An anonymous reader asked:
“The old site was great. Second best thing to visiting. The new site sucks. What happened?”
Well, Mara, as you know, we get a lot of folks come here sniffing profits and leaving with a snoot full of dirt, and usually making a mess on their way out the door, and “Ned” Smith was no exception. He was initially hired do do a little web design and graphics work, then started doing some database maintenance, and pretty soon, was pretty well entrenched in operations. However, the guy struck a lot of us as shifty. He made big promises, then there was always some technical reason or another why we couldn’t do it one way, so he just went ahead and did it some other way.
It didn’t take much of that to get under Sysadmin Bill’s skin. “I’m pretty sure I’d bury that [redacted] right in front of a class full of preschoolers and not even flinch,” he once opined to Officer Wells. Officer Well’s could have cited Bill for making threats like that, but truth beit, she was pretty tired of Ned’s antics herself.
Well, It got bad enough Bill started digging and turned up that Ned had a history as a huckster. Not a scam artist, so much, as someone who tried to use bluster and bravado to get and keep jobs he just didn’t have the skill for. He’d get in too deep, skip town, and change names. From Penn State to San Jose, a trail of Eds, Neds, Teds, Heddies, and Jeds had damn near ruined over thirty small and medium sized businesses. And now, he’d sunk his teeth into our humble Historical Society.
Bill said it would have been better if Ned had been a conman, because now “I’m gonna make the [redacted] weasel-faced little [redacted] to pay outta his [redacted].”
So, there was a formal complaint filed, an investigation, and a formal petition to the museum board to fire him.
Unfortunately for us, “Edward Roosevelt Plank” was a lot smarter than he seemed, and had worked a lot of conditions into his contract that let him own huge chunks of the library’s online assets. Nothing that couldn’t be recreated, mind you, but he had dug in like a tick, and intended to make his removal a painful and messy affair.
However, Bill was way ahead of this guy. It seems there were a number of Eds and Neds in Plank’s history that owed alimony or child support. Handily enough, an anonymous tip led to a sudden influx of angry women with good lawyers bearing down on his front door. So, like any good opportunist and scavenger, he deleted everything he could, and skipped town. When the police went to clear out his trailer, all they found were weird Japanese cartoons, craploads of novelty ninja stuff, and a full length mirror with nonsensical symbols that looked like kanji scrawled down the length of it.
So that left us where we are. Concerned he might crawl out of the woodwork like an East Texas copyright troll, we decided it was be to start fresh, and keep things in-house. Sadly, none of us are graphic designers, but Bill has been happy to help maintain things on the back end, and we are slowly getting things back to where they were.
And before you think it, no, a new Mayor would not have prevented this. Hell, it wasn’t the Mayor courting the little punk and defending him at every turn, and it certainly wasn’t the Mayor that let Ned “borrow” their car, which was never seen again, was it? So let’s put that sort of nonsense aside.
We got hoodwinked. Maybe we learned something from it. Probably not.