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					                              Combustible Networks - Year1
                                        An Incompleat Work
                                            1sst Edition

                                          Hallett German
                                        .14b April 20th 2013
                                  Copyright 2013 Hallett German
                                     Written by Hallett German
                                Illustrated by Alessandra R. German

    This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or
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                            respecting the hard work of this author.

   Works by Author:
   Amazi Chronicles:
   Story #1: How I Overcame My Inventor’s Block
   Book #1: Automatons for Peace
   Book #2: Translators for Peace (Future)
   Corporate Intent
   Story #1: Missing Profits?
   Book #1: Missing Employees?
   Book #2: Missing Owner?
   Book #3 Missing Company?
   Olivia Plymouth, Internal Traveler and Fashion Consultant:
   Story #1: Joyous Travel with the Wrong Suitcase
   Book #1: Brazilian Quest
   Book #2: Misadventures in Boston (Soon)
   Book #3 The Year Fashion Changed (Future)
   Non-Series Books
    Combustible Networks
    Ghosts vs. Robots!

    Available on Smashwords, Amazon, Kobobooks and other e-book seller locations.
    More details at

    Table of Contents
    Chapter 1 – Year 15. Month 9, Day 22: Corporate Disobedience
    Chapter 2 – Year 0 Month 1 Day 1: “I was Young and Eager Once, Just
    Chapter 3 – Year 0 Month 1 Day 3: “It is Coming All Together”
    Chapter 4 – Year 0 Month 3 Day 10: “I Met the Big Guy, So What?”
    Chapter 5 – Year 0 Month 3 Day 28: “One Action Can Undo Everything”
    Chapter 6 – Year 0 Month 5 Day 28: “It’s Going to Hell and I Want Off
      This Ride.”
    Chapter 7 – Year 0 Month 6 Day 20: “Welcome to the Epicenter”
    Chapter 8 – Year 0 Month 6 Day 21: “Longing and Loneliness”
    Chapter 9 – Year 0 Month 8 Day 21: “Tommy, Can You Hear Me?”
    Chapter 10 – Year 0 Month 11 Day 21: “Boss, Is it a Full Moon
    Chapter 11 – Year 0 Month 12 Day 21: “Happy Layoffs and Holidays!”
    Chapter 20 – Month 12 Day 22 Year 15: “It’s All for Moments Of Light”
    Appendix 1 – From Combustible Networks Bible: Harvey Genealogy


     Silently, this story has sat on the shelf since April 2002. Once completed, it would have
covered the fifteen-year career of one IT staffer. It was an ambitious undertaking. Somewhere
along the way, I halted further progress to focus on other activities. However, now seems an
appropriate time to make this unique incomplete work publically accessible. Much of the
original wording was kept. Comments are provided throughout the book on the author’s intent
and planned direction.
     Hoping that you enjoy this offering.

     [This book went through three different beginnings. The first approach was leaving/finding
the journal in the time capsule. The second approach is the Prologue below. The third approach
is covered in Chapter 1 – the “Corporate Disobedience” Chapter about Year 5. This probably
would have been in the final version. Whether the same characters below would show up in the
epilogue was never decided.]

    Minutes from the Society for the Preservation of Corporate Life

    Charles T. Parker
    Luisa Jackson
    Johnny Van
    Yorsa Kaufmann

   1. Declining attendance at our meeting.
   2. Recent finds.

   1. Attendance has been slowly going down. We started the year with fifteen members and
       are now down to our core four. Society members, what are we doing wrong? We
       surveyed past members and the main theme was that there was no interest in preserving
       past corporate artifacts.

   2. Luisa Jackson was the highlight of the meeting with her dramatic reading of selections
      from two journals from the Harvey Corporation. Research showed that the Harvey
      Corporation is still in operation. Prudence Harvey III (Johnny and Tilly Harvey’s
      daughter) is ably running the company. She is reportedly working on a mega-merger with
      Mountainside Consulting. The merger will result in the largest inter-planetary computer
      consulting company ever.

    Next Meeting: CEO Bonuses: A Fifty Year Study.

       [Chapters 1-11 was part of Section 1. It had the following section title “Year 1: Three
Managers in One Year, My First Year. Each chapter was to contrast a day in the life of an IT
worker and their CEO. If writing this today, I might have made this character a CIO instead of a
CEO. Both tales take place sometime in the future.]

    Chapter 1 – Year 15. Month 9, Day 22: Corporate Disobedience
        Return to Table of Contents

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 51:

                                     Corporate Headquarters Room 302
       It was the first time ever that I stood in silent protest during a staff meeting. Typically, I
would not resort to such extremes in public. However, I have had enough. Our company, the
Harvey Corporation, was a few steps away from financial disaster. Up to that moment, my co-
workers could do was get into ferocious arguments about which electronic messaging system
should be used. The ironic part that was both were proprietary electronic messaging systems and
already well out of date. It was a decision that would make little difference even if the company
were financially stable.
        It did not matter what happened to me after my unexpected behavior. For a brief shining
moment, I felt free from the rules of corporate life. I had momentarily gotten the company to
consider something other than to follow the self-destructive path that it had chosen. I was still
smiling as I felt some unhappy meeting facilitator tried to push me back in a chair. Other meeting
attendees frantically were calling security so they can resume their meeting of little importance.
Lewis kept staring at me and commented that he did not realize my body was in such good
shape. Sexist pig! I do not remember being removed from the meeting room or if I put up a
struggle. I just recall a sense of accomplishment worth the cost and a sense of peace from
knowing that my brief corporate career was at an end.
        I am sure that my husband, James Ford would soon be mulling over the possibilities of
divorce or institutionalizing me for a lengthy period. No doubt, my children Tina, age 9, and
Bryant age 17 would be ashamed of me and forget the earlier days of relative bliss. I could see
my parents carefully thinking over their statements for the six P.M. news. The world would be
thinking, “What went wrong? I would have responded, “I never stopped caring.” After a long
pause, I would point to a large document with well-worn pages and a victim of many rewrites. It
was titled, “Corporate Disobedience: 15 Years of Silent Protest”

                                            CEO’s Journal
                                  Corporate Headquarters CEO’s Office

         Tail of a Rabid Dog! What a crappy week! It is getting near that time again – the public
release of our quarterly earnings. That event brings the snakes come out of the woodwork. The
worst of the lot is that viper Dixon. Of all the analysts following the company, he will stop at
nothing to get a jump on what our earnings will be. His works for the well-known financial
analyst firm of Boyle, Hooks, and Danbert. He is a powerful foe with his brilliant mind and no
ethical sense. Fortunately, we can usually find his leaks in the company before they do any
serious damage. The last one was an employee in Finance. Too bad that he turned out to be some
zitface. It was a family guy that placed the need for college tuition over company loyalty. We
caught him during one of his regular meetings with Dixon. That was the end of him. He was
fired for his traitorous actions and things went downhill for him from there. Six months later, he
was rumored to be in jail for robbery or working as a towel boy at a fitness center. It does not
matter his end-result. He deserved whatever happened to him.
         Because of a variety of events, we are starting to lose the confidence and trust of our
employees. We have two rounds of Reduction of Force and suddenly the remaining employees
act ungrateful for keeping their jobs. After all, it is just the cost of doing business. If you have
declining revenues and increased costs, you are reluctantly forced to do something drastic to
meet your financial targets. It is always an ongoing balancing act trying to keep stockholders,
institutional investors, analysts, government watchdog bureaus, customers, and employees happy
(in that order). The financial target of one group may be in conflict with another’s. In addition,
many in the financial world are nervous with our declining sales targets. Unfortunately, it has
been more expensive to gain market share in some of the outreaching galaxies. Folks there seem
suspicious of outsiders. The funny part is that everyone on those worlds used to be an outsider.
        Yet, one desperate act has stayed with me today. Out of the blue, one promising manager
stands up in silent protest during a staff meeting. Her name is Jenny Eden Ford. One crazy act
and fifteen years of good work and a solid team player has shot to hell. That is too bad. I was
impressed when we first met early in her career. I think that we have the best employees on this
planet and she was representative of our staff.

       I want to tell all those depending on or working for our company’s success to have
patience. We are just going through a few bad patches. A few more quarters with some of our
new data center support offerings and we will be back again in Big Profit Alley! I would add that
we also want our stock earnings to be healthy and grow. Especially for those that have sizable
stock options. Such as myself, CEO, Johnny Harvey.

