The Morally Mature, Civic-Minded, Grown-Up Thing to Do: Yet, Another Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

Dear Mr. Phicks,

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Oh, come now, Mr. Phicks, don’t be that way. Really, there’s nothing to be afraid of!

I know you asked me not to contact you again, but I also know that your request arose from a state of ignorance and cowardly panic. You didn’t have all the facts and mistook your fear as evidence of actual danger. You saw that I got arrested for something, jumped erroneously to the conclusion that I was therefore guilty of something, subsequently forgot that you were an adult, and chose to flee and hide like a frightened child.

Hey, I get it. It happens. Behaving like a morally mature, civic-minded grown-up is often a challenge. But that was a few weeks ago, and you and your client have had a chance to breathe, cool down, come to your senses, get your bearings, pull yourselves together, think things through.

Perhaps by now you’ve recognized that innocent people do get arrested sometimes. Perhaps you’ve taken a closer look at why I got arrested, and why I committed the alleged “crime” (they’re calling it “misdemeanor breaking or entering”). Perhaps you’ve come to see, as I do, that what I actually did was really just what any morally mature, civic-minded grown-up would do in the situation I was in at that time, which is to say:

Perform some alarming (and of course non-violent) gesture in order to draw attention to, and warn the public about The MetLife Meat Grinder

…which is to say, MetLife’s systematic, for-profit exploitation of people with psychiatric disabilities.

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MetLife wants to crush me like an egg for exposing their cruel, for-profit exploitation of people with psychiatric disabilities.

Mr. Phicks, make no mistake: MetLife will stop at nothing to guard the secret of this corrupt and diabolical revenue stream. No doubt the company wishes to crush me like an egg for trying to expose it. If I am successful in doing so, MetLife could face tremendous losses due to litigation, not to mention the effort it will take to revisit millions of previously denied disability claims, and of course all of the benefit payments MetLife will eventually have to disburse as many of those previously denied disability claims are finally approved. Who knows how long MetLife has been cheating and shenanigizing the psychiatrically vulnerable in this way?

The upshot here is that my success will entail an epic financial disaster for MetLife, and I expect the company will spare no expense in order to avert that disaster. Heck, really no one should be shocked or surprised if I die mysteriously or disappear suddenly in the coming weeks or months. At the very least MetLife will try to discredit me, make me look like a criminal, and send me to prison for as long as possible.

I need help here, Mr. Phicks, and by “help” I mean corporate sponsorship. If I am to see this project through to success then I need a corporate ally to have my back on this: one who can match MetLife’s financial muscle. I need at least one major corporation (the more the merrier, really) who can fund my legal defense: a company like your client, I believe, is exactly what I need right now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there’s no middle ground here, Mr. Phicks. Last year when MetLife did what they did to me and my family, it was like the company drew a line in the sand and shoved me on one side and themselves on the other, and now absolutely everybody else on Earth must choose a side, including your client. Unfortunately, your client’s expressed wish to “not participate”

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There’s no middle ground here because MetLife captured it from all of us. They invaded it, took it over, built office buildings and parking lots on it, leaving the rest of us with precisely two places to stand: MetLife’s side or mine. Ugh! What a sucky situation!

is simply not an available option. Especially since they have also exploited my psychiatric disability for profit, then to my view they definitely do not have the option of not participating. Of course, your client is definitely not obligated to choose my side, but with just two sides available in this situation, if they refuse to sponsor me in some way in this fight, then by default they ally themselves with MetLife.

Please, Mr. Phicks, perhaps millions of psychiatrically vulnerable people are counting on you and your client to step up and do the right thing here. Please do not turn your back on us like the effete, privilege-bloated cowards who run MetLife. This is your opportunity to do some good for a great many people. I implore you: embrace this opportunity to act like the morally mature, civic-minded, grown-up we both know you can become!

I believe in you Mr. Phicks! You can do it!

