I used to work as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC. I was fired in October 1991. At the end of the termination meeting, my supervisor sat next to me as I sifted through my personal things that had been stored in a large cardboard box. She handed me a blank, unused legal pad. Some might see it as a friendly gesture: that she was offering me a gift. I saw a more sinister communication. I thought she was saying, "You can't prove a thing. You have no evidence. You have as much evidence as that contained in this blank legal pad."
I imagined that she was silently and symbolically taunting me. Well, I never forgot that moment. And I took that imagined taunt as a challenge.