Silicon Follies

Chapter 7: Death by a thousand e-mails


Thomas Scoville
April 7, 1999 10:33PM (UTC)

Liz picked her way through the flurry of incoming e-mail, blood rushing to her face. There was a palpable buzz in cubicleville; only 15 minutes had elapsed since her online faux pas, and already everybody at TeraMemory headquarters knew.

Her heart sank with every message on the stack. Each brought her a completely new experience of shame. Who knew it could come in so many, many varieties?

Advertisement:

Some were smirking and nerdy:


From: dbrown@teramemory.com

To: ltoulouse@teramemory.com

Subject: Re: Re: WHIP initiative

Hoo, boy! That's a first -- professional suicide by SMTP.
Couldn't you have just gotten drunk and fallen over at
the holiday party instead?

It was nice knowing you. What did you say your name was?

>> This is a criticle time in the

>> development of our business

>> flow, and I know your all

>> going to pull together to

>> get Tera where we need

>> to get to.

> Barb,

> You were right--on all counts.

> Forced march has been decreed

> by the King of the Dangling

> Preposition.

Some were congratulatory:


From: rscott@teramemory.com

To: ltoulouse@teramemory.com

Subject: Re: Re: WHIP initiative

> You were right--on all counts.

> Forced march has been decreed

> by the King of the Dangling

> Preposition.

Hey, that's pretty funny. Those

may be your last words, but if

it's any consolation, the whole

floor is in hysterics.

Some were pedantic:


From: tchun@teramemory.com

To: ltoulouse@teramemory.com

Subject: Re: Re: WHIP initiative

First Commandment: Know Thy e-mail Client.

Good luck at your next job.

And some were almost admiring:


From: nkishore@teramemory.com

To: ltoulouse@teramemory.com

Subject: Re: Re: WHIP initiative

Either you're completely

clueless or you just don't

care any more.

Either way, that was

sublime. If you're

still here in three weeks,

I'll buy you lunch.

But they all shared one theme -- Liz was finished at TeraMemory. All except one, from a Candi Sawyer, which was ominously cryptic:


From: csawyer@teramemory.com

To: ltoulouse@teramemory.com

Subject: Re: Re: WHIP initiative

> You were right--on all counts.

> Forced march has been decreed

> by the King of the Dangling

> Preposition.

King of the Dangling *Proposition*, you mean.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On the 21st floor, Barry Dominic was bursting a hose. He lurched into the antechamber of the executive suite to download his fury on the administrative assistant.

"What do you mean you sent out the memo without polishing it up? What in God's name am I paying you for? I ... am ... not a details guy. I'm the goddamn CEO, that's who I am. I don't have time to pick nits. I'm trying to run a billion fucking dollar company. And you have to go and make me look like a goddamn idiot numbskull in front of the whole crew."

He caught his breath while his assistant stared gravely at her manicure. A blood vessel stood up festively on his forehead.

Advertisement:

"What in God's name did I hire you for?" he snarled as he stalked back into his office. "And you get this Toulouse individual up here first thing in the morning, OK?" he shot back over his shoulder.

Barry slumped in his chair, stuck out his jaw and seethed. He'd always been a little sensitive about the gaps in his non-technical education. But he'd be damned if he was going to let some new hire poke fun at him over it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Meanwhile, Liz was already packing up her things. She hadn't been at Tera long enough to personalize her cubicle very much -- just an art nouveau calendar and a picture of her cat, Angus -- but her instincts told her to cover her tracks and leave as little trace of her existence as possible.

Advertisement:

Her phone rang. It was Mr. Dominic's administrative assistant, every sentence a question.

"Ms. Toulouse? Mr. Dominic would like to see you? Tomorrow morning in his office on 21? At 8:30?"

Liz blanched, but somehow her recently acquired corporate compliance reflex caused her to say something that she, in no possible, conceivable way, meant.

Advertisement:

"Yes. I'll be there."

She put down the phone and swallowed hard.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

An hour later, Barrys tantrum continued unabated. He dialed his receptionist on the speakerphone, though she sat in the next room.

"Did you schedule that insubordinate moron for the morning?"

Advertisement:

"Yes, Mr. Dominic."

"Good. Now, youre fired. You can go straight to HR," he snapped, and squashed the speakerphone's orange button beneath his thumb.


Thomas Scoville

Thomas Scoville is either an Information Age savant or an ex-Silicon Valley programmer with a bad attitude. He is the author of the Silicon Valley Tarot.

MORE FROM Thomas Scoville

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Satire Silicon Valley




BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••


Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •