Who Started It? — Toward a Theory of the Pseudo-victim

It’s not always easy to tell the difference between aggression and self-defense. Especially as a parent of 6-year-old boy-girl twins, I’m constantly having to figure out “who started it”. But this problem is not restricted to the disputes of childish children. Plenty of childish adults also struggle to figure out “who started it”. It would appear that people only hate to be victims until they’ve been accused of acting aggressively. Apparently, being accused of acting aggressively is much, much worse than being known as the victim of someone else’s aggression. It really seems to me that most interpersonal conflicts boil down to a struggle for victim status — a contest for the “prize” of “being the victim”. Few interpersonal conflicts cannot be paraphrased as follows:

A: I am the victim here.

B: No way, I am the victim.

A: Hah! You think so, eh? Well, I say I am the victim because you did Z!

B: Because I did Z? What are you talking about? I only did Z because you did Y. Thus, I am the victim. I am the victim of your unprovoked aggression!

A: Whoa! “Unprovoked”? Are you kidding me? I’m the victim! You’re the aggressor! The only reason I did Y was because you had done X! What else was I supposed to do after you did X?

B: But I was entitled to do X! That was my right, because of the way you had so callously done W! If you didn’t want anyone to do X then you never should have done W…etc., so forth, ad infinitum,…

Crazy, right? I never know what to think about this situation. Clearly they can’t both be the victim. Or can they? Hmmm. Now, there’s a thought. But it’s an unusual thought, perhaps worth thinking about. But in the meantime, if we just go with the normal way of understanding these situations, then just one of the pretenders-to-the-title-of-victim can be the real victim. The other pretender is just, well, pretending. He or she is a pseudo-victim — someone who is just trying to look like a victim, no doubt to benefit from the sympathy that the rest of us all tend to feel for real victims; and of course the consequent time, attention and other resources we donate toward helping them. The pseudo-victim is a kind of cheater, or malingerer.

 


Image Credit: Pixabay

James Blackledge, CEO of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

An Open Letter to James Blackledge, CEO of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

In “Good Faith”? — Why Mutual of Omaha’s “Code of Ethics” Is Recklessly Incoherent Bullshit

“…As an employee, you have an obligation to know and follow the Code as well as to encourage, promote and practice exemplary business conduct. You also are accountable for reporting potential violations of the Code. There are a number of reporting mechanisms available and there will be no retaliation for raising issues or concerns….”

— James Blackledge [photo], CEO, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company1

Dear Mr. Blackledge,

In my opinion your company’s Code of Ethics and Business Conduct is recklessly incoherent bullshit. For example, on page 8, under the heading “We Are Responsible for Voicing Our Concerns”, we read.

“…You have a responsibility for promptly reporting any issue or concern that you believe, in good faith, may constitute a violation of the the Code or any other Mutual policy. Reporting in ‘good faith’ means you have given all of the information you have and your report is sincere. You are also encouraged to come forward if you encounter a situation that ‘just does not feel right.'”

What does that mean, “in good faith”? I know the paragraph seems to explain it, but I do not understand the explanation either. What does it mean to report “all of the information” I have regarding such an issue or concern? What does it mean for such a report to be “sincere”? And just what exactly is an “issue or concern” that “may” constitute some violation of the company’s Code or policy? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to have a “responsibility” to make such “sincere” or “in good faith” reports?

Please do not misunderstand these questions. They are neither rhetorical nor disingenuous. And although I am autistic, I do not have an intellectual disability (there’s a difference). I assure you that I do have my own way of answering these questions. I absolutely have my own private meanings for the terms under consideration — what I personally happen to mean when I use them; what I in fact think they really ought to mean.

But you see, therein lies the problem. Because last May 19, 2017, I actually got fired for acting on my (apparently mis–) understanding of these terms. I somehow got myself unceremoniously sacked for trying to fulfill what I had then understood to be my “responsibility” to make such “sincere”, “in good faith” reports about an “issue or concern” that I believed “may” constitute a violation of the company’s Code or policy.

