to Outsource Programming," the headline
screamed. Andy threw the paper on his desk,
hitting a half-eaten sandwich.
He'd spent ten
years of his life creating binary code to carry
out the bank's encrypted tasks, typing out
strings of 1's and 0's every week, without
And now they were
letting him go.
He saw the HR
Director, flanked by security, heading his way.
Andy's eyes darted
around his cube, looking for a way to get even.
He wished he could break into the vault and steal
all that money he'd worked so hard to
In the end, all
Andy took was a zero. As the men in suits closed
in, Andy slid an index finger along his laptop's
touch pad and plucked a random 0 from the code
that he'd been working on. He doubted the bank
would even notice.
At 2 AM, the
police pounded on his door.
"We know you're
in there. Come out with your hands up."
outside in his pajama bottoms.
0?" the officer said.
he said. "We know you've got it."
Andy invoked his
right to remain silent. The police brought him to
the station and escorted him into the
"It must have
been rough, being laid off after all those years,"
the Good Cop said.
tossing your place right now," the Bad Cop
said. "We're gonna find that 0, whether you
help us or not."
"If you want
to make a deal, I could call the DA," the
Good Cop said.
"If we find
that 0 on our own, you'll do the max!" the
Bad Cop said.
Andy silenced them
with four little words: "I want a lawyer."
At the trial, Andy's
defense attorney addressed the jury.
a lot of accusations being hurled at my client by
the DA," she said. "But the truth is,
my client took zero."
appraised Andy's seemingly honest exterior.
walked slowly in front of the jury box, making
eye contact with each and every one of them.
been a time in your life when you've stolen
nothing," she continued. "But if you
find this man guilty, you'll be setting a
precedent. You'll be creating case law mandating
Juror number 9
convict my client, you could be next. You could
be having dinner with your family when the police
drag you from your home, threatening imprisonment,
and demanding that you explain where you hid
The jury found
Andy not guilty.
The 0 was never