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Zero Boy

41 pages38 minutes


The next day, I’m called by the Receptionist. There is a lawyer to see me. I walk out to the front and the Receptionist motions me into a Personnel Department conference room. I walk into the conference room and I see a very nice looking lady in a very expensive looking lady suit.
* * *
(What has to be Jason Hull walks into the room. He looks at me as if he would like to rip my clothes off. Alas, I’m used to that. The man is clean shaved and neatly dressed, instead of the homeless chic, worn by many programmers. What’s to follow should be interesting.)
* * *
I ask, “I was to see a lawyer?”
The lady says,”I am Andrea Weissdorf, the District Attorney. I suppose that you wonder why I’m here.”
I smile and say, “I’m pretty sure that I know why you’re here and I’m ready to discuss the matters.”
Andrea is a bit surprised and she asks, “To what matters do you refer?
“I had a self employed individual, Mr. Braun, drawing a paycheck here, but doing little or no work for Aardvark Technical. I terminated Mr. Braun’s employment here.”
Andrea nods yes, “Mr. Braun has a son. Mr. Braun’s Mondays and Tuesdays are mainly occupied with getting his son out of jail.”
I say, “He can now work at that full time. Meanwhile I’m in the process of hiring a worker, who can do the publicity work that Mr. Braun was to have been doing.”
Andrea asks, “Just how important was the publicity work that Mr. Braun was to have been doing?”
I lecture, “The answer is a bit complicated. The product that we lease, not sell, is invisible to the user. There’s no initial screen, with decorator colors or witty dialog. The product that we lease speeds up data communications and also does a few other technical things. The publicity work that Mr. Braun was to have been doing was to have consisted of interviews with technical people. The information that Mr. Braun was to have obtained was customer satisfaction with the speeds that the customer’s Internet work was being processed. I say speeds, since there are a lot of different situations and a lot of different speeds. When we get a report of an insufficient speed, I and my programming team, get down and dirty with the software. With a lot of hard work, we usually find ways to speed things up and deliver the customers a better version of the software. I’m the principle architect of the software and the software is undergoing continual upgrades and changes.”
Andrea summarizes, “No feed back due to Mr. Braun’s lack of work means a weaker competitive posture for Aardvark Technical.”
I sigh, “A weaker competitive posture for Aardvark Technical and then loss of jobs. I’m responsible for a lot of jobs. I’m responsible for a lot of paychecks, paychecks that feed, house and clothe a lot of families. Mr. Braun’s lack of work endangered the food, shelter, medical and clothing. I care less than nothing about Mr, Braun. I do care about those that Mr. Braun’s lack of work endangers.”
Andrea asks, “What now happens to Mr, Braun?”
“Mr. Braun is a politician. Normally, his firing would result in some local idiot taking him on. However, $3.5 million is too much and Mr. Braun will have to move somewhere else, if he hopes to find a new job.”
Andrea asks, “What now happens to Billy Pink?”
I again sigh, “Billy is much more dangerous than Mr. Braun. I need your help with Billy.”
Andrea asks, “What kind of help?”
“Mr. Braun was doing some work, if not work for the company. Billy was doing no work. I was pretty sure that Mr. Braun had the password to our main product. When it came time to fire Mr. Braun, I had replaced the working copy of our main software product, with a badly damaged early attempt. The early attempt had some bad problems, but nothing that would wipe out the contents of a disk unit. I don’t know what happened, maybe some sort of error when Data Wizards installed the software, with no technical help.”
Andrea says, “That still doesn’t explain why you n

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