[Note: For background and context, please read No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 1: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks.]
Hello Mr. Phicks,
…In order to understand the point I wish to make in this letter, I first should tell you that this rift that exists between me and the roughly dozen or so folks who colluded to fire me last year has much in common with a gang war.
I’m not even sure that’s a metaphor, actually. Although I personally have no history of violence and will keep it that way, the other gang is now in a position to send me to jail, which is arguably a potential act of aggression they might make against both my person and my family. Also, last year my wife fell quite ill from the intense stress that followed from the psychologically cruel machinations involved in the other gang’s underhanded tactics (I call it the “MetLife Meat Grinder”). Finally, although my daughter has survived it all just fine so far, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been so (autistically) obsessed about this rift that I’ve forgotten to give her her anti-seizure medication. Every time I forget to give her her medication I increase her risk of seizure, and seizures are dangerous — they can cause brain damage or even death.
So, although I certainly don’t expect to be shot or stabbed or have my car blown to smithereens by anyone in the other gang, my family and I do seem to be quite at risk of having to endure even more physical and/or psychological hardship (e.g. jail!) following from decisions the other gang will make.
Although the dozen or so members of this gang all have jobs — most work for MetLife, one is a law partner of Seyfarth Shaw, LLP, and three work for Donald Trump’s now corrupted and worthless “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — for me this really is less about the organizations they work for than it is about the particular gang members themselves. In fact, my only beef with any of these organizations is that they seem hell-bent on defending the actions of these corporate thugs. To the extent that they do so, I really have little choice but to consider them members of the hostile gang.
Which brings us to your client.
I hope you can appreciate that for me, at least, this is a highly polarized situation. Again, I’m not even sure that gang war is a really just a metaphor for what’s going on. The whole thing may in fact be an actual gang war, to the extent that one accepts “sending a person to jail” as a true act of aggression against that person. On the other hand, a proper metaphor for this situation is that when Seyfarth Shaw Partner Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith and his MetLife/EEOC Innappropriate Behavior Police did to me what they did to me (and indirectly to my family — my children!), they effectively “drew a line in the sand” (metaphorically speaking), shoved me on one side, stationed themselves on the other, and now everybody else must pick a side.
I’ll say that again: everybody must pick a side. That’s everybody in the whole world. And the choosing process is really quite simple — most of it actually happens up in my own head and is based mostly on my own perception of the world. The rule is as follows: pretty much everyone on Earth is first assumed by me to be on MetLife’s side of that line, which is to say not my side. That’s the default assumption that I make about everybody. And this includes my own friends and family, of course — everyone (you too). You are all on MetLife’s side, by assumption, at least at first.
Then, anybody who doesn’t like that for some reason (perhaps because he or she cares about me, our relationship, whatever, and thinks that it sucks that I’m all alone against every human being on all of Planet Earth) — anyone who wishes to come over to my side of the line may, if he or she so wishes to, prove to me his or her loyalty.
The point here is that there’s no middle ground, no neutral territory, no “fence” to sit on, so to speak. The dozen or so people who did this to me and my family captured that hypothetical middle ground, invaded it, turned it into a battlefield (so to speak). Because of what that dozen or so people did, now absolutely everybody is either on my side or theirs.
Yes, it sucks, I know. Tell me about it. And to be clear: it is not my fault. I want to be clear on this point because I’ve met quite a few people who seem to think that I am somehow responsible for causing or perhaps maintaining this rift between us, but that’s not the way I see it. To my view: this mess is entirely on them, not me. I am still and have been all along merely defending myself against their relentless aggression. Believe me, I’m almost always a middle-ground kind of guy. I wish there were a middle-ground in this situation — a nice fence we could all sit on. But there is not.
Now, here’s what happened last Thursday morning when we spoke before my MetLife (so to speak) shooting rampage. First of all, I really enjoyed our conversation, and was quite happy with the topics we discussed, but there was one thing in particular that you told me and which I found quite troubling, and this was that your client — the people who fired me for the second time in a year for being autistic (after MetLife) — you told me that they “didn’t want to participate” in, well, what in the end equates to a situation in which we must all participate.
Like I said: Everybody must choose a side now, including your client.
To “not participate”, as you described it, is simply not an available option. To “not participate” is what you call a “middle-ground” option, and like I said, MetLife destroyed the middle ground. I know it sucks. Please offer them my sympathies.
Please offer them my sympathies, along with a good-faith second chance to re-think what they want to do. MetLife has practically infinite resources and doesn’t need their help. My own allies in this gang war and I could definitely use your client’s help, and would greatly appreciate it.
If they do wish to help, I think the most cost effective way for them to do so is simply to reinstate me to the job they took from me a couple of months ago now. From my perspective, that would give them and me the most benefit for the least expenditure. But I’m open to other possibilities.
Please let me know soon what they decide, or I will assume they’ve chosen MetLife’s side of this, and treat them accordingly.
Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”