As planned I arrive with nearly 40 minutes before the appointment to spend. The building housing this office faces the Plaza.
The plaza sod being string trimmed while it recovers from Keanu.
Another trimmed quadrant recovering. Quite a bit of this Bermuda Grass sod appears to have died rather than gone dormant for a want of water.
Looking at the details, this was actually good sod cutting for work apparently done by hand. The pieces fit in a way suggesting they may have actually been ordered to preserve their fit on the odd contours of the four lawn quadrants of the plaza. The slope simply drains too well to green back up on rainfall alone. I've not seen many sod jobs in Uruguay, but the pattern fits many other observed activities here. This sod job was almost done right. The corner that got cut has left a lot of very dense dead Bermuda Thatch. There's likely enough Bermuda left in the ground that it could have regenerated quickly on that slope without little intervention. It would have been slower than the sod. But for the lack of water, the sod has died and become a growth inhibiting barrier more effective than most mulches. I expect it to look worse before it looks better. For not having water at the right time a 3-ish month recovery of the slope's green is now looking like 3 years. If the weeds don't find an opening first.
With time remaining I circulate myself around some blocks I don't normally and encounter in the wild Mariano2 who may or may not presently be employed by the damned.3 The conversation went as follows:
Hola, Aaron! Como estas?
Bien, y tú?
Bien. Escuche que te fuiste de [Name of the Damned].
Ahora, parece que sí.
Eventually I arrive 10 minutes early, an guided to a seat while the attorney who scheduled the audition finishes a call. I end up meeting with two attorneys. The insist on conducting the meeting in English.
They open their audition with familiarity concerning [Name of the Damned]. It turns out they have several clients very unhappy with the damned, and represented a client against the damned four years ago. It would come out later that the outcome they reached involved their client only paying the damned for three or four extra months to end the contract.
The meeting was educational. I learned the contract was a very bad contract... for me. I learned that a complete pursuit of the case through the courts would probably take three to four years. The great expense involved was not new information, neither was the limited basis for collecting damages being primarily lost income. Their interpretation of "maximum pressure" is "bluffing" and further they saw no reason to pursue potential criminal fraud for the punative effect. The seemed sincere in their intent to act in a way that maximizes my return at minimal expense, but without actually maximizing through certain punative follow through. They very helpfully divulged that the damned and their immediate upstream are functionally the same enterprise despite branding and holding company shennanigans.
I took my meeting with them in good faith, and they intend to read the correspondence I brought. They were very interested in steering the conversation strictly to the connectivity issue. They were far less interested in the advertised datacenter becoming a hot closet whenever the sales and telecom manager fuck up the cooling issue. The strategy they want to implement is phone call, letters, and eventually filing the early stages bringing the case to court. Despite prosecuting a criminal fraud case being of little cost to me and much cost to the damned for there being a prosecutor's office, the potential just didn't interest them. They seemed unimpressed with the "Hecho Policial" having value.
My impression coming out of the meeting is that they are good lawyers in the sense of knowing the law, and even futher having previous experience encountering the damned in the field. It is my further impression though that their letterhead is going to inspire somethine other than fear if the damned received it. Probably, it will comfort the damned. Despite working on several cases against the damned, they haven't made it far enough to even know who the damned uses as counsel. They are very confident that they can get the damned to pay no dollars, and in their case I am very inclined to believe them.
This is culturally a far more Uruguayo operation than the firm I auditioned Monday. When asked about their hourly rate they said they would send me their opinion of this particular case against the damned after reading the what I brought, and nothing would be invoiced unless I decided to continue. I can appreciate their active effort to temper my expectations, but the first lawyer did that too, in this country's language. They suggested if this went to court that I'd probably need an interpreter, though the meeting was happening in English at their suggestion.4 The did not offer an hourly rate. I suspect they will end up offering a US style contingency fee structure if they decide this is the case they can finally beat the damned on. With out actualy going to court, I suspect the tendency to "hug it out" would beat application of maximum pressue in driving the mechanisms in their headcases.
With the closing smalltalk one of them mentioned going to the US once without details. They seemed eager to trade passports if that were a thing that could be done. When I mentioned I enjoyed that I can walk much of the relevant part of the city at any hour of the day they brought out the standard "be careful" warning as though they are a couple old women or short outer barrio girls worried about getting their bag lifted. In the same way throughout the audition they kept repeating "[The damned] is a bad company." I suspect that for their insistence on carrying out the meeting in English, that they did not understand much of what I said.
The third audition I had lined up fell apart when they emphasized that they are primarily an audit firm, and I am considering additional auditions. Meanwhile the first attorney auditioned was instructed to fire their first salvo, they did. Nothing in the second audition invalidated what was learned and discussed in the first, but importantly the first is acting as a skilled professional who happens to be performing his profession as a partner at a multinational firm's local branch. The two I met with this afternoon may change their level of aggression after reading into the case, but the "two folks working together and crab bucketing each other away from escaping the pot" is a familiar enough pattern locally to give the first audition the first hour(s) of work. I was already in the neighborhood. I made the judgement call to not cede time to the damned. Which is what the strategy outlined by today's fellows would have done.
The shortcomings in today's audition are in short form:
- Low value placed on time. Their earliest action may be mid next week.
- Discounting second order effects, game theory aspects, and the value of pursuing punishment for punishment's sake. Based on their own, apparently sincere, self representation they just don't have the special something necessary to apply maximum pressure.
- Their enthusiasm for doing the same thing that didn't work for them before.
- Letterhead that gives comfort to the enemy.
- Pattern matching too many Uruguayan markers of Montevidean urbanity that don't work.
With action initiated I left the Old City on foot.
All along 18 de Julio ever Plaza had intense voting sheet distribution efforts. Above is the relatively calm scene in front of the Intendencia.
Claimed hunger strike against a local ballot initiative in front the the University of the Republic "Facultad de Derecho" which... either was not present when I walked past Monday or I failed to notice it? Maybe its a moving exposition? The ballot initiative has proven very popular in pre-election polling despite every presidential candidate from every party's declared opposition. In the local context rapiña denotes a type of quick snatch and grab theft, usually from a person present, with the person doing the rapiña implying weapon or less frequently having a weapon. The local socialists of the sort constituting the Fat Forehead coalition discuss rapiña as strictly an economic issue without any consideration of power, aggression, or actual human social relations, with the exception of some dedicated old women only segments which view rapiña as awful because its active.
- I do despise that I have come to have a preferred bus. The upside of the 145 is that it inevitably gets emptier as it nears Ciudadela, probably because it ends a couple blocks south of Plaza Independencia instead of actually at the Plaza in the manner of busses that stay full. [↩]
- He is one of the people employ/ed there with an actual knack for customer service. He was also noticably absent this month. [↩]
- Once again not named becaused damned as anon-derps. [↩]
- My brain still does not make a clean switch out of English and into Spanish if its been bogged down in English speech. English text to Spanish speaking and listening is fine. I'm doing that at this moment as vegetables get cut to join a 2 kilo rabbit in the dinner pot on the balony "asado de olla" style. [↩]