January 21, 2018: The Meeting

Sunday. We took it relatively easy today.  I worked most of the day on collecting marketing research as I have been working on for the last few days.  I did that for the morning.  Then this afternoon Dominica and I watched some Thin Blue Line which we had been watching for the last few days after having wrapped up watching Grace & Favour.

This evening I ended up driving down to Irving to have a long many hour meeting discussing why I had not been paid for the last four months and what was going to be done about it.  I’ve been demanding my pay for the last couple weeks and have now learned, not that anyone is entirely surprised, that the entire job that I was given starting at the end of September was a complete and utter scam.  What’s amazing, though, is the completely openness with which the scam was admitted.  Apparently, working for Indian nationals operating out of Qatar has given them the impression that they operate with impunity and have absolutely no fear of the US legal system or the government.

It was an oddly friendly, and extremely adversarial, discussion.  He ended the night by stalling and saying that more people needed to be in the discussion and that we’d had a meeting with them on Tuesday to go over it.  But he made it clear that he felt that US employment law and both his legal and ethical obligations were irrelevant and that he was untouchable and no matter what the law said, he felt he had no reason to have to pay my salary, ever after being happy to employ me for nearly half of a year – not to mention regularly raving about the unbelievable results that I was producing.

We ended up having dinner and drinks at Olive Garden before I went back home.  Bottom line, just as we feared since the beginning, the project in Qatar was a scam.  The fact that the project didn’t make sense, all of the managers were bluffing and had zero technical skills (not to mention no management skills), and couldn’t bring themselves to do the slightest bit of work were red flags, but given so many other things we were unable to really determine how much of a scam things were.  Given the timing, the existing situation, the holidays, and so forth, we had decided to give it a try even knowing that there was a good chance that we would get scammed.  So we aren’t surprised in the least and, realistically, we’ve been 100% certain that it was a scam since early December, but to protect other people and because of the holidays, we rode it out until now as there was really nothing to lose by doing so at that point.

At least we know now, for sure.  No questions whatsoever.

One thing that constantly amazes me, though, and I ever said this directly to them – that if they believe that they can go back in time and decide long after the fact that I have not been an employee all of this time, and since they had declined to provide development environments and all work was done on another company’s servers and platforms, and nothing had ever been owned by them, and as I had done the bulk of the design myself: that left me as the key copyright holder, the physical owner of all of the work done, and under no NDA or similar contract.  Meaning either I was an employee and they owe me a lot of money, or I wasn’t an employee and all of the work that they’ve been paying other people for actually belongs completely to me and I am under zero obligation to not sell it anywhere that I want as they didn’t do any of the design, didn’t have me agree to any limitations, and I paid for the system to be made without them actually being involved.  Which is a bit insane.