An Open Letter to A Certain EEOC Deputy District Director, Part 9

My Allegedly “Inappropriate” Email Had Actually Been Approved By My Management

Dear EEOC Deputy District Director,

[Continued from Part 8] …Now, in order to demonstrate the difference between mere skepticism and genuine refutation — where the former is a legitimate and necessary first step toward knowledge, but by no means a sufficient one; and the latter is essentially the

woman_walking_314x210

Please don’t mistake skepticism for knowledge. Skepticism is just the first step toward knowledge, but the journey toward genuine knowledge requires many more steps after that. Image Credit: Pixabay

full remainder of the journey (not to mention the real work of knowledge acquisition) — as an example I will choose a proposition from Batman’s[24] bogus “position statement“, and I will refute it with solid evidence that implies that the proposition is false.

The proposition I will so refute is the following:

“On May 17, 2017, Mr. Autistickish sent an e-mail to an unknown number of recipients which he titled, ‘Humiliation is Not A Performance Enhancer (ASD Lesson #1).’”

— from pg. 4 of Batman’s bogus “position statement“.

Although it is true that on May 17 I sent the email in question, the proposition considered as a whole  and especially within its context in Batman’s bogus “position statement”, is nevertheless false in at least three ways. First, the proposition misleadingly suggests that May 17 was the first time I sent the email in question, but the May 17 dispatch was actually the second time I had sent it. Batman’s position statement makes no mention of the first time I sent the email, which actually occurred five days prior, on Friday, May 12. Also, I sent it that day to three people: my manager (Robin the Boy Wonder), my previous manager (the Huntress), and the HR manager (Hawkwoman) who had prepared the most recent (May 10) revision of my reasonable accommodations. I sent it to these three because Robin had recommended that I do so. The following is a redacted version of the email chain I have in which Hawkwoman acknowledges having received my ASD Lesson #1 on May 12, again, five days prior to my May 17 dispatch:Hawkwoman acknowledges ASD Lesson 1 redacted

Second, the proposition also states that the number of recipients was “unknown”, but the number actually was known because I had told Hawkwoman, Robin and the Huntress in that same email chain that I was planning to send it to 62 recipients. Here is the proof:

I tell Kristie Falcone about the 62 person DL redacted

Third, the proposition along with its context in Batman’s bogus “position statement” make it sound like I had sent my ASD Lesson #1 email to 62 recipients without permission from management. But this is false. I absolutely did have management permission to send that email. Here’s how:

  1. First, the May 10th reasonable accommodation document given to me by Hawkwoman explicitly encourages me “…to put written communications in succinct and draft form, review and reread for appropriateness prior to sending.” This encouragement to rely on my own judgment – i.e., the faculties of my own autistic neurology – to determine the appropriateness of my emails is explicitly listed as an expectation I was required to meet as a condition of continued employment with XYZ. This is essentially written permission from an HR manager to send any emails I wish to send to anybody in the company, as long as I personally judge them to be appropriate. By way of contrast, Hawkwoman could have encouraged me to get my boss’s approval before sending every email. She could have done that, but instead she encouraged me to rely on my own autistic faculties of judgment. But there’s more…
  2. Next, recognize that Robin, the Huntress and Hawkwoman had all received a copy of my ASD Lesson #1 email, were all told that I planned to send it to 62 colleagues, and were all given 5 days to discourage me from sending it, but none of them expressed any such discouragement prior to my sending it the second time on May 17.
  3. In fact, on the contrary, after four days had passed and I had still heard nothing back from Robin, Huntress, nor Hawkwoman about my email, I approached Robin on the morning of Tuesday, May 16 and asked him directly what he thought of my ASD Lesson #1 email. He told me that he thought it was “very well written.” He told me that it reminded him of someone he knows in his personal life, that this person has a blog, and he recommended that I too try some blogging. And when I asked him about sending these to the 62 colleagues, Robin told me that it was my “right to send it to whoever I wanted.” Let me say that again:

My manager told me that my ASD Lesson #1 email was “very well written” and that it was my “right to send it to whoever I wanted”.

So the next day, on May 17, and believing that I had my management’s approval to do so, I sent the email to all 62 colleagues, a list that included Robin, Huntress, Hawkwoman and 59 others.

So, Batman’s explicit claim that I sent the email to an “unknown” number of recipients is false. Furthermore, his implied claims that I sent it for the first time on May 17 and that I did so without management approval are also both false. Overall, the proposition is demonstrably false.

And that concludes my demonstration of the sort of effort required to actually refute a proposition, rather than to merely scowl at it. And yes, that refutation effort does begin with a skeptical scowl – I know I definitely did some serious scowling when I read that part of Batman’s bogus “position statement” – but simply scowling proves nothing.

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This young woman looks pretty skeptical, but her skeptical looks accomplish little more than ask a reasonable question. If she sincerely wants a reasonable answer to that question, she will have to do the real work of refutation. Image Credit: Shutterstock

So, if you really are skeptical of the disabling nature of my autism, I say, that’s fine. Wonderful! But please don’t stop at the scowl. Please don’t mistake your otherwise legitimate doubts for genuine knowledge – for some sort of refutation or proof that I’m not actually disabled. Skeptical doubt is just the beginning. The next step is to allow your skepticism to lead you to genuine curiosity. Once you feel curious, the next step is to indulge that curiosity by asking questions, by talking to witnesses, and experts, by examining evidence, etc. And after you have made that sort of sincere, refutational effort – the kind of effort that I myself have made, and that has been made by the autism experts who are helping me to learn how to survive with my autistic abilities in a world that has been inadvertently designed to disable those abilities by the non-autistic, neurologically normal majority of human beings – I am quite confident that you will ultimately fail to refute my claim that my autism is a true disability.

And when that happens — when you see that you have failed to refute this claim after having made a truly sincere effort to do so — you will find that your otherwise legitimate skeptical doubts will weaken, and that you will eventually become as reasonably convinced as I am that such refutation is actually rather unlikely; that I am, in fact, autistic, and that having to live autistically in a world that was designed by and built for people who aren’t autistic is a true disability.

And once that has been accomplished, Mr. EEOC Deputy District Director, it is my hope that your next step will be to answer my plea for help, by conducting an honest investigation into the allegations I have made in this letter against Batman and his Justice League Gang.

Sincerely,

Autistickish Walrus

pacific-walrus_600x400

I am the walrus — coo coo gajoob! Image Credit: Pixabay


[24] As explained in Part 2, in order to do what I can to help ensure that the guilty will be able to find impartial jury members for their trials, I have chosen to mask their identities behind the names of characters from the fictional superhero world of DC Comics.

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