I have a job now and the mandated 30-day silence period has ended, so here’s this post!
I was fired from Linden Lab last week. Basically, some goons were banned, other goons asked me why they were banned, I asked coworkers and attempted to discover in our internal issue tracking system why they were banned, and relayed my relative lack of findings. More simply, I broke NDA.
It’s a real shame that despite my contributions to Linden Lab, this was the anvil that broke the perfectly healthy camel’s back. It sort of came out of nowhere. I had been granted a bonus just two weeks prior. Coworkers across the board all appreciated my contributions. I was having a great time working there. But an attempt to share internal information with especially dubious customers is an obvious no-no, so I had to be let go.
I don’t agree with the result. I obviously misjudged and overstepped my boundaries, but I am very surprised that what I did led directly to termination. It was also said that what I did would create a lack of trust between me and my coworkers. I debate that – I am not the untrustworthy type, and I learned my lesson. I can’t take back what I did, I don’t think this damages my relationship with anyone irreversibly.
I am not boasting when I say that my absence at the Lab will hurt the company more than the result of anything I could have discussed with these users. I think my team believes it too, but rules are rules. I don’t think this extreme decision is wrongful termination, though. I did indeed break a rule that was in my employment contract. They have every right to let me go, but I didn’t expect that Linden Lab would be the kind of company that would be so strict about these sorts of things.
Many of my coworkers have contacted me since my departure, shocked and saddened by my abrupt leave. I signed an agreement not to incite anyone to leave for 30 days, so I’m trying to be careful about what I say to them, since I’m sure a lot of them might find this whole affair quite angering.
I’m not worried about my future prospects. This is a minor setback – given my array of skills I don’t expect to be unemployed for very long (and after properly explaining my reason for being fired to future interviewers, it shouldn’t affect any decisions too much). I’m just disappointed that such a good experience was taken away from me. It was fun work, fun people, and a fun workplace. I’m also concerned about what will become of the projects and teams I’ve worked on. Many were short-staffed (with me as the only developer on a specific project), and hopefully they’ll find a capable replacement. Of course, it’s no longer my problem.
Here’s to bigger and better things.


  1. Harumph!
    Sounds like you’ve said all there is to say: their loss more than yours, pretty lame, etc. Enjoy your time off, I guess?
    Damn, I almost ended my comment with “I guess” too.

  2. After starting work, I was given a lot of sites where HR can meet together and discuss issues on how to handle things. One of the HR message boards discussed something similar to this. It was a very good employee that had broken a policy and the HR person asked what they could do about it… many replies asked “What about other situations?” and of course, the answer was, “We fired them.” They couldn’t treat anyone more special than the other… company policy is unfortunately that. The bigger the company, the more they had to reinforce it or else they’d have too much legal trouble and “but so and so…”
    It sucks but when you talked about this to me last time, I could only think of that posting. Sucks you even didn’t figure out the true reason with the termination but NDA is NDA.

  3. I think if there’s one drawback to corporate culture, I think you found it. I’m sure if they’d done a review process using your peers, everyone would have spoken in your favor. It’s a real bummer that they could do something like this and rock somebody’s world so hard only due to a hard line policy.
    That said… you’ve been so helpful to me during my little ‘projects’… I know it pays way less, but have you thought about doing some teaching? Maybe at Community College?

  4. Fuck, dude, that sucks. I hate bullshit like that. Though onward and upward. You’ve got talent, I have a feeling you won’t be jobless for too long.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *