Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

Women in Technology, Gidget Gone Mad

Subject: Women in Technology, Gidget Gone Mad

Date: October 28, 2011 10:46:20 AM PDT

To: Tara Tiger Brown, Kathy Gill

Cc: Lara Long, Molly Holzschlag, Eris Stassi, Susan Vander Kooi Hobbs, Tim O’Reilly, Rob Hayes, Jay Adelson, Brant Cooper, Rob Coneybeer, Scott Cate, Brian Rosenthal, Isaac Hepworth, Kevin Bier, Kevin Cheng, Coley Wopperer, Chris Treadaway, Mark Anders, Mark Trammell, Mark McCorkle, John Sturino, Michael Galpert, Ali Satter, John J Allen, Gabriel Olds, Lawrence Blume, Michael Katz, Scott Guthrie, Eric Meyer, Brady Forest, Joe Marini

Tara and Kathy, et al, 

You guys have had varying levels of disclosure from me this past year. Kathy, you were involved in and around the events of my “incarceration” in July, and I caught you up a bit there. Tara, you were left in the dark—I apologize—it was hard to try to manage my friends concern when I was dealing with drugs raging through my body and the complete disillusionment of the system. 

I am going to attempt to put the story together in a linear fashion, but because it’s a bit complicated (as any good story should be!) I’ll have to try to piece meal it a bit. I am still not clear of the drugs that the county put in me—Clonazepam has an extremely long half life, and I was already dealing with withdrawal from it (Go Microsoft!). I have two more months before I’ve hit the six month mark, and can have my cognition tested for permanent damage. Meanwhile, lithium is forever. They say you can dig up my bones postmortem and there it’ll be, decades and beyond. Great. Thanks California.

In any case, here’s what I held privately while being harassed by Telcentris. I’m going to be publishing it soon. I intend to shame them. Ruin their family name (it’s a family company, CEO is Bryan, his dad is CIO and brother CTO). I did try to settle, and was even willing to forgo my First Amendment rights and sign a gag order, but they thought I should do that for $20k. They legally owe me just over $31k, and I figured shutting up should cost more than what they owe me, not less. 

Here’s Rob Lewis. VP of Product Management, who pursued me from the moment he met me, the day he was hired. 

I informed Bryan of his intent, and the progression of the relationship, but he looked the other way… specifically he looked to Rob and listened to his version of “reality”. Lara Long (@soolara) was present for some of Rob’s doing’s, and unfortunately I even attempted to share business contacts with Telcentris which involved Rob (namely VC investing). All through this process, I had forgotten myself, and continued to believe that the Hertz family had my interests in heart aligned with their own.

When I was fired on Labor Day, for going to Burningman a pre-scheduled/arranged/vetted vacation, Lara was along for the ride literally. Then I met up with @MSG and decided to go to Hong Kong and Singapore with him thinking that Tara would be present for Sean’s conference. 

The conference I attended as a trophy wife (or conference +1 to MSG) was the worst for me to have accidentally arrived at. Beyond the threats (thanks to my brain being what Telcentris would love to be their IP) Bryan had already served, he was now in high gear. He had unwittingly made my name one of interest for Carlos Slim, and we all know that Uncle Bill knows it as well. We’d not been able to predict that Microsoft would pickup Skype, but Voxox was intended for Carlos. Now, I was out on the lam and Hertz wanted me out of the picture moreso than ever.

To say that I lost hair over the past year is both literal and an understatement. With the economy as it was, and the choices I had made financially along the way bringing me to San Diego, I was without the resources to fight them from a position of strength. After working incredible hours, including the noted 140 hour week just prior to firing me on Labor Day, I was also emotionally and physically exhausted. 

I am going to wrap this up here. I’m open to any support, guidance and input that you all might provide. However, please be aware. I am willing to forgo my professional reputation, if people are so short sighted as to believe that 15 years can be wiped out by pursing social justice, and have positioned myself over the last year to have a private life and to live on very little means so as to be “judgement free”. Thanks to Susan I have a lawyer who reviews things for me pro bono here and there, and thanks to Kathy and the University of Washington, I’m versed in Mass Media Law and Communication. 

