When a company goes out of business and you get laid off, what should you do to get back at your idiot boss?
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help you God?
State your name for the record.
Mr. Mauldin, were you, from May 1998 until December 1999, an employee of a business called SKDsoft.com?
Yes, I was.
What were your responsibilities there?
I was in marketing. I made websites and banner ads.
Who was your supervisor?
Howard Bromo was the Chief Executive Officer of SKDsoft, correct?
How many employees did SKDsoft have?
At our peak, we employed 75 people.
And what happened in December, 1999?
Well, let’s see…toward the end there, the Y2K bug failed to destroy civilization.
Mr. Mauldin, I will remind you this is a court of law. What happened specifically at SKDsoft in December, 1999?
We went out of business.
You were among the employees laid off, correct?
Was there a reason given for SKD going out of business?
Employees were told that the company had burned through it’s first- and second-round financing and was unable to secure third-round financing because we hadn’t found a profitable business model.
What did SKDsoft make?
The company made consumer software, Microsoft Windows applications. And they sucked. We had a thing that sent out press releases, that worked essentially like a spam bot. We had another that supposedly fixed the Y2K bug, that sort of thing.
How would you describe your relationship with Mr. Bromo, the former CEO?
I’d describe it as collegial, up until the end. Then it was strained.
Because Mr. Bromo laid you off?
That, and because Mr. Bromo ran the company like a circus. I was just another clown under the tent. He didn’t know what he was doing, and 75 people lost their jobs with no severance, many worthless stock options, and a lot of investors lost their money when he closed the big top. Mr. Bromo didn’t pay employees for two months leading up to the shutdown, and owed me over $8000 in back-pay.
And that brings us to why you are here today. You’re representing yourself, and have waived your right to representation by an attorney.
And you understand the charges against you?
Did you, in fact, after you were laid off, subscribe Mr. Bromo to several sweepstakes, newspapers and magazines without his knowledge?
Yes, several dozen, in fact. I remember getting writer’s cramp from filling out the subscription cards.
And Mr. Mauldin, were among these the Publisher’s Clearinghouse, Psychology Today, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Fisting Quarterly, Domination Times, Out Magazine, The New York Times, The LA Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and a magazine called Spank?
Yes, and dozens more.
And these were delivered to Mr. Bromo’s home?
I would have preferred for them to have been delivered to the headquarters of whatever company hired him afterward, but after the SDK fiasco, he remained unemployed, so I went with Plan B.
Are you aware it took him over two years to finally stop all the unwanted mailings?
And did you also take out classified ads in the local newspaper without Mr. Bromo’s knowledge, advertising a yard sale at Mr. Bromo’s house that supposedly featured rare “beanie babies” and other sought-after collectables, when no such yard sale was occurring? And did you not also say “early birds welcome” in your ads?
Yes, I did that.
Are you aware that Mr. Bromo was subjected to several angry confrontations from early bird beanie baby collectors when they arrived at Mr. Bromo’s home, and that he was repeatedly awakened at 4 and 5 in the morning on weekends due to your ad?
Lastly, and most seriously, Mr. Mauldin…did you steal equipment from SDKsoft?
I kept the laptop they gave me. Operative word: gave. I’m fairly sure Mr. Bromo can’t prove otherwise. He probably lost the paperwork in the flood of magazines and newspapers.
Where is the laptop now, Mr. Mauldin?
I sold it for $500 a few years ago. Part of my compensation that was never paid.
Mr. Mauldin, one final question. You’ve admitted in open court today that you’ve harassed Mr. Bromo, innocent yard sale patrons, magazine, newspaper and sweepstakes publishers, and quite possibly, the United States Postal Service. Why, Mr. Mauldin? Why?
I swore to tell the truth. And I believe no jury in the land will convict me.
The prosecution rests, your honor.
SPANK by Todd Mauldin copyright 2011. Special to the Good Men Project.
photo by Clownfish on Flickr
Todd Mauldin is also re-imagining Blues/Storytelling/Video. His latest: