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Wall of Shame Inductees

PSI, Kim See, Betsy Rice & Jewel Buchanan

When I jumped ship from PSI Integration (the modem company which manufactured the PowerPort and ComStation modems and FaxSTF software) to their competitor, Global Village, the company's founders filed two lawsuits by saying that my leaving and joining their #1 competitor sabotaged their company and a bunch of other nonsense. One lawsuit was personally against me, the other against Global Village. PSI hated Global Village, however, I don't know why. They had the same opportunities, but squandered them all, or worse, made so many enemies that the only way for them was down.

I ignored my lawsuit because I'd heard from employees PSI was broke and this was a last ditch effort to get some type of money. Pathetic. Use a person who worked her ass off for them to be vindictive. I guess that's the American way, or the "jack you up" American way. But I felt bad for Global Village because they were just pawns in the game. Global Village's lawyers fought back, without even breaking a sweat. Picture someone drinking champagne and getting a massage while "saying, oh yeah, I have to take care of a little problem, can you hold for 1 sec", while PSI was the "beer can decorated trailer home, throwing trash in the neighbors yards, while complaining about not getting their fair share". Well, that would be an accurate description of this problem. I just continued to ignore my personally delivered lawsuit. I even initially placed it in the trash, where it belonged.

What was overwhelming is when customers found out I wasn't working for PSI, many called me at home. After they found out what was going on, they started sending letters and affidavits on my behalf. One even offered legal help if I needed it. The things they were telling me about me was overwhelming, because all I'd done was help them with their modem and software problems, the same thing Richard Benn and Ric Jones did. But many of them said things like my sincerity came through on each call and some things you can't fake. Many also said they didn't like to see bad people hurting someone good because of their own mistakes. Contrary, to what I believed, I realized then that people DO appreciate "genuineness" and "sincerity" in more ways than one. Richard Benn, who was still working for PSI, risked his job by filing an affidavit on my behalf.

I didn't want to have to pay PSI anything, just in case the suit was taken seriously. So I filed a response for $160.00 and that was the end of PSI. However, I made sure I filed information regarding how they were intentionally screwing over American Airlines by continuing to deliver faulty modems and therefore, couldn't blame me for their downfall. There was no upgrading the customer out of this mess because this was their high end and most expensive modem. I even included the e-mail warning the company's founders and engineering that the modems were faulty as determined by a number of calls from the same client and after a few diagnostic tests we'd done in support, BUT NOT BY THE VP OF ENGINEERING! The Engineering VP who literally walked away from support (because we were just support) when we brought the problem and tests to his attention, had the nerve to file a statement back that the modems were not defective (ummm, that's called perjury). I'm sure American Airline pilots would think differently from his statements.

I even had to appear in court once. I didn't hire a lawyer, why waste more of my money, which is what I'm sure their plan was for me. I showed up in jeans, a simple shirt, kinda like an errand because I finished my other errands before and right afterwards. However, PSI had an expensive lawyer, a lawyer who was yet to be paid. Their law firm, McCutheon & Doyle in San Jose, had worked with PSI previously so they took the case on a "good faith" basis. Their lawyer, Denise Moore, was cunning and ruthless, which you'd want any lawyer to be. Once she started the lawsuit, I kept receiving "all these documents" elaborately and costly in person that went in a drawer unread with all the others. In court, she also said "a bunch of stuff" that I wasn't following literally, but it sounded good and serious. However, one of the few statements I finally got a chance to make was "this lawsuit was filed under false pretenses and this lawyer is not even going to be paid." Denise Moore, esquire, refuted this wholeheartedly and indicated in a court of law that her client had submitted a bond or some "more mumble-jumble" regarding payment, addressing the judge directly and eye-to-eye. Well, that was the only time I had to appear except to appear almost on behalf of McCutcheon & Doyle when there was a request to dismiss the case because of lack of payment. Hmmm, go figure! Just prior to this court appearance, PSI had a company meeting in which they announced they'd be filing for bankruptcy within a month, but didn't disclose this to their attorney, I guess.

As advised by an associate of McCutcheon & Doyle, this was the perfect opportunity to get even with the three "evilenes" who filed perjured statements: Kim See, Betsy Rice and Jewel Buchanan. I thought about it, but didn't feel as if it was worth my time and energy, and I felt like I would become THEM, as in a soulless person who would stop at nothing to destroy someone!

Kim See and I hung out together. I thought she was cool. When we worked long hours, she worked right along side us and offered to help out in any way. She was always supportive. But I guess you never know someone until they're pushed up against a wall and are given a choice to take a moral road OR the low one. We kept in touch after I left PSI, however, she later stated in writing and under penalty of perjury that each lengthy conversation was unwanted and disturbing. Yeah, I usually talk to people for about an hour or more that I don't want to talk to. Her last name rhymes with the first letter of a word that comes to mind if I have to think of her. Hint: c*nt.

Betsy Rice is a manly gay, ex-military person. Or maybe "daddy wanted a son", so she had to be all she could be? Prior to leaving, I asked her for a fair salary as I was one of the lowest paid employees. She didn't honor the request, but wanted to give me more work. That's fair - in a crack house! She stated in writing and under penalty of perjury that I had a high expertise for manipulating high-tech phone systems, which is how I was able break into their phone system (while answering tech support calls at Global Village at the same time, of course) and obtain information regarding their secret meetings with potential customers and thwart their efforts to succeed as a company. Dang, why didn't I get called for a part in a James Bond movie?! Shoot, I always miss out. But she even got a witness to sign an affidavit. Wait, maybe she was in a James Bond movie and I missed her cameo? Dang, I missed out again! But would that be the phone system that Kim See managed daily?