I am fortified by my grandfather and great-grandfather, in Baxley v. United States. Incidentally all Baxley’s are related, so it makes me rest a little easier that those in legal circles of San Diego fondly recall Judge “Bax”, who would tell you he was a lifeguard, while he sat as Superior Court Judge of San Diego County (though regrettably he died in 2006 before I could meet him). 

I intend to figure out how to tell this story in a manner worthy of reporting, and to do so with the intent to stop the madness of how women in technology are treated and the egregious nature by which I’ve been treated both in this instance and in the past. 

Several years ago at SxSW sitting at breakfast in that hotel where I met up with Hayes this past year, I confessed that I no longer blogged because I realized that there was such a high price to pay for it. Women are vulnerable to attack, as Molly is witness to. Moreso I also had enjoyed anonymity in the past, before my career led me to the top tier of our lovely little social media world. Aral recently tweeted that he’s thankful for his first amendment right—to blog. That struck me. I’m tired of keeping dirty little secrets that have only served to be to the demise of my own personality, character, and spunkiness. 

To have gone “mad”, was my right. To “Dr. Seuss” the doctors in the hospital maybe wasn’t the best approach as it landed me in mist of drugs raging through my body, against my advance medical directives, doctor’s orders, and without regard to my durable healthcare power of attorney. Despite all this, I still believe that it is my right to change the world, and when I’m done, now that Jobs is out of the way, I will likely go to Apple to see what designers can do in the free world. Bob Baxley is a pal of mine, or as some would see it, family. Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll leave this country where we believe you have to sit in someone else’s office and do someone’s else’s bidding… I do still harbor resentment to the terribly designed “solutions” that create this vast network of stupidity in which we live. 

But first, let’s see how well I can change the world in a way that matters most to me—for women in technology. I’ve included you all as I consider you each personal friend’s who in one way or another where there in the past year. I do so because I was raised by lyrics my mother would sing to me… and I can always hear the refrain, “I get by with a little help from my friends”. (Though, honestly, it’s time to do more than just get by!)

The attachment was text messages received by Rob Lewis, still VP of Product at Telcentris on a Monday morning while he was sitting in the office working and I was working from my favorite Italian cafe, Pappalecco’s. 

Message Archive

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:35:52 AM
O to have a little Italian for breakfast?

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:38:11 AM
You stole my dignity, and followed through with lies.

Sent to Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:36:48 AM
You gave up the privilege of insulting me.

Sent to Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:37:34 AM
Don’t give your dignity away too.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:39:00 AM
Now you’re doing what a good ho dies, grab at the next dick in line. Service station Angie.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:39:28 AM
Hope it makes you feel good. I’m miserable and in pain.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:39:40 AM
You are the source.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:42:03 AM
Are you going to cancel your 10:00 meeting so you can be with your Italian? You have issues.

Sent to Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:43:12 AM
I think you’re texting the wrong Angie.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:44:17 AM
Sorry, dick parade service station Angela Baxley. I didn’t mean to leave ambiguity.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:45:12 AM
I hate that I knew who you were, and that I decided to fall in love with you anyway.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:46:02 AM
They say to never fall in love with a ho, they were right.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:48:27 AM
You are so into you that you don’t see the pain you constantly inflict on me. You will never change. You will never stop hurting me.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:55:18 AM
And the thing that hurts the most is that you don’t even see how much your lies have hurt me.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:55:41 AM
Not so much as an apology.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 9:58:35 AM
I guess it’s hard to text with your mouth full of Italian sausage.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 10:21:48 AM
I just feel so stupid. Such an idiot.

Received from Rob Lewis on Aug 2, 2010 11:25:12 AM
I can’t focus on the meeting. The pain is excruciating. Can I leave?



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