I was gone all day yesterday working on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory project. Other than spending an obscene amount of money on gas I thought it went quite well. I won’t know the results for at least a week but on the drive back home (I do a lot of thinking when driving alone) I realized what must have happened to cause them to “reconsider.” I called Barb with the news as soon as I had a good cell-phone signal.
I only was able to check out two of the four “blunt instruments” to see if they were responsible. Both of those turned up negative. After several hours of mulling it over I came up with a hypothesis that explained all the data I had. It almost for certain was one particular “blunt instrument” that I implemented almost as an afterthought. It arrived at it’s destination Wednesday, Aug 31, 2005 13:57 GMT. Less than 36 hours later I received word they had “reconsidered”. After I thought about it I realized what I had done, had it been consciously thought out, was rather brilliant. Everyone’s “hand” would have been forced by my action. PNNL had made a mistake by putting an unnecessary sentence in an email I was able to get my hands on. It was enough to get some “traction” and it appears to have blown the lid off of things. I won’t know for certain until I get my hands on the information they are sending me but from what I heard on the phone it sounded far better than what I imagined I would get for that particular effort. What I think happened was they knew I was now going to get nearly everything I wanted, just from a different source. I had not even considered my action would get me the information I wanted. I thought that at best it would just cause them some pain. So rather than look bad in court, by not giving it to me directly, they tried to wipe some of the crap off of their face and “reconsider”.
This is sort of a security game. It’s better to be on the offense because you only have to find one crack to blow it open. The defender has to have everything nailed down tight. I have been probing from many different angles and almost by accident found where they made a mistake. I probably shouldn’t say, “almost”. It was essentially a whim I requested the file that had the email with the one hugely significant sentence in it. Then it took me a couple of days to realize I could take a swing at that sentence. And when I took the swing I didn’t realize it would be such a solid hit–that took hours of bewilderment at their reaction before I put it together. In hindsight it was stupid that it took me so long to realize the significance.
The game isn’t over but I just connected my bat on a significant portion of their ball. My Labor Day weekend should be a lot happier than some of theirs. I’ll be fantasizing about some anti-gun owner bigots in a Federal prison spending “quality time with Bubba” and they will be thinking about the same thing.
Update: I just received the file. Either I misunderstood or the guy I talked to on the telephone didn’t understand what had been redacted. I understood that the names of other people who were being investigated at the same time as me were redacted. The names redacted were other people being hired at the same time as me. All I received was what should have been in the “personnel file” I received several weeks ago. There was only the tinist hint of the investigation in the file. It is useless but I’ll post it later today anyway. I’ll get the performance reviews and goals scanned and posted sometime today. The battle continues.