This morning I banked my compensation cheque of $107,500 from the government without ever starting work or even actually lifting a finger as chief technology officer. It's unsettling and it's been hard and I wouldn't wish it on anybody.
"Yeah," said the cashier. "I feel your pain."
"Not as much as I do," I said, and began to quietly weep. No one paid attention so I began to howl in enormous gulping sobs.
She said, "Would you like a handkerchief?"
"Yes. Yes, I would," I said.
I blew my nose into it.
"Can I get you anything else?"
"Yes. Yes, you can," I said.
"A glass of water?"
She looked at another woman behind the counter, who nodded, and she left the bank.
"I'm the manager," said the woman.
"That's good," I said. "I prefer to deal with the person at the top. But look where it got me!
"Not that I blame Jacinda. No.
"I mean, she dropped me into it, she didn't have the grace to call me and say that the government were cancelling my appointment as chief technology officer, and she's stopped returning my texts. I hope she gets her just desserts but I'm not bitter, I hardly even think about it. I've moved on."
I began to howl again, very, very loudly.
"Sssh now, please," said the bank manager. "Is there anything I can get you?"
"Yes. Yes, you can," I said.
"Your cellphone number," I said. "I feel you're someone who understands me and I bet we can have some fun text messages together! Have you seen the new emojis? Lol!"
Still no word from Jacinda. Un-be-lieve-able, right? I mean it's not as if she's so busy that she couldn't reach for the phone and drop me an emoji.
What would it take? A few seconds? And then a few minutes, replying to my replies? An hour, tops? Or two, or three – what's a day in the scheme of things?
Sure, she's busy. But we're all busy. And let's get it into perspective. She's the prime minister of a small country. It's not as if she's at the United Nations.
I have worked with an enormous number of advisors in the last few weeks across a wide range of subjects, a wide range of issues, because of the complexity of this issue.
I never talk about who they are.
"Good boy," said Michelle.
I refuse to confirm or deny whether I am being advised by former National Party president Michelle Boag.
"Good dog," she said. "Sit."
I went into the bank to see if the cheque had been cleared. That's the sort of savvy I have as an IT whizzkid.
The government – and the people of New Zealand – will never know what they missed out on!
"As a patriot who believes in his country," I told the bank manager, "I plan to donate the compensation payment to digital innovation projects."
Pride swelled in my chest, and spilled into my moist, soulful eyes.
The bank manager spotted me, and drew me aside.
"Would you like to sit in my office?" she said.
"No, I'm good," I said.
She smiled. I detected a deep well of sympathy in that smile, as well as feelings of admiration and awe. It moved me to the core of my soul and I began to howl very, very, very loudly.
"Sssh now," she said. "You're drawing attention to yourself."
"That's the point," I said.