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”


Image Credit: (mysterious businessman skulking away in the night) Pixabay

Mr. Phicks and the Hill o’ Beans

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Uh oh, I think I may have frightened poor Mr. Phicks. Autism strikes again! Image Credit:

Oh, well, so it looks like the whole Mr. Phicks thing has phailed. All of that great “mysterious Mr. Phicks” schtick and it didn’t amount to a hill o’ beans.

Here is his response to my most recent letter to him:

Daniel,

I can’t talk with you anymore. My client has asked me to stop our discussions. My employer has asked me to stop our discussions. And it is clear from your actions leading to your arrest last week that my involvement in your life is counterproductive. We talked about moving on from your obsession with Metlife and you immediately go out and physically invade the Metlife campus. I clearly am not helping matters.

Please do not contact me again.

Ugh! Note the language used:

“…physically invade the MetLife campus….”

Yeah, that’s a great way to describe what I did. Physical invasion. I just totally invaded the MetLife campus. Like in 1945 when the allies invaded the beaches of Normandy, or that time a garbage fly invaded our car and our two-year old daughter screamed hysterically for 20 minutes.

“…physically invade….”

And did he really think he could help me move on from my MetLife obsession with a single phone call? I’ve been obsessed with this MetLife bullshit in one form or another since, like, August 2016.

Oh, Mr. Phicks. Did you really think you were going to phicks this mess that easily?

Listen, amigo, the DSM V is not a book of problems that can be phicksed with a single phone call. The DSM-V is a book of hard problems — e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bi-polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, etc. These are serious problems that require the training, knowledge, and skill of real experts who are trained to recognize and handle them.

But I guess you realize that now.

In any case, and for the reasons explained in my final letter to you: going forward I will consider you, your client, and your employer to be not my allies, which is to say, by default, that you are all allies of Frederick Fritz T. Smith and his high-schoolish gang of Inappropriate Behavior Police.

Well, at least we cleared that up!

No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 2: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

[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,

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I don’t know if Mr. Phicks is a master of disguise, but if he is, I bet he can make himself look like this dapper fellow. Image Credit: Shutterstock

…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.

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Is this a picture of the mysterious Mr. Phicks? Nah, it’s just Sherlock Holmes. But if Mr. Phicks is a master of disguise, I bet he can make himself look like Sherlock Holmes, which would be cool! Image Credit: Shutterstock

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.[1]

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.

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I’m usually a real middle-ground kind of guy, but in this case the middle ground has been completely overtaken by the MetLife/Seyfarth Shaw/EEOC folks who made me a victim of their collusive violation of Federal Statute Title 18 USC Section 241. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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.

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No fence-sitting allowed with respect to my gang war with the “Batman” and his “Justice League Gang”. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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.

Best,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

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Image Credit: Pixabay


[1]To drop all the colorful metaphors for a moment, what they did literally was to commit against my person a violation of the Federal “Conspiracy-against-Rights Statute”, Title 18 USC Section 241.

No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 1: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

Hello Mr. Phicks,

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SMOKING IS NOT COOL, and this is not a picture of the mysterious Mr. Phicks smoking. I really hope the guy doesn’t smoke. Really, nobody should smoke. It’s a filthy habit that kills people and makes their breath stink. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me last Thursday morning. Shortly after we hung up, I went on a crazy shooting rampage over at the new MetLife GTO Campus in Cary, NC.

Of course, not literally, right? Goodness, I’m autistic, for crying out loud, not a murderous psychopath. As I went to great lengths to explain in my recent 6-part series Mockery Not Glockery: Why I Must Become A Lone-Wolf Terrorist, I’m merely a SO TO SPEAK lone-wolf terrorist, by which I mean an utterly harmless, but perhaps intensely frustrating (some times, and for some people, at least) Frustration Artist.

It’s a metaphor, for crying out loud. Like when I say that I got gang-raped by a bunch of my former colleagues at MetLife, along with their slimy and unscrupulous Seyfarth Shaw attorney, and three employees of the EEOC. Of course nobody literally gang raped me. In street-talk I would just say that these people “fucked me over”. When one says that “so-and-so really fucked me over” one is not suggesting that so-and-so made sweet, tender love to me. No. One is saying that “so-and-so raped me” — you know, “figuratively speaking”, whatever.

