I have been robbed of two days while greedy sociopath weasels questioned me regarding my views and responsibilities and and my involvement and opinions about over one-hundred documents which might be associated with me during my previous employment. This was on behalf of their associated partners in the lawsuit.
Their obvious intention was :
1. to gather from me enough statements to allow them to establish my incompetance in a court room at a later date.
2. ro establish that my former employer was bound by no more responsibility to their customers than to, at their whim, charge whatever they felt they could get away with for their services.
3. to implicate as many of my co-workers as possible in this chain of incompetant and rapacious bumbling.
I, of course, had no legal counsel because it would be my expense. The weasels are not after me because I have no money so it isn't a matter of protecting me from legal action. I do, however, take offense at their attempts to use me to get at the deep pockets of my former employer with a case built upon illusion and inuendo. I am, in general an optomistic person who assumes the best in people that I meet. I am smart enough,however, to realize that in this case, the people I have been thrown with, are not my friends, however they might attempt to appear harmless and pleasant.
So, for those of you have missed the experience of being deposed, here is what my last two days have been like.
First you must understand that I must appear if they ask and that any wages or other loss from complying are my generous contribution to their pillage. So I arrive at 9:30 accompanied by an attorney of my current employer to prevent, or at least, have knowledge of any attempts by the weasels to mine me for information about my current employer for possible follow up action. Remember that he is not my attorney either. He is protecting our employer.
Now you might think that the weasels would like me to feel comfortable and well-treated. Instead we meet in a too small stuffy conference room in the Attoney Generals Building in Sacramento. (The State is the Prime name in the title with the weasel taking second billing.) There is no water available except at the fountain in the hall and they have me talking for seven hours a day, two days in a row. They do tell me that they will be happy to break whenever I ask. Initially, they smile, shake my hand and make pleasantries. I excuse myself and go wash my hands. These people are not my friends.
They start (actually only one weasel does the questioning) and to my dismay, it is from a four page list of single space entries. First my employment and education history, then some questions about my job functions currently and at my former employer. This takes us to lunch and some decompression. We are barely one-quarter down the first page of notes but I am still optomistic.
After lunch we start with the documents. If you are old enough, you may remember a popular TV show in the 50's called 'This is your life'. In it celebrities would listen to voices from their past and be asked to remember who they are and what event they are talking about. That is a rough analogy for the remander of the deposition. They apparently threw every document they could find relating to my job during the years of my employment. Did I recognize the document? What did this part of it mean? Did I agree with this statment. Many of these documents were produced by other persons and organizations and while they may have intended to describe processes and activities accurately, they would unintentially garble and misstate. I needed to be careful not to agree with what they actually said but state what, if they said it correctly, I would agree with. Needless to say this kind of careful attention to actual words rather than the intended meaning, is mentally tiring. My coworkers had unintentially provided opportunity for challenge to our processes and the weasels were mining the documents for opportunities to catch me in contradictions which they could use to destroy my credibility later. I had to continally correct statements, qualify my agreement by defining terms left ambiguous and expressing flat footed bewilderment as to what the documents might be trying to say in some instances due to lack of documentation for numbers or terms which could not be pinned down.
This session continued until at 5:00, the questioning weasel offered me the choice of continuing on tonight in order to shorten tomorrow or stopping. I was still conscious and not yet slurring my speech so I said "Lets continue". At 6:15, we stopped and I staggered home to lick my woulds and collect my energy for today.
I won't bore you with details of the second day because it was the afternoon repeated and repeated and repeated. At 4:30, they ran out of documents, just when I was learning that if I told them I had never seen or heard of the document and could only speculate about its meaning or intent, they moved on. I was under oath, however, and I am no Bill Clinton (in just about any way you might choose to make that comparison) so I did not lie. Then came time for my former company's attorney to question me. Only a few questions and I was free to go at about 5:00. After that more handshaking and nicemaking and, getting into the spirit myself, I told them, smiling all the while, that it was nice to meet them and if it was up to me I never wanted to see any of them again. But now nobody paid me any attention. I was old news and they had more plunder to persue.
To the restroom again for a hand wash and then home to my sweetie for a hug and some sympathy. I guess our legal system is like our government. It's a pretty poor thing but still the best in the world.
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