Fired

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.

Achievement Unlocked, or Why Lyndon LaRouche Owes Me An Arm

I broke my first bone yesterday, and it was pretty badass!

I was biking to work as usual, eager to jump in and check all my code into SVN, when I noticed something new on Market Street: LaRouche PAC tabling with their obnoxious “Obama = Hitler and should be impeached because he wants people to be healthy” posters. Quite angered, I continued along my route, up until I reached the usual crosswalk at Market and Sutter.

Quite distracted, I did not wait until the light turned red to turn left and cross the street – rather, I started turning left at the yellow light. Meanwhile, a dude decided to floor it across the intersection before the light turned red. Bad combination!

I heard a screech, felt the impact, instantly thought “oh shit, this is a real-life accident I’m a part of,” saw the world turn upside down, saw my bike fly across the intersection, hit the ground landing on my right arm, saw a flash of red, bounced up, and landed on my chest. Within seconds I was on my feet, yelling for someone to stop that car, which was at the next light by that point.

A bunch of people rushed over to me and someone helped me sit down, then lie down, on the curb. Answered “yes” when asked if someone should call 911, unaware of the state of my arm just yet. My bike eventually showed up next to me on the curb, but I noticed my phone was gone when I checked my pockets.

Ambulance and police arrived in very short order. The man who hit me had come back and was apologizing profusely to me, and answering to the police about what happened. It wasn’t really debatable what happened – he was zooming through a yellow light and I jumped the gun having assumed that no other cars were coming. Eventually paramedics were asking me the usual questions – where it hurts, whether I have any allergies, etc. etc. It was becoming more and more apparent that my right arm had been more than just twisted. I asked, sheepishly, if anyone had seen an iPhone lying around.

Soon I was on a stretcher being whisked by ambulance to SF General Hospital, with pillows to cushion my right arm. The receptionist at Linden Lab was notified of the situation. My bike went along for the ride, slightly beat up but definitely in fixable condition. (I was wearing a helmet, by the way.) I was brought into a trauma room, had my shirt cut off and my pants removed, and was hooked up to morphine. I was quite conscious this entire time – the shock had worn off pretty quickly after I got hit, and all I really felt was intense pain in my shoulder. A doctor ran x-rays, but I couldn’t easily move my arm into the requested positions since the pain was basically blocking me from doing so.

A social worker asked if there was anyone they could call, and at that moment, a policeman walked through the door with my phone. He snarkily remarked that it would have been smushed on the side of the road had Muni actually been a reliable service. Unfortunately, the screen was white, and despite a tech-savvy nurse’s attempt to replace the SIM card and get the numbers off, it was a lost cause. I did know my mom and dad’s numbers, so they were notified, and eventually my dad notified Anna. I was shown the results of the x-rays and I did indeed have a fracture in my humerus, near my shoulder.

Eventually I was brought into the trauma center hallway, where I stayed for about an hour in pain. I asked for water, but they couldn’t provide it because it was possible I was going to undergo surgery and needed to have an empty stomach. I eventually requested more morphine, which they supplied a good 15 minutes later. Anna eventually came and I swear it never felt so good to see the face of a loved one. She stood there stroking my knees as I walked her through what happened.

It turned out that the first x-rays weren’t telling enough, so I was wheeled away for a second round, and wheeled back to the hallway, where I waited around for yet another hour. Then it turned out that the SECOND round of x-rays didn’t show anything useful, so I was wheeled away for a third one. And back to the hallway. An hour later, I was given a sling and declared free to go, with a Vicodin prescription.

It was about 4:30 by then – a good eight hours since the accident – and I was very thirsty and hungry. So much, in fact, that when I attempted to get up and walk around, I became very dizzy due to low blood sugar and took a seat until I was provided with some apple juice, milk, and an orange. The best apple juice, milk, and orange I ever fucking had.

Anna helped me clothe, and we were out the door. So very fortunate that Anna lives a block away from the emergency room doors. I took a small nap as Anna (who hadn’t eaten all day either) ordered some food from the delicious Big Lantern.

That’s pretty much the story. Got my Vicodin, headed back to my place with a pint of Humphry Slocombe‘s Secret Breakfast (and a complimentary cookie), watched the new Lost, and hit the hay. Today I’m taking it easy, answering company email, scheduling a follow-up orthopedic appointment with Kaiser, and getting my iPhone’s screen replaced (good as new!). I’ll probably be out and about regularly by next week.

I keep reminding myself that I got hit by a car yesterday. It’s surreal. I was that dude that everyone saw flying into the intersection after a loud screech and a crunch. It’s the first time I got hit by a car and the first time I broke a bone. On both counts, pretty tame compared to what could have happened in that situation. Glad to be up, conscious, and already on the road to recovery.

Post About How I Am Enjoying Second Life

Probably has something to do with the fact that I work at Linden Lab, but I’ve begun to actually enjoy mulling about in Second Life. I’m proud of the product my company’s working on. Crazy, right?

Anyway this is mostly a vanity post to show how I’ve actually learned how to create stuff to an extent – I’ve made my avatar look marginally less shitty than it once did.

My avatar was originally created and given to me by Neil Cicierega, or , who used to make neat things a few years ago in SL. I started using it as my main set of clothes once I started at Linden Lab last year, and since then I’ve made a number of improvements, like making it shinier and glowier. I went all-out this weekend and replaced a bunch of simple primitive shapes with curvy sculpted stuff.

Behind the cut are a few before-and-after pictures I just took. Although it’s still rather unprofessional, I like to think I kept the spirit intact while updating it quite a bit:

Big pix

And then he got hit by a car

It's been half a year since I updated my journal, so I thought I'd give a recap to those who've either been in the dark, or following me on Twitter and have as bad an attention span as I do when it comes to keeping track of what is actually happening with people's lives.

In summary, my life has changed a lot and gotten much better since the beginning of the year. In fact, I'm almost in awe that so much good stuff has happened in the duration of half a year. Major changes include moving into an apartment in the city, getting a new job, and selling my car.

One day, my good friend Margot notified me of a friend of ours looking for a new roommate, in a room with amazing rent and in a neighborhood where I wanted to move. I jumped on it and confirmed the room by the end of the day. It's in the Tenderloin, which is known as the “worst neighborhood in SF”, but it's where I wanted to move because of its proximity to so much good stuff. Nob Hill, Chinatown, Union Square, Downtown, and the Civic Center are right next door. The homelessness and drug abuse on the streets concerns me, but it doesn't affect me. I feel safe. And my roommates are wonderful people. My room is huge. I couldn't ask for much more.

I quit Diabetes Health in May, and got a new job doing web development at Linden Lab. So I get to walk around Second Life as a robot and get lauded by residents just because my avatar's last name is “Linden.” The office is sweet, and it's a 10-minute bike ride from my house. Just this last week I got the nod that I'm going from contract to full-time. Some of the stuff I've put together at LL is already online. And I'm making much more than I spend, so I don't have to worry about money at all. (And buying drinks and stuff for friends without fretting about the cost is an added benefit, too.)

I sold my Prius within less than a year of buying it new, taking a substantial loss – but at the same time, glad that I bought a car and drove it around for almost a year instead of watching the money disappear even faster on the stock market. My primary method of transportation is my bike, and I'm loving biking through the city. My health insurance at DH just ran out at the beginning of this month, so it's a good thing I'm going full-time at LL, so I don't have to worry about cars becoming crashed into me.

Other bits of goodness include: making and maintaining friends through Something Awful, local bars and hangouts, work, and old friends from high school and college who are still in the area. Dating nice girls. Being within BART's reach, so the rest of the Bay Area's within reach (and so is my mom's place). Living in a city that I thought would be out of reach for at least a few more years. Using the Internet a whole lot less, and constantly being surrounded by friends without feeling overwhelmed. Oh and I also went to Europe earlier in the year for a week; I realized I never told LJ about that. So there we go.

So that's my life in a nutshell. All good stuff, no bad stuff. The only bad thing I can think of is that I haven't budgeted time to go to the gym, but that can be remedied. Sorry for neglecting you, LiveJournal, but at least for now, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook are my venues. Goodbye for now!