Jewel Buchanan was a black single mom, a member of the local San Jose NAACP and a certified Human Resources manager. She had all these Christian plaques on her cubicle wall, obviously decorative only. She actually made statements claiming that I'd phoned her screaming and making threats about personal property I'd left behind. Actually, I did call her, but because I didn't trust them, I had a witness (one of their own employees) on the phone who also filed an affidavit. And yes, I called her in response to her voice message she left at my house because I had their personal property to be returned as well as they were still in possession of my software I'd paid for because they were too cheap (or broke) to buy it. She also stated under penalty of perjury that on my last day there, I was yelling and screaming and verbally abusive to her and she feared for her life. Funny, in that tiny office space with thin walls, no one heard anything like that, but, of course, no one saw the documents she filed either. However, an employee statement was filed indicating how quiet the office was the morning I came in, picked up my check, signed my "I'm so outta here" docs and left. In fact, if she could have mailed me my check and final docs as she knew I was leaving ahead of time, that would have been a hell of a lot better than driving 25 miles just to pick it up and leave! Or maybe she thought I wanted to work on my last day? What's also ironic about her statements about noise that no one heard except her Christian self, is there have been many times when we were asked BY HER to turn down our music with our office door closed, which we only had on to drown out the noise from outside the closed door. Every time the NAACP sends me a solicitation for money, I send them the story of Jewel Buchanan with the payment slip, but don't send any money.

And sabotaging their company? Wow. I didn't know I was more powerful than PSI's tax evasion, faulty accounting records, deceit by repeatedly delivering knowingly faulty products to American Airline pilots, and other scandalous activities. PSI was even so lame, they even crank-called Global Village, Bart Simpson style, on the speakerphone during their very last Christmas Party. And these were the adults who were judging others. PSI folded within two months after I left. It wasn't understandable as they were making sales, had a large worldwide customer and client base, but were broke. Maybe it was their obsession with Global Village that did them in.

But I had other things to worry or not worry about. As a result of PSI's behavior, at Global Village there were so many rumors flying about me: I'd filed a lawsuit (nope, but I SHOULD have) or I'm a lawsuit happy person (yeah, what I do in my spare time, in between work, life, and eating), I was trying to kill the PSI employees (hmmmm, by going to work everyday and not thinking about them after work while partying as much as possible? yeah, I can see how that's possible, well, when I'm not filing lawsuits, of course), etc., etc. I was even asked about the rumors DIRECTLY by employees whose name I didn't even know. NERVE!! The most memorable moment was Doug Manoukian, an Ingram Micro reseller sales rep for both Global Village and PSI, calling over to Global Village with rehearsed negative statements against me. He just happened to make statements to someone who knew me and saw me everyday and had read the same statements from PSI a few weeks before. All I could think was "is this a workplace or a soap opera?"

The rumors followed and got bigger from company to company, which further defined who my friends were, who had integrity and who didn't, and a constant reminder to not be like those "no life having losers". Some days it was harder to go to work than others. I avoided company events or the cafeteria as much as possible because as soon as I'd walk in, everyone would start whispering. Funny, it wasn't that I was concerned with what they were saying, I just thought there were bigger things to think about besides me. Some people even used the rumors to get out of their own work or personal problems, or used me as an excuse when they screwed up: "Oh Tamra did or said "blah, blah, blah" (insert appropriate rumor for situation)." Some even took the liberty of sending the rumors to the next company I'd work for. I would just shake my head, hoping the truth would fall out and knock their ass on the head. Some people at work treated me like dirt because it made them feel better about themselves or they were raised to believe some people are supposed to be treated like dirt because of perceived fears, not from what they know. The small amount of others: became friends, and were some of the most intelligent and humble industry leaders that I could not believe I was working side-by-side with.

I lost total respect for the court system. I had to spend my time and shopping money to defend myself against nonsense like that, and if I didn't the damages would have been worse. Instead of adding more metal and gun detectors, the courts should build lie detector witness and lawyer seats for BOTH recording of filed statements and testimonies. The seats should send electrical shocks each time a lie is told. If the witness dies before the testimony is filed or completed, case dismissed. But I thought long and hard about my decision to not attend law school (too damn long!). After all this, I stopped reading newspapers or if I did I glanced at the pictures or checked movie times. I rarely watch the news, and if I do, it's for severe weather updates. And I stopped believing negative stuff about people being relayed from someone else, and stopped believing "it takes two to tangle". I learned how to rely upon my own opinion about someone or something, or really not care if it was something that didn't affect my being able to get up, eat, sleep, pray, or any basic function of life. Whenever I hear someone running someone down to the gutter, I just start to wonder about their own mistakes in life that they never take responsibility for.

And that, in a nutshell, is Silicon Valley. What I went through with PSI happens weekly there. Everybody knows everyone. In my tell-all book to come, you can read about how closely linked many are and the survival tactics used just to "work" everyday. How the dot.coms took off with the same players is a mystery, but how they folded is NO mystery to me because I saw who was going into these companies and who was going out that should have stayed in, or couldn't stay in because of the nonsense. The key is to find out what you want to do and don't let the nonsense stop you. Use the work experiences to learn as many skills as possible, because that's all that you can use in the end. And as always, as I learned from my first QA boss, Anthony Parks, NEVER, EVER, compromise your integrity for anyone!

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