Friday, May 27, 2011

Letter to Dr. Pitts -- April 12, 1993

The following is a 15-page letter (plus Appendix) that I submitted to my then treating psychiatrist, Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D. The letter, dated April 12, 1993, was written in the weeks prior to my filing a claim for Social Security disability benefits, on April 20, 1993.  The letter includes a discussion of events that took place at my place of employment, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, in the weeks immediately prior to my job termination in late October 1991.  The letter directly controverts allegations about my suitability for employment made in a sworn declaration to the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights by Akin Gump (dated May 22, 1992), which I submitted to SSA in support of my disability claim.   I authorized SSA to review my treatment history with Dr. Pitts.  The statements about my employment history at Akin Gump contained in the following letter are adverse to the Social Security claim I filed a few weeks later, on April 20, 1993.

April 12, 1993
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Apt. 136
Washington, DC 20008

Suzanne M. Pitts, MD
Dept. of Psychiatry
GW Univ. Medical Center
2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20037

Dear Dr. Pitts:

Attached is a paper intended to clarify my information processing style.

One intriguing aspect of the paper is that if a composer were to set to music a chronological listing of all the incidents described in the paper, with a different musical theme associated with each idea based on the idea’s true significance derived from the various reformatting of the incidents,* and with the musical theme repeated and developed each time a particular idea is repeated and developed, you would end up with a musical composition that mirrors the musical structure of a Wagner opera. It was in Der Ring des Nibelungen, a tetrology of interrelated operas, that Wagner first relied on such a musical structure.

An idea stated in the paper is that the cognitive style that might give rise to such a creative structure may rely, on the level of psychopathology, on an identity disturbance. Indeed, with respect to the dramatic content of the Ring one Wagner biographer has written: “Wagner fought for personal identity throughout his life. At almost every level, Der Ring des Nibelungen derives its conflict from situations involving the problem of identity: All too often, someone is not who he appears to be or is taken for.” Gregor-Dellin, M. Richard Wagner, at 20-21 (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: 1983). Perhaps there is some relation between the dramatic themes in the Ring relating to identity and the information processing, or cognitive, style that gave rise to the Ring’s musical structure, or a relationship between psychopathology and cognition.

Sincerely,

Gary Freedman
________________

*A rather obscurely worded notion that is clarified by anecdotes paragraph 1I through paragraph 4I in the paper. Thus, an identical theme would be played at the point Chris Montague pats me on the back in 1990 and when David Berkowitz offers me a doughnut in 1991.

[Contains handwritten notes by Dr. Pitts. States: “Hand carried.”]

The following is a kind of case study in my information processing style.  I have chosen a behavior that I have noted others to have engaged in at different times, and list selected associations (some remote) to the subject behavior.  The specific behavior involves a male suddenly rising (“popping up") from a seated position in front of me and repeating the behavior during the course of the interaction.  No interpretation is placed on the behavior.

The anecdotes depend almost exclusively on memory and may include distortions of memory (parapraxes of memory). The anecdotes are reformatted in various ways (chronologically, by person, by associated behaviors, etc); it is assumed that an aspect of my cognition is the instantaneous nonconscious and nonvolitional reordering and reformatting of perceptions.  It is further assumed that my tendency to ascribe meaning to seemingly meaningless and trivial perceptions is partly based on this aspect of my cognition: the instantaneous nonconscious and nonvolitional reformatting of perceptions according to different categories.  (Note that the listed associations are highly selective; many more could be mentioned, but the paper would be burdened with endless associations.  The selected associations are intended to the give the flavor of the dynamics of my cognition.  This paper, the product of hours of conscious deliberation, is assumed to reflect what occurs continuously and instantaneously with respect to countless perceptions each day.)

It is hoped that this material will help elucidate the manner in which I process perceptions, and contribute to an understanding of the interaction of memory and perception in my case.  Finally, it is hoped that these materials will clarify how I slowly and nonconsciously begin to attribute meaning to seemingly trivial and meaningless perceptions.

Of additional interest in my case is precisely how this type of cognition is related to issues of psychopathology.  Might one offer the tentative hypothesis, for example, that the propensity and ability to view the same data from different perspectives or categories (a purely cognitive function) may be related to identity diffusion (i.e., an identity segmented into different categories)?  This hypothesis finds some support in the view that my memory (a cognitive function) may be related to my adapting to fears of identity loss and the consequent need to cling to even the most seemingly trivial incidents of my experience, in an attempt to retain some measure of identity.  In other words, on a purely cognitive level there appears to be a relationship between (1) linkages/categorizations and (2) memory, which may parallel the relationship at the level of my psychopathology between (1) identity diffusion (diffuse identity categories) and (2) identity loss and the consequent compulsive need to retain (or remember) identity.  (Compare the comments regarding Wagner in the cover letter).

Finally, of great importance in my case is how the inferences that result from my cognition resemble or differ from the inferences typically resulting from paranoid cognition and psychopathology.

1A.  Early in the afternoon in about mid-September 1988 I had lunch at Zorba’s on Connecticut Avenue, near DuPont Circle, with three former co-workers from the law firm of Hogan & Hartson: Craig Dye, Michael Wilson, and Daniel Cutler.  I believe that the lunch was sometime after the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) but before Yom Kippur (which would place the date after September 13 but before September 20).  The four of us were seated outside at a pavement-side table as follows

                                      ZORBA’S
___________________________________________________
WILSON                                                            CUTLER

DYE                                                                    FREEDMAN
___________________________________________________

                                    STREET

Michael Wilson was wearing reflective sunglasses.  I can recall this because I said to him, looking at my own reflection in his glasses, “Your sunglasses provide a narcissistic satisfaction to other people.”

Craig was wearing a gray, Christian Dior, 100% cotton shirt with orange pin-stripes, which I had first seen him wear on Friday October 16, 1987.  The shirt was crisp and apparently professionally laundered.  I vaguely recall that the collar stays were missing.

During the course of lunch I noticed that Daniel Cutler, who was seated directly in front of me, repeatedly popped up from his chair with a sudden motion.  Of the numerous times I interacted with Daniel Cutler, this was the only time I noticed that he engaged in this behavior.

It was at this lunch that I told Michael Wilson, Daniel Cutler, and Craig that I was working on an autobiography, and asked them if they wanted to see a copy of it when it was completed.  I was later to write the autobiography at one sitting on Columbus Day, 1988, a few weeks later (Monday, October 10, 1988).

After lunch the four of us walked to the DuPont circle Metro station, across the street from the office of Akin Gump, where I worked at the time.  Near the subway entrance is a row of self-service newspaper stands.  I noticed a copy of the Jewish Times, the front cover of which featured, in Hebrew,  the traditional Jewish New Year salutation, “Shana tova."  At this moment I said to Michael Wilson: L’shana tova.  He replied:  "L'chaim.”  Craig turned to Daniel and, with an odd look, said: “let’s get out of here.”

_________________________________________

1B.  During the year 1990, while employed at Akin Gump, I worked in a group office on the ninth floor.  On occasion I and fellow employees used to gather at lunch time in the office and play various board games, usually Trivial Pursuits.  These lunch time gatherings would have included various employees on different occasions including Stacey Papa, David Berkowitz, Ozzie Jamieson, John Lotrario, among others.

On a few occasions a legal assistant, Chris Montague, who also worked in the ninth floor office, joined the group at these lunch time gatherings.  On one occasion only I noticed that Chris Montague, who was seated across from me, popped up suddenly from his chair a few times.
__________________________________

1C.  On about September 11, 1991, while working at Akin Gump, my supervisor, Chris Robertson, held a luncheon meeting (designated a “Hoechst Strategy Meeting”)  in the 12th floor conference room.  (I was out of the office on Monday September 9, 1991 and possibly Tuesday September 10, 1991 to attend services for the Jewish New Year in Philadelphia; I had stayed with my sister, Estelle, and her family in New Jersey.  While in Philadelphia, I had purchased some T-shirts at the University of Pennsylvania bookstore.  Upon my return to Washington I wrote a parable, modeled on Kafka, about a man who writes his autobiography, a copy of which I had left on a table in my apartment.)  The staff meeting was attended by various litigation support personnel, legal assistants and attorneys then working on a matter for the client, Hoechst-Celanese.  The two attorneys in attendance were Katherine MacKinnon and Mary Ellen Conner.  A partial schema of the seating is as follows:


                   ___Dillon____________Berkowitz__
Jones

Connor                                                                    Harkness

MacKinnon  _____________________________
                        Freedman   Patrick    Robertson

Early arrivals at the luncheon meeting were attorney Mary Ellen Connor and legal assistants Bob Dillon and Sandy Jones.  Mary Ellen Connor had just returned form the U.S. Open; she criticized Aaron Krickstein but praised Jimmy Connors.  Sandy Jones mentioned something about having eaten some lamb dish and also talked about T-shirts.

(I can recall the references to “lamb” because I had the paranoid thought that the references were symbolically related to Lambda Rising, a homosexual bookstore on Connecticut Avenue.  What is significant about this paranoid idea of reference is that irrespective of its irrationality, it provided the basis of a recollection of a trivial fact--that Sandy Jones discussed, on about September 11, 1991, having previously eaten a lamb dish.  Thus, an important part of my psychological functioning is the interaction of psychopathology (here, an idea of reference) and cognition (recollection of a trivial fact).  Another example: I can recall that Sandy Jones also talked about T-shirts (trivial fact retained by the cognitive function of memory, but initially perceived as an idea of reference relating to my having purchased some T-shirts at the Penn bookstore.)  This process of registering and retaining facts, repeated again and again, gives rise to a large storehouse of trivial facts about many situations and people.  As the storehouse of facts increases in size, ever greater opportunities for comparison of facts and more comprehensive “data sorts” emerge (based on the cognitive function of pattern discrimination), finally resulting in additional and, perhaps, ever more reliable inferences).  (Sandy Jones had begun her assignment at the firm in the late summer of 1989 as an agency-supplied temporary; she shared an office on the fifth floor with John “Red Meat” Falk, another agency-supplied temporary--both worked on the same project that I supervised.  Sandy Jones was also, coincidentally, a college friend of Jesse Raben’s; both were political science majors at Dr. Rothenberg’s alma mater, Tufts University.)

Bob Dillon, who was seated directly across from me, popped up suddenly from his chair a number of times.

I believe that fajitas were served at the luncheon meeting, which was chaired by Katherine MacKinnon. When Katherine MacKinnon entered the conference room, her first words were “that was a stellar performance.” I don’t recall what she was referring to. She picked at the fajita on her plate and ever so slowly savored the red meat in small portions, rather than eat the fajita whole as a sandwich.
[see the following blog post:

 http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2011/03/dc-reply-brief-freedman-v-dc-dept-human.html

-- On the afternoon of October 2, 1991 Freedman met with a female legal assistant in a private office.  He was seated in front of her desk and the female employee was in back of it, but leaning over it, supporting her torso with her elbows.  According to Freedman, as she was reviewing Freedman's work, she gyrated her hips and rubbed her pelvic region against the desk in a "sexually suggestive manner while simultaneously expressing her work-related comments in the form of double entendres."  R. 332, 349.

[In November 1991, a few weeks after I was terminated, I visited the Equal Employment Opportunity Commisson headquarters (in Washington, DC), and spoke with an investigator named Franklin C. Jones about the job harassment I experienced at Akin Gump.  I had hoped to file a complaint with the EEOC. When I recounted the above incident Franklin Jones said that it constituted
prima facie evidence of sexual harassment.  (It was Franklin Jones who referred me to the D.C. Department of Human Rights, explaining that perceived sexual orientation is not a protected class under Title VII, the federal anti-discrimination statute.)

A few historical facts, of which a finder of fact might take judicial notice, are the following.  As of October 2, 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee was conidering the nomination of former EEOC Chairman Clarence Thomas to the post of associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Justice Thomas was alleged to have sexually harassed an employee at the EEOC named Anita Hill.  One of Anita Hill's witnesses was law professor Catherine MacKinnon, from the University of Michigan Law School (who incidentally, was at one time engaged to marry Freud scholar Jeffrey M. Masson).  Record evidence discloses that I referred to Clarence Thomas during my meeting with Earl L. Segal, Esq. on the afternoon of October 23, 1991.

As of October 2, 1991 I worked with the female harasser on a project for the client Hoechst-Celanese for an Akin Gump associate named Katherine MacKinnon (who was young and attractive).  Katherine MacKinnon worked on Hoechst under billing partner David P. Callet.

Non-record evidence discloses that the female harasser was keenly interested in the Thomas confirmation hearings, and, in fact, had brought in a portable TV from home to watch the hearings while she was working.  I specifically recall that on one occasion the female harasser noted the coincidence that law professor Catherine Mackinnon had the same name as Akin Gump associate Katherine MacKinnon.  I specificaly recall responding: "Yea.  But our Katherine spells her name with a "K" not a  "C""
]

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss progress on the Hoechst-Celanese project.  During the course of the meeting Chris Robertson mentioned that she had created a computer program that would allow direct entry of data by legal assistants engaged in the chemical analysis phase of the project.  She used the word “guinea-pig” a number of times, stating that she had chosen me as the "guinea-pig" to test the newly-designed program.   I didn’t react to her use of the word “guinea-pig.” I sensed that David Berkowitz noticed my lack of a reaction.  I noticed that David Berkowitz, who was seated somewhat across from Chris Robertson, looked over at her with a dejected expression in the moments after I failed to react to Chris Robertson’s use of “guinea-pig.”

[See the following blog post:

http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2010/03/social-security-document-submission_03.html

12. On Friday August 30, 1991 I received a telephone call from Christine Robertson about a computer program she was designing for use in the Hoechst matter. During the call she seemed to use a number of double entendres.

[I had the paranoid impression that the words and phrases Chris Robertson used were double entendres relating to a possible conversation between Dr. Palombo and firm management:

guinea pig = a pejorative reference to Italians; presumably Dr. Palombo was of Italian heritage

bugs = Jews or younger siblings; Freud believed that, psychoanalytically, references to insects by patients symbolized the envied younger sibling; also Hitler used the insecticide Zyklon B in the gas chambers to kill Jews

data conversation = a play on the term "religious conversion" -- a reference to the fact that I am only half-Jewish

scroll down and scan -- homosexuality, looking down at a man's genital area

“It will be better for you,” and -- ?

fine tuning = Dr. Palombo used this phrase periodically with me -- he used to say that my personality needed "fine tuning," thereby indicating the mildness of my personality problems]

During the weekend [following Friday August 30, 1991], I made some notes about the call, recording some of the highlights. The notes also included some half-witted witticisms. I accidentally left the notes on my bed during the weekend. I had the vague suspicion that Mal Eno (not Elaine Wranik) may have seen the notes in my apartment and reported their existence back to the firm. I believe that was on Monday September 2, 1991, at about lunch time, that I saw Dennis Race standing near Malcolm Lassman’s office where I had been working [temporarily on the fourth floor]. Despite the distance between us, Dennis Race smiled at me. I had the self-referential feeling that he was reacting to my notes about Chris Robertson’s call. I had the thought, "He
must know the score. He knows what’s going on.”]

 
Katherine MacKinnon mentioned that unlimited overtime was being offered to legal assistants working on the chemical analysis phase in order to expedite the completion of the project.  I believe that Katherine Harkness, who was present, stated that the overtime would not necessarily expedite the completion of the project.  Katherine Harkness pointed out that because of the intellectual demands of the project and the physical demands of handwriting the data, a legal assistant could work for only so long at one sitting on the project.  (Katherine Harkness’ comments seem curious in light of her subsequent statement to me that I was free to take work home and work all the overtime I wanted at home.)  At this moment, I humorously pointed out that that was the great thing about Chris Robertson’s newly-designed computer program: direct data entry onto the computer eliminated the fatigue caused by handwriting the data, which would increase a legal assistant’s capacity to make use of overtime.  This comment caused general laughter among those present.  The meeting ended shortly thereafter.

[Note my affability in a group setting as of September 11, 1991 (even in the face of the pervasively self-referential quality of my thinking at that time).  According to Robertson, in the retaliatory memo she wrote one day after I lodged a harassment complaint against her, on October 24, 1991, I was a severely troubled employee. 

http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2010/12/akin-gump-supervisors-retaliatory-memo.html

From a legal perspective, note that Dennis Race's failure to carry out an adequate investigation of my harassment complaint led him to make misleading statements about my suitability for employment that ultimately persuaded the Social Security Administration that I was not suitable for employment by reason of severe mental illness as of October 29, 1991.  The D.C. Superior Court ruled that the adequacy of Dennis Race's investigation was not material.  I wonder if the U.S. Social Security Administration -- which is paying out a sizeable sum in disability payments based on Dennis Race's inadequate investigation -- would agree.]

As those present began to stand to leave the meeting, Katherine MacKinnon mentioned that the attorney David Callet was at that time, or would shortly be, hospitalized.  She may have mentioned something about sending David Callet a gift.

Later in the afternoon of September 11, 1991 I had a session with Dr. Brown, a psychologist.  At the session, Dr. Brown asked me if I ever attended staff meetings at work. I told him that, in fact, I had attended a staff meeting earlier that afternoon.  He asked me how that went.  Dr. Brown also asked me if I ever visited my sister.  I mentioned that, coincidentally, I had just returned from a visit with my sister’s family in New Jersey (“stellar performance?”).  I told Dr. Brown that I attended services for the Jewish New Year at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which provided the occasion for visiting my sister.  (It was during that visit to New Jersey that I said repeatedly to my sister, “I love red meat!  I love red meat!”) (Also, while at my sister’s I asked her if she ever went to Dewey Beach.   I mentioned that someone at the office went regularly to Dewey Beach; I did not identify the co-worker, who was, in fact, Bob Dillon.)

_________________________________

Associations to gray shirt:

1D.  In about late January 1987 I purchased a gray, Christian Dior, 100% cotton, orange pin-striped shirt, which I wore a number of times while working at Hogan & Hartson.  I worked with Daniel Cutler and Craig Dye at Hogan at that time.

2D.  On Friday October 16, 1987, Craig stopped by my desk to ask if I wanted to join him and Daniel for lunch on the roof deck of the office building.  It was an unusually warm, early-autumn day.  Craig was wearing a shirt identical to the one I was wearing that day: a gray cotton, orange pin-striped short.  (It may have been that afternoon that Daniel introduced me to Doug Rosenfeld while we were on the roof deck.  Doug Rosenfeld was at that time an attorney at Hogan; he was a friend of Daniel’s.  I can expressly recall that it was that afternoon that I saw my then supervisor, Miriam Chilton, on the roof deck talking to Hogan’s then legal assistant administrator, Freddie Rios.)  On the evening of Friday October 16, 1987 I had a dream in which Craig and I were having lunch on the roof deck and wearing the same gray, orange pin-striped shirt.  I told Craig about this dream the following day, Saturday October 17, 1987, at work;  Craig was wearing a blue “Navy’ cap and jeans.  I mentioned to Craig that in the dream Miriam was named “Sheila.”  (I told Dr. Palombo about this dream in 1990 while in therapy with him, noting the importance of identification in my psychology as indicated by the fact that I had transformed the peculiar coincidence of wearing the same shirt as Craig on October 16, 1987 into a dream that evening.)

[Rosenfeld subsequently left Hogan.  He started as an associate at Akin Gump on Monday March 13, 1989.  Coincidentally, his office adjoined that of Eastern Airlines partner David Callet.  I believe Rosenfeld worked on Eastern labor litigation.]

