Overseas Weekly Elections | Uber Scandal "First Reporter": Susan Fuller in Three Years


Muir In February 2017, Fuller wrote a 2900-word long post, accusing her of sex discrimination while working at Uber. In order for the public to see the truth, Fuller puts his identity, life, security and personal privacy at risk.

After Susan Fowler left Uber in 2016, she never really wrote a single line of code. She is not without effort. To this end, she also registered for a Coursera course to learn new content. However, she was still too nervous and anxious to complete even a simple project.

  Miss the days of writing code?

“I don’t miss writing code at all, because those days combined with too many unpleasant experiences for me,” Fuller said. She read Gretchen Carlson’s book “Be Brave: Stop Sexual Harassment, Recapture Your Rights”, and then a thought flashed through her mind: In an industry, women who expose sexual harassment have never returned. To the original industry.

The same is true for Fuller. She is no longer a software engineer.

We sat in a bay area with a more interesting name. I won’t say exactly where, because Fuller’s blog post exposing sexual harassment inside Uber has spread around, and she is frequently followed by private detectives and others. In fact, she agreed to meet with me only after I promised not to disclose the address.

“My life is really very different now than before,” she said. “I’m always careful.”

This was two weeks before her memoir Whistleblower was about to be released. In addition to the nervousness of weekdays, Fuller’s anxiety pre-published. You just can’t see her anxiety from her appearance. She wore a black leather jacket, a grey boat neck top and jeans, sitting there elegantly and quietly. She didn’t seem to have makeup; her hair seemed to dry naturally. In other words, at first glance, you would think that it was an ordinary middle-class woman in her 20s who had a lunch break. And Fuller did have a lunch break.

  Leave Uber and say goodbye to the engineering industry.

You know this ordinary woman is because she did something very ordinary. In February 2017, Fuller wrote a 2900-word long post in which she complained of sex discrimination she encountered while working at Uber. When she posted the post to her website, she didn’t expect her article to make headlines in half an hour. She never expected that her small actions would eventually lead to the company’s CEO and founder Travis Kalanick being forced to resign.

Former Uber CEO Kalanick
Uber former CEO Kalanick said

she not only elaborated on the details of sexual harassment-even on her first day on the job, she was resisting rough sexual harassment from her direct supervisor. In The Whistleblower, Fuller wrote that she felt sick when she realized what was going on. It is an indisputable fact that she was sexually harassed. “I felt relieved when I thought I was working for a large company with a huge human resources department here,” she wrote.

If you’re one of those 6 million readers who have read Fuller’s posts, you already know the end of the matter: Fuller is told that her superiors are “significant.” It was also the first time he had offended women. However, it wasn’t until Fuller got along with other female engineers that she found she was cheated. Several other female colleagues who had an unpleasant experience with the supervisor were also informed by the human resources department that this was his first mistake. “This is Uber’s script,” she said, “I always thought, there must be a solution, didn’t I?”

She continued to fight Kafka-style fights with Uber’s human resources department, and was frustrated. Reading these experiences has to make people admire Fuller’s tenacity. Once, she wondered if she could report the human resources department to the human resources department. She wants the system to work properly. She was brought before Uber’s former CTO Thuan Pham by her complaint . But Pam did nothing, Fuller wrote. In fact, when women, including Fuller, complained to him of sexual harassment at work, Pam did nothing on several occasions.

After reading her memoirs, it is hard not to believe that she persists because she firmly believes that there will always be someone in this world who cares about her situation. Fuller was born in Arizona and was educated at home since childhood. For her, the authority figure she encountered during her growth was her parents. “I believe that the authority figures do not support me and keep their promises, which makes me feel uncomfortable,” she said.

Fuller said sexual harassment is often the tip of the iceberg for other forms of labor violations and misconduct. Corporate culture issues within Uber start at the top: Kalanick and Pam like to watch their employees fight each other for status. Mike Isaac describes Uber under Kalanick in detail in his book “Super Pumped”. Breaking the rules and breaking the law are internal norms.

Uber makes Fuller physically and mentally exhausted. This is not the first time she has encountered sexual harassment. As early as when she was studying at the University of Pennsylvania, her classmates threatened her that if she was not moved by his true feelings, she would commit suicide to her. Fuller wanted the university administrators to pay attention to her own experiences, but failed. .

When she reported her problems to the school, she was met by another student’s adviser—also the host of the physics department and the administration of Penn. Fuller also believes that, as a result, she failed to obtain a master’s degree in philosophy. This disrupted her first career interests-becoming a physicist, and her second career interests-becoming a professor of philosophy. Now, she can only work in engineering after graduation, because she can write code. She never thought about becoming a software engineer. But the lesson that Fuller brought to Fuller ultimately worked in Uber’s incident: documenting unfair treatment. “I often joked that when I went to Penn to learn how to deal with sexual harassment and unfair treatment, physical or philosophical knowledge became secondary.”

