Monday, May 11, 2009

Fall in Love with Me and I'll Sue You.

This is Clark Kent. He's from L.A. We're going out Saturday. He's cute, sadly he sounds like "Alvin" from the Chipmunks.
He's an artist. Oh and... jumping with glee, he KNOWS of the company, Mark z ware, I started with my friend...uh x-friend, Patrick. He was so impressed he could hardly speak.

My friend, uh x-friend, and a programmer and I started the company. Our main product was called "FlightCheck". It is a pre-press software tool that helps prepare digital files for print.

We started the company in my friends apartment. I was the only employee.
I took the company from zero to several million in sales in less then a year. A call would come in, I would say, "please hold while I transfer you to customer service" and run into the guest bedroom, pick up the phone. The "beta testing department" was in the master bedroom. The "sales department" was in the kitchen. For "technical support" I'd put you on hold then pick up again.
I would disguise my voice. It was hilarious. One day Patrick came home from work. Witnessing my antics he literally fell on the floor laughing. Then he joined in. We were running around to the different "departments" running into each other until tears were streaming down our faces.

I knew what to do. Ok, I bought a book called "How to Bring a Product to Market". Soon we had 10, 20, 30 employees. Opened a branch in Europe and still growing...

If you're a digital artist, even the term FlightCheck is legendary. Which begs the question, so why aren't you rich Charmaine?

Good question. Er, ah, I sued my partner for um love harassment. ha ha. I know, I HATE those chicks who went around suing their boss, after sleeping with him, for sexual harassment. But that wasn't me. Hell no. This was the REAL DEAL.

He was in love with me. Or so he thought, or so he said. Hell, I'd made him a millionaire.

He wouldn't leave me alone. He booked us into one (1) room for a trade show in Boston. I threw a fit. Later I ditched him during a bus tour of the city.

When we returned home he ripped the computer and phone from my office, demanded I move into HIS office declaring, "having NO computer and NO phone is NO excuse for lack of productivity". (That's professional retaliation for a broken heart.) It got worse.

He was the President, putting up the initial investment. I was just the work horse (VP of Sales.) I never signed the Partnership Agreement. Stupid. Stupid.

All I had to do was smile sweetly and I would be living in a mansion on the water. Instead I sued the bastard and won. But I lost in the long run.
My medical and gynecological records were subpoenaed, H.S., College Transcripts, former room-mates interviewed, a Private Investigator hired. Pat read my gynecological records. I still remember the first question my attorney asked, "have you ever had a abortion?" Any indiscretion would be used to silence me. I didn't have any. I was the closest thing to the Virgin Mary these guys had ever seen.
My case was so classic the Dean of Pepperdine Law School asked to tape the mediation as a learning module. (She offered 10K for the privilege). It was conducted in a gorgeous mansion overlooking the shimmering ocean in Malibu. I remember watching a pod of dophins swim by. The beauty of the surroundings belied the horror of what happening within. It was me, my attorney against a SEA of corporate attorneys seated at the other side of a long table. My lawyers leg was shaking.
The funny thing is I didn't ask for money. I didn't want money. I just wanted to do my job. Patrick made that impossible. My attorney said he took my case because of my total lack of avarice. Then he begged and begged me to ask for more, but, you know me, I don't listen to anyone.

In exchange for dignity, I traded wealth. I have never paid a higher price for anything.


Mrs. K said...

you know what's funny? this post ends at the picture on your side thing that says 'im a weiner'. who's the weiner? the boss, the lawyer? WHO? lol...

webberpa said...

Hey, you know it just occured to me, you are like the female version of 2 and a half are Chalie Harper!!! When is your sister moving in? And the "evil" mom, too!

Michelle said...

Wow Charmaine, I love you even more now!

LL said...

I remember this tale... erm... no, not the one about dating the artist, but about your lawsuit. Principle is a helluva thing, but I'll post again what I told you the last time (I think). You should have gotten paid for your time there. Now that doesn't mean you'd not have blown it all by now importing Irish potatoes, but you might have some of it left... ;)

cw2smom said...

Oh how I can relate! I have the historic distinction of being the FIRST woman in my state agency to file a sexual harassment complaint against a male coworker...once they developed the policy. He'd stalked and harassed me for FIVE fuckin' years. I "file" and then I felt like a rape victim being torn apart and my integrity was in question. Ah...memories! That bastard!! I'd love to run into him in a dark alley now...and he knows it. I'd have the perfect excuse to shoot him as I he had to stay away from me at work and in my personal life as well! Hmmm. I wonder how easy it would be to lure him into that dark alley??? LOL! Sorry you had to go thru what you did...but bastards like that always get theirs! Blessings, Lisa

Char said...

Wow....he is Beef Cake handsome! Hope he looks as good as his picture. Enjoy your date

JIMSIGHT said...

Didn't you invent post-its too?

Michelle said...

Jim, your funny!!!

Charmaine said...

Mrs K - They're all weiners.

webberpa - I'm not like Charlie. I don't sleep with my dates.

Michelle - (Blush)

LL - I remember

cw2mom - Yes, they made me feel like I was on trial. The worst was knowing that the jerk had my gynocological records. That's just wrong.

Jim - Yes, I invented the internet too. duh

Vodka Mom said...


But you know what? I bet you sleep at night.

Vodka Mom said...

AND, about the Blogher stuff??i'm not sure how I feel about it. I go to the website to enter contests- even though I don't win. I don't really participate in it- and couldn't get a ticket, so I don't know. I am going to Chicago and have a room in the hotel- but I'll be hanging at the pool and at the bar. (I have been making a bit of money from the blogher ads- about 20 bucks a month.)

I think I need to go to the site more and check it out. What do YOU think about it???

Fragrant Liar said...

Well, at the risk of being cliche, you're lucky you got out alive!

webberpa said...

You dont sleep with your dates? Wait a minute, I think you said...oh, mean, you dont ALWAYS sleep with your dates! TMI

Charmaine said...

webberpa - I don't sleep with my dates. I did,however, have a brief 6 month relationship. I think that is what you are referring to.

Senorita said...

Wow, I am sorry that this happened to you.

But I admire you for your decision. Very respectable. It says a lot about your character.

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

You are one strong lady! Congratulations on your prinicples and being able to hold your head up high. That being said, money is nice too ;)

*Just Jen* said...

Damn girl! That's DEEP! You are very strong!!!

Cameron B Sharpe said...

Looking back when i was younger, i would tend to blame others for so many things that was happening to me. i was kinda self-centered. with age and experience, i mellowed, i saw reason, i began to adjust, rather than making other people adjusting to me or expecting them to do so. the change had to be with me first, and this has made a whole lot of difference.