[I have a theory about why the afternoon of Friday October 16, 1987 stands out in my memory.  I remember saying to Daniel and Craig at lunch on the Columbia Square roof deck: “This may well be the  last warm day of the year.”  Coincidentally, Monday October 19, 1987 was “Black Monday,” the day the stock market crashed: a historically notable event.  My mind may have linked the idea of the weather turning cold with the idea of the stock market going “bear” -- the two events being a metaphor for each other.]

3D.  Early in the afternoon in about mid-September 1988 I had lunch at Zorba’s on Connecticut Avenue, near DuPont Circle, with three former co-workers from the law firm of Hogan & Hartson: Craig Dye, Michael Wilson, and Daniel Cutler.  Craig was wearing a Christian Dior, gray cotton shirt with orange pin-stripes, which I had first seen him wear on Friday October 16, 1987.  The shirt was crisp and apparently professionally laundered.  I vaguely recall that the collar stays were missing.

(This group of associations is fundamentally meaningless, but indicates that I process even meaningless, trivial facts in the same “multi-category” manner as facts to which I attribute some meaning.  These associations also show how my linkages are used to facilitate my recollections and how, in turn, my recollections facilitate my linkages.)

____________________________________

Associations to “popping up”

1E.  At lunch with Daniel Cutler, Craig Dye, and Michael Wilson, in mid-September 1988 at Zorba’s, Daniel Cutler repeatedly pops up from his chair, while seated directly across from me.

2E.  At mid-day break with co-workers on the 9th floor at Akin Gump, Chris Montague on one occasion in 1990 repeatedly pops up from his chair, while seated directly across from me.

3E.  At luncheon meeting on about September 11, 1991 Bob Dillon repeatedly pops up from his chair, while seated directly across from me.
______________________________

Selected associations to David Berkowitz

1F.  Some time in 1990 I struck up a conversation with David Berkowitz.  During our exchange David Berkowitz seemed to act in a “staged" manner.  He stammered and dropped something he was holding, as if he were nervous.  I formed the impression that he was attempting to mimic the behavior of a shy person engaged in social interaction.  (I told Dr. Brown about this incident during my therapy with him in 1991).

2F.  On Monday April 16, 1990 I sent a letter to the Anti--Defamation League (ADL) requesting information regarding anti-Semitism.  Later that week, harassing behavior by coworkers rose to a very high pitch.  At that time I worked in a large common office on the ninth floor, shared with David Berkowitz and other legal assistants.  I formed the impression that a member of management had previously communicated with the ADL regarding my case and requested that the firm be alerted should the ADL receive any communications from me.  I inferred that my co-workers’ heightened harassing conduct, which began a few days after April 16, 1990, was a reaction to my letter to the ADL regarding the issue of anti-Semitism.  David Berkowitz started to really act up that week.  I inferred that David Berkowitz reacted to any suggestion that I was a victim of anti-Semitism (cf. paragraph 7F).

3F.  During the summer of 1990 I shared office space on the 9th floor with Chris Montague, David Berkowitz and others.  One day, as I got off the elevator on the ninth floor, I noticed Chris Montague chatting with David Berkowitz.  Chris Montague walked over to me, said hello, and patted me on the back.  The interaction was unusual.  (At that moment I recalled the following interaction: During the summer of 1988 I used to perform a certain task on Eastern Airlines for legal assistant Phil Feigen, who shared office space with legal assistant Jesse Raben on the second floor.  One day Phil telephoned, requesting that I stop down to his office to pick up some work.  When I arrived, Jesse Raben was very friendly.  It was in fact the first time that Jesse was friendly with me since he had started working at the firm on June 13, 1988.  As Jesse and I engaged in some banter, J.D. Neary stopped at the doorway of the office.  Not saying a word, J.D. Neary stopped at the doorway of the office.  Not saying a word, J.D. simply nodded as though cueing Jesse to a prearranged plan.  I took a stack of documents to a nearby Xerox room to make copies for the task I was doing for Phil.  Moments later, Jesse stopped by the Xerox room and continued his banter in a lively manner.  The next day, I stopped at Phil’s and Jesse’s office to perform more of the same task I had been doing the previous day.  But this day, Jesse seemed more his normal self.)  (Note how in this “sorting” of the data, we can see a parallel between J.D. Neary’s behavior and that of David Berkowitz: the encouraging of a good-looking male ([Jesse Raben and Chris Montague, respectively] to be friendly with me.)

[Jesse Raben started working at Akin Gump on June 13, 1988 -- the same day I started working at the firm as an Akin Gump temporary employee.  (I had been an agency-supplied temp since early March 1988.)  Again, the issue of identification is prominent.  See 2D, above.  Incidentally, June 13 is the anniversary of Franz Kafka's bar mitzvah.]

4F.  On Friday afternoon April 5, 1991 I was called to the office of my supervisor at Akin Gump, Chris Robertson.  When I arrived, David Berkowitz was engaged in a heated discussion, if not an argument, with Chris Robertson.  David Berkowitz seemed to be playing a role in a play: a play about an employee who was difficult to supervise.  I had a suspicion that the interaction was in some way being “staged” for my benefit, as if Chris Robertson were attempting to symbolically communicate to me that it was OK to argue with her when I disagreed with her.  When David Berkowitz left Chris Robertson’s office, Chris Robertson advised me that she had decided that I was to be moved from the 9th floor to the terrace level, effective Monday April 8, 1991. (On the afternoon of Friday April 5, 1991 I attended a legal assistant staff meeting at which Malcolm Lassman responded to rumors, current in the firm at that time, that management planned to lay off legal assistants because of the recession.)

[Dennis Race told the Department of Human Rights (May 22, 1992) that I was "very difficult to supervise."  It's interesting that while I worked at the firm I had formed the opinion that supervisors were trying to generate evidence that I was "very difficult to supervise."]

5F.  Some time during the spring or early summer of 1991, while I was working on the terrace level, David Berkowitz stopped by my desk and offered me a doughnut.  I declined the offer; he walked away.

6F.  On Monday morning August 12, 1991 I met with attorney Cynthia Hogue in her office to review the task to which I was to be assigned, Hoechst chemical analysis.  Present in the office with Cynthia Hogue were attorney Mary Ellen Connor and legal assistants David Berkowitz and Katherine Harkness.

7F.  On Friday afternoon August 30, 1991, while working in a private area on the 4th floor on the Hoechst-Celanese project, David Berkowitz stopped by.  We chatted briefly.  Our exchange was unusual.  While I was working at Akin Gump, it was exceptionally rare for a legal assistant to stop by just to chat.  The interaction with David Berkowitz that afternoon was welcome, but it struck me as peculiar.  (David Berkowitz is Jewish cf. paragraph 2F).  A brief time later I received a telephone call from my supervisor, Chris Robertson.   She advised me that she was in the process of designing a computer program that would enable me to enter data directly onto the computer system.  She stated that she had decided that I would be the “guinea pig” to test out the new program.  She used other words and phrases such as “scroll down and scan,” fine tuning,” and “bugs,” etc.