    Chapter 2 – Year 0 Month 1 Day 1: “I was Young and Eager Once, Once.”
        Return to Table of Contents

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 1:
                               Cubicle HQab012a, Field Office

         It was 5 a.m. when I arrived at the Harvey Corporation for my first day of work. I had
with me that first box of essential items – personal pictures/posters, technical books, e-mail
addresses, software files. For three weeks, I have been waiting to start work. It is for one of the
largest companies in fast-growing Rain County and a top 25 company in the world. Soon, I
would be working as a support analyst in their third-level Internet infrastructure support group.
My organization-to-be includes 25 other analysts of various ages and musical tastes. I had met
most of them during my previous two interviews. Now it is 5:15 a.m. and I am still waiting by
the entrance. Still, I have no access to my cubicle and no e-mail access. I am so anxious to send
that first series of e-mails to my friends and families with my new contact information.
         Around 5:30, one of my co-workers, the Oldster, strolled in. He had been in the Internet
application organization from the beginning. He seemed to know everyone and something about
all of the company application environments. He recognized me and immediately was taken
aback. Then he recovered and said something like it had been a long time since he had seen an
enthusiastic, young woman first thing in the morning. I gave him a fake punch and we headed
upstairs. Oldster used his all-important badge access to let me through the lobby doors to the
office entrance, and then he showed me to my cubicle.
         Finally, I had a desk at the company. However, my cubicle was not such a welcoming
space. In fact, it was just the opposite. Apparently, my new corporate work area was the
organization’s dumping grounds. On and around my desk were boxes of empty file folders and
various office supplies, computer manuals that were faded beyond legibility, HR policies from
five years before, six generations of company policy manuals. And of course, none of this mess
was current. In addition, there were many other “ancient” artifacts that I would rather not
describe. Later, I found out that the organization’s staff was always too busy to have time to
clean up a new employee’s office. The only thing that the staff did was leave some basic
manuals (such as how to send e-mail, using the company’s communications and computing
systems.) Happily, a fresh tablet was provided. On reflection, if I knew that earlier, then maybe
my expectations would have been different.
        It did not matter how much crap there was around my desk. I did not mind that the office
walls were only five feet high. It was my office. I found a trash receptacle nearby and threw out
the more outdated and useless piles. Slowly, things were shaping up. Everything in my first box
of essential items had been unpacked and found a place. Other members of my organization
came in and we had short conversations. Superficial words like “welcome aboard” and the like. I
joined in breakfast with a few of them. Afterwards, I walked over to orientation.
        Officially, I was supposed to show up at the office at 8:45 and go straight to the
orientation room. As I said earlier, I could not wait to get started. The all-day orientation covered
topics of future importance such as vacation policies, health insurance, ethical behavior, and
company history. Each speaker loved their subject and did not care if the new employees
understood the topic or not. Here is what I captured about the company history:
        Tommy Harvey ran an all-hours gambling establishment while still in his 30s. But this
activity was not appealing to his driving nature. He wanted to start and grow a legitimate
business. As a visionary, he grasped technical issues quickly. He saw that there was money to be
in computers and more importantly computer infrastructure support and consulting. He sold the
gambling place and learned as much as he could about this new field. This included breaking
into computer manufacturers, data center, and stealing competitor documents.
         Soon he was open for business with support contract prices one-third less than the
existing computer manufacturers and data centers. He hired young men and later women who he
could mold in his own image – driven to succeed at any cost. These would be employees who
would be responsive to the customers while the same time looking for opportunities to expand
Harvey’s consulting income. The goal was to make it so their business customers could not run
without the Harvey Corporation. The approach worked. Income came rolling in. The customer
list grew to twenty-five states after ten years. Twenty years later, the business expanded to have
revenues from all fifty states, fifteen countries, and ten galaxies. The company was at the top of
its game with its 100,000 employees and partnerships with the top computing and networking
companies. Soon they reached the coveted goal of successfully charging a premium for their
services. Harvey’s was listed in White Collar Magazine as the top company to work. This was no
doubt due to generous benefits like 1-month vacation on starting, and bonuses every two months.
        But there could be holes in the company structure as well. The organization chart had
many executives and great redundancy. In addition, all of the new employees seem to come from
the same mold – to make their name regardless of the cost. Did I really want to be here in five or
ten years???
        Finally, the all day orientation is over and I can go home. I left with my new company
badge and accounts/passwords. I had knowledge burnout for one day and was far too tired to
think any more about it.

                                           CEO’s Journal
                                  Corporate Headquarters CEO’s Office

       Whenever I need inspiration, I look at great-granddad’s picture. I wonder what Tommy
Harvey would say about his organizational creation today. He died while the company had just
celebrated its eight birthday. After that, his children, Joseph, Maxwell, and Prudence ran the
       Rather than initiating a power struggle, they decided to work together and split their
responsibilities. Maxwell was a natural with finances and operations. Joseph loved the technical
and building services to meet customer needs. Prudence focused on growing the company.
Together they expanded the company from a regional to a national and then to an international
and interplanetary company. Their children continued to build on their success. My father,
Phillip and his cousin Joseph Jr bought partial ownership of several computer networking and
data center companies and served on their board of directors. They had the manufacturers and
networking companies plus their customers eating out of their hands.
         I have tried to continue that proud tradition with my brother Phillip Jr and sister Prudence
II. Even though the revenue and net income are as high as ever, I have my worries. Where do I
begin? Perhaps with our sales people and consultants get poached by the 40X Corporation
among others. Some top customers are complaining they are not getting the service they paid for.
Different regions are providing non-uniform levels of service. Too many VPs are interested in
only extending their empires and not about the company as a whole. Employee turnover has gone
up five percent this year.
         But there is always one thing that is guaranteed to cheer me up. That is Tilly James, my
true love and CEO of Utrewo Software currently out of town visiting her folks. She is lively,
bright, charming, and tender simultaneously. Tilly’s twin sister and COO of,
Kerana, loves spending nights overpowering her male sexual conquests. She is very aggressive,
ruthless, and rules through fear. Back to talking about me... My fear is spending a lot of time at
         Why is home such a hellhole for me? I had married the wrong woman. There was a time
that I was young and bowed to my family’s wishes rather than setting those wishes. In their own
way, my mother and father had meant the best when pushing me into marriage. So, after a very
public ceremony, we retreated into a very private and awkward time together. It has been hours
of obvious incompatibility ever since. We decided to allow ourselves a small measure of
happiness. She spends time with her discreet partners. And quietly, I do the same. It works well.
Thank goodness there are no kids. I thought often about divorce. However, it would be
financially messy and Tanya would end up with some of my company shares. That is
unacceptable. This company is my major energy focus. Fortunately, Tanya is comfortable with
our arrangement and has no plans to divorce.
         I pass the lonely hours writing mysteries. Right now, I am writing one about a CEO that
is a after-hours corporate detective. It is time to mull things over with Tony Jameson. He is an
old college chum and it always helped me see new possibilities that I did not see before.

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 1:
                               October Year 0 Month 1 Day 2
                               Cubicle HQab012a, Field Office

       Hi Journal. Well it is another weekday, so that means cheerfully showing up at the
Harvey Corporation to do my job. Today, I arrived early and was able successfully to use my
badge to enter the parking garage without incident. It was a cheap but meaningful thrill. I opened
my trunk and removed a box of networking and operating system books. I carried them upstairs
and made it to my cubicle without incident. I unpacked and was finally ready to begin the
workday. I logged into the e-mail system and found thirty messages: greetings from various staff
meetings, proposed meetings of various sizes, urgencies, and times, happy mail from the COO
on a major sales win and many lengthy documents to read. A meeting reminder popped up –
STAFF MEETING (MANDATORY). And darn, I had only ten minutes to find HQtz400g.
          After setting a speed record running aimlessly around the floor, I found the staff
meeting with minutes to spare. No one had shown up yet. Then it was only two minutes to go.
Ten minutes later, my twenty-five colleagues-to-be casually wandered in. Finally, my manager
and new boss showed up twenty minutes after the meeting’s scheduled start time. Everyone
started to give a status on their projects. I did not pay as much attention to what they were saying
as how they were saying it. Here are the more interesting events at the meeting.

     BATTERY. He appeared to get this nickname because he takes a battery of tests after every
project’s completion. This included but is not limited to IQ, Personality, Aura, Career Choices,
and Baseball trivia. He did this to keep himself honest and limber. Battery was taller than most in
the room at 6’5”. He is also number two in charge in the department.

    PERPETUAL VICTIM I do not recall his real name. So that’s what I decided to call him.
He seemed to be always complaining and blaming others for not moving forward. PV had sad
dark eyes and always looked like he was ready to stop whatever he was doing to tell about his
perpetual suffering.

     MS. MANAGER She appears to be only reactive to systems breaking and is not proactive.
Her advice is unclear and sometimes contradictory. I get the feeling that she manages only by
living in a permanent crisis state and overusing the same resources. Does not look like the type
to take on big battles. Does what is politically correct rather than what is needed. Unfortunately,
she is my boss. I made the right move, right?

     SMILEY. Gets everyone to laugh at meetings but says nothing of substance. Later I will
learn he steals ideas from others. Gets along well with customers. Underneath it all, I get a sense
Smiley is laughing at everyone and everything.

     JOE TECHIE Loves the latest software and hardware and argues to get it implemented just
to be current and play with the latest technology at the company’s expense.

    SURFER GIRL. Talks non-stop and at a fast pace about latest technological trends.
Apparently spends day searching information on her computer. Not sure for what she is
responsible for.

     Here are some of things that were discussed with my thoughts on them in brackets:

     Implementing a new reporting system to measure problem turn-around time. [The fact that this
was to be a custom solution rather than off-the-shelf software package was never raised.]

    Upgrading the service location server to version 6.2. Joe Techie was arguing in vain to the
version 8.1 beta. [Most companies were at least version 7.7. Why we are so far behind never came up.]

     Better interaction between our group and first-/second- level support groups. Apparently,
there are many problems that were not being communicated up the chain. [This group had been
around for at least five years. Shouldn’t these problems have been resolved by now or at least in better shape?]
     There is an all-day offsite meeting to plan events for the coming year. This will be
interesting. Planning meetings are also in the works. I spend the rest of the day doing my real
     My first meeting with Ms. Manager. This is interrupted four times with calls from her boss
and screaming first-level and second-level managers. When asked questions, she goes into well-
rehearsed speeches that are incomprehensible. Here is what I recall:

      “Each worker here is hired to resolve all the problems that they are assigned. Resources are
all around them and it is their responsibility to find them. This is the art of due diligence. Do not
bother me or senior staff with any minor problems. If you do, these will count against you come
review time. First and second level is a fire that must be closely watched. Else, it will overwhelm
you. Our customers are always escalating things that are wrongly blamed on our Internet
infrastructure. You are responsible for your own career development. You represent Harvey in
all your interactions. Meet the company standards or face the consequences. We spend a good
deal of our time to meet our upper management’s needs. Whatever you do, keep them happy at
all times. And do not forget to fill out the right forms if you need new hardware.”

     Meeting with Oldster Takes him awhile to warm up but once he gets going just keeps on
talking and talking. I learn about the history of group and the major systems we support. Many if
these applications are very old technology likely running on outdated servers. He goes on talking
about the users, vendors, and outstanding problems. He wraps it up by giving me a tour of the
data center. I do not think, we have to worry about security in this data center– no one can find
this location. Three floors down and through a labyrinth of narrow hallways, one eventually finds
their goal. The place was a disaster masquerading as a production environment. There are
tangled unlabeled wires everywhere. I have noticed that every other light in the ceiling is out. It
is hard to walk since there are a myriad of servers throughout the floor. Did I mention that
nothing was labeled? Oldster greeted the one operator who had aged less gracefully than the
servers had. He was happy sitting there with his legs propped up on a desk watching some

     Lunch with the other women in group. This was first time really interacting with them. They
were Janda Onageo from Brazil and Jeanne Lemay. We talked about Ms. Manager and the rest of
the crew. Against my will, I learned some dirt about everyone. This included the following: Ms.
Manager had a nervous breakdown a few years back and then attended the “spiritual manager”
series by Jon Estes and has been neurotic herself since them. Oldster was close to retirement and
talked about nothing else. He even built a web page with an applet that counted down how many
hours, minutes, and seconds until he retires. Perpetual Victim is interviewing with another
department or three. Surfer Girl was kicked off three Internet Providers for exceeding their
volume limits. She volunteers at a college so she can use their healthy networking connections.
Battery is becoming more stressed than usual. Joe Techie was fighting bankruptcy after spending
too much on his home personal data center. Smiley was spending much time going to the
regional office for a cross-company project.
        The two women were completely different from each other. Jeanne was marking time.
Playing it safe. Trying hard not to upset anyone. Doing only the work that was necessary. Janda
was working full out and going places. She planned to be a Manager at twenty-eight. Janda spent
a good deal of time doing career networking. This included taking part in highly visible public
computer user groups and having a manager in another department as a mentor.

     Meeting with Battery

    Battery met to review some objectives that I should achieve for the quarter:
   - Coordinate the upgrade of the mail gateway to the next release.
   - Solve 80% of the assigned customer problems.
   - Participate in a communications plan project.

    I am having serious moments of doubt that I can meet them all.

     Battery’s office contained a photo of his wife. I always wished to look as happy as that. He
noticed that I was admiring it and told me about her. He met Sharon at the Registry of Space
Vehicles department where they were both waiting in a long line and started talking. She works
as a lawyer for a public relations firm.

    Meeting with Surfer Girl

   I will not add any commentary to her meta-physical/new-age/business self-help mumbo
jumbo. Just let SG speak for herself.

     “Companies are constantly solidifying or fighting against the need for more fluidity. The
employee moves through these unifying fields towards moments of light and clarity. Atoms
connect with each other causing reaction. Company culture is all our responsibility. To help our
customers, we must live their lives directly. Bridges are to be made with our allies. Work is a
dance, a meditation, a journey, a struggle. It is a web of dissimilar souls meeting together to
reach some objective. And then, it breaks up searching for the next union. Chaos. The Need to
Organize. Proactive. Reactive. Prediction. Revelation, Cosmic Symphony. Results. New Goals.
Compromise. Breakthrough. Abandonment. Failure. Completion. True quality is never shown
solely by customer satisfaction. Look at what is being done at Zertos as your guide. Create
employee empowerment through budget control. Everywhere the movement gels. Even at
Harvey. I will be watching you to see if you are worthy of this knowledge. A few more hours
before heading home and reflect over all this motion, chela.”

     I started looking through my communications and working on a few customer issues.
     It has been a long day and I had plenty to think over. Tomorrow would be something
different – a one-day off-site meeting.

                                          CEO’s Journal
                                    October Year 0 Month 1 Day 2
                                 Corporate Headquarters CEO’s Office

        Talked with Tony Jameson and the discussion generated good ideas helping us both. The
result for me was hiring Tedero Marketing to conduct focus groups to learn why employees are
leaving the company. Also, I will meet personally with our top customers to find out why the
defections. Once I get so answers, then I will sponsor an off-site for the VPs to show them the
problems and try to fix them. Tilly, the only one who makes my heart go faster, gave an
unexpected call. She had visiting her parents and had a moment of personal insight. The
conversation went along these lines:

       “Johnny Bear?”
       “Yes Sunshine?”
       “So I came to this realization and I wanted to share it with you”
       “What’s that?”
       “Well, being back here I better understand why I’m wired the way I am. And...”
       “Tilly, you are just wired together perfectly from where I’m standing”
       “That’s sweet, but let me finish... My father was not parenting material. I always felt
       physically threatened by him. My mother was not much better. Most of the time, she
       played a victim and used me as her shield. I took much of the verbal and physical abuse
       from my father. Only later I realized that it wasn’t my fault. I started Utrewo Software as
       the home that I always lacked. I never realized that before. Instead of playing another
       victim, I used my knowledge and experience to make a better world. And there’s more.”
       “I can’t wait.”
       “I love you Johnny because you are the true friend I never had. You are supportive. A
       risk taker. Funny and sexy. You are just so comfortable to be around. “
       “Well same to you”
       “ It is time, I want to move in with you”
       “ Not sure Tanya will like that”
       “ I can talk to her if you are uncomfortable.”
       “No Tils, It is my wife and my responsibility. I’ll let you know how it turns out.”

        For the first time in years, I went home early that night. Tanya was surprised to see me
because she knew Tilly was in town. We talked from our hearts for the first time in years. Tanya
was willing to divorce if she got the house and half of my income. She was fine not getting any
company stock. I agreed to her requests. To my surprise, she had already talked with our lawyer
about this and she had told him to proceed unless she heard otherwise from him. Things were
starting to look better indeed.

    Chapter 3 – Year 0 Month 1 Day 3: “It is Coming All Together”
        Return to Table of Contents

        From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 2:
                                      Rain County Convention Center
        Just for today, we are having an offsite to discuss our plans for the next six months. The
convention center is an interesting place. They wanted a location that would be busy even if
there wasn’t a convention in town. So the Convention Center had a library, a planetarium-
restaurant, a petting zoo, and a college campus branch. Even so, it was not that busy and I found
Meeting Room A&B. It was off the mezzanine level, which had a private garden complete with
miniature waterfall and was well-stocked with a variety of colorful animals. Canaries were
happily singing to the peacocks strutting around showing their colorful tail feathers. It was a nice
diversion from the office.
        Outside of our spacious meeting room was a sumptuous breakfast buffet. It was complete
with pancake and omelet bar served by a dignified looking chef. Some of my colleagues were
pigging out and having seconds or thirds. I was not going to spend the time reaching 250% of my
ideal weight.
        The meeting started shortly after nine. Ms. Manager started with the following:
        “It all begins today. As the third-level support group, we are a major player in keeping
this company together. There is no level of support beyond us. Our customers and sales/support
organizations extensively use Internet applications. If things are not working well, then we all
know it by the number of tickets, e-mails, and video calls that suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Once the video calls start, all becomes a reactive hell wonderland. This includes long hours,
rigorous after-hour reviews, and I get to spend awkward hours in my bosses’ office. And then it
starts again the following day.”
        “This meeting is our moment to make things right. Each of the leads will discuss the new
projects that we have for the next six months. Then we’ll prioritize them and assign people to
these projects.”
        She then did a dynamic presentation complete with circle arrow diagrams showing the
relationship of our group to our customers, other internal groups, and upper management.
        Then we watched an inspirational tape from some Senior V.P. of Strategy. Apparently,
other groups are doing this as well. I started to feel good that I am working for the Harvey
        We then dived into reviewing the various new projects. I added my unsaid thoughts in

    Oldster – Discussed a plan to retire some of the oldest servers and systems. One system
    in particular was up only one-third of the time. There were the usual issues of user file
    migration [not to be done] and impact on other systems. [One question not answered. What will
       Oldster be doing in the future? Half the systems that he currently supported were slated for retirement.]

    Smiley – After a few amusing and self-serving jokes, he summarized the migration/upgrade
      tracking system to be implemented. He then assaulted us with various statistics and
   - On average, fifteen software migrations or upgrades are done each quarter by the group.
   - These take place without being considered of the impacts of other work.
   - Then he covered the impact of upgrades not being researched.

    This group liked cute acronyms for their systems and this was called SMUT (Smart
     Migration Upgrade Tracking.) Of course, the jokes started flying about this but the name
stood. [Yet another customized solution. Our developers here must have guaranteed employment
    What’s next DUD – Deployment and Upgrades for Dummies?]

    Surfer Girl – Reviewed what seemed the most abstract of the new projects:

   1) Implementation of a communications plan and associated communications health metrics.
      This was related to placing electronic kiosks at crucial points in the company.
    2) Provide an upper management escalation queue. Their problems seem to be quite
       frequent and take time away from other tickets. Attempt to proactive provide training and
       resolve issues.
             [Many of these tickets are user errors/lack of patience. How can you get out of reactive hell when
         someone has no time for training?].

         3) A company-wide technical glossary. Lots of terms get used and newbies need time
            to ramp up.

     Battery – Seemed the most political and practical of the new projects:

    1) Walk a mile in my shoes. Have first- and second-level support types spend the day
          or so seeing how we resolve problem. (And vice versa.)

    2)   Have a training/ramp-up program for new employees in the group.[Such as myself.]

    3) Proactively meet with new employees and customers to introduce our services and learn
       about potential problems.

    4) Regularly attend staff meetings of various peer support groups to better
       understand their problems.

   5) Find a better communications mechanism to let upper management know what we are

    Joe Techie – I should call him hardware guy. He discussed new backup systems, larger hard
drives, faster network connections, bigger helper robots, and a cleaned up data center.
     [What lengths techies go through to get their hands on the new hardware that they cannot personally afford!
Who plays the equivalent role drooling over what the infrastructure could be instead of the baling wire construction
we now have?]