Fuller’s first two jobs in the technology industry were on a smaller scale. In the company, no human resources department can complain. Her first job was at financial data company Plaid. At that time, she found that her male colleague worked less hours than herself and earned more than $ 50,000 more than she did. Her second job is developing PubNub, an infrastructure company for push notifications. Her boss told her that the men she had dated were secretly recruiting prostitutes, and all women were the same. They just wanted to make money from men’s pockets. The boss also told her that PubNub had hardware installed that allowed the company to read employees’ text messages, and he was looking forward to seeing intimate text messages she sent to the date, and Fuller accepted Uber’s job interview invitation. Maybe finding a big company with a real human resources department is the way to go.

After working at Uber for six months, Uber’s internal corporate culture began to seriously affect Fuller’s life. She lacks sleep, is anxious, and often quarrels with her boyfriend and mother. She was still not in a panic attack. “I’m often criticized at work meetings, and this encounter slowly made me scared, alert, and panicked,” she wrote. She is not alone. The engineers who have been employed the longest at Uber “seem to have suicidal thoughts.” Fuller felt herself slowly becoming someone she hated. So she left Uber-saying goodbye to the engineering industry.

  One post, another world

whistleblower is a group of aliens. In a way, the decision to make unethical behavior public is a person who sacrifices his or her loyalty to the institution, to the employer, or to the individual for a sense of inner justice. Few people are willing to assume this role, not to mention the serious consequences of doing so. As a result of the action taken, informers will lose part of their social identity.

After we met, Fuller wrote me an email saying that she heard she was tagged with “#MeToo”. She was told that others were only interested in sexual harassment in her story. In a way, her memoirs are emphasizing her other identity: treating her as an ordinary family member with a loving husband. In fact, Fuller’s now-infamous experience at Uber was not revealed until the second half of the entire memoir, which was also regarded as a structural narrative resistance to the collapse of her identity.

In order for the public to see the truth, Fuller puts his identity, life, security and personal privacy at risk. She wrote in the book: “Based on everything I know, sharing my experience with the world is likely to break my own life.”

She spent a few days in deep anxiety because she knew that she couldn’t Keep silent, but unable to write. “I remember, I was sitting there for a few days, and the psychological pressure was getting heavier. Then I thought, ‘Well, I won’t write today. I will write tomorrow.'” Fuller said, ” That’s how I told myself that I would start writing tomorrow. “What

eventually prompted her to write that blog post was a book by Viktor Frankl-Man’s Search for Meaning), tells the story of surviving from the Nazi concentration camp. “As I read, I thought, would I be a good person if I changed it to me?” She said, “the danger exposed our nature. I have just gone through all this, how can I walk away casually, pretend Do n’t know anything? ”

She sat down and started writing her own article, carefully avoiding emotional content; after all, she was a woman, and her emotions made the narrative seem less real. She didn’t mention the name in the article, only the official title. Every sentence has evidence to follow. Her article was published months before the #MeToo movement. When the #MeToo campaign was launched, powerful men were accused of sexual misconduct. But Fuller’s efforts were different. Most #MeToo stories involve multiple women, and their experiences are very similar, so reporters can easily build a model. And, almost all of the #MeToo stories focus on individual men, rather than protecting the entire system of these men.

Fuller pointed his finger directly at Uber. Not one sexist manager, nor two. It’s all—and the human resources system that protects them. When Fuller wrote these words, she did not expect such a big wave in the future. She was just thinking that maybe someone could use the material in a lawsuit. “I haven’t fully figured it out yet,” she said.

Twitter Uber is notorious at this time: female passengers are not safe to ride Uber; the company has faced several lawsuits, and negative news has continued to emerge. In an interview with GQ in 2014, Kalanick also said that finding a girlfriend is as easy as hitting Uber; “we will make it a” girl step “.” When Fuller wrote her post, hostile women were already Not a secret. Less than half an hour, journalists have already sniffed this. Fuller’s post confirmed that Uber’s treatment of women’s problems has become very serious, even to the extent that it violates the law. Fuller’s phone was suddenly bombarded with text messages and phone calls, and new news on social media kept reminding. (Her Gmail and apps were the first to crash).

Fuller was at Stripe at the time. Her immediate boss, the company’s CEO, praised her for being brave. But the company’s communications chief was cautious and told Fuller: “You shouldn’t associate your name with sexual harassment.”

To prevent the company’s scandal from continuing to ferment, Kalanick launched an investigation into Uber’s corporate culture, It’s too late. A few days after Fuller’s post was issued, Mike Isaac published an investigation report in the New York Times detailing the so-called “Hobbes” culture, fundamentally supporting Fuller’s bad environment for Uber. Complaint. In March 2017, another month after Fuller’s post was issued, Isaac published another report describing Uber’s internal “grayball plan”-a policy designed to circumvent government authorities that might restrict the company’s operations.