(I formed the opinion the various words and phrases Chris Robertson used were really double entendres relating to what I presume to have been some communication between firm management and Dr. Palombo.  The next day, Saturday August 31, 1991, I memorialized key parts of the telephone call on a piece of paper (ironically, the back cover of a Temple Law Quarterly that I had ripped from the binding);  I left the paper on the bed in my apartment that Saturday afternoon.)

(On Monday September 9, I visited my sister and her family in New Jersey and attended services for the Jewish New Year at the University of Pennsylvania.)

8F.  On about September 11, 1991, while working at Akin Gump, my supervisor, Chris Robertson, held a luncheon meeting (designated a “Hoechst Strategy Meeting”) on the 12th floor conference room.  The meeting was attended by various litigation support personnel, legal assistants (including David Berkowitz), and attorneys then working on a matter for the client, Hoechst-Celanese.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss progress on the Hoechst-Celanese project.  During the course of the meeting Chris Robertson mentioned that she had created a computer program that would allow direct entry of data by legal assistants engaged in the chemical analysis phase of the project.  She used the word “guinea pig” a number of times, stating that she had chosen me as the “guinea pig” to test the newly-designed program.  I didn’t react to her use of the word “guinea pig.”  I sensed that David Berkowitz noticed my lack of a reaction.  I noticed that David Berkowitz, who was seated somewhat across from Chris Robertson, took on a dejected look immediately after I did not exactly to Chris Robertson’s use of the word “guinea-pig.”

[In the context of the project we were all working on, the term "guinea-pig" had a double meaning.  Manifestly, Chris Robertson applied the term to me to indicate that I was being used as the test subject to assess the new computer  program.  It’s interesting that the project itself  involved data extraction of technical documents relating to the health effects of toxic substances used by the chemical company Hoechst Celanese, including the chemical formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is used both as an embalming agent and in the clothing industry.]

Guinea pigs, as lab animals, are fungibles that lack a personal identity

Rats and mice, like guinea pigs are used as models in scientific experiments.]

[I still remember another incident involving David Berkowitz that occurred in about August 1991 when I started working on the Hoechst project.  He was explaining some aspect of the work to me and using the word “synonym.”  Instead of saying “synonym,” he would say cinnamon -- as if he were mimicking a shy person stumbling over his words.  See paragraph 1F, above.]

[Robert Strauss resigned from Akin Gump in about mid-August 1991 to assume an Ambassadorship.  I had formed the impression that Akin Gump staff believed that I was being protected by Bob Strauss, and that my employment with the firm would become vulnerable after he left.]

Selected associations to Chris Montague

1G.  Beginning some time in September 1989, while I was working on the 6th floor, co-workers began to use the name “Chris” with unusual frequency in conversations with me.  On October 24, 1989 I moved to office space on the ninth floor, and introduced myself to another legal assistant who was also moving into that office space that day.  He introduced himself as Chris Montague.  When I told Chris that “I worked at the other end” of the office, he appeared to wince.  I later learned that Chris Montague had been hired in September 1989 at about the same time co-workers seemed to begin using the name “Chris” with unusual frequency in conversations with me.  Chris was a very good-looking, athletic male in his early 20’s.

2G.  During the firm Christmas party on December 14, 1989, at the Westin Hotel, while I was talking to legal assistants Chris Montague and Gary Zanfagna, attorney Larry Tanenbaun glanced at my genital area.

(Some time during the summer of 1990 while riding in an elevator, as Mr. Tanenbaum spoke with legal assistant Stacey Papa about playing softball “with the guys,” he glanced at my genital area.)

[Apparently Stacey Papa played softball.  Bob Wheeler used to coach a little-league baseball team.]

(Around 5:30 PM on about August 1, 1990 Mr. Tanenbaum started to whistle at me as he entered the elevator shortly after I asked summer research assistant, Matthew Erskine to lunch.  Larry Tanenbaum was the former husband of Maggie Sinnott, the firm’s legal assistant administrator).

3G.  During the year 1990, while employed at Akin Gump, I worked in a group office on the ninth floor.  On occasion I and fellow employees used to gather at lunch time in the office and play various board games, usually Trivial Pursuits.  These lunch time gatherings would have included various employees on different occasions including Bob Wheeler, Kathy Reynolds, Stacey Papa, David Berkowitz, Ozzie Jamieson, John Lotrario, among others.

On a few occasions a legal assistant, Chris Montague, who also worked in the ninth floor office, joined the group at these lunch time gatherings.  On one occasion only I noticed that Chris Montague, who was seated across form me, pooped up suddenly from his chair a few times.

4G. During the summer of 1990 I shared office space on the 9th floor with Chris Montague, David Berkowitz and others.  One day, as I got off the elevator on the ninth floor, I noticed Chris Montague chatting with David Berkowitz.  Upon spotting me, David Berkowitz glanced at Chris Montague;  Chris Montague walked over to me, said hello, and patted me on the back.  The interaction was unusual.

____________________________

Selected associations to Bob Dillon

1H.  Some time in about the spring or summer of 1991, while I worked on the terrace level, Bob Dillon (who also worked on the terrace level) offered me a fajita he had gotten at a staff meeting.

2H.  On about September 11, 1991, while working at Akin Gump, my supervisor, Chris Robertson, held a staff meeting (designated a “Hoechst Strategy Meeting") on the 12th floor conference room.  The meeting was attended by various litigation support personnel, legal assistants, including Bob Dillon, and attorneys then working on a matter for the client Hoechst-Celanese.

Early arrivals at the luncheon meeting were attorney Mary Ellen Connor and legal assistants Bob Dillon and Sandy Jones.  Bob Dillon, who was seated directly across from me, popped up suddenly from his chair a number of times.

(While at my sister’s at the beginning of the week (to attend Jewish New Year services at the University of Pennsylvania, I asked my sister if she ever went to Dewey Beach.  I mentioned that someone at the office goes regularly to Dewey Beach; I did not identify the co-worker, who was, in fact, Bob Dillon.)
 _____________________________________

associations to offers of food:

While working at Akin Gump I formed the impression certain employees were of the opinion that I was extremely shy, but that I would be friendly if someone were to make a friendly overtire to me.

1I.  During the summer of 1990 I shared office space on the 9th floor with Chris Montague, David Berkowitz and others.  One day, as I got off the elevator on the ninth floor, I noticed Chris Montague chatting with David Berkowitz.  Chris Montague walked over to me, said hello, and patted me on the back.  The interaction was unusual.  (At that moment I recalled the following interaction: During the summer of 1988 I used to perform a certain task on Eastern Airlines for legal assistant Phil Feigen, who shared office space with legal assistant Jesse Raben on the second floor.  One day Phil telephoned, requesting that I stop down to his office to pick up some work.  When I arrived, Jesse Raben was very friendly.  It was in fact the first time that Jesse was friendly with me since he had started working at the firm on June 13, 1988.  As Jesse and I engaged in some banter, J.D. Neary stopped at the doorway of the office.  Not saying a word, J.D. Neary stopped at the doorway of the office.  Not saying a word, J.D. simply nodded as though cueing Jesse to a prearranged plan.  I took a stack of documents to a nearby Xerox room to make copies for the task I was doing for Phil.  Moments later, Jesse stopped by the Xerox room and continued his banter in a lively manner.  The next day, I stopped at Phil’s and Jesse’s office to perform more of the same task I had been doing the previous day.  But this day, Jesse seemed more his normal self.)  (Note how in this “sorting” of the data, we can see a parallel between J.D. Neary’s behavior and that of David Berkowitz: the encouraging of a good-looking male ([Jesse Raben and Chris Montague, respectively] to be friendly with me.)

2I.  During the fall of 1989, while I was assigned to office space on the 9th floor, someone had placed an empty dog food bag together with an empty milk container in my trash can.  One employee who was also assigned to the same office space on the 9th floor, Stacey Schaar, used to bring her dog to the office on occasion on weekends.  I suspected it was Stacey Schaar who placed the dog food bag in my trash can.  (Compare previous letter regarding Stacey Schaar's intense reaction to me in August 1989 temporally related to my dinner with Jesse Raben and his roommate.)

[In early August 1989 Schaar said to me: "We're all afraid of you.  We're all afraid you might buy a gun, bring it in, and shoot everybody."  A target of workplace mobbing may be seen as potentially violent by the mobbers.

Throughout my tenure at the firm I used to go to lunch at 2:00 PM every day.  On one occasion during the summer of 1989 Stacey Schaar tried to persuade me to go to lunch at an earlier time; there was a begging quality in her tone.  Why would a coworker have an emotional investment in the time I chose for a lunch break?  It's interesting to me that Schaar believed she had a weight problem and belonged to Jenny Craig.  She had brought a pop-corn popper to the office so she could have a snack at will.  Schaar had an apparent preoccupation with food, eating, and hunger.

I had a psychoanalytical theory about Stacey Schaar.  I believe she suffered from an ego-boundary problem. 

The nature of her ego-boundary problem was that she was unable to appreciate where her ego-boundary left off and mine began.  Thus, if I went to lunch relatively late in the afternoon she felt that I was starving (or attacking) her.  (Compare Schaar's fear that I might shoot her.)  I believe that Schaar exhibited borderline psychopathology.  It appeared to me that she had a problem with object constancy; in her relations with me she vacillated between friendliness and hostility in short time spans.  She was terminated in May 1990 because she had created a filing system that only she understood in an attempt to make herself "indispensable" to the firm; this indicates her fear of termination (fear of abandonment)
.]

I had the suspicion with respect to certain offers of food, that these offers were an attempt to see if I would make a friendly gesture in return.

3I.  Some time during the spring or early summer of 1991, while I was working on the terrace level, David Berkowitz stopped by my desk and offered me a doughnut.  I turned down the offer; he walked away.

4I.  Some time in about the spring or summer of 1991, while I worked on the terrace level, Bob Dillon (who also worked on the terrace level) offered me a fajita that he had gotten at a staff meeting.

[The occasional offers of food seem dynamically related to the peculiar and shallow friendly gestures from employees: the pat on the back by Chris Montague during the summer of 1990 that seemed to have been coordinated with David Berkowitz; the peculiar friendliness of Jesse Raben during the summer of 1988 that seemed to have been coordinated with J.D. Neary.]
_____________________________

associations to Mary Ellen Connor:

1J.  Some time in the early fall of 1990 I ran out of work and asked the legal assistant coordinator, J.D. Neary to provide an assignment.  He arranged to have me perform an assignment for attorney Mary Ellen Connor, whom I had never met before.  I spoke with Mary Ellen Connor about the assignment, but she later told me that she had no need for me.  (J.D. Neary had me arrange file folders for attorney Richard Wyatt instead.)

2J.  Some time late on a Friday afternoon during the summer of 1991, while I was assigned to the terrace level, Mary Ellen Connor stopped by Bob Dillon's desk to chat about Bob Dillon's plans for the weekend.  (Bob Dillon's desk was directly adjacent to mine, behind a partition on the terrace level.  Bob Dillon mentioned that he planned to go to the beach with friends that weekend.  Mary Ellen Connor talked in a noticeably animated manner with Bob Dillon about his spending time with "the guys" that weekend [cf. paragraph 2G].

Mary Ellen Connor then walked off.  At about 5:30 PM, just as I was about to leave the office, I stopped at the reception area near the entrance way to the terrace level and picked up a magazine from a table and began to glance at it.  After a brief time, Mary Ellen Connor stepped out of a side room near the reception area of the terrace level, where she had possibly been reviewing documents that were stored there.  Upon seeing me, as she walked through the doorway into the reception area of the terrace level, she sneered.  At that moment I formed a self-referential linkage between Mary Ellen Connor's late Friday afternoon conversation with Bob Dillon and Maggie Sinnott's late afternoon visit to me on November 14, 1989, the day Jesse Raben had to decline to have lunch with Craig and me (lunch with "the guys.")

[My inference here is that the harassment ringleader believed I suffered from extreme feelings of loneliness; that I was desperate to make friends at the firm; and that Mary Ellen Connor's chat with Bob Dillon was an attempt to make me feel bad.  The ultimate aim of the interaction between Connor and Dillon was to prompt me to leave work early -- a bad act that could then be condemned by the ringleader: "You see, he leaves early when ever he feels like it."  When Mary Ellen Connor saw me still in the office at 5:30 she sneered because she realized that her earlier manipulative behavior had had no effect on me -- at least that's my theory.


Jesse Raben had agreed to have lunch with my friend Craig and me on November 14, 1989.  At the last minute Raben "weaseled out."  He told me he was busy: that he had to cite check a brief and that he couldn't go to lunch with me.  That afternoon the legal assistant administrator Maggie Sinnott stopped up to see me at my work station on the ninth floor.  She told me that the firm had just received a telephone call from Eastern Airlines President Phil Bakes who had an information request.  Sinnott asked me if I knew about the subject matter.  I believe Sinnott's behavior was an act of ego-bolstering, as if she were saying, "You see, Gary, you are a very important employee. When the President of Eastern Airlines calls, I come to you for information.  Don't be afraid to leave work early this afternoon.  You won't get in trouble.  We would never fire someone as important as you."  Note the apparent projection of importance by Sinnott: "You are a very important person."  The feeling that one is an important person can be symptomatic of narcissistic disturbance.  I believe that Sinnott's behavior was intended to build on my lunch plans with Raben earlier in the day -- though precisely what she had in mind is difficult to fathom.

I believe the above incidents (involving Connor and Sinnott) are evidence of projective identification by both parties.]

3J.  On Thursday August 8, 1991, my supervisor, Chris Robertson advised me that she had arranged with Mary Ellen Connor for me to work temporarily on a project for the client, Hoechst Celanese.  My supervisor said:  "I spoke with Mary Ellen Connor about your working on Hoechst chemical analysis.  She said she's enthusiastic about the idea of having you work on the project."  (Mary Ellen Connor's reported comment seems odd in light of Dennis Race's statement at the termination meeting on October 29, 1991 that other employees found me difficult to work with and that they couldn't work with me.)

[In the context of the SSA claim I filed on April 20, 1993, the above paragraph is an admission adverse to the disability claim.]

4J.  On Monday morning August 12, 1991 I met with attorney Cynthia Hogue in her office to review the task to which I had been assigned, Hoechst chemical analysis.  Present in the office with Cynthia Hogue were attorney Mary Ellen Connor and legal assistants David Berkowitz and Katherine Harkness.

During  the meeting, I noticed that Mary Ellen Conner kept glancing at me and smiling.  I experienced her manner as manipulatively flirtatious; as if she were trying to bolster my ego.  But to what end?  Was she attempting to communicate that I need not take the assignment seriously?  Once again, compare Maggie Sinnott's behavior on the afternoon of November 14, 1989 when she sought me out to respond to an information request from the president of Eastern Airlines: another possible instance of attempted ego bolstering.

[In narcissistic disorder,  the person will often express fantasies about possessing unlimited power, success, or sexual attractiveness.]

5J.  During the early period of my work on the Hoechst chemical analysis project, all the feedback I received was very positive.  At one point, attorney Cynthia Hogue telephoned me to advise that she was pleased with the quality of my work.  One day I saw Mary Ellen Connor on the street outside the building; she turned her head away.  The flirtatious smiles were gone.

6J.  On about September 11, 1991, while working at Akin Gump, my supervisor, Chris Robertson, held a staff meeting (designated a "Hoechst Strategy Meeting") on the 12th floor conference room.  The meeting was attended by various litigation support personnel, legal assistants and two attorneys including Mary Ellen Connor.  Early arrivals at the luncheon meeting were attorney Mary Ellen Connor and legal assistants Bob Dillon and Sandy Jones.  Mary Ellen Connor had just returned from the U.S. Open; she was sharply critical of [tennis players] Aaron Krickstein, but praised Jimmy Connors.

[Later in the afternoon on September 11, 1991, I had a session with my then treating psychologist, William D. Brown, Ph.D.  Dr. Brown asked me if I ever attended staff meetings at work.  I told him that, coincidentally, I had attended a staff meeting earlier that day.  He asked me how the meeting went.  I said it went fine.  I suspect that Mary Ellen Connor's statements about Krickstein and Connors were an attempt to prompt me to tell Dr. Brown that I believed I was a victim of anti-Semitism at the firm.  I saw Mary Ellen Connor's statements as trap bait.

Oddly enough the D.C. Corporation Counsel in July 1997 placed in controversy in its Appeal Brief filed with the D.C. Court of Appeals the following evidence:

"-- On April 13, 1990, Freedman eavesdropped on a conversation in which the legal assistant administrator gave instructions to another legal assistant concerning the bates-numbering of some documents.  Freedman believes that her repeated use of the word 'bates' was a reference to masturbation.  R. 345."

The cited page in the record on appeal states: "31.  Late in the morning or early afternoon on Friday April 13, 1990, Maggie Sinnott stopped up to my office on the ninth floor and was talking to a legal assistant about the bates-numbering of some documents.  She repeated the word “bates” again and again. Which I read as a reference to masturbation, and referred repeatedly to an employee (whom I assumed to be a temporary legal assistant) whose name sounded Irish in derivation.  There may have been other sexual allusions.

The previous week, on Thursday April 5, 1990, I had prepared a creative piece after 5:30 PM on the firm’s computer network to show to my psychiatrist, Dr. Stanley Palombo, during the next scheduled session with him on Friday April 6, 1990.  The piece contained veiled allusions to anti-Semitism.

It was my feeling on April 13, 1990 that Maggie was attempting to arouse my anger so that I would express some negative comments about Irish Catholics to Dr. Palombo during my scheduled session that  afternoon: comments that Dr. Palombo would then relate back to management."
]

7J.  In about late September 1991 I received an odd [tape recorded] telephone message from Mary Ellen Conner [one of the firm's associates who worked for billing partner David P. Callet].  The message seemed to go on and on without communicating anything; I wondered, "what can she possibly be getting at?"  Finally, she said she had a batch of my work, that I could pick it up in her office.  When I later went to her office, she handed me the batch--major portions of my work had been crossed out in red ink.  Mary Ellen Conner said, "We still could use all the help you can give us."  I formed a paranoid suspicion at that point, which seemed to be borne out by comments that Dennis Race made at the termination meeting on October 29, 1991.  I inferred that the point of the earlier telephone message, the entire first part of which was virtually senseless and without a point, was to prompt me to hang up and not get the last few moments of the call, which contained the only meaningful communication, which was to stop by Mary Ellen Conner's office and pick up the batch of work.  By getting me to ignore Mary Ellen Conner's message, the accusation could later me made that I ignored directions to correct my work.  And don't you know it, that was exactly what Dennis Race said to me on October 29, 1991: "I was told that when you are directed to correct your work, you simply ignore the directions."  It's as if my friends reasoned in late October 1991, "Well, we couldn't create the evidence that he actually does ignore corrections, but we'll make the accusation anyway."  In fact, I took the batch in question to Katherine Harkness to find out what I was doing wrong.  Katherine Harkness simply told me that I was extracting too much data.
____________________________

selected associations to Katherine Harkness

1K.  I first met Katherine Harness, a legal assistant, in the office of attorney Cynthia Hogue on the morning of August 12, 1991.  Also present in Cynthia Hogue's office were attorney Mary Ellen Conner and legal assistant David Berkowitz.  Cynthia Hogue reviewed with me the work I was to do for the Hoechst chemical analysis project.  At the conclusion of the meeting I asked Katherine Harkness if I could perform the task in the firm's library.  She stated that she had tried working in the library but even the library was too noisy for the mental concentration required for the project.  She suggested that I find a private office someplace in the building to work.

