Trial By Fire
The Silicon War Triology
Chapter 8 - Job Hunting
For me, my life became the never-ending job hunt since the Court wouldn't let me leave the Valley to find stable employment. Even a two-week job was now considered better than none. Finally during an exit interview, I was told by a woman from HR that she had received an anonymous phone call and felt sorry about having to let me go. She thought it was wrong but she had to protect the safety and image of their company first. What she didn't say, NSC was also a major customer of theirs.
When I told Bademeister about the conversation, he just said "Get used to it. They know you received a great deal of money from Gopal and they are going to sweat the location of it out of you one way or the other".
"But I didn't" I responded in my defense.
"Yea, right" he said with a ‘you're bull shitting me look'. "Look, no one would have done the things you did for Gopal for no money". It seemed that Gopal's lavish "jet set" lifestyle and spoken words had created an illusion of vast wealth and large sums of money available to all.
In my defense, I kept saying "Does anyone see where the money is"? Well… the statement fell on deaf ears. It seemed that no one cared.
For over five months this cycle continued, I'd start a new job on Monday, only to be asked to leave before Friday. Then came my first ray of hope.
Although we had cancelled the newspaper to save money, there it was on the driveway, the Sunday Edition of the San Jose Mercury News. On the front page of the paper was scribbled a note "Bob - want ads - circled". There was no name, just the four-word note.
As I opened up the want ads, there circled for me to see was an electrical design job at GTE Sylvania in Mountain View. It was a contract job with a consulting firm called CDI but it required a ‘confidential clearance'.
Yea, I thought the same thing -- "Oh right, like they would allow me to work there".
But on Monday, I dropped off a resume at the CDI office, had a successful interview and this resulted in having to fill out all the paperwork. On the form, it only asked if I had been convicted of a crime. Well, since I hadn't been convicted yet, I said "no". Remember, I was just indicted, not convicted.
"Bob, your resume looks great," the recruiter said. "We have many other projects coming down the road so this could last for some time. Would you be interested in this"?
With a simple "Heck, yea" I got the job and started the next Monday.
When I got home, I told Maria I had been offered a job at GTE and thought that this might take some of the pressure off her. It didn't.
"Look" she said. "You walk around seeing spies and bugs everywhere. You are so paranoid about this court thing that I don't know how much longer I can put up with it. I'm glad you have a job but you know it won't last just like all the rest. Why couldn't you have been normal like everyone else? They go to work, don't cause waves, and bring home their paycheck".
Having heard this from everyone for the past six months, I just got mad. "Look, sorry I did this court thing to you. Like… I really meant to. You are more worried about your social life than me, but I understand. It was me that was bad, me that was wrong, me that caused all the pain, and me that needed to take a hike".
What no one tells you about is that the dragging out of a court case over the years, tears everything around you down. How many jobs do you have to get before it's over. How many friends do you make just to lose? How many fights with your spouse will take place until the marriage is over? The frustration from no control becomes overwhelming. And, this was only at the 6 month mark.
Even when you walk away from all the games, even when you throw your hands up in defeat, "the CASE" is still there. If Gopal does this, the news replays the raid all over. Front page statements that are out right false are then apologized for later on page 23 where no one will ever read them.
And remember when everyone tells you to "shut up"? There is a reason for this.
What had become evident and very interesting was the people that were heavily involved from the start, you know the people that know the real truth of what happened; well… their stories were now slowly changing. It seems that since their current story didn't exactly fit their needs or the evidence, it was now being edited to fit their new theory.
As more of "the facts" became reviewed and verified as wrong, the ADA quickly changed the direction on Gopal from the "theft of trade secrets involving the Intel 2114 Chip" to just the "possession of stolen property relating to the tooling recitals" found in the metal cabinet.
And then came Gopal's own flip-flopping all over the place on the "bribery" and "solicitation" charges. This resulted in the destruction of his credibility as he attempted to come up with a better excuse that would fit. He just wouldn't shut up and let the ADA commit to a version of the facts. He just had to open his mouth and explain everything. This is why they say "shut up". Everything you say will be used against you to justify their version of the ‘new story' and then they will take your statements out of context to make it fit their new needs!
Here is a great example of how Gopal was digging his hole. Although the police stated the solicitation conversations were recorded, they would never play the tapes of them. They said "We have accurately transcribed them for the court".
But like everyone else, I wanted to hear Gopal speak the words for myself so that I could interpret and understand what he really had meant to say. But they refused to play them. It would be some time before we found out that the tapes were lost or the recordings had become bad. And then came the question: "were they even transcribed accurately"?
Bouré was smart and followed his attorney's advice. He found a hole, dug it deeper, climbed in, and was never seen again. Now I shouldn't talk. For me it became "if I could just talk with someone in charge, I know I could explain this" and then it would go away. Right!
Well guess what, no one was interested. Not the police, not the District Attorney, not Gopal's new attorney and most important not my attorney. I was just told "if you are smart, you should shut up and just let the ADA focus on Gopal for now". So it became time for me to accept the fact that some day, long, long away, I would be going to trial.
And that would require documenting what really took place in detail. More important, I needed to create a timeline of events to refer back to so that I could keep a consistent story over time. I also had to get my hands on all the case documentation created so far including all versions of the story to show everyone the migration of the story when asked.
As the reality check finally sunk in, I said to myself "This little problem isn't going to go away. You win world, I'll shut up". So I dug a hole and climbed in.