At the beginning of Fuller’s new book, she sat down with a former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, and talked face to face. Holder was one of the investigators. But according to The Whistleblower, this is not the only investigation Uber conducted. In addition to Hold’s investigation, a law firm Perkins Coie has also launched an investigation, as well as investigations conducted by Uber’s internal lawyers. According to Fuller, the investigation conducted by internal lawyers was aimed at “destroying evidence and intimidating employees.”

Susan Fuller When

Fuller was a child, she always had an idea — she said, probably from the movie — that if everything is done right, everything will be solved. Everything is ready; the errors are corrected. However, after the blog post was published, things did not go in this direction. The reality is that someone is also investigating Fuller.

Facebook In addition to reporters, others have also started contacting Fuller’s friends and family to ask for her personal information. Fuller received a call from a woman who claimed to be a private detective investigating the Uber case; when she hung up the phone, she found that the company where the woman was working helped other companies to discredit victims of sexual harassment or assault. There have also been attempts to steal Fuller’s social media account, and her account has been stolen multiple times. Her sister’s Facebook account was also implicated.

Lyft Gradually, Fuller increasingly felt that there were very few people who could talk, because her conversation was repeatedly leaked to reporters. In addition, slander against Fuller has surfaced. A reporter contacted Fuller and told her that a source said she took ‘s money. (This is false news.) When this rumor does not work, other rumors follow: her sexual harassment experience is a lie; Uber executives drink wine, and women including Fuller are among them; Fuller wrote a post for her husband.

Then someone started following her. “Until I started writing this book, private detectives followed me,” she wrote. A former Uber employee, Morgan Richardson, has said that a private detective hired by the company broke into her home illegally. Fuller was worried that the same thing would happen to himself. Fuller’s friends at Uber also gradually disappeared from her life. A person familiar with the matter said that despite the use of self-destroying encrypted chats, the company found she was still in contact with Fuller and was concerned about retaliation.

Fuller said: “Sometimes I really want to do nothing because the reality is too scary. But I keep telling myself that no matter what the outcome is, at least you made the right choice. Yes, the reality is very bad, very Cruel. But back to the past, I have to do the same again. “In the

end, a cut-out Holder survey was made public. (The full version has not been made public.) The first suggestion on the list is “review and reassign Travis Kalanick’s responsibilities.” After the investigation recommendations were released, Kalanick was on vacation indefinitely; seven days later, he announced his resignation.

Kalanick’s toughness has led to many things, such as his harshness towards himself and others, his aggressiveness and so on. But when I talked to Fuller, I didn’t feel she was a person who loved conflict particularly. Instead, she was kind and made me feel comfortable talking to her. But in her book, you will see such sentences many times: “I make up my mind”, “I make up my mind”, “I have my heart determined” … and in people like Kalanick, a strong character more obvious. But after all, he was kicked out of his own company by someone as determined as him. From this point of view, without these scandals, Fuller could have been an ideal Uber employee.

  The Liu Anhua Mingming

harassment of finally subsided, but Fuller still seemed to have a lingering fear, always alert to the return of the nightmare. After Kalanick’s resignation, Dara Khosrowshahi took over as CEO. Once, Fuller asked Khosrowshahi if there were any private detectives following her; Khosrowshahi replied that I would “stop all this evil.” (“He said that Uber’s use of private detectives was” abnormally perverted, “” which Fuller described as her conversation with Cosrossassi, “” It’s incredible that this happened. “)

Uber's current CEO Dara Cosrossassi
Uber’s current CEO Dara Cosrossassi

I asked Fuller whether after her blog post and #MeToo movement, the big culture in Silicon Valley has really changed, she thought for a moment, saying, Not all companies are like Uber. When some of the deep-rooted ideas in Silicon Valley culture were released, Uber was the obvious negative example. What makes Uber so frustrated is the extreme subversive mentality-no liability at all, complete belief in the law not applicable. “I believe this attitude (in Silicon Valley) has changed a bit,” she said. “It is more obvious that a re-examination of technology companies.”

She said that she hopes things will get better, especially now reporters. We also strive to make the public see the things behind these companies-their values, the way they treat their employees. “If you have to say what I learned from my experience working at Uber, it’s the company’s attitude toward their employees, and it’s how they treat the world,” Fuller said. At Uber, the company’s contempt for employees also reflects their contempt for consumers.

But Fuller also cautioned that he was no longer in the technology industry. Her opinion is also different from before. I asked her if Silicon Valley needs to think about it, and the technology industry needs to face up to its nature. “I didn’t really think about it,” Fuller said. She has already left the technology industry, so it’s difficult to comment on what needs to change. Her last engineer job was at Uber. She left Uber in 2016 and said goodbye to her identity. Four years is a long time for the fast-changing technology industry.

You don’t have to regret Fuller. She even felt a bit lucky. Although she missed the first career choice (physical), second choice (philosophy), and third choice (software engineer) because of the obstruction of those institutional forces protecting sexual harassment, she loved journalism and talked about the New York Times When she was an editor, she was filled with joy. “I’ve come to the right place,” she said. “This is exactly where I need it.” Fuller is working on a big project on privacy.

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