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March 11, 2005

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Stories about people teetering on the edge of this question: Should they stay or go? A software writer loses his job, but refuses to go away. He continues to show up at work, sneaking in the door each day and putting in long hours on a project the company canceled. A student from Pakistan finishes four years of college in Philadelphia and has to decide whether to move back home. And other stories.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to Bobby Morris about his decision to quit baseball's minor leagues after nine years and pretty good stats all the way. (5 minutes)

The Karachi Kid

When Muhammad Kamran's Pakistani parents sent him off to college in Philadelphia, it was understood that he'd come back to Karachi after four years. But now that graduation is almost here, Muhammad thinks he might want to stay in America. On the other hand, he also misses his family terribly, and knows his parents will be heartbroken if he stays. He takes a trip home—his first since he left—knowing his family will do everything possible to convince him to return home permanently. He gets lectured by his relatives, goes to parties, gets introduced to marriageable women. Muhammad took a tape recorder with him to Karachi and recorded what happened. (22 minutes)

Not Far From The Tree

Amy O'Leary tells the story of a software writer at Apple Computer whose job contract ends, but he refuses to go away. He continues to show up at work every day, sneaking in the front door, hiding out in empty offices, and putting in long hours on a project the company canceled. There were no meetings, no office politics, no managers interfering with his work. Soon, he had written a perfect piece of software. His final problem is figuring out how to secretly install it in Apple's new computers without anyone noticing. (12 minutes)