See, I did all of that, and then I got fired for doing so. Which is supposedly against the rules. Right? Isn’t that what you mean when you say “…there will be no retaliation for raising issues or concerns….”? And yet, that is exactly what happened to me.

Furthermore, this apparent “misunderstanding” of mine wound up costing my family and me some $40,000 in missed salary and benefits, accrued during the 5 months of unemployment and financial free-fall that it took me to find another job. What’s more, there’s a much larger and heavily relevant contextual narrative that actually began 9 months earlier in August, 2016, and which involved so much emotional distress throughout that it eventually provoked a relapse in a health condition that my wife must manage and which required her to take a two-month course of steroids.

But as if all of that weren’t bad enough, this new job I have — the company that I’m now working for has pretty much the exact same recklessly incoherent bullshit in its own Code of Ethics. So, I hope you can appreciate just how important it is to me and my family that I make some sense out of this insanity — that I find some coherence in all of this rampant, bullshit, business-ethics incoherence.

Now, when these individuals fired me, they had the audacity to allege that I was being fired for some unspecified “violation” of company policy. At the time they refused to be specific, but I found out 6 months later from the company’s attorney that the “violation” in question was allegedly not one but many violations, most of them described too vaguely for me to even know what they’re referring to, but among which was the following very specific one, that did come complete with dates and named witnesses2:

“…For example, on April 26, 2017, Mr. Autistickish contacted Ms. Huntress [i.e. my boss at the time], asserting he wanted to file a complaint against Director of Production Management Aquaman because Mr. Aquaman, a senior leader in the Department, had allegedly tried to ‘hijack’ Mr. Autistickish’s meeting. Mr. Autistickish included with his complaint an excerpt from an instant message exchange in which he admittedly told Mr. Aquaman, ‘Don’t you ever, ever piss on one of my meetings again.’ Mr. Autistickish then also sent a follow-up e-mail to Mr. Aquaman further berating him for his alleged conduct…Mr. Aquaman complained to Ms. Huntress as well as to Human Resources….”

Although that is a viciously misleading rendition of what actually happened3, it does bear enough resemblance to the truth to warrant comment. At the very least I can confirm that yes, I did in fact tell Aquaman in an IM exchange to not “ever, ever piss on one of my meetings again.” I can also confirm that I included that IM excerpt in my complaint about Aquaman to my boss, Ms. Huntress. But even if we assumed that the whole paragraph were factually accurate (it is not), I would still like answers to a number of questions. Once again, these questions are neither rhetorical nor disingenuous — they are sincere questions that I’m asking, because I do not know what the answers are, and I’m hoping you can help me understand them:

  1. Is there anything in the above account of what happened to suggest that my complaint about Aquaman was not “sincere”, or that it was not made “in good faith”?
  2. Is there anything in the above description to suggest that I did not provide “all of the information” that I had? Based on what you read above, do you think I left something out that I should have included?
  3. Is there anything in the above description to suggest that I did not really believe that Aquaman’s attempt to hijack my meeting may constitute a violation of company policy? For example, the company’s anti-harrassment policy?
  4. Is there anything at all about the above description that suggests that my behavior throughout was not a sincere, good faith attempt to fulfill my express mandate as an employee to promptly report any issue or concern that I believe, in good faith, may constitute a violation of company policy?

To my view, the answers to all of the above are in the negative: my complaint about Aquaman was utterly sincere; it included all of the information that I had to offer about it; I truly believed (and still do) that Aquaman’s attempt to hijack my meeting the way he did was against company policy — it is a form of harassment, and it was brutal, unprofessional, and wholly gratuitous; and finally, I absolutely made the complaint in order to fulfill my mandated responsibility as described in the company’s Code of Conduct.

To the extent that one agrees with me on these points, then by Mutual of Omaha’s own definition, Mr. Blackledge, and even as described so misleadingly above, my complaint about Aquaman was made “in good faith”. And yet, for some reason this event was offered by the attorney in question to Federal Investigators for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in explanation for why I lost my job. This event was actually presented as an act of misconduct — a reason for why I got fired on May 19, 2017.

I don’t believe that the above is the end of the story with regards the recklessly incoherent bullshit in Mutual of Omaha’s “Code of Ethics”, but I do believe it illustrates the general point.

I hope that’s useful, quite sincerely.


1 From “A Message from Our CEO”, Our Mutual Commitment, MUTUAL OF OMAHA’S CODE OF ETHICS AND BUSINESS CONDUCT, last accessed Jan. 11, 2018. Although I have never actually worked for Mutual of Omaha, the company is quite similar to a company that I worked for, and their published “Codes of Ethics” are virtually identical. In fact, the problems I’m discussing in the above letter are in pretty much every corporate ethics document I’ve ever seen. To the extent that they are identical, they are all of a piece: recklessly incoherent bullshit. I’ve chosen to target Mutual of Omaha more or less at random.

2 I’m using DC Comics characters to hide the identities of the individuals in question. I have several reasons for doing so, which I have explained elsewhere.

3 It is beyond the scope of this letter to explain why it is viciously misleading. For background and the complete text of they attorney’s version of what happened, see What I Did Not Do To Get Fired From My Last Job

Penguin swimming

Autism Is A Disability; Penguins Can Fly

First, I should explain explain what I mean by disability. The way I see it (for now, and until I encounter the sort of evidence that could change my mind), the idea of disability is best conceptualized as a comment on the context in which some particular ability is being exercised. Think “fish out of water” here, or better “penguin out of water”. Penguins are graceful and highly capable swimmers, as long as they’re actually in water; not so much while on dry land. On dry land penguins look just ridiculous — totally lost.

King penguins on dry land looking lost.

Don’t these King penguins look totally lost on dry land? Image Credit: Pixabay

We human beings are just like that, in that whatever abilities we may have as individuals, each of these is only functional under certain specifiable conditions; outside of these conditions these wonderful abilities somehow transmogrify into disabilities. For example, at the moment you can read, but without sufficient light this reading skill is utterly worthless to you. Likewise, if you have two healthy legs and can walk on a dry sidewalk, you will find that these same legs are just a burden if you’re standing in four feet of soft snow. And of course, what about your ability to fly?

Fly? Yes, fly — and I mean literally, just like a bird, a plane, and of course Superman — just not in the sky, of course. But you can fly in water. Hey, what do you think penguins do? Or we might say that eagles swim in the air.

An eagle in flight.

An eagle out for a refreshing dip in the morning sky. Image Credit: Pixabay

Note that I didn’t put the words fly and swim in scare-quotes. I left the scare-quotes off because I’m really not using these words figuratively. To my (admittedly autistic) view the verb fly is just a synonym for the verb swim. As I see it, the only real difference between flying and swimming is the density of the medium in which the given activities occur. With respect to what we normally call flying, air functions exactly like a very low-density fluid, and with respect to what we normally call swimming, water functions exactly like a very dense gas. Other than the spelling, little difference exists between the sciences of fluid- and aerodynamics. In fact, physicists consider aerodynamics to be a sub-discipline of fluid-dynamics and use exactly the same differential equations to describe swimming and flying, but with different density constants.

But these density constants are critical with respect to the organism doing the actual flymming (should be a word, if you want my opinion). And this basic principle is true for any ability.

Now, I do understand that autism is not necessarily a disability, in the same way that a penguin’s swimmability (yeah, that should also be a word) is not necessarily a disability — unless of course the penguin is trapped on land and cannot use his ability to swim! And it is in that sense that autism is really a disability, although perhaps not for all autistic people — in particular those who have managed to find niches for themselves in our world which has been designed primarily by and for neurotypical human beings.

