the laptop, pulls out an eight-ball and starts cutting lines on his brand new Vaio.

"It's all good man. Let's celebrate."

Who am I to turn down such a generous, yet bizarre offer?

May I add that this is a true story? Thank you!

The person described in this node passed away over the weekend (15/04/2005) aged 25. He is survived by his friends and family. So long, Francis.

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