I think I should explain more thoroughly the reasons I have backed off of my fight against SelectQuote. It is particularly galling that not only were there threats regarding my daughter, but that I can't even criticize them for how the situation was handled. I ended up pulling all of my content for a few months, and I'm not restoring all of it. It may seem like a strange time to back down, as I just handily beat them in a domain dispute. However, it would be much more costly for me to defend a lawsuit.
Certainly, with the domain dispute SelectQuote showed they are willing to initiate a legal proceeding in which they are clearly in the wrong. I didn't out-lawyer them in the domain complaint, the only reason I could beat a lawyer by myself was that their complaint was utterly ridiculous. The idea is that their greater resources will eventually prevail. These reasons have given me pause:
1. I'm working with an intelligent group of people at Framehawk. I'm happy with the work there, and I don't want distractions. A lawsuit from SelectQuote might impact my work.
2. People who find harming a little girl acceptable are also likely to lie under oath. SelectQuote has accused me defamation as a tactic to silence true criticism. Why would they stop lying during a lawsuit?
3. I'm probably not deterring future behavior of the same nature. Not only did Michelle Tan (who made the threats) get her husband a job he couldn't have gotten on his own, she got more time working from home than anyone else in IT. In SelectQuote's failed complaint against me, they mainly focused on my commentary on Michelle. Bob Edwards, the CFO/COO of SelectQuote, has shown he will go to great lengths to prevent even criticism of threats made concerning my little girl.
I wonder how Michelle Tan has managed to seduce lonely old Bob into these shenanigans In any case, this situation has clearly helped Michelle's career, and she has gotten everything she could have wanted. While unfortunate that she would come out so well after such underhanded tactics, it seems my continued resistance just serves to further improve her situation. Not only is SelectQuote willing to throw money and perks at her, they will use company resources to stifle criticism of her.
4. Juries can be wrong. I did give the reasons why I believe it was Michelle who made the threats, and they are reasonable. Furthermore, I made an effort to find out who said these things. I gave SelectQuote some leads on how to verify that I communicated with Michelle regarding these threats, and did not simply get mad out of the blue. They declined to check, possibly because the fact I communicated with her first would show I was not negligent in my attempt to determine the truth behind my accusations.
Certainly Michelle's later denial of the communications, and the underhanded tactic of impersonating me on several social media networks tend to show the dishonesty of my opposition. Even if a jury doesn't buy that, I wasn't negligent with respect to attempting to find out the truth. So I should be on solid ground. However, SelectQuote will be able to afford much more legal assistance. This uneven playing field could make it easy for a verdict inconsistent with the truth.
This sometimes happens even in criminal trials when an indigent defendant must rely on the public defender, who is heavily outgunned by the district attorney and the police. In a criminal trial, the defendant at least has the high burden of proof on his side. A civil trial has a lower standard, making it easier for those with more resources to win.
5. I'd rather not give potential employers a reason for concern. I'm working on a contract with a start-up currently. I hope this ends up in a permanent position, and things are going well so far. However, there are no guarantees, especially at a start-up. So, I have to consider that I might end up back in the job market.
Already, SelectQuote forbids current employees to act as references for past employees. You might scoff, and say they can't control any employee doing it on his own time. In theory that's true, but would they have said that if they didn't intend to enforce their rule somehow? By telling employees this, they are basically saying that it is company policy to blacklist ex-employees. I've had people who agreed to be a reference change their mind after SelectQuote made this policy.
Since I worked at SelectQuote for eight years, this causes me problems in getting enough recent references. While I can simply show performance reviews, it is an obstacle to be overcome. If I also have to go into this whole situation, it is another obstacle, because it is generally poor form to bad-mouth an ex-employer when going through the interview process. I don't want the focus to be on obstacles, rather on what I can do for a prospective employer.
This reason cuts both ways. If I can't get a reference anyway, should I maybe try to get my side of the story out?
6. While the situation is of general concern, is it really the best way use of my time and resources? Sure, a person with access to a great deal of data on the locations of children made money by threatening a child. However, she made that money and got those perks, might she now be satisfied? I mean, it's not like she earned that money, she got it with little effort. How much free money does a person need? You can always have more money, but if it just falls in your lap would you really feel like you must have more. So maybe she is done.
So while this is a charitable cause that no one else is likely to take up, does anyone need to be spending time on it? I guess it all depends on whether or not Michelle's unmitigated success leads her to try again. I did post before that there where reasons to believe that there is a pattern of behavior occurring at SelectQuote. Perhaps I've already done my part. If it happens again, I've already given the next guy a head start on figuring out who is responsible.
So, for these reasons, I've pulled down most of my posts. I figure that my retreat deserved a better explanation than the short blurb I had up before.