Thank You, Mystery Gorilla

You may have noticed that I recently switched icon pictures from the beautiful mysterious gorilla¬† shown above to the beautiful mysterious walrus that I’m currently displaying. As much as I loved the idea that people would look at that magnificent gorilla’s face and think it was my own, the walrus actually has more symbolic meaning for me (explained in this post).

So, thank you, mystery gorilla.


Image Credit: iStock

The face of a walrus

Walrus Awake: An Open Letter to My Diagnostician

Hi Dr. S.,

This is actually one of those “open letters” that people who like to write like to write — people like me. It’s “open” in the sense that in addition to sending it to you, I’m also posting a slightly redacted version of it on my personal blog. The idea here is that in the past year or so since you diagnosed me with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I have learned a great deal about autism, or at least my own idiosyncratic flavor of it, and I have started this blog in order to write about these discoveries in the hope that they may help others.

In any case, before I get to the real purpose of this letter, I would like to express again my deep gratitude to you for detecting that I am autistic. This new information about myself has initiated a transformation in my life, and I’m feeling quite optimistic about the long-term outcome.

The short-run, however, is a whole other walrus.

This letter is about that walrus. In fact, if you visit my blog post you’ll see an actual picture of the animal in question — a truly handsome beast, in my opinion, and totally worth the mouse click and short wait it will take for your browser to load.

In any case, I have some bad news to share with you. Remember that mediation conference you participated in last April 24, 2017 at the so-called “Equal” Employment Opportunity Commission? Well, apparently that was all just a set up. As it turns out, the three other individuals there aside from us — the attorney, my boss, and even the “E”EOC mediator — they were all just putting on some sort of show. The sole purpose of that show was to get my signature on a worthless “E”EOC mediation agreement so that my boss could then fire me without that loose end dangling around in the wind for everyone to see. And they did fire me, less than a month later. They fired me and they definitely did not fulfill the two promises they made to me in that worthless “E”EOC mediation agreement that we signed at the end of that conference. More specifically:

  1. They did not transition me to that new position they told us that they found for me, and
  2. They did not work with my autism specialist (Dr. C.) to determine my correct reasonable accommodations.

They just blew off the mediation agreement, in the same way that I just now there blew off the “E”EOC confidentiality agreement we also signed. And by the way, I feel totally comfortable blowing off that confidentiality agreement, only because they felt so comfortable blowing off the mediation agreement. Believe me, I hope they press charges against me (they won’t).

Furthermore, the only reason you were there was to make it all seem legitimate. I’m sorry to tell you this, Dr. S., but these people used you. They used you like a weapon in order to deprive me of my right to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and my Constitutional Right to due process under the law. I bet you never suspected you could be weaponized like that.

But it gets worse. You see, when they fired me, they threw me and my family into an unpredictably long period of unemployment and financial free-fall that only ended 5 months later when I found another job. The total cost in missed salary and benefits was about $40,000, and that doesn’t include the cost of all the emotional distress this corporate posse-of-the-popular put us all through. By the way, that emotional distress began at least as early as October, 2016 (possibly earlier, even) and eventually caused (among other problems) a relapse in a chronic medical condition my wife has to manage, and which was only quelled after she followed a two-month course of steroids.

But it’s not all bad news, because it’s actually illegal to do what they did. Turns out there’s a Civil Rights Statute — Title 18 USC Section 241, Conspiracy against Rights, under the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI — that empowers a sentencing authority to impose a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or a maximum prison sentence of 10 years upon any “…two or more persons [who] conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;…”

And that’s exactly what these fools did. They blocked me from my ADA protections, and they blocked me from my Constitutional Right to due process. And that is a federal crime.

What I find especially ugly about this nonsense is that they appear to have done this so smoothly and comfortably that I have to guess they do it all the time. To the extent that my guess is correct, then I’m neither their first victim, nor will I be the last — unless they can be stopped. But I don’t think stopping them will be easy. The fact that the “E”EOC actively participates in this sort of wickedness suggests that stopping them will not be easy.

But we do have at least one resource on our side, because another mistake these fools made is that they tried to pull this scam on me. That was a huge mistake. Boy, they really stepped in it when they did that. I can tell you right now that I am definitely not a good victim for this kind of foolishness. Nope. Not at all. These people really botched things up this time. They have messed with the wrong autistic man, that’s for sure.

I don’t remember if I’ve ever told you that for me sometimes, being autistic is like I have a dead walrus chained to my ankle and that I’m dragging it through wet sand. In that image the weight of the beast represents the struggles I have living in a world that has been designed for and built by “normal” people; and the stench of the rotting carcass represents the impact autism can have on my social relationships — the social rejection, alienation, isolation, etc.

Well, as it turns out, this walrus of mine is not really dead after all. Turns out, this whole time he’s just been sleeping.

But now he’s awake, Dr. S. These fools woke my walrus.


Image Credit: Pixabay