As an example from my own life, although my 80-year-old father has yet to be formally diagnosed, I would be shocked if he didn’t easily fulfill the modern DSM V diagnostic criteria for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). To my view, he is your stereotypical aspergian, but he has also done an amazing job of making himself utterly useful to pretty much everybody that he knows, and this is as true in his personal life as it was in his professional life before he retired. My dad is a gifted problem solver — for pretty much any kind of problem involving the physical world. I have yet to see him encounter an object or a device — electronic, mechanical, or electromechanical — that was broken in a way he couldn’t fix with with some tool or gadget or bit of plastic or piece of rubber tubing or a clip of some sort that he found in his vast personal collection of what my saint of a step-mother refers to has his “junk”, and which he accumulated incrementally over the decades of his life and stored, neatly organized, in countless boxes and shelves in his garage and home office.

On the other hand, my own claim-to-fame seems to be that I still don’t have a criminal record. To be clear, I have never physically injured anybody, nor wanted to, nor have I broken any laws more serious than the occasional traffic violation. But I have also never been able to hold down a full-time job; and largely as a result of that I have accumulated a mountain of debt. Perhaps more importantly, I have been a chronic disappointment in every conceivable kind of relationship that one person can have with another. I’m sucky as a friend, son, brother, uncle, husband, father, cousin, nephew, grandson, employee and co-worker. As much the antithesis of my dad (although people are always telling us how alike we are, which is also true), I have always proven to be utterly useless to pretty much everyone.

And why am I such a chronic failure in pretty much every area of my life? Well, as I’ve written elsewhere, I’m sure a few — a minority of the people who have known me, thank goodness — might say I’m just an “asshole” — a “fucking loser” or maybe a “total jackass”, and honestly, I really couldn’t fault them for that. Every so often my encounters with other human beings can go to an ugly and uncomfortable place, and I know that my own misguided choices play a significant role in bringing about that sort of outcome.

But I honestly believe most who have met me would describe me much more kindly — and this includes my own wife, who along with my children, has to endure my autistic symptomatology more than anyone else ever has. These saintly humans would probably tell you that I’m quite friendly, honest, witty, intelligent, sympathetic, with much to offer, but that I have perhaps never quite found my niche in the world. They might go so far as to describe me as a “a bit lost” — not unlike a penguin waddling around looking for water to swim in, but finding none.

Just over a year ago (November 2016) I sought medical attention for my chronic, life-long misfitery, and as it turns out, I’m actually autistic — I have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  For me, learning this about myself has been a huge relief. Now I finally know why I’ve fucked up my life. I must admit that for as long as I can remember I have struggled not to accept the harsher judgments that people have made of me. Far too often have I seriously suspected that these critics may have been right after all — that I really am just an “asshole”, “fucking loser”, or maybe a “total jackass”.

But no — as it turns out, none of that is true. I’m not an asshole; I’m just autistic. And like a penguin forced to waddle around on dry land, yes, I guess I do look quite lost and a bit ridiculous. But I’m quite sure this is only how I look when I’m on dry land. I’m quite sure that once I do find my way to the water, I will show the world what I’m really good at.

Until then, and for me at least, autism really is a disability.

And penguins really can fly.

 


Hey, check out this cool YouTube featurette of Brandon Routh‘s preparation for his role in the 2006 film Superman Returns. Starting at about minute 2:12 you can watch him prepare for his flying scenes in a swimming pool! And don’t worry if you’re male and homophobic — there’s absolutely nothing at all homoerotically provocative about Routh’s lithe, muscularity.


 

An Open Letter to a Certain FBI Special Agent in Charge

FBI Office

Image Credit: iStock by Getty

Dear Sir,

This is just the latest in several attempts I have made to request the FBI’s assistance in the investigation of the Conspiracy against Rights crimes that I earnestly believe were committed against my family and me during the past 14 months, most likely because the perpetrators were too ignorant and confused with respect to autism to be able to distinguish between clinical symptoms of autism and workplace behavior that is genuinely “inappropriate” or “unprofessional”. I earnestly believe that these individuals — most but not all of whom were fellow employees at the XYZ Insurance Company until they conspired to fire me last May 19, 2017 — ignorantly and confusedly stigmatized certain autism symptoms of mine as “professional misconduct”, and subsequently took it upon themselves to punish me harshly for these pseudo-crimes.