     Janda discussed various cross – company efforts she/we would be involved with.

    -    A brand new operating system for all internal computers including mobile devices.
    -    Upgrade of internet backbone to three times the capacity it now has.
    -    Participating in a team dealing with the proposed merger with Crowton Consulting.
         [Great exposure. She’s going elsewhere in six months.]

         We broke for lunch. Everyone was in great spirits. The SMUT jokes continued. I took a
short walk around the convention center and recharged for the second half. That afternoon, we
prioritized and assigned people to projects. There was some vigorous discussion about priorities
and assignments. I ended up on the following efforts:

- Implementation of the communications plan.
- Meet with new employees about our service.
- Attend one of Crowton Consulting Merger Teams.
       It was a good day. It ended with promise of potentially great projects and exposure to
other key areas. The department seemed on the way to being in control of its destiny and out of
proactive hell. It is a rare moment of light and clarity that I will always treasure. I started to
capture some of Surfer Girl’s lingo and wrote it down in her words so that I could remember.

                                Surfer Girl’s Vocabulary Lesson #1

     Dark side – Trading in your soul to the corporate devil. Working for some group that has
sold out to implement projects that make upper management happy rather than do what is really

    Moment of Light – Rock n Roll at its best. A project or a job where you have the resources
and support to get something really important done. Where the horizon seems unlimited.

                                           CEO’s Journal
                                     October Year 0 Month 1 Day 3
                                  Corporate Headquarters CEO’s Office

        After our heart to heart, Tanya is moving forward with a divorce. It seems that one of her
series of gentlemen callers wants to marry her and Tanya has fallen for him. Apparently real
hard. I called Tilly back and already she has started to look for a new place. That is great. I have
never been happier.
        The six-month department planning meetings are underway. “Chilly Bear” Thompson put
together a slick video that went well in internal focus groups. I look forward to seeing (at a high-
level of course) what we as a company have planned. I love this time of year. You can see the
juices start flowing in employees and the excitement in their eyes.
        The merger talk with Crowton goes well. They will give us more international exposure
and additional off-world data centers. My counterpart at Crowton, Skip Fleming is a long-time
acquaintance. We have started teams to merge our companies together. I am particular worried
about culture clash. Crowton is a smaller and less procedural-driven. After incorporation, the
name of the company will still be the Harvey Corporation.
     All in all, a damn good day.

    Chapter 4 – Year 0 Month 3 Day 10: “I Met the Big Guy, So What?”
        Return to Table of Contents

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 3:

                                     Cubicle HQab012a, Field Office

    I have been just so busy. There is so much to write about in these few months! Lots have
happened. Let me try to catch up before talking about today.

                                                The Job
        This is a truly fun place. I love it here. Just having too much fun playing with
technologies and resolving problems. Looks like this was the right choice. Janda was now on
some major account project and has temporarily moved to the regional office. However, she will
be back just for today. Permanent Victim was turned down for a raise request and has filed a
grievance with HR. Sharon and Battery had a baby boy named Morrison after the lead singer of
the ancient group named the Doors. Surfer Girl is starting to get friendly with me – but I do not
think she fully trusts me yet. Oldster has been out after hurting himself while driving on his
vacation. Ms. Manager is fighting with second level managers who want her job or to have her
replaced. The strain is quite visible on her face. I think Joe Techie is getting the nerve to ask me
out. He has been showing up in my cubicle to talk about this or that hot software and hardware.
Jeanne Lemay does her work at expected levels and that is about it.
        The company is finalizing their planned merger with Crowton. There is talk of re-
organization and consolidation. Just have to wait and see what happens.


        I feel good. Been spending money on some things for myself. Getting new outfits, Some
music, and music players. Saw my folks. All is well there. Planning a trip to Iceland with a
college friend. Not sure if it will happen but I could use the time away.
        Today looked like it was going to be a typical day. No less than thirty frantic messages on
all available media channels were awaiting me. Battery had thrown together a last-minute
meeting about some brainstorm. However, this conflicted with Ms. Manager’s urgent meeting
about upper management needing more server space. At the same time, I am supposed to be
attending Surfer Girl’s long schedule meeting on next generation Internet Backbones. What is a
solitary worker to do? Well, Ms. Manager wins out, so I had better finish researching that server
information that she wanted.
        Janda’s supposed to be in at 8:30. I look forward to hearing the latest regional gossip.
There are supposed to be some openings there soon. I am only interested if it is the right
        I finished my research and walked over to have coffee with Janda. I love how she
describes things. Her team has been doing nothing but arguing about different technologies and
getting no further. A new project leader is stepping in. But there is some interesting news.
Apparently, the regional office will be forming an Internet infrastructure architecture group. She
knows the proposed manager who is interested in bringing her over. Janda also mentioned me
and this manager is interested. He will give me a call soon. Was I interested?
        Wow, I just got started here. Still, heck yes, I was indeed. I would love to get on the
planning side. Not to deal with the daily calls. Not to wait for Ms. Manager’s next crisis. Just
evaluate key technology and implementation. There are many pluses there.
        I got paged and hurriedly left Janda. Ms. Manager calls me in her office and looks very
worried. Now what? I am excused from all meetings today (after I give her the server info) to
help our CEO, Johnny Harvey login his computer successfully on the building network.
Normally, I would not do this because execs have their own rules. Apparently, he does not travel
with his own entourage of IT support staff when visiting the many offices of the Harvey
        It seems that he is just visiting a few hours and needs this access NOW. I run over to
conference room RCOMG-1a. This is what they call our war room. Gantt charts and other
project management artifacts were scattered on the walls and the table. I did not have time to see
what it was. And there he was our CEO, all alone looking tired and frantic. Apparently, no one
else wants to be around him when he is like this or were conveniently hiding during break.
        I walked up and introduced myself. An air of expectation had settled him and relief had
evidentially flooded his chubby face. I looked at his computer and its network connection. Sure
enough, it was the wrong network information on his torn paper. I made the change and network
traffic was soon flowing on his computer. I asked who his usual support person was. He gave me
the name. I told him that I would call them and tell them what I did in the future. He kept calling
me a genius and said he will keep me in mind for the future. I am sure he will not.
        I was not too impressed with him. Here is a guy in charge of a service company who
couldn’t even get himself the correct information for a network connection. How can he make
                                                CEO’s Journal
                                           Year 0 Month 3 Day 10
     Conference Room RCOMG-1a, Field Office
                 A week of promise and pure adrenalin is ahead. It starts today by reviewing the
merger team project efforts. For me, the best way to do that is to spend time alone in a field
office conference room. I always start with an unannounced walkthrough the site. This field
office is in one of our better sales regions – the South. Tomorrow, I will meet with the Harvey
merger planning team and spend the next two days with the joint merger planning team. A busy
week all in all.
                 I just started unpacking the various project charts and status reports. As I feared,
we are running into trouble across the board with this merger:

   -   The re-organization team is complete with VPs on both sides posturing to keep or extend
       their empires. Skip Fleming and I will lay down the law at the next meeting.
   -   The corporate culture teams are arguing over which culture will prevail. Crowton
       likes its informal culture and lack of written procedures. They are used to Friday beer
       blasts. Harvey likes it bookcases of documents and its hierarchy. Employees
       like the quarterly off-sites and occasional thank you dinners at a nice location. I asked
       two principal members of the team to work out a compromise offsite.
   -   Members of the network team are bickering over each other’s “bastard infrastructure.”
       Crowton has more current data centers but a non-scalable network design. Harvey
        has aging data centers but a network backbone with plenty of capacity.
   -   Other systems such as HR, travel, messaging, voicemail, and calendaring, Scheduling has
       their own consolidation challenges.
   -   Happily, International and off-world consolidations are going smoothly. Everything will
       be operational by the merger date.

                 I am supposed to be getting updated status reports today and I was too tired to
retrieve them last night. OK. Plug in network cable, put in network information. Reboot.
“Network not available” appears on the screen. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME, YOU
contact to call. Quickly, I make the call for assistance.
              Six minutes later, my networking angel comes in. She’s a brunette about 5’9” and
looks to be in her middle to late twenties. She keeps herself in good but not top shape. She is cute
but not beautiful. Her clothes are business-oriented but still stylish. Her voice is very calm and
reassuring. My angel’s name is Jenny Eden
         She looks at my computer and tells me that I was given the networking information for
this field office – but it is a year old and will no longer work. She types in the new information
and instantly my computer is on the network. I tell her that she was amazing and a genius. Also,
that I’d keep her in mind in the future.
         Now back to this week’s status reports. Oh man, this one looks interesting….

    Chapter 5 – Year 0 Month 3 Day 28: “One Action Can Undo Everything”
        Return to Table of Contents

        From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 4:

                                         Jenny Eden’s apartment
       I am home early after a really bad day. I’m filled with questions, anguish, and the
    desire to drink non-stop until the morning comes. Well, let me recap what happened today.

       Ms. Manager announced an unscheduled meeting in the next five minutes with no
agenda. You know that something is up when something that unexpected happens.

       We enter the room and everyone starts talking. Moments of nervous patter. Discussion
includes nervous conversation about the weather and inane chatter about some project or other.
However, there is no speculation on why we are here. Five minutes late. Then ten, fifteen, twenty
minutes. What’s going on???

        Ms. Manager walks in. She looks so distraught. Then slowly Battery walks in. He looks a
mess. An air of expectation about a major change fills the room. The two of them sit down
quietly in the front of the room. Ms.Manager begins to speak, breaking the tension.

