The paranoia of Founder the Great
It was bad enough that my relationship with Mr. N was souring, but I also started losing the men in HQ, who had at least been cheering me on from afar. When I worked with them in Japan, they were the middle managers, but as they climbed up the ladder and came close to the Founder the Great, they met the same fate as Mr. Tada – Disgraced. The path of the men had become so predictable that they were not even surprised when the notice came their way. They were disappointed they couldn’t make miracles but were also ready to make themselves useful elsewhere.
The videogame industry was a small world, and those released from one company were hired by another. They then headhunted their old friends from the former company, which was how the Great Migration began. And the recruiting agencies started looming to take advantage of this phenomenon like vultures. The wrath of the Founder the Great was colossal when he found his former disciples were serving his rival Founders. So he took the measure to prevent further migration.
We received an all-staff email announcing that our email address would change every six months. We lost our surname + first name email address and were given initials + random five-digit numbers. We had to memorize our email address every six months and discard leftover business cards to replace them with new ones with the new email address. I don’t know how effective this policy was, but even then, the Founder the Great didn’t stop sacking one disciple after another.
A few years later, when Facebook was introduced to Japan and connected old colleagues, the Founder the Great ordered all his employees to unfriend the ex-employees. I had left the company by then, and one day I woke up to find the number of my friends had fallen by dozens. Such was the paranoia of the Founder the Great, yet, he reigned on.