Similarly, and to be absolutely clear: I’m using the term shooting rampage here strictly as a metaphor. Absolutely no guns were involved, no blood was shed, and nobody got hurt. To put it less figuratively, I only mean that I quietly and politely walked around “shooting” lots and lots of MetLife employees with my GoPro Hero5 Black action camera.

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This is a black-and-white photograph of my GoPro Hero5 Black action camera sitting on black velvet. It’s kind of hard to see. For a better image click here. Image Credit: There’s no actual image to credit, it’s just a picture of blackness.

It was a harmless “photo-shoot” (video-shoot, really), as they say. None of the people I videographed even knew that I was doing it. I’d show you some of the footage here now, but I actually got arrested the following morning (Friday) for committing this victimless “crime” and I’m thinking I should probably speak with my public defender before I release any of the video I “shot”.

I’ve been officially charged with misdemeanor Breaking and Entering, although I broke absolutely nothing and really just entered the MetLife buildings by “tailgating”, which is when you walk in through an open door behind the person who opened it. Anybody who works there can tell you how easy it is to do. MetLife currently has a worthless “no tailgating” building-security policy that burdens its thousands of employees with the task of checking badges of anyone who tries to tailgate. During the two years that I worked there I only ever witnessed one person who actually tried to follow that policy, and he eventually stopped trying because after annoying half-a-dozen of his MetLife colleagues that he just didn’t recognize because he was new, he realized nobody else was stopping tailgaiters and wound up feeling terribly foolish.

Of course, that terribly foolish-feeling person was me!

Hey, what can I say? I’m autistic. If one knows anything useful about autism, one knows that we autistic types like our rules. I was trying to follow MetLife’s “no tailgating” rule, and the way I see it, “no tailgating” means NO TAILGATING!!!

Except with MetLife (and companies like it) “no tailgating” seems to mean “tailgating is actually just fine”.

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I don’t really like to see people as being stupid, but sometimes we do stupid things (there’s a difference). For example, MetLife’s “no tailgating” building-security policy is a stupid rule that just confuses people like me while accomplishing nothing of value. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Is there a better word for that than stupid? Is there some politically correct euphemism that isn’t dangerously misleading? One that doesn’t foolishly suggest that a “no tailgating” building-security policy is perfectly fine in some circumstances? It’s like telling people “please set the building on fire” when what you really mean is “please do not set the building on fire.”

Stupid! MetLife has at least one stupid building-security policy. If my MetLife Shooting Rampage last Thursday afternoon accomplished anything useful, at the very least it proved to the company that their “no tailgating” building-security policy is stupid — and it did so without hurting anybody. Now they will fix it. If they don’t, I’ll just come back one day and remind them again.

Now, in case you’re wondering what all of this has to do with our conversation earlier Thursday morning, it was all partly a spontaneous response to something you had said to me during our conversation, and which I found a lot more disturbing than you may realize. Please note that I said “partly a spontaneous response”, because really I’d spent several months thinking about and planning this utterly harmless little stunt. But before we spoke on Thursday morning, I still had no clear intention to go through with it yet. I hadn’t decided  in advance to do it that particular day, and I certainly had no idea I would be doing it until shortly after we hung up.

 

This post continues with No Fence-sitting Allowed, Part 2: A Second Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks.

 

Agenda: A First Open Letter to the Mysterious Mr. Phicks

Hello Mr. Phicks,

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Even though it makes it seem cool, this is not intended as an endorsement of smoking. Nor is it a picture of the mysterious Mr. Phicks. Image Credit: Pixabay

Thank you for accepting to continue our conversation later this morning. I realize that now that I’ve given back your client’s laptop, this is all basically volunteer work for you, so I want to do want I can to make it worth your while. Toward that end I will sketch out here an agenda for our meeting, although I hope you will see this purely as a recommendation and feel free to modify it or even just to set it aside in favor of other discussion points that may be more important for you.

