Thanks for the advice, Jane.
You were absolutely right... this one was a "3 in 1", which addressed everything. I have no problem with non-disclosure. It was mostly the total ownership of any IP come up with coupled with my attempts to build up "sweat equity" by agreeing to work for low rates that got me. I will work for low wages ( or if any ) just for the exposure to people who may need my services. If I can make the company I am with highly profitable, and they will share, why would I want to leave? But if their idea of loyalty is legal documents, they have obviously never owned a cat. I can tell you he will not care what you signed, even if you did it with a 24 karat gold pen, the cat's not gonna hang around if he's unhappy there.
Then I find out I can not go to work for someone else who may want me? I mean if I am to be made so aware that I am there "at-will", then it goes both ways. I feel that document is one of the best destructors of a sense of loyalty I have ever seen.
I told him I would sign the thing as long as I put one more subject in.... that everything agreed to took place unilaterally, that is the names of the parties could be swapped and the contract would read the same. That led to a lot of vitriol.
As far as I am concerned, this paper has destroyed my illusion that I was working to build a company, rather I now I feel I am a plumber called in to fix the toilet.
And can I be "understanding" and work for less than going wage so money can be freed up to hire my replacement.
He tells me he is looking for someone else for what used to be my desk. Someone who is more of a "manager". I am relegated to a workbench. I cannot do my research there. No place for my books or files. Now, I access the internet mostly at McDonalds. I could be working on lithium battery chargers for him, power converters, inductive tap switchers, refrigeration systems, and here I am whining about some lopsided loyalty document on a laptop in a fast food joint.... while businessmen go to the government saying people aren't available.
There comes a point where its no longer work... its prostitution.
And I feel I am just being used.
I felt small companies would be immune to this kind of stuff, as it is so destructive to morale. Having to sign a document acknowledging how "at will" I am and how everything I have tried to build up with them is lost. I wonder why they call it a "loyalty pledge", to me it was only an acknowledgement of how replaceable I am and how futile it would be to try to build anything here.