Most recently I spoke to technician #9263 of the FBI’s Tipline, and as kindly and compassionately as he listened to my tale of woe, since speaking with him I cannot shake the impression that I have not yet provided enough evidence of the crimes in question in order to engage the FBI’s attention.

Here I wish to provide you with a few additional facts, which I hope may remedy that problem.

To begin with, I hope you can see that regardless of whether the crimes in question actually occurred, the fact is that I earnestly believe that they did. As it appears to me at least, my family and I are victims of these crimes. As such, I earnestly believe that we have suffered both financial and health consequences at the hands of the perpetrators. As a direct result of their ignorantly confused and unlawful behavior, we sustained a financial loss of roughly $40,000 dollars in missed salary and benefits, accrued during the initially unpredictable period of unemployment and financial free-fall they subjected us to when they fired me illegally last May 19, 2017, and which finally came to an end when I found another job 5 months later. And among other untoward health & wellness consequences, the protracted emotional distress we all had to endure caused a relapse in a chronic health condition my wife must manage, and for which she had to take steroids for two months in order to quell the flareup.

In addition, I also earnestly believe that we are not the only victims of this sort of crime. I earnestly believe that not just autistic people, but most generally anyone with a psychiatric disability is vulnerable to this kind of crime. Furthermore, I earnestly believe that such crimes have been, are being, and will continue to be perpetrated against this most vulnerable sub-population of human beings, if action is not taken to stop them.

Finally, I earnestly believe that I am currently in a good position to help stop this sort of systemic abuse against people with psychiatric disabilities. Please note that whether I really am in such a position is actually not what’s relevant here, for now. What is only relevant for now is that I earnestly believe myself to be in such a position.

The primary fact that I want to share with you here is that at this point it really shouldn’t matter to the FBI whether my earnestly held beliefs are actually true. That will eventually matter, of course, but for now the only thing that need concern the FBI is that I earnestly believe them to be true; and this because to the extent they may not be true, then these (very) earnestly held beliefs of mine indicate that I may be suffering from some sort of paranoid persecution delusion. And to the extent that that may be what’s really going on here, then I’m pretty sure that would make me quite dangerous, at least to the people I earnestly believe perpetrated these crimes against my family and me.

Now, to be perfectly honest, the only sense in which I might be dangerous to these people is that I wish to help the Department of Justice bring charges against them. But I will confess here that I am quite obsessed with bringing about this result. I earnestly believe that accomplishing this — bringing these criminals to justice — is so very important and to so many people that it may in fact warrant some fairly extreme but wholly non-violent gestures of civil disobedience on my part in order to ensure its outcome.

For example (others could be given), I am seriously wondering if I should go eat lunch every day on the property of my former employer in protest of what appears to be their callous endorsement of the vigilante tactics of these perpetrators. I am seriously wondering if illegally trespassing in this way might be an excellent way to draw the sort of attention to this matter that I earnestly believe it deserves. It really seems to me that getting myself arrested for eating lunch would be the perfect follow up for getting fired for the ridiculous pseudo-crime of showing signs of autism in the work place. Heck, I might even wear a baseball cap while doing it, in flagrant violation of the company’s dress code.

I eagerly await a response from the FBI, and I will interpret every day that passes until I get such a response as evidence that the FBI thinks that my plan to get myself arrested for eating lunch while wearing a baseball cap is a good one.

 

 

How to Skirt the ADA to Fire an Employee with a “Psychiatric” Disability

Man in Grouch Marx disguise

Disclaimer: this goofy picture of a man in a Groucho Marx disguise indicates that this post is just a joke. I am not in any way advising any employer to actually implement this sociopathic solution to the problem of psychiatric disability in the workplace. On the contrary, my goal is to mock and ridicule this all-too-commonly used approach. Image found here.

Dear Employer,

Are you tired of that malingerer in your employ? You know, the one with the so-called “psychiatric disability”? Are you tired of the excuses? The moodiness? The drama? The “sick” days? The FMLA “medical” leaves? The short-term “disability” claims? The infantile and depressing can’t-do attitude?

