I'M WORKING AS A real-time programmer in San Diego.
San Diego is a really nice place to live, with good weather, great beaches and even most of the trappings of a big city.
However, there are a lot of politicians in San Diego and I'm not a politician. Worse yet, I'm never gonna be a politician, because I'm too valuable as a worker and the powers that be won't let me play politics. I'm caught in a trap and I can see no way out.
I'm working as a real-time programmer on site at a military base in San Diego. The work isn't going well, mainly because I need to use input from a signal processing unit and the signal processing unit must be run by a trained operator. I can't get the operator that I need to help me, mainly because of politics.
One day, the big boss comes out to find out why the work isn't going as per the schedule. As usual, Fat Freddie, the Project Manager tags along with the big boss.
The big boss asks me, "Mr. Holt, why is your work behind schedule?"
I tell the big boss, "I need to use input from a signal processing unit and the signal processing unit must be run by a trained operator. I can't get an operator out here to support the signal processing unit."
Fat Freddie, the Project Manager has no real answer to my statement, so he uses what has always worked in the past. Fat Freddie says, "Oh, my poor baby!" He then spreads his arms to give me a big hug and perhaps slobber a kiss on me.
I black out during violence, such as Fat Freddie's sexual assault. Fortunately, the military base has a security camera on duty. It's later determined that I hit Fat Freddie with a straight blast right hand that's also later determined to have broken his jaw and knocked out four teeth. I then hit Fat Freddie in the solar plexus with a monster left hook. I finish Fat Freddie with a right forearm to his ribs and Fat Freddie goes down like the sack of excrement that he is.
Despite the fact that I was the victim of an unprovoked, sexual attack, I get fired from my job and the police arrest me.
The big man has a version of what happened between me and Fat Freddie. That version lands me in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), the San Diego city jail.
I have no version of what happened between me and Fat Freddie, except that he attempted sexual assault on me and I want to arrest Fat Freddy, citizen's arrest. I have no version of what happened between me and Fat Freddie, because I black out during violence.
The military base security camera has a version of what happened between me and Fat Freddie. The security camera proves that Fat Freddie attacked me and perhaps shows that he attempted sexual assault on me.
I have my lawyer get to the security camera video tape before the San Diego police can 'lose' it.
Once my lawyer has the video tape, all of a sudden, it seems that my incarceration in the MCC was all a misunderstanding, well, more than that, it never really happened. The San Diego police release me. However, the police don't arrest Fat Freddy.
I have a long talk about the situation with my lawyer.
My lawyer tells me that my ex-employer is in big trouble. He tells me that my ex-employer is on the hook for big time damages. He also tells me that I'll never get another job in San Diego, ever, if I sue my ex-employer.
I tell my lawyer, "Sue my ex-company. Get me as much money as you can. You don't negotiate a settlement, I negotiate a settlement as co-counsel. I negotiate the settlement in your office, with your secretary as a witness. I'm a computer programmer. Do you know what I do when I find a bug, an error, in a program I'm working on?"
My lawyer says, "Well, I assume that you fix it."
"I wipe out the error, with no emotional response at all. Do you know what I do when I negotiate a settlement with someone who has done me harm?"
"You wipe them out financially, with no emotional response at all. I'll take the case, on your terms, but I get a third of the settlement."
"Your third is your total compensation. I don't pay for your billable hours."
The lawyer swallows hard and says, "Deal."
The lawyer draws up a contract and we sign the agreement.
The lawyer then asks, "How will you live, while we pursue your lawsuit?"
"I have some investments. I can survive indefinitely on the income from the investments. I can also earn a bit of money from doing this and that. Not to worry."
"Mr. Holt, you'll never get another programming job in San Diego. Do you realize that?"
I laugh and ask, "Do you mean that there's a black list in San Diego?"
The lawyer recoils in fake shock, "Oh, heavens to Betsy no! There's no such thing as an evil, illegal black list in San Diego. It's just the arrangement of the stars that makes it seem like there's an an evil, illegal black list in San Diego."
"That explains it. I live at the beach and it's overcast there a lot. Thus, we often don't see the stars and tend to overlook that influence."
"Seriously, can you survive economically during a long, drawn out lawsuit?"
I look the lawyer in the eyes and tell him, "I can survive on the income from my investments. There are also certain money making opportunities available at the beach that don't involve programming."
"You do realize that the police will be very closely monitoring your activities, from now on?"
I grin at the lawyer and tell him, "That's one of the money making opportunities."
The lawyer is puzzled, but he seems to realize that I'm not going to tell him any more about how I might make some money. I then get a lift, from the lawyer, to pick up my car out at the military base.
The next day, as improbable as it seems, I have to go back to my not quite ex-company. I have a government security clearance. Since I have the security clearance, I have to formally sign out of the company. The company doesn't want to deal with me and I don't want to deal with the company, but the government insists. If I don't go back and sign out, I never again get another government security clearance. If the company doesn't sign me out, they could lose all of their government security work. I go back and deal with just the lady who runs the security operation for the company. I fill out and sign quite a few forms that involve my former government security clearance. The lady then has my final paycheck and the few other items that I have coming. She makes me sign for each item, which is nothing personal, just business. She then says, "That should do it. You're now signed out. May I ask what you intend to do, James Holt?"
"I have some plans for my future, but they're not for discussion."
"All I can say is that you certainly screwed yourself up in this town."
I look at the lady and say, "Well, it could be worse, a lot worse."
The lady smirks at me and says, "How so?"
"I could be Fat Freddie." I then get up and walk out. I didn't leave my car in the company parking lot, in order to prevent possible vandalism. Thus, I have to walk maybe a half mile down to a small park. I get in my car and drive out to the beach.