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THE MONEY

The Royalties From ABSA

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Early discussions with Cecilia involved a variety of topics, which is generally the case when you first get to know a person. One of the normal things is to ask what type of work a person does. Asking this question, is never a strange question. Asking this question, generally never makes anyone suspicious for why they are being asked in the first place.

Part of my line of work is website development, which is just one of the numerous sectors in the IT industry. The IT industry, within itself, is extremely broad and diverse, covering anything that is technology based. Even within website development sector, itself, the knowledge, and skills are extensively different from one developer to another.

Being a web developer combines analytical and technical skills with creative design and development. There are three types of web development roles: (1) front-end development is responsible for the look and feel of a website; (2) back-end development is responsible for building and maintaining the code that runs a website. This code connects the website to the server and ensures that data flows properly to the website and that transactions are processed correctly; and (3) full stack development covers both front-end and back-end responsibilities.[1]

The website development that I specialize in is full stack development, but only to a certain degree. The knowledge required for back-end­ development is quite extensive and there are numerous risks at play, when being involved in this line of development. Banking, for example, requires extremely high-coded knowledge in order to create protection between all types of financial transactions that take place, as well as making sure that there are no loopholes in the coding to prevent hackers from getting in and stealing money.

While relating my range of website development to Cecilia, I automatically assumed that she had no knowledge of it whatsoever… but I seemed to be horribly wrong, as I was immediately met with a sarcastic comment, “Oh?! Well… I was the ONE who coded the firewall for ABSA[2] Bank!” … Cecilia smirked, ever so proudly.

I was intrigued. To code a firewall… the very protection that the bank relies on for its transactions is by no means a small task and it requires very high-end skills to do so. I was not phased at all by the obvious superiority complex that Cecilia portrayed. I never aim to compete with anyone, so for me, this was fascinating.

Cecilia carried on arrogantly, “Yea… I mean ONLY I know what was coded. I made it so confusing for hackers to try and get in and ABSA was ever so grateful because their firewall was now indestructible. No one knows how to get past the firewall I created… except for me.”

“Wow, they must have paid you a lot then to do that?” I asked, rather intrigued.

“You have no idea! A good couple million! AND royalties for every time a person uses their online banking too,” said Cecilia with a haughty laugh.

Suddenly, a question dawned on me. Taking into account the previous reason given for financial assets, where the occult would have frozen Cecilia’s money in a bank account… what about the royalties that ABSA would continuously be paying Cecilia? If ABSA owed her royalties… yes, that is more money than I could possibly ever imagine, BUT then why is she so short on money? Why live in a flat? Why only resort to relying on Dries’ salary to get by each month?

Without thinking, I blurted out, “But then… is ABSA paying you the royalties?”

Cecilia remained silent for a moment… smirked… then abruptly and furiously stated, “I’ve been busy with legal proceedings with ABSA to pay me because I haven’t received a cent since I created their firewall. Those bastards are so money hungry! They refuse to give me a cent!”

“Oh…” I added, with confusion. Things like this do happen, especially when it comes to large companies, so it was not uncommon to hear about something like this. “So, when do you think you’ll be finished with the legal proceedings?”

Cecilia’s anger dropped down to a lull of silence. Then, again, she smirked and said, “Hopefully within the next few months… maybe a year. For now, I’ll just have to make do.”

Without thinking, I blurted out, “How are you able to pay for the lawyer fees though?”

Cecilia casually replied, “You know that many of the lawyers are in the occult. One of my lawyer friends is doing me a favour because I saved her life years ago,” and then Cecilia distracted me with a completely different topic, altogether, which caused me to forget about the ABSA scenario in that moment.

Driving back home, that day, the topic about ABSA kept running through my mind. I did not feel the need to question Cecilia’s intelligence on coding a firewall. I know there are far more intelligent people than me in the world… and maybe, just maybe, one of her occult friends is helping her fight with ABSA, especially since Cecilia had saved her life. The topic went round and round in my mind as I drove home… eventually, coming to the conclusion that hopefully ABSA would pay Cecilia these royalties, so that she would not have to struggle financially anymore.

Footnotes

[1] https://online.maryville.edu/online-bachelors-degrees/computer-science/careers/types-of-web-development/
[2] Absa Group Limited, and originally Amalgamated Banks of South Africa, is a South African-based financial services group, offering personal and business banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management, as well as bank assurance. https://www.absa.africa/absaafrica/