Walking away

Diana sat in the server room, her laptop open and writing documentation on the new setup of the shopping cart software. It was super buggy. She wanted to lean over and fix the script that stood up the shopping cart on websites. She was learning Perl and CGI and started to stand up web sites herself. Two Korean guys she didn’t recognize started giggling and broke her reverie. They sat nearby, their backpacks still on, and working quickly and quietly. She wasn’t surprised she didn’t know them, she was hired as a contractor and didn’t know most of the people at this tech startup.

She was using her English degree, which was great, to write about technology. She had wanted this job, it paid her more than she thought she’d earn, in her lifetime. It paid her more than her father, who had a “real job”. She was frustrated with every bug she fixed – in writing. That was her job, glide over the issues and make it seem like “a feature” not “a bug.” Can’t do that? Well why would you want to? Do this instead. Something like that.

It was close to 5 and she was wrapping up her work when she heard the CEO’s voice coming through a nearby phone’s speaker.

“Does anyone know where our Korean guests are?”

She saw out of the corner of her eyes the two guys scramble to leave, probably to go meet him. A few beats later the harried CEO, a scruffy, tall blond German guy her age, came by and peaked his head in.

“Are they here?”

She shook her head slowly.

“Dammit. They didn’t get on any of these, did they?” He gestured aroudn the dozen or so terminals to their core servers housed at a different location. Since this doubled as the QA room it also housed all the most recent software in various stages of release.

She slowly nodded.

“Fuck. They’re hackers we were interviewing. Did that machine have the latest release?” She nodded again.

“Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.” He strode off.

Diana walked out into the sunshine of China Basin, in San Francisco. That was it, she was going to stop this hobby programming stuff and get a real job doing it. No more technical writing for her. Those shits could steal software? She could fix those damn bugs? Time to jump on the Dot Com train.