        “I don’t know of any other way of saying this. William (that’s Battery’s first name)
Rowe’s wife Sharon has gotten a great offer from a well-known law firm with a long and
honored history. She has accepted and William has found a position with another company. They
will be moving to Los Angeles – in two weeks. We will miss his dry humor and his leadership.
William wanted to say a few words…”

        “Folks, I have mixed feelings about this. I am going to miss each and every one
     of you. It has been a lot of fun for eight years. We got some great projects completed.
     Like Hammer and the establishment of second-level support. And there were some that
didn’t make it to the finish line. But I’m excited about moving to a larger city and having Sharon
move ahead in her career. I will be doing OK as well in my part-time job. It will be managing my
own team for a government agency. It has the usual challenges, – being under budgeted, having
lack of resources, and as expected very demanding users. So what is new? I will be spending
more time with Morrison and be sure to send you photos. I will return the floor to Manager the
       Team, during the interim period, you will all be directly reporting to me. It will
    be difficult but we if we all pitch in, success will be ours. Are there any questions?

    There were some softball questions but the meeting was essentially over.

      Sharon and Battery are certainly going through a bunch of life changes simultaneously.
New location. New job. New friends. It will not be easy for them.

        As to work, the magic was gone. Battery, although slightly off-centered, held all the
disparate pieces together. Now all that is left are pieces. Things had looked so promising during
the off-site. On that one day, the group had a bright vision of where it was going. I was part of
that vision, working on some interesting projects.

       Ms. Manager will not be able to “hold the center.” Expect plenty of yelling, screaming,
and scurrying from now on. The relationship with second-level support will go downhill. And
there will be no proactive planning for the future – there will be no time for that.
           I am going to sleep and see if there are any opportunities elsewhere in the company
tomorrow. Let me get some drinking and some journal emoting in.
                                                CEO’s Journal
                                        Year 0 Month 3 Day 28
                                  Corporate Headquarters CEO’s Office

         The merger continues to proceed at a good pace. Much of the animosity and roadblocks
of the consolidation teams were removed and real work is being done. My personal life is
shaping up nicely as well. The mystery book “CEO Detective: The QA Release Engineer Did It”
is nearly completed. The divorce hearing is in three weeks. I am not expecting any problems
there. I had agreed to the alimony amount that Tanya wants and giving her the house and a car. I
have not used either for some time. I had moved out some time back so little of me is left behind.
         Tilly and I decided to move to our new location. Both of us want to start out fresh. There
is a great place thirty minutes from both of our respective places of employment. It has a good
view of the city and has a great living/dining room for entertainment.
     And there’s an extra bedroom if someone want to stay over. This will also double as a
workout room for both of us. We can move in right after the divorce goes through. I am just
thrilled about this.
              Well it is time to get back to work. Keeping a journal encrypted on my computer has
been a trying experience. I am doing a lousy job in keeping it current.

   Chapter 6 – Year 0 Month 5 Day 28: “It’s Going to Hell and I Want Off
This Ride.”
        Return to Table of Contents

        From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 5:

                                      Cubicle HQab012a, Field Office
         I lied. I have been too tired to write anything down for two months. It was just as I feared.
The department’s spirit is gone and people are leaving or thinking of leaving. Janda starts next
week in the new Internet infrastructure architecture group. I never did hear from her manager but
she keeps saying that he will call. Joe Techie is accidentally leaving resumes all over the place.
Oldster appears to be in denial and is hiding somewhere in the data center working on something
or another. All of the others appear to be conveniently spending time elsewhere. Ms. Manager is
always in meetings. It is a ghost town.
              I have discreetly begun my own job search. So far, it has been unsuccessful. I have
had several rounds of interviews but nothing gets to an offer stage. I am going to have a job
search consultant look at my resume tomorrow.
               Then another darn unexpected meeting takes place. Now what? All of the so-called
survivors slowly walk-in as to some unplayed funeral dirge. Ms. Manager shows up with her
boss. This looks big.
     Big Boss speaks:
     “Folks, headquarters is always looking at making our company more efficient. The bottom
line is the centralization of all corporate support services. All impacted staff will move to
headquarters or regional offices. That includes second- and third-level support. The result is that
this department is no more starting now. This building will be closing within the month. Other
staff may be performing your current responsibilities. No one will lose their job – all will be
transitioned into new opportunities. But, you will have to move to another regional office or
headquarters. We will pick up all your moving and house selling costs. If you decide not to do
this, then you will receive a healthy exit bonus from the Harvey Corporation. Your Manager will
answer all questions – I got to catch my flight to the next regional office and tell them some
news as well.”
         Ms. Manager then gives a schedule when she will meet with each of us today and no
further discussion flies out of the room. I look at the list. Drat, I am dead last. Surfer Girl is to
meet with her immediately. Many file out for a smoke or a frantic call to love ones. I stay in
room 15 as long as I can. Sadly, this used to be a favorite number too.
               Even we did not have the best morale recently, I believe this is a bad mistake; we
were lean, flexible, and responsive. Customer satisfaction was very good. I do not believe any
     centralized service can repeat what we did for our region. Period.
         I do not want to move but there are not many other opportunities open in the area at this
time. I hope where I am assigned is meaningful. I am getting very drunk tonight.
         Information starts coming in slowly but steadily. Ms. Manager is moving to Corporate
Headquarters to work as a lead for a product support group. Other than being at headquarters,
this seems a demotion. Surfer Girl is welcomed at Corporate Headquarters in some Advanced
Technology group. Jeanne Lemay and Permanent Victim are reduced to asset management and
keeping track of routers. Joe Techie gets the job as Hardware Certification Guru in the Northern
Region. He seems thrilled. Oldster is talking of retirement. And my interview is in thirty
minutes. My nerves are shot
         After what seems like eternity, I go in and see Ms. Manager– perhaps for the last time
ever. Her office is showing the early signs of packing. She motions me to the table and manages
a feeble smile, “Jenny, I think you will be happy with what is being offered to you. You are
being asked to move to the Western Region and act as a Senior Analyst for the Infrastructure
Architecture group. Even though it is located in a regional office, it is a cross-regional
organization. They take care of infrastructure architecture for the rest of the company. But the
Western region is growing so fast and changes so often, they also have to balance meeting
regional needs.. You will be in the Western regional headquarters working for Tommy Cocksure.
I do not know much about him. So, I cannot give you any advice on how to succeed with him.
        You have been a hard worker and have learned a great deal in the five months that you
have been here. You have gotten along very well with our customers and everyone in the
department. I wish you luck”
             She gave a packet with more information and offered a calculated hug. If there were
further questions, I should refer them to the toll-free number in the packet.
               I head back to my office and spend the remaining hour researching about my
hometown-to-be and whatever I can find about the Western region. I start in four weeks! Janda
sends me an e-mail. Her planned Headquarters job was dropped and is no more. However, she
also gets to work in the same department that I do in the Western region. It is comforting that I
will be sharing the new experience with someone else that I know. Janda mentions that this is a
good move for both of us. They are so disorganized and there will be plenty of opportunities for
personal growth.
     I go home and empty the wine that I was saving for that special someone I have not met yet.
That felt good. Long live the ongoing dis-organization! Before I forget, I am including some new
Surfer Girl vocabulary that I had learned.

                               Surfer Girl’s Vocabulary Lesson #2

    Levels of Hunger
    All computing corporate employees fall into one of three categories:

     Level 1: The Wolf
     Janada is an example. Their whole being is dedicated to moving ahead. Sometimes, they will
do it at any cost. Symptoms include being smart, impatient, competent, flexible, sociable, and
humorous on cue.

     Level 2: Purgatory
     I fit into this category. Usually found among new employees who are trying to find their
place in life. Have some sense of direction but not on a vision quest. Doing more than what the
job requires but not enough to move to leadership positions.

     Level 3: Clueless
     Permanent Victim and Jeanne Lemay are lifelong residents of this category. They do enough
to get by. No networking skills. Minimum Competence.

                                       Year 0 Month 5 Day 28

                                          CEO’s Journal
                                 Corporate Headquarters CEO’s Office

       Regardless how it goes with the Crowton consolidation, the Harvey Corporation is in sore
need of reorganization. Phillip Jr, Prudence II and key staffers have been meeting in secret to
plan a more flexible, nimble structure. As we could, we kept those in the know to a small number
– it was not even in my journal. We decided to kill the ongoing struggle between central.
regional, and field offices by centralizing/consolidating organizations. We will save $45 million
in the process as well. It is estimated that 35% of the company will be moving to work at another
location as part of this effort. We hired the very capable Branaough Corporation to coordinate
this. Once the dust settles, I expect this company to take really off. I am looking forward to it.
        As expected, the divorce went relatively smoothly. I gave away more assets than
expected but that is OK. Tilly and I moved into our new place. It has been awhile since I really
lived with someone. Consequently, there has been some adjustment. On the other hand, it is darn
wonderful to see Tils’s face a lot more than I have. She seems to be patiently adjusting but
satisfied as well.