Well, today is your lucky day! Because I am about to tell you how to fire this slacker. Here’s what you do: fire him!

Boom. Yup, it’s that simple. Just sack him. Do it now. You don’t even have to explain why. Stop wasting money on this lazy slob.

What’s that you say? “What about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? The brat will go running to his EEOC mommy and tell on me.”

Yup, absolutely — whiners gonna whine, am I right? And here’s how to handle that: you mediate, and you offer the guy a few thousand bucks to drop the charge. EZPZ, lemon squeeze me. Look, if you don’t fire him, you’re just going to give him that money anyway, and in exchange for what? Headaches? Frustration? Whining? At least this way you nail a solid bottom to that leaky bucket. Also, once he’s gone you can replace him with a good worker, somebody who will actually earn his living.

What’s that? “What if he’s not faking it?” Are you kidding me? Why would that be your problem? What, you don’t have enough problems already? Now you have to go around taking responsibility for someone else’s?

Look, first of all, he’s probably faking it. At the very least he’s probably milking it — exaggerating — which is a type of faking it, and to the extent that he is faking it, then he is lying, and he deserves to get fired.

Ok, ok, right. Maybe every now and then you’ll inadvertently fire someone with a real disability that really is “invisible” and that really you should not fire. Listen, you’re going to have to get over that. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. You understand? Don’t get me wrong, it’s sweet that you have a conscience and all, but this is business were talking here, right? Not charity. Just donate some money to a real charity so at least you can get the tax deduction. Plus, what about all of your good workers? Think about all you’re doing for them and their families by axing this dead wood. You’re strengthening your company’s financial position, and that will help keep them all employed so they can feed their families.

You see where I’m coming from? It’s the right move, amigo. And besides everybody does it, especially your own competition. If you don’t do it too, you’ll just be making them stronger than you, and eventually you’ll have to shut down your company, or sell it to someone who has the guts to do what you won’t.

So fire the fucker. Fire him now!

[Disclaimer: The above is just a joke. Please do not actually implement this sociopathic strategy!]


“The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws [e.g. The Americans with Disabilities Act] that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.” From “Overview” at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/index.cfm, last accessed 12/30/2017 7:43 PM

An Open Letter To A Certain EEOC Enforcement Superviser

Seal of the EEOC

Image found here.

Dear Wonderwoman,

In order to protect the health and safety of my family and me, I have decided to withdraw my charge 433-2017-ABCDE against my former employer the XYZ Insurance Company. Please accept this as my formal request to do so. And please let me know if there’s some form I need to fill out in order to make the withdrawal official.

I wish to be clear about my reasons for doing this. The charge was sincere and legitimate, but based on what I learned in our phone conversation yesterday, I can only conclude that allowing you and your sidekick Batgirl to continue with your so-called “investigation” will only result in even more damage to my family and me than we have already been forced to endure. I think we have all had quite enough of your so-called “help” in this matter. It’s time to cut our losses.

But I would like to sincerely thank you and Batgirl for taking the time yesterday to speak with my wife and me. And thank you, especially, for recording that conversation, as I’m quite sure you did. Please do hold onto that recording, as it captured some important information that will be necessary to support the Title 18 USC Section 241, Conspiracy-against-Rights charges I intend to file with the Department of Justice against you, Batgirl, Andromeda (the EEOC mediator), Batman, and the rest of your Unconstitutional, self-appointed, Inappropriate-Behavior Police force, which I’ll refer to here as the Justice League Gang (JLG). By the way, I’m not using these DC Comics pseudonyms simply because I think you’ve all acted like a posse of buffoonish Saturday-morning cartoon characters, but also because I’m trying to protect your privacy and especially your Constitutional rights to due process. You will want to know that this email you’re reading is actually what’s called an “open letter”, and that by the time you receive it, it will have already been posted on my blog, with minor editing, for the whole world to see.

Yup, that’s the whole fucking world!

