Tuesday, July 10, 2007

another Silicon Valley Soap Opera scene

The Silicon Valley Soap Opera is an occasional feature of this blog, wherein our heroine/sot, the Drunken Housewife, resorts to pilfering her poor Sober Husband's life for interesting anecdotes because she doesn't get out much. Names have been changed to preserve the Sober Husband's professional viability.

For the last two years, the Sober Husband has worked at a fledgling start-up software company. For much of this company's existence, there have been three full-time workers: the Italian founder, the Sober Husband, who was the first, full-time employee, and a third, rather cantankerous but skilled programmer, who left the big, successful software company where they all met because of his dream to hit it big with stock options and retire early.

Of course, our three intrepid programmers could not achieve their goals without assistance, no matter how skilled at Java they may be. In particular, the founder hired a marketing consultant part-time (the Sober Husband always called her "the Marketing Lady"). She conducted her arcane marketing maneuvers from New York, but she regularly issued various directives to the programmers and flew out from time to time.

Somehow, the Marketing Lady managed to get on the wrong side of the Crabby Programmer. This wasn't that difficult to do; indeed, the Crabby Programmer had a personal website where he kept a list of things which caused him to enter a rage(The reaction of everyone I showed this page to was, "Does this guy own a gun? Watch out for him").

One day, the Crabby Programmer, as was his wont, was ranting about the Marketing Lady, when the Sober Husband interrupted him. "I bet if you pay Luigi enough, he'll fire her."


"Ask Luigi. He'll do it if you give him enough."

The Italian founder played along and, leaning back in his chair, said, "Two hundred thousand dollars. Give me two hundred thousand dollars, and she's gone."

The Crabby Programmer was dumbstruck. The Sober Husband and I laughed and laughed that night when he told me about it.

Of course, in the end the laugh was on us. The Crabby Programmer did pony up a big chunk of his life savings to invest in the company, and that made him all the crabbier and more stressed-out over whether the company would succeed or fail. One evening spent laughing over the husband's diabolical genius turned into over a year of working with an increasingly irritable and over-stressed colleague.


Silliyak said...

Sounds a lot like sex. A brief moment of pleasure following by unforseen consequences involving lots of energy. Remember, you can't do ONE thing.

hughman said...

obviously the SH needs IUA's advice in these situations.

Amy said...

OMG that is too much. Please tell me Crabby deserved not to be told they were kidding.

the Drunken Housewife said...

Well, they were and they weren't kidding. The Sober Husband isn't really a kidder; he's an unconventional thinker. I can't speak to whether the Crabby Guy deserved this or not. When it looked like the company was going to be acquired by a big company, the Crabby Guy could have turned a profit on his stake. That acquisition fell through, but who knows what the future holds...