    Chapter 7 – Year 0 Month 6 Day 20: “Welcome to The Epicenter”
        Return to Table of Contents

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 6:
                            Room 145 Western Regional Office

        After a frantic three weeks of apartment hunting, moving out one place, and moving into
another, life is starting to have sense of stability. I begin work at the Western regional office
today. Janda will show up tomorrow. The location is in a quiet corner of a growing suburban
town. It is a new huge building with a large, almost empty parking lot. The office is comprised of
glass and wide open spaces. Back at the Field Office, we would kill for this much space. The
security guard who looks so young and serious waved me through. I walk down the hall and see
an office with my name on it – Jenny Eden. An office. Wow. Before I go in, I see who else is in
the immediate area. There is Tommy Cocksure, Janda Onageo and Billy Johnson.
        I unlock my office door, walk in, and I am stunned. There is a fresh set of supplies on the
desk. A leading edge portable computer device and docking station is nearby. It is even
networked and ready to go. There are bookcases filled with new network books. I have a door to
close as needed and a window looking out on the highway and the mountains beyond. There is so
much space in this town and there are filling it in fast with houses, shopping malls, and office
buildings. It is a real shame.
        I start up the computer and use my old account and password. Still works and quickly I
am logged in. Using the familiar mail client, I look and see what mail is waiting for me.
     Five hundred messages While it is retrieving them, I start to unpack the one box I brought in
with me. Soon that is done and I’ll get the rest in later in the week.
             At 9:30, Tommy Cocksure enters my office. The atmosphere starts to be energized.
He looks confident, almost too confident. He then speaks with this booming voice, “Hi Jenny.
Glad you made it to the West O.K. Here is where it all begins. We have much to do. Have you
seen your electronic schedule? It is quite full today. You will be meeting with various groups in
preparing their network and application designs. Not so strong in network design? That is O.K.,
Billy will show you the ropes. Just meet the players and get the info – how many users,
applications, expected load, etc. See you at 10.
            10:00, I go to the first of four meetings for today. Everyone seems so reactive. The
overall theme is – just get the network designed fast so we can build it. The meeting is a
videoconference with three other sites in the Western region. Tommy is there as well. Everyone
seems to trust and almost revere him. I capture the information from the meeting.
             11:00 My first meeting without Tommy. Also, there is a young man with three
cellphones, two tablets, and a headset. He is facilitating. As the meeting progresses, I learn this is
Billy Johnson. He seems so smooth yet tired. At the break, he introduces himself and asks if I
wanted to talk things over during lunch. I agreed. We went into the company cafeteria. I am not
used to a place with so large an assortment and inexpensive prices. I grab a salad and sit down in
the extremely comfortable chairs.
             Billy starts talking
              “Jenny, once you understand what we do, you’ll find things go easy here. Just create
the needed design and go to the next one. The region is growing so fast, we do not have much
time to do anything else. Now to the next meeting…
               “ Whoa , I have a bunch of questions – What standards or principles do we use
      when we do the design? How much growth do we project a year? Do we ever have
      periodic reviews of implemented networks? What software do we use? Do we…”
            “Interesting questions but we only have a half hour. I will sit down with you and Jandy
is it? Oh Janda,,, We will go over this stuff. Here are the main points. You just design them
      using whatever you think is going to work. We know they will break and we’ll look at them
again within six months. If all goes well, we will be out of here by then.”
            “Does Tommy know this?”
             “Know this? That guy is just trying to get to Corporate before it all falls apart. He
      told me to do it this way. They are all impressed with him because of his quick turnaround.
Only months from now, they will find out why.”
            We broke from lunch. Then I attended two more meetings. Each had the same
promises made and frantic faces expecting miracles. I went home tired and had dinner alone.

    Chapter 8 – Year 0 Month 6 Day 21: “Longing and Loneliness”
        Return to Table of Contents

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 7:
                            Room 145 Western Regional Office

       It ended up being a real crappy day. I am going through a bottle of France’s thirteenth
best wine so the pain could go away.

        It started so well. I was going through network designs waiting to hear Janda’s familiar
voice in the next room. Instead, I hear high, energetic speech coming from her office. I walked
in. There was a young very tall blonde-haired woman that had the markings of a recent college
grad. She was unpacking her boxes of network protocol specifications. She smiled and said, “Oh
you must be Jenny, Tommy told me good things about you.”
             I smiled a non-spontaneous smile and welcomed her on board. She then volunteered
that Janda took a different job at Headquarters and that she (Kathy White) was transferred
instead. Tommy and Billy came in and all three started to talk about various projects and in non-
stop networkese. Kathy was fitting in. Perhaps too well. I excused myself and headed back to my
cube. There was an e-mail awaiting for me, it was from Janda

     “Hey Jen,
      No doubt, you heard I am not making the trip out West. Sorry, but I could not end up again
in the field. So, I ended up in the best job that I could get at headquarters – as a junior analyst in
the enterprise planning area. There, I can learn who are players and soon move into the right
position. I have no doubts that you will do well. Best of luck!”

        Somehow, I made it through the rest of the day. More meetings and frantic users.

                                                CEO’s Journal
                                         Year 0 Month 6 Day 21

         Tilly’s pregnant. It was from that one night where we really went at it. We are both
happy. She is getting into it and reading all the best sellers in this area. Kerana, Tilly’s twin sister
is really ticked off at both of us.

        The merger is wrapping up. In forty-five days, we will be a combined company! Cannot
wait! Company turnover seems to be dropped. Sales have picked up. Net income is up 15%. Our
stockholders and financial analysts love us. It is a time to treasure.
        My mystery book is out and sales are doing well. The marketing technique of targeting
only spaceport bookstores is working. I am starting on the next one CEO Detective: Hostile
Takeover where the hero takes on an international corporation really headed up by a group of
terrorist bankrollers. It should be fun.

    Chapter 9 – Year 0 Month 8 Day 21: “Tommy, Can You Hear Me?”
        Return to Table of Contents

        From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 8:
                             Room 145 Western Regional Office

                                                    Social Life
         Two months later, life has gotten both better and worse. I have become quite chummy to
Kathy. Usually, we go out to lunch together several times each week. I learned some technical
stuff from her and in return, I fed her the little I knew about the company.
         I have been to her apartment once. It was a sociological time capsule. Once again, I was
in a college dorm where rock star posters, large music players, and the latest computers ruled.
The bed sheets had colors that were far too bright. Also included was a modest kitchen that
looked underutilized.
         As we drank half a bottle of discounted red wine, I learned her life story. Just a year ago,
she had graduated from college in the Northeast. On graduation day, she broke up with her boy
friend. They had been going together for two years. The reason for the dissolution was the
proposed climate change. Her boyfriend had an offer in Northern British Columbia and wanted
her to move as well. Kathy emphatically said no to the snow and they were no longer a pair.
Later, she said that the climate thing was an excuse. She just could not spend time with someone
so judgmental. She applied to Harvey and after accepting the job offer, here she was. And then
months later, she was transferred when Janda made her move.

         I started seeing someone. Well, at least it seems that way. It all started one night that I
HAD to get out. Work had all sucked to hell. Down the street from my apartment was an Italian
restaurant that I had always meant to visit. I walked in. It was empty. I sat down. I always hate
eating alone in public. Why are there restaurants that had only tables for one? The server was a
woman with spirit who was glad to get business. The menu looked good with so many choices. I
was in the middle of a healthy-sized salad when a brown-haired distinguished looking man came
into the room. He sat diagonally across from me. I could feel him staring at me. I felt drawn by
him, and stared back when he was not looking back my way. What a great looking guy! He must
have felt my interest – soon he was at my table asking if he could join me. He had such a deep
soothing voice. As he waited for meal, we talked and talked. This man had such passion and
discussed things in such a fascinating way. Even on topics where he was blatantly wrong.
         Next thing I know it was 8:30 P.M. and we said our goodbyes. But not before getting
each other’s phone number. James turned around and asked for a short walk. I happily agreed.
Then we walked and gabbed for hours. He was just so interesting and comfortable to be around. I
then looked at my watch. It was 11:30. P.M. – ouch! And tomorrow is a work day. We said our
second goodbyes for that night. I knew that I wanted to see him again.
         After that, we talked to each other hours on the phone and saw each other whenever we
felt like it. And that’s where things were.

         I have lost all confidence in Tommy. It is not just one thing that he is doing. I send him e-
mails and he never reads them. He likes me to meet with him everyday so I repeat what is in the
e-mail. He never listens when any of his employees talk. He just floats from one situation to
another with that booming voice of his and his attitude of false confidence.
         The final straw was his behavior at an important design meeting. Tommy has a very bad
habit. He keeps the agenda in his head and only springs it at the meeting. So none of the other
attendees knew all of the details of what was to be discussed. As a result, ten of us are in the
room – anxiously sitting and waiting. This included key users and their upper management. And
I’m here all alone trying to hold this meeting together. We wait an eternity for ten then fifteen
minutes. The upper management types are fuming and want Tommy’s head. I anxiously call his
office and he is not there. A text brings no response. Finally, the upper management type can
wait no longer and leaves muttering, “this division is useless.”
           I went back to my office area and walked over to Tommy’s door. There was a light on
underneath it. What, he is there! If so, what has he been doing all this time? What the heck, I
pounded his door and awaited the result. After a long wait, the door opened and Tommy’s head
popped out. His shirt was unbuttoned and his chest hairs were on full display. He also was in his
boxers. “Wha..What is it?” “Well, there was that meeting with the customer’s executive VPs that
you were supposed to attend. I called and texted you as well. They were not too happy with you.
In fact, they left full of disgust.” Wow, amazing I said all that! However, Tommy just seemed to
be in another world. Finally, after a long uncomfortable pause, he said, “I’ll deal with that later.
Don’t bother me for the rest of the day.” and pulled the door shut behind him.
        I did not know what to make of this. So, I looked up in his scheduler, which I had a proxy
account to. Sure enough, he had listed private activity and had removed the meeting he was
really supposed to attend. Only this morning, he was still attending my meeting and no private
activity was on his schedule. What was going on? Now it so happens that I have his scheduler
password. It happened by accident. One day he left his little and well-worn black book in my
office by accident. Curiosity overcame prudence and I glanced inside. What an entirely different
world! Each page started with a saying from Genghis Kahn. Some of them were “Keep your
troops badly informed. Withhold key information” and “Your superiors are only there until you
replace them.” And so forth. In the middle of the book were his passwords. I took them down
only for emergencies.
        I logged in to his account. The private activity was listed as “Stress Reduction by
Madame Chulunka.” Does that mean he was having sex on company time? I printed the page for
future salary negotiations. I put my ear to the vent and heard what was going on. It sounded like
a meditation/pep session.
            “ Tommy, you are so stressed (you could almost smell incense and hear some music
with flutes and natures sounds in the background.) It is all not important. Not the employees that
demand so much of you. Not the customers with their changing and escalating needs. Not the
girlfriend that frantically wants to marry you. Forget it all. You deserve better. Being a regional
VP with your own house in Diamond Canyon. You...”

         I heard enough. I headed to my private meeting room. Officially, it appears in the floor
plans as a data closet. Somehow, it was remained unused I found it while wandering the halls
one afternoon looking for a restroom. Being on the unoccupied fifth floor, it remained vacant and
unused. I brought in a table and made it my personal hideout when I needed to mull things over.
It was near quitting time anyway.
            Later I heard that Tommy somehow smoothed things over with the executive VPs. It
must have been one heck of a discussion. He never had a stress reduction session at work after
that. In addition, we never talked about that day in the months that followed. .
                                            CEO’s Journal
                                        Johnny Harvey’s Cabin
                                        Year 0 Month 8 Day 21

            I am sitting on the front porch staring at the lake. I needed to get away from responsibilities
and an environment of constant interruptions and crises. Tilly decided not to come and she was staying
at her sister Kerana to patch things up between them.
             The merger is complete. Nevertheless, I see problems. We ended up with far too many
people after the merger. And we have far too many VPs. It is time to cut back. We need to get our
revenue per employee doubled from where it is now. It is also time to decrease capital costs. And we
still have a target of increasing net income by 9%. I am meeting with my executive team Monday and
it will not be pretty.
              We could have cut people before the merger. But, there never was a layoff before in our
company history. I feel badly for the people we are going to let go. Good hard-working people that
today’s business environment no longer allow us to support.
    Chapter 10 – Year 0 Month 11 Day 21: “Boss, Is it a Full Moon Tonight?”
        Return to Table of Contents

     Surfer Girl has become well known with her website and vocabulary lessons. One of these
are included below

                                Surfer Girl’s Vocabulary Lesson #3

    Death Spiral or Down Spiral – Maybe it was from Star Wars when Darth Vader’s pod was
spinning out of control. And from that came Darth Spiral to Death Spiral. Who knows? It came
to mean someone who was out of control and heading for the worst.

    Happy Talk – E-mails, Presentations, and the like by management that are couched in
overly optimistic terms that have nothing to do with current conditions.

     High Maintenance – Could refer to a project. A date. But you don’t want it to refer to you
as an employee. In that case, it means an employee who isn’t doing their job well. Or they
bother their boss too much or need someone’s help beyond normal to complete an assignment.

    Team Player – If you are accused of not being this, a death spiral may be imminent. This is
often used in a sentence “He is/She is a real/good team player.” That is working with others to
achieve a common goal. Somehow, one has to balance being a team player with also making
individual contributions (and being recognized for them.)

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 9:
                               Room 145 Western Regional Office

    I cannot believe it has been six months since the dissolution of the third-level support group.
Here’s an update where everyone is:

     Oldster – Gone and Then Back. Just yesterday. Harvey decided to reduce headcount through
early involuntary retirements. He was led out the building without his belongings, which will be
shipped, to him later. It is too bad. He had six months to go. Each day he looked at his web applet that
showed how many days to go. I know about this from his video call. He is upset and relieved at the
same time. He was going on a fishing trip to find what he needed to do next in his life. Then he got
rehired back two weeks later.

     Ms. Manager – Flailing. She has been making enemies as the lead of a product support group at
corporate. It is about not being responsive enough, giving conflicting orders to employees, and not
committing to or completing anything. She is now an individual contributor (with no staff under her.)
Hopefully, she can reverse the downward spiral. Janda gives me periodic updates on her comeback

     Battery – Drifting. Sharon is doing well at his job. Battery (I mean William) has quit his job and
is taking care of Morrison full-time. I drove there a few weeks ago. He has grown a beard and seems
to have no ambition other than changing diapers. He has this vague recollection that he used to work at
Harvey. But there is no hunger in his veins. No goals.

    Permanent Victim and Jeanne Lemay – Same Old Same Old. They are still doing asset
management and keeping track of routers. I hear that Permanent Victim is on his bosses’ avoidance list
because of his demands for an increase. Jeanne continues to do only the work necessary to keep

    Joe Techie – Moving Up. He has been promoted to Hardware Lead for the entire Northern region.
His comments in the recent company newsletter made him sound like he was happy beyond all belief.

    Surfer Girl – Reinventing. Or should I call her Podcast Girl. She is still at corporate working for a
technology group. But she also started an Internet podcast with her thoughts on technology and
organizations. It has done quite well among young technical types. As mentioned earlier, she also has
a popular website.

     Janda – Stalled. Was still in Corporate Planning. Now, she is a talented person among many. Still,
her accomplishments are not getting noticed. There was job transfer freeze so she could not move to
anything else within the company. She started to apply to jobs elsewhere but hiring is down elsewhere.

         The mood has changed. Costs are being contained through reduction of employee
services and benefits. All we see are memos coming out each day with another financial retreat.
But no one says really what is going on. There is still too much happy talk from upper
         Are layoffs around the corner? That is what the rumor mills say. (Has anyone ever done a
study on rumor mills and the different roles people play?) 25% cuts mostly in management. I
updated my resume just in case. Not even here a year and layoffs are a possibility. Things are
getting crazy. People are panicking. Thinking is very short-term. I expect that work will stop all
together if the date of the layoffs gets officially or unofficially known.
         We are increasingly working on a good problem. There is a sub-network that has a lot of
traffic. Then it gets so busy that no one can use it. It appears to happen around noon. This has
been going on for several days – and have missed some routine lunches because of it..
Unfortunately, this subnet has some impatient VPs as users.


       I do not like where this relationship is going. Last night we went to see a play. It was
unique. The topic was raising a Muslim family in the South during the 1930s. The sparks flew
when James brought up the topic of our future.
    “Jenny, what do you want?
    “Easy. End up at Corporate. But I’m not going to kill or sleep with someone to get there. I
want a job where I am constantly learning and challenged. And wonder where the day went. A
boss that I can respect and run interference for me. A …”
    “Yes, James?”
”Are there any non-work related goals?”
    “What we all want. Be at peace. Yes, at peace with myself. Have some good friends to hang
with. A house of my own. Yeah. Well, that is about it. “

    James was exasperated. This was a hard topic for him to discuss and I was not helping.
    “And you are going to alone? Without someone at your side?”
    Where was James going with this? It is way to early to talk about anything permanent!
    I just asked him to spit it out.

   “Jen. I ah.. Well the last three months have been great. It seems so right. I just want to spend
more time with you I want us to be together for a long time. You are funny, smart, and..”
   “No I’m not. James. ”
   “No, Today I won’t allow that. I..I.. Oh heck, We should move in together..”

       I did not see that coming! James slumped before I spoke on seeing my expression.
           “James, I am very fond of you. You are good, no great to be with. But it is a no.
    I am not the live-in kind. I like my freedom and the way things are working right now. I’ve
been through so much change that having you as a good friend is enough at this time.”

        He was stunned and slowly walked away in silence. I called up Kathy. She thought I was
wrong, stupid, and insensitive. I thought about it. Maybe if I was aware ahead of time that this
was on his mind, we could have talked this through. I really like James but I do not want to be
that dependent, visible, or vulnerable to someone else. And there’s that you have to talk to
someone in the evening when you are beat. I did some further thinking,
     Finally, I called James up. After many rings, he finally answered. Actually, his answering
machine did the listening. This is what I said.
     “James, Jen. You got me unawares and I well gave you an unthinking no. That was wrong.
     I am flattered you think so highly of me. I do of you too. You are important to me and I want
us to grow. It is time for the next step. I want to see just you and you sound that you are willing
to do the same. I still have not warmed up to the live-in thing. But, let’s try something smaller in
scale. Maybe we can spend one or two nights a week at each other’s place and see how that
works. Call me back, Jen. “
     He called back thirty seconds later. He sounded happy. We agreed to try my place next
week. For the first time in my life, I was starting a serious relationship.

                                          CEO’s Journal
                                       Year 0 Month 11 Day 21
                                 Corporate Headquarters CEO’s Office
              I’m alone tonight and doing a rare session of solo drinking. Things have become
very hard. Everyday there are more tough choices and ongoing bad news.
    Here are my top stresses in order”
    1) Layoffs. The planning mechanism is in place. Next month before Christmas, we let go
    15%. 15,000 Lives affected. Would great-granddad Tommy Harvey done the same thing?
Probably. Cuts are targeted. Those who have redundant job or bad job performance are the first
gone. Word has already gone out to the field that this is going to take place. Work has just about

     2) Tony Jameson. My good friend from college and invaluable sounding board was in the
hospital. He was diagnosed with food poisoning. Seems he and his colleagues went out to a local
seafood restaurant. The fish he ate (grouper) had ciguatera toxin. He said it was the best fish he
ever had. Then hours later, he has nausea, vomiting, and muscle pain. And Tony can’t drink
anything cold without feeling intense pain. He went to the emergency room. A day later, he was
out. But he still had some symptoms days and even months later. It has impacted his confidence
and availability

    3) Skip Fleming. Has taken a surprising early retirement. Looks like he just did not have the
heart to work for the merged company. And that’s a shame because he had much to offer and
would provide a healthy transition for those former Crowton employees.

     4) The Novel. . “CEO Detective: Hostile Takeover” is on hold. The publisher was bought
out and anything but the sports books are on hold. I’m working with some colleagues on buying
a publisher in financial distress so I can still sell books.

     4) Tilly. The pregnancy is going well. She patched up things with her sister Kerana. But her
role as CEO for Utrewo Software is in jeopardy. There is a hostile takeover attempt underway
that looks like it will be successful. The board of directors will vote on their proposal next week.
Tils saw this coming. The company was doing too well to continue to be only a stand-alone. She
just did not think it would happen so soon. If the proposal is accepted, she plans to spend time at
home getting ready for our child’s birth and life. She’s been working straight for thirteen years.
A break is a good thing for her. I know she will find employment again when the time is right.

    Chapter 11 – Year 0 Month 12 Day 21: “Happy Layoffs and Holidays!”
        Return to Table of Contents

       From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 10:
     Room 145 Western Regional Office
       The Reduction in Force have come and gone and I am still here. But many other former
colleagues are now gone. Here is what happened.

        First upper management stopped sending “happy e-mails.” Then the following e-mail

       “Dear Harvey & Crowton Staffers:
    Today is a new day for our organization. We have successfully merged our two companies
together to produce the largest international computer consulting corporation ever – the Harvey
Corporation. But to be competitive for the future, we must optimize our cost structure. This will
provide us with needed funding for further expansion. Reluctantly, to meet our new market
pressures, we will be reducing 15% of the current workforce in the coming days.
     Other cost reductions are planned in the future as well. “
         Resumes and e-mails flew around the floor. Management locked their doors to avoid
questions and potential lawsuits. And work stopped.
         Then D-day came soon enough. You can tell it was that day because all hallway
conversations stop. People sit in their office desperately hoping it will not be them. You can feel
the panic and the silence in the air. And then, people leave to meet with their bosses. They come
back with a security escort, quietly pack a box or so and leave. If there are lucky, they get to say
goodbye to the survivors. But their career at Harvey Corporation is over.
         After a long and tantalizing wait, and e-mail comes from those remaining managers
saying it is over – at least for now. When the dust settled, the following were gone:
     Ms. Manager. My former boss must have made too many enemies
     Jeanne Lemay. Her “do what you can to get by” finally caught up with her.
     Smiley. The good times, bad jokes, and fake smiles would be performing elsewhere.
     Oldster Was spared. He just knew too much about legacy systems to be let go,
     Tommy Cocksure. That’s right. My old boss got his. Lesson learned – do not upset your
superiors and customers. I’m sure there is a good used vehicle lot somewhere for showing his
     Kathy White. No! This one makes no sense to me. She did her job well and was personable.
As a new employee, her salary must be low. Maybe she threatened the old-boy network? I will
miss her.
         The new organization was announced the next day. I’m reporting to a nice boss who
seems to care and wants to enhance my skills. Her name is Sally Reo. Interesting, she really
doesn’t know much about the new department. (which includes five people from other areas and
now includes network and server support in addition to planning/architecting.) I am the only
female of seven staffers.
             But there were some that made out much better after the reorganization. Janda ends up
as a technical lead in corporate planning. Surfer Girl is now a manager of a new technology
group. Still, others took a step back. Joe Techie is a hardware lead for just two labs. Permanent
Victim is doing asset management for just one department.
            Once everything was settled, I see that made out OK. Actually it was better than
expected. It could be fun now.
         We are progressing in or relationship. But it isn’t always pretty. In fact, we almost broke
up before things got moving. It was due to sex or lack thereof.
         It was a balmy Wednesday night that started with a quick dinner. I invited James up to
my room. The small talk ended quickly and an air of expectation filled the room, I silently
grabbed him by the hand and led him to bedroom. We nervously smiled at each other. Only the
single bulb stayed on. James started to relax and a wide grin covered his face. Maybe it was due
to that I had started to unbutton my shirt. The grin grew wider with each button. I thought his
face was going to explode with happiness as I took the shirt off. James came over and tenderly
held me. He whispered in my ear that he loved me and thought I was beautiful. I told him the
same thing. I had really fallen for him in a big way during the last few weeks. It was time, I
smiled at him as I started unfastening my jeans. I teased him about not showing me his cute chest
and bottom. He started to oblige me with great haste. The moment that we both were waiting for
was near when…
         Lights started flashing and piercing alarms overpowered the room. It sounded like the
“abandon ship” sound. But it was really the fire alarm. The mood was completely destroyed.
James was startled and having anxiety not understanding the situation. I try to smooth the
situation but it is a disaster. Quickly, we silently dressed, walked down the stairs, and went
outside. And waited briefly without looking at each other. James then couldn’t take it anymore,
said “Good timing, Jen”, and quickly walked away.
         Later I found out some latch-key children in the building had almost burnt down their
kitchen while cooking macaroni and cheese. The overworked parents received a reprimand from
the superintendent and glares from their neighbors.
         James was haunted by the incident. He did not call me for a week. I kept trying to reach
him. Finally, he gave in and he called back. It was awkward at first but we kept talking.
         “I’ve told no one this…Jen, ah..when I was, small (about six or so), I went to an art
museum with my mother. A fire alarm went off and people panicked. Smoke was filling the
room. Everyone was running in all directions. I end up separated from mom and tried to find her.
A person with some sense grabbed my hand and took me outside. I was deposited with a police
officer who stayed with me and other children until their parents came. I remember waiting with
great anxiety. Was my mother dead? Would my father shortly re-marry? Would I like my new
stepmother? Or would my father give me up and I be waiting at the end of a long line for new
parents in an orphanage? Or… Just then, my Mom came and gave me a tight hug. It did not
matter where she had been because she was alive.
         In some sense, I never recovered from that. I ..I..well.. yours truly got scared when the
fire alarm went off. I couldn’t think about anything else. I started to blame you for the situation
and did not want to see you again. You could somehow cause another fire. Maybe the
relationship is just jinxed. Then I realized that I was being stupid. You are the best thing to
happen to me in a long time. I love spending time with you. I want things to be perfect for us…”
         I said, “It’s good you shared that with me because I had no idea what happened. I kept
going over in my head the things I did wrong. I too loved spending time with you. And there is
no jinx...”
         I never finished the sentence. We both started uncontrollably laughing at how silly we
both sounded. Just like that, we got back together. The next night, we tried again at his place and
no interruptions took place. The sex was great. It had been awhile for both of us. After that, we
met regularly for our scheduled intimacy.
             [And that is where the story pretty much ends except for the closing sections below.
The following sections were to be included:

    Section 2 – “Years 2-5 – Paying Dues”
    Section 3 – “Years 5-7 – Senior Tech”
    Section 4 – “Years 8-12 – From Reactive Madness to Corporate-side Management”
    Section 5 – “Years 13-15 – Frustration and Projects from Hell”
    Section 6 – “Years 15+ Trial by Jury and My Future”

     The goal was to show Jenny’s progression and setbacks in the company. This includes from
working after-hours to having more of a life. She gets increasingly more confident and that leads
to a management position. After her sit-in, she is demoted. She takes the company to trial using
her journal as evidence. She is found not guilty and offered her own job back. Instead, she
publishes her journal and works as an author, consultant, and volunteering at the local center to
help get young women “IT-Ready” and deal with the pressures of such a career. She loves
spending times with her husband and family. And sometimes she reminisces with her old Harvey
     Janda ends up being a VP. Johnny goes through the ups and downs with company trying
different management philosophies. In the end, his friend Tony Jameson dies. Without Tony’s
advice and stressed by an increasing demanding environment, he retires before being forced out.
He lives happily with Tilly and his children
     The following was to be the final words in the book.]

    Chapter 20 – Month 12 Day 22 Year 15: “It’s All for Moments Of Light”
        Return to Table of Contents

                                           CEO’s Journal
                                        Johnny Harvey’s Cabin

        Twenty years as CEO. It’s just a blur of trying to make the ever-changing parade of Wall
Street Analysts and our institutional investors happy. I recall far too many meetings with the
Board of Directors to plan the Harvey Corporation’s bright and certain future. Deploying
continuous improvement efforts to make employees the best they can possibly be. And facing
unexpected roadblocks popping out of nowhere. And do not forget those endless new programs
to implement.

        Was it worth it? Yes, yes and yes. It paid for a lifestyle that others not in the know would
call glamorous .It paid for a generous divorce. It provided me precious time to spend with Tilly
and our children. While at the helm, I got to do a lot of good things for the company. And for the
while, everyone seemed to like that. I loved certain moments:
     Like getting the company to the point where it could almost run itself and take a life of its
own. Then, you can sit back and watch in appreciation – at least for a short time before diving
iback in.
      Like coming in on a Monday morning with the potential for achieving so much that week.
     Like shaking hands with grateful customers who can now accomplish some task that was not
possible – simply because you were there to help. I am no longer active in business, so this phase
of my life and this journal ends here.

    Dec 22 Year 15
                        From Corporate Disobedience Chapter 102:
    Jenny Eden Ford’s House

       Fifteen years are all over. Was it worth it? Yes,. I met some great people along the way.
Surfer Girl would say that there were some great moments of light – projects and moments of
time where everything clicked and it was all meaningful. Days that you wished wouldn’t end
where you are smiling inside from head to toes. I enjoyed the many chances to show off my
     On the other hand, there were far more times feeling frustrated, cornered, angry, fearful,
depressed, and very alone. There were seemingly millions of meetings, coffees, and lunches in
front of my computer. I had to prepare an endless stream of documents – network architectures,
white papers, project plans, and status reports. It is now all a damn blur. Within five years, all of
the systems that I worked on will be replaced. All the people I knew or knew of will be gone
from the Harvey Corporation. Was it really worth it? Definitely, it helped me to pay for a house,
raise a family, enrich my life with James, and get a few things for myself. I have lived long
enough to tell this tale and get to play again tomorrow in a different company. That is all one can
ask for one life. The journal ends here at least for tonight.

    [While writing the book, I put together a book Bible and it included summary of characters
and this convenient genealogy.]
    Appendix 1– From Combustible Networks Bible: Harvey Genealogy
        Return to Table of Contents

                                                              Harvey Family

                                     Lillian                     Tommy

            Joseph                             Maxwell                Prudence 1
       Technical/Services                      Finance             Growing Company

         Joseph Jr (II)                                                  Phillip

                            Johnny                 Tilly Harvey (née James)          Phillip Jr   Prudence 2

                          Prudence 3

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