Hey, what do you think of my use of the F-word there? I happen to think it was quite appropriate and professional, but do you agree?  If not, maybe you missed the following memo from our POTUS regarding the modern understanding of the terms inappropriate and unprofessional. It seems the rules have changed in that regard:

Immortal_Words_Donald_Trump_400x517

Image Credit: TBD

Or maybe you just disagree with Mr. Trumplethinskin. If so, then all the more reason for me to withdraw my charge, because now you definitely have all you need to complete your sham “investigation” and to publicly agree that Batman and the rest of your Justice-League-Gang vigilance committee acted with great if not extra-judicial rectitude by denying me my legal right to protection as an autistic person under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as my Constitutional right to due-process, and thereby bringing me to vigilante pseudo-justice for the pseudo-crime of exhibiting signs of autism in the workplace.

Maybe now you can affirm to the world that the (allegedly) “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officially agrees that Batman and his Saturday-morning cartoonish Super Friends made a good decision to punish me for exhibiting signs of autism in the workplace, and that they all acted quite reasonably when they sentenced me and my family to an unpredictably long period of unemployment and financial free-fall that eventually cost us some $40,000 in lost salary and benefits; when they inflicted upon us so much emotional distress that it provoked a relapse in my wife’s chronic health condition, so that she had to go on steroids for two months to quell the flare up. (FYI, the distress caused other problems too, but you get the picture.)

Yesterday’s phone conversation convinced me beyond any reasonable doubt that your obvious decision to conspire with Batman and the JLG is most likely based entirely in your own ignorance and confusion regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, autism) and probably the entire DSM V. I think it’s very unlikely that you actually went to work for the EEOC because you secretly wanted to indulge some sadistic desire to punish people with autism and other psychiatric disabilities. On the contrary, I feel quite sure that you go to work everyday with nothing but the purest intentions. In fact, you are no doubt utterly aghast at my accusations that you and your sidekick Batgirl have somehow illegally conspired with Batman and the JLG to punish me in the way you have done.

And because I am quite sure that your own defense attorneys will make much of these good intentions in their arguments for leniency, along with the fact that your own ignorance and confusion regarding psychiatric disabilities seems to be a cultural norm, I hope you can appreciate why I might care less about why you think you are entitled to deprive Constitutional rights to people with autism and other psychiatric disabilities, and am focusing now more on the fact that you clearly do feel thus entitled.

To be clear: you are not thus entitled — at least not according to the U.S. Constitution, and specifically not according to Title 18 USC Section 241, Conspiracy against Rights. And for now at least, I do not care in the least about how much good you think you have done, are doing, or will do in your capacity as EEOC Enforcement Supervisor. What I do care about is that your obvious ignorance and confusion regarding psychiatric disabilities like autism poses a serious public health hazard to everyone with such a disability, and who dares petition the EEOC for help, as I have so naively and foolishly done in this matter.

And that is why, as stated above, for the health and safety of my family and me, I hereby withdraw the above mentioned charge against my former employer. I can see now that not only is this billion-dollar, global multinational insurance company wholly incapable of taking any responsibility for its actions in this matter, but that actually the company itself should not even be held accountable for the Conspiracy against Rights crimes that a dozen or so of its own employees committed against me last year. This ruthless posse of self-appointed enforcers of XYZ’s fundamentally incoherent “Code of Conduct” would never have risked doing what they did if they hadn’t been absolutely confident that you, Batgirl, and Andromeda would have their backs at the EEOC.

The way things appear to me now, the real ring leader in these Conspiracy-against-Rights crimes is probably not actually Batman at all, but is most likely at least you, dear Wonderwoman, and quite possibly the entire EEOC. As captured in the recording of yesterday’s conversation, you clearly do not have the first useful clue about how to distinguish between symptoms of autism and behavior that is “inappropriate” or “unprofessional”, and because of this ignorance, I believe you are dangerously incompetent and unfit to fulfill your mandate to enforce the ADA in its objective to protect people with psychiatric disabilities.

And so I say to you this: thank you, Wonderwoman and Batgirl, but your services are no longer required in this matter. To phrase it in those other words made so famous by our magnificent POOTUS (pardon the typo): You’re fired!