Friday, February 17, 2023

Heller and Shannon: Too many leads

“Anita’s” PluggedIn account blew up and Shannon did not see it coming.

She had been working on another photo to upload. She poured over the portfolio of photos of the Malasian model whose photos she had been “lifting”.

One of the photos was of the model playing with a kitten. The front claws of the kitten had snagged the bodice of the model’s top and the model was trying to lift the kitten away from her, resulting in the kitten's claws slightly lifting the top-edge of her top ever-so-slightly away from her skin.

The expression on the model’s face was a combination of shock, joy, amazement and...of “WOW!” that verged on orgasmic. It would have been solidly a “G” rating in any American-made movie in the last fifty years.

Then Shannon felt the tickle of the muse.

Shannon trimmed the photo in very tightly and then she used her imaging editing software to add two sets of four faint, nearly parallel lines of red droplets tracing across the pristine skin above her top….where the kitten might-maybe have scratched her before her claws sank the model’s top.

And “Anita’s” in-basket blew up after she posted that image.


“I don’t know what to do” Shannon complained to Heller.

“What did you think was going to happen” Heller asked.

“I dunno. Maybe I would get ten or fifteen requests and that it would be crystal clear who was the lead-guy” Shannon said.

“You know, on the job site the foreman isn’t the guy who really runs the show” Heller told her. “The foreman keeps the paperwork straight and tells us what we are expected to do and where we are supposed to do it, but if you really want to know what is going on you talk to Roscoe.”

“Roscoe?” Shannon asked, having lost Heller’s train of thought.

“Roscoe is the old guy who breaks down what the foreman gives us to who, where, how and all that jazz” Heller said. “He is older than dirt.”

“And you guys listen to him...why?” Shannon asked.

“Well, for one thing he works as hard as any of us. It ain’t like he cherry-picks the easy jobs for himself. The other thing, what he says makes sense and ends up being the easiest way to get the job done” Heller told her.
"Like last January when he said to leave the pump in the caisson running over the weekend and one of the new guys decided we didn't need to do that. We came back on Monday and the trench was not only flooded but there was a skin of ice over the top. Guess who got to wade through the water and fish the pump's power-cord off the bottom of the ditch" Heller said with a chuckle. "The new guy, that is who."

“What does that have to do with finding the needle-the-haystack?” Shannon asked, gesturing at the list of names and job titles she had printed out at the library. The list was over 120 names long and was growing at a rapid clip.

“What I am trying to say is that job titles don’t mean shit for the stuff that really matters” Heller said. “Even if you got that ten or fifteen names the job titles wouldn’t point out the pivot man.”

“I heard you use that term “pivot man” a bunch of times. What do you mean by that?” Shannon asked.

Now Heller had to scratch his head. He had picked up the term by osmosis and had to put some thought into what it meant to him.

“Sometimes you have a big piece of equipment. Maybe a crane or a big front-end loader. Sometimes they are so big you have to take them apart to move them from one site to another” Heller said.

“The boom or the bucket is attached to the body of the machine with pivots. Drive out the pivot and the machine is in two pieces.”

“I don’t see how that gets us any closer to solving the problem” Shannon said.

“What would you do if you had an idea you trying to turn into a business and you had a list of people who were interested. What would you do to make sense of the list?” Heller suggested.

“That's easy” Shannon laughed. “I would call up a computer nerd and ask him to analyze the data.”

“You mean like Garth?” Heller asked.

Shannon’s face grew thoughtful. “Yeah, exactly like Garth.”

“Maybe it is time to invite Garth and Suzanna over for another barbecue” Heller said.


  1. ERJ, I am sure (knowing your writing) that this is based on reality - which is, to be frank, a little disturbing to me. I have a pretty naive view of the world still, it appears.

    Is the term "Roscoe" a real one, or just one you created for the story? The concept is completely realistic and believable and (oddly enough) I think I am a "Roscoe" where I work now, if for no other reason I have been there a long time and "know" things.

    Data analysis. It all comes down to data analysis.

    Good story.

    1. Suppose you came into possession of a piece of information that was critical to people who participate in Highland Games. If you sent it to six people and each one of them sent it to six people, then you would have about 40 people in the loop.

      It is not that people who "get off" on other people's pain lay thickly upon the ground but that they know each other and network.

      "Roscoe" is a straight rip-off from the Breadstick Ricky youtube videos.

  2. I keep trying to envision who she aims to catch. And I'm still not seeing her target. Frustrating at times. Great story, I'm stuck on the barb, no doubt.

    1. I'm not quite seeing it either...

    2. I thought Shannon started this online catfishing operation to somehow ensnare C-Diff and her former manager who went along with the obviously bogus racism charge that C-Diff had filed against Shannon with the HR Department that subsequently got Shannon fired.

      It looks like her operation has taken on a life of its own, potentially ensnaring powerful people from a lot of different companies. (People who could potentially hurt her.) I am not sure how Shannon intends to steer it back to the two people she was originally looking to get back at.

    3. You assume correctly. But as ERJ has said repeatedly. Shannon's operation has 'blown up'. It has now blown up to a level that the original goal is buried like a needle is a haystack.

      Shannon, being smart, intelligent, clever, was not satisfied with simply catching C'diff but HOW to catch her, more importantly, catching her entire network of devious partners.

      Of course, in such a plot there is an element of vengeance. And now Shannon has a lapful and is trying to keep herself from being exposed. Her problem is she has run out of ideas. Probably not because she isn't smart enough but because she is acting outside her nature, that she has no experience at this level.

      This is the very reason that I do not wish to examine evil. Knowing it exists is enough for me.

    4. Shannon has no experience at this level because she hasn't befire worked at this level. She hasn't worked at this level because it isn't her nature.

      Another factor at play is Shannon now risks becoming just as cunning and clever and for the same reasons as C'diff.

      Vengeance is mine, sayeth the LORD.
      Here we see that the LORD is not only 'taking possession' of the object, but acting to protect us.

  3. Following this story with great interest as it twists and turns in so many unexpected directions.


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