Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

Headline from the recent tech industry trade publication, Really Wired:

“Savvy IT Jock Uses Social Networking to Find his Idiot Boss “Better” Gig, Avoids Being Fired”

The following was taken from our reporter’s recent interview with “Mike” the IT guy:

Look, although I think I’m pretty justified in my actions, some of the things I did could be construed as illegal, or at least really unprofessional, so I don’t want to use my real name. Let’s call me “Mike,” and let’s call my idiot ex-boss “Frank.”

This all happened last Wednesday at the office. I was in the hallway on a ladder with my head up above the acoustical tiles re-routing some network cables in the ceiling near the wall of the break room. I heard my idiot boss, Frank, go into the break room for some coffee, and I overheard him mention in confidence to one of his idiot cronies that the IT staff was bloated, and he was cutting me loose at the end of the day, since I was the last one hired. The IT department was actually hopelessly understaffed, and Frank had been robbing our budget pretty regularly to cover the cost overruns from the marketing department’s monthly “Team Building Trips” to Las Vegas.

Now, I could have probably landed another job at a better company in a heartbeat, but I couldn’t bear the thought of this yahoo slamming my already overloaded IT buddies with the extra burden. I decided to get rid of him. The way I saw it, it was either him or me, and he messed with the wrong geek.

I put my network cable project on hold and went back to my terminal, logged on to, and bought the domain “” I then banged out some really quick HTML code to create a dummy corporation’s home page, “about us” page, and “contact us” page. It was really third-grade type stuff. The whole thing took me twelve minutes. For the “corporate vision statement,” I just used the word synergy nineteen times in a paragraph with a bunch of other corporate-speak. “TRG Corporation has a synergistic, forward-focused, strategic synergy,” etcetera, etcetera. Frank eats that crap up.

Then I created two LinkedIn accounts. The first was Chet Manley, TRG’s Director of Global Development. For Chet’s profile picture, I scanned in the face of a male model from Cindy in accounting’s Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bag. Besides kicking butt internationally at TRG, Chet also enjoys golf, scuba diving, heli-skiing and triathlons. The next fake LinkedIn account was a corporate headhunter, Jennifer Fetching, from a major New York placement agency that Frank was sure to have heard of. For Jennifer’s profile picture I just used a Victoria’s Secret model from the active wear section of their website.

I then hit Frank’s LinkedIn account with five e-mails from Jennifer and four from Chet, back-dating them so it appeared as if they had both been trying to get ahold of him for a week. Jennifer was seriously considering him for a VP position at another top-rated global company, and she was very anxious to speak with him, because she knew he was being heavily recruited by TRG. Her last e-mail was deflated, as she explained that the position she had sought him for was gobbled up by another executive. If only they had been able to get in touch with each other earlier.

Chet couldn’t wait to talk with Frank, and was really “pumped” at the opportunity to get him on board with TRG. He had asked around with “everyone who matters,” and Frank was the perfect guy for their new VP slot.

Then I went to Facebook and found Frank’s friend list. I found the name of one of the guys I had heard him talk about playing golf with pretty regularly. His friend, Bob, was offline, so I quickly hacked his account by cloning the email address he had listed and resetting his password. Once I was in Bob’s account, I made sure that my boss was at his desk, and sent him an instant message from Bob saying, “Wow, Frank. I just heard through the grapevine that you were the top pick for the new VP slot at TRG. I’ve been watching them for years. That company is golden. Congratulations on the move! You’re a smart man!”

I then drafted a quick, fake inter-office memo from the CEO to all the upper management stating that “as we all know, TRG Corporation has been a thorn in our side for years, but lately they have been gaining some serious ground on us.” We needed to forward-focus our core competencies, harness our synergies, etcetera, “or TRG is going to end up owning us and all of our clients!”

I e-mailed the memo to Frank from the CEO’s mailbox, and counted to fifty. Then I made a call to Frank’s office and told him that the IT department had just updated the falangy valve on the McGruder switch, and some people were reporting problems logging into their company e-mail. Other people had reported problems with internet services like LinkedIn and other business-related networking sites. “Please check and make sure you are good, and get back to me if you have any problems.” Then I left the building.

I walked three blocks to the 7-11 and paid cash for a disposable cell phone. Then I went to the Starbucks on the next block and sat down in the corner, activated the phone, and called the office.

“Chet Manley for Frank Dumkopf”

Frank was very eager to talk with Chet. Chet explained that he had been out of the country, tying up some Chinese contracts, and was “totally slammed” until now with no time for a phone call. He had done his due diligence on Frank and wanted him on the TRG team, ASAP. Chet explained that he was a mover, not a sideline sitter, and knew that Frank was a man of action as well. Frank gushed about how he had been following TRG for years, and was totally in sync with their corporate vision statement. Chet explained that he was not big on a lot of interviews and meet-and-greets. If Chet sees something Chet wants, Chet gets it. Frank agreed that was the only way to operate. Chet told Frank to name his price. Frank did. Chet stifled a laugh, then told Frank, “Hell, Frank, a man’s gotta eat. Let’s double that! Welcome aboard. I want you at corporate tomorrow morning. Can you do that?”

Frank excitedly told Chet he would be there. I hung up the phone, wiped it down with a napkin, and threw it in the trash. I ordered a coffee and waited about a half-hour, then headed back to the office.

When I arrived, the receptionists and the Human Resources department were buzzing with the scuttlebutt. Frank had cleaned out his desk, sent a one-sentence resignation e-mail to the CEO and the head of HR, and walked out the door ten minutes ago.

“Weird,” I said, as I shrugged my shoulders and headed back to my desk. I logged into the company e-mail server and sent an e-mail from the generic “info@” address to our CEO with the subject line “Frank.” In the body I wrote, “Inconsistencies with marketing budget ‘team building’ expenses and IT budget reason for sudden departure?”

Then I deleted the fake website, cancelled the two fake LinkedIn accounts, logged off, and got back to my network cable project.

Like I said, he messed with the wrong geek.

The really funny thing was, I never put a corporate address on the website. I wonder where my idiot ex-boss tried to report to the next morning?

All of us here at Really Wired say, nice one, “Mike.”

See you soon,

Copyright © 2011 Marc Schmatjen

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