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December 06, 2004

Virtual Revenge

I may as well be explicit.

What happened to me about 18 months ago was that I had decided to stop contracting and go for a full time job. Some really cool people at a very large entertainment company (who's logo is the whole friggin' planet) started the interview process. Everybody loved me, but there was a big boss. So while I'm turning down other contracts in anticipation of getting this gig, the interview process drags out. I had 5 interviews, all of which were great successes until the very last one, which was the boss's boss's boss.

I may come to understand how the entertainment business is unlike every other, but a manager who has no comprehension of RAD methodologies shouldn't be able to hire IT professionals. But On top of this, they did the gauntlet interview process. Which is you put a candidate in front of 20 people who can all say no (including kids 2 years out of DeVry), but only one who can say yes.

Anyway, I wasted eight weeks and turned down work that could have fed me. My mistake was not hedging the bet. But the Hollywood folks were smiling in my face and telling me how great it was going to be working with me. Finally the market dried up and I basically was out of work for 6 months. I had to borrow some figure north of $12,000 to make ends meet and not get evicted.

It turns out that there are a lot of American entertainment companies that are trying to do what we're about to do. So it is very likely that there will be a crossing of paths in the future, something I never imagined at the time. I very well may be in the superior position.

I've badmouthed this man and his company enough times. I've gotten over it. I survive, comme d'habitude. Ce n'est pas une grand chose. Still, I have enough nerve to commit some farcical practical joke, if not a brick through his window. The idea is appealing and he certainly deserves as much. Yet anything I might do now, if I were to go out of my way in order to accomplish it, would not be proper in my ethos. It is an action that belongs in the moment, and the moment has long passed.

I know some of the reasons for that man's hesitation, and the story is really not so simple. He is also a powerful and reputable enough individual to expect revenge from time to time. I have no doubt that he knows that he makes enemies, this is part and parcel of the way Hollywood works. So while the thought of revenge had only surfaced recently in the context of other entertainment companies in Hong Kong wanting in on the action...

I may very well raise this from the position of an idle threat to an ethical challenge. The problem is something like this. On a scale of 1 to 10, do I really want to do it? 2. Does it need to be done? 8. Would I be glad to see it happen? 6. Would I do it, given the chance? 7. To me it has the appearance of an opportunity to do right which by the way I have a personal stake in. I can generate the motivation to do it, but only if the body floats down the river half dead.

Posted by mbowen at December 6, 2004 07:36 AM

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I have found the sweetest revenge is the kind that comes to your enemies without your input. It also allows you to poke a stick at the body as it floats.

Posted by: EG at December 6, 2004 10:30 AM