  1. For training and quality assurance purposes, I would like to record our conversation and possibly to post either the whole recording or segments of it on my personal blog at autistickish.com. I also wish to write about our conversation and to post what I write there as well. I believe our conversation presents a valuable learning opportunity, not just for the two of us, but for others as well, and I would like to make this opportunity publicly available to others. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or reservations about my doing this. In order to protect your anonymity (if such a thing is necessary), I have assigned you the pseudonym “Mr. Phicks” and will refer to you as such during our conversation and in my writing.
  2. I’m attaching two documents which I hope to discuss with you. The first is the EEOC mediation agreement I signed on April 24, 2017 alongside MetLife’s contracted Seyfarth Shaw attorney Frederick “Fritz” T. Smith; and the second is the Settlement Agreement that MetLife has asked me to sign last March, 2018 in exchange for $37,000.00. Please note that I have not yet signed the settlement agreement or received any money from MetLife.
  3. Please note as well that in the EEOC mediation agreement MetLife makes at least the following two promises which remain unfulfilled due to the fact that the company fired me for being autistic before they had a chance to fulfill them:
    1. That I would be assigned a new role within 1 to 3 months;
    2. That MetLife would work with my Autism specialist to determine the correct Reasonable Accommodations I needed in order to be successful at my job.
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I know Mr. Phicks is a busy man, but this is not a picture of him looking at his watch. Image Credit: Pixabay

My hope is that the above 3 items will provide us both with plenty of opportunity for an illuminating exchange, but please feel free to suggests other topics you might wish to cover.

I look forward to speaking with you.

Best,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

 

 


Image Credit: (embedded brick statue) Pixabay.

 

 

 

 

Why I Gave Back that Laptop I Stole: Introducing, Mr. Phicks

Turns Out, Kindness Is My Kryptonite

laptop_with_other_objects_323x210Remember that laptop I stole from the most recent company that fired me for being autistic? Well, I decided to give it back.

I know, right? What happened? Did my civilly disobedient cyber-crime actually work? Did I get cold feet? Did the FBI raid my apartment? Did I succumb to torture? Am I now writing to you from a prison cell?

Uh…no, none of that happened. What happened, basically, is that some guy — let’s call him Mr. Phicks — called me up, explained that he represented my most recent employer (the owner of the laptop),  and then asked me kindly to give back the computer.

Then I pretty much just said “OK”, and gave it back to him.

For the most part, that’s what happened. I’ve left out a few details in that telling, but at the end of the day, that’s pretty much the size of it.

Now, the missing details can all be packed into that word kindly that I used to describe how Mr. Phicks asked me to give back the computer. He asked me kindly, by which I mean that he seemed genuinely concerned about me and my troubles and sincerely interested in understanding my tale of woe — including all the stuff that happened with MetLife. We actually spoke for about a half-an-hour, during which he really listened and expressed a genuine interest in helping me. He was warm, friendly, honest — i.e., he was kind to me. He was a really nice guy about it, and in the end I found it impossible to refuse his request to give back the laptop.

Turns out, Kindness has an effect on me something like Kryponite affects Superman.

And how do I know he was being sincere? Well, at first I didn’t, but I decided to take a chance and trust the guy. He assured me that if I gave back the laptop, it did not have to be the end of our conversation. He said we could certainly continue our conversation and that he’d be happy to help me explore other solutions to the problems I need to solve.

And I decided that the opportunity to talk things over with Mr. Phicks was much, much more attractive than going to jail for stealing a laptop, so I accepted his offer and returned the laptop.

Well, that was a couple of weeks ago, and now tomorrow morning we are scheduled to speak again. I have no idea what to expect from the conversation. Maybe nothing will come of it, but maybe something will.

I’m really curious to find out. 🙂


Image Credit: (olive branch) Pixabay