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My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
Jose: I'm listening. Do you mind if I tape record this call?

Collins: Well, if it will help you, then I guess it's all right. The UN contracts organizations such as ClearFieldz to demine suspected land mine locations in other countries. However, ClearFieldz also subcontracts other commercial organizations.

Jose: If the UN doesn't mind, why should you?

Collins: Subcontracting doesn't bother me; it's HOW they subcontract that I don't like.

Jose: How are they subcontracting?

Collins: ClearFieldz is practicing something they call 'stretching the profit margin.' Someone is forging documents within ClearFieldz, accrediting subcontracted personnel with experience they don't have.

Jose: Why?

Collins: Money. Someone in a key position is making money and 'stretching' personnel so they can make more money by taking in more work than they should-- at the risk and expense of other people's lives.

Jose: How do you know it's just one person?

Collins: I don't- not personally, but it's the way the system works. Just one rotten apple can make the good apples look rotten also. Besides, I've seen the records. I know what I'm talking about!

Jose: What records are you referring to?

Collins: I can't say.

Jose: Do you know of other companies who's conduct is questionable?

Collins: No. ClearFieldz is the only one I'm aware of.

Jose: How do you know all this?

Collins: I can't tell you without endangering myself.

Jose: Why did you choose me to tell this to?

Collins: I've followed your stories in the newspapers. You seem to be honest. Mr. Fernandez, I can't face God, I can't- not when there's something I can do about it. Like the Bible says, 'to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.' I think that's in James chapter four somewhere.

Jose: Verse seventeen. Tell me, Mr. Collins, what do you think I can do about this?

Collins: You're a reporter! Don't let him get away with murder! <click!>

Jose dialed the number again, but there was no answer. He quickly called his office. Diane answered the phone.

Jose: Diane, trace this number and see where it is. Call me back when you find out.

Jose only had to wait ten minutes before Diane called back.

Jose: What did you find out?

Diane: The number 555 326-9844 is a pay phone in New York.

Jose: Which part of New York?

Diane: What does it matter? Just look up his name in the phone book!

Jose: No. If the phone number isn't real, then his name isn't real. Which part of New York?

Diane: The western part-- Buffalo, New York.

end of chapter
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