[Dennis Race advised the D.C. Department of Human Rights that one of the reasons for my termination was that I demanded to work in total isolation.  In the context of the SSA disability claim I filed on April 20, 1993, the above statements are admissions adverse to the disability claim.]

3K.  Some time in late September or early October 1991 Katherine Harkness stated to me in her office that I was free to take work home and work all the overtime I wanted at home.

[At the time I had a persecutory suspicion about Katherine Harkness's seemingly benign statement.  My long-term assignment at Hogan & Hartson, where I had worked as an agency-supplied temporary from 1985-1988, was abruptly terminated in late February 1988, a brief time after I made statement to coworker Daniel Cutler about "generating overtime."  My supervisor at Hogan, Miriam Chilton, did not tell me that she believed I was engaged in a scam to "generate overtime," but I believed that was a factor in her decision to terminate my assignment with Hogan.  It was my paranoid suspicion that this reason for the termination of the Hogan assignment was communicated to the legal assistant administrative staff at Akin Gump, and that Katherine Harkness's offer of unlimited overtime at home was a ploy intended to create facts that would lead to a rationale to terminate my employment at Akin Gump on the grounds that I was "generating overtime."


During my employment at Akin Gump I formed the paranoid suspicion that the legal assistant administrative staff rationalized my problems at the firm with the statement: "He had the same problems at Hogan that he has here," thereby implying that my employment problems were rooted in my personality and not the result of a hostile environment.  A frequent accusation hurled at Jews by anti-Semites is -- "They have the same problems everywhere they go.  Every country (or community) they live in, they have problems." 

Katherine Harkness's offer of unlimited overtime might have been an instance of projective identification in which Harkness was trying to create circumstances in which the accusation "He has the same problems here that he had at Hogan (with respect to generating overtime)" was made real and seemingly objective.]

4K.  On the afternoon of October 2, 1991 I met with Katherine Harkness to review some work I had been doing under her direction.  I was seated in front of her desk.  Katherine Harkness was in back of her desk but leaning over it, supporting her torso with her elbows.  As she was reviewing the work she proceeded in a continuous motion to gyrate her hips and rub her pelvic region against the desk in a sexually suggestive manner while simultaneously expressing her work-related comments in the form of double entendres.  This lasted for about two to four minutes.

5K.  Early in the afternoon of October 24, 1991, prior to lunch, I was working in the terrace level in a private carrel a few yards away from Chris Robertson and Katherine Harkness, who was working at a computer terminal.  (This was just hours after I had met with Malcolm Lassman and Dennis Race, at their direction, to relate instances of harassment.)  The conversation between Chris Robertson and Katherine Harkness was largely inaudible, but certain words were repeated by both parties in a markedly audible tone of voice.  I recall that the words "bates," "hit," and "fit," in addition to other words, were used again and again with a certain vehemence.  (In the context of other repeated words, which I cannot now recall, the word "bates" suggested masturbation and "fit" suggested a fit of rage.)  When I asked Chris Robertson if I could move to a quiet, private area until I completed the particular task I was working on, she said, "Oh, I didn't even knew you were working there."

[At the termination meeting on October 29, 1991 Dennis Race said that my employment was being terminated because there was a "lack of fit" between me and the firm's staff.  At that moment in the meeting I noted the play on words. The word "fit" refers both to an appropriate match and to a state of rage.]

___________________________

The following is a report based on a combined search:

a.  selected associations to the accusation that I was difficult to supervise

and

b.  selected associations to "staged" behavior

1L. On Friday afternoon April 5, 1991 I was called to the office of my supervisor at Akin Gump, Chris Robertson.  When I arrived, David Berkowitz was engaged in a heated discussion, if not an argument, with Chris Robertson.  David Berkowitz seemed to be playing a role in a play: a play about an employee who was difficult to supervise.  I had a suspicion that the interaction was in some way being “staged” for my benefit, as if Chris Robertson were attempting to symbolically communicate to me that it was OK to argue with her when I disagreed with her.  When David Berkowitz left Chris Robertson’s office, Chris Robertson advised me that she had decided that I was to be moved from the 9th floor to the terrace level, effective Monday April 8, 1991. (On the afternoon of Friday April 5, 1991 I attended a legal assistant staff meeting at which Malcolm Lassman responded to rumors, current in the firm at that time, that management planned to lay off legal assistants because of the recession.)

["1L" is an unintended play on words.  Scott Turow wrote a book about his experiences as a first year student at Harvard Law School titled "One L."  In 1979, in the period prior to my quitting my job at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to attend law school, a coworker, Silba-Cunningham Dunlop, lent me her copy of Turow's book One L.  She had attended Temple Law School for one semester in the fall 1976.


Question for psychiatrists:  A person who sees hidden meanings in other persons' communications may have mental problems.  What does it mean when that same person sees hidden meanings in his own writings?]

In about late September 1991 I received an odd [tape recorded] telephone message from Mary Ellen Conner [one of the firm's associates who worked for billing partner David P. Callet].  The message seemed to go on and on without communicating anything; I wondered, "what can she possibly be getting at?"  Finally, she said she had a batch of my work, that I could pick it up in her office.  When I later went to her office, she handed me the batch--major portions of my work had been crossed out in red ink.  Mary Ellen Conner said, "We still could use all the help you can give us."  I formed a paranoid suspicion at that point, which seemed to be borne out by comments that Dennis Race made at the termination meeting on October 29, 1991.  I inferred that the point of the earlier telephone message, the entire first part of which was virtually senseless and without a point, was to prompt me to hang up and not get the last few moments of the call, which contained the only meaningful communication, which was to stop by Mary Ellen Conner's office and pick up the batch of work.  By getting me to ignore Mary Ellen Conner's message, the accusation could later me made that I ignored directions to correct my work.  And don't you know it, that was exactly what Dennis Race said to me on October 29, 1991: "I was told that when you are directed to correct your work, you simply ignore the directions."  It's as if my friends reasoned in late October 1991, "Well, we couldn't create the evidence that he actually does ignore corrections, but we'll make the accusation anyway."  In fact, I took the batch in question to Katherine Harkness to find out what I was doing wrong.  Katherine Harkness simply told me that I was extracting too much data.

APPENDIX

The attached schema, Parsifal’s Cross: A Psychological Pattern* outlines fundamental ideas in Wagner’s opera, Parsifal.   To the extent that Wagner’s fictional creations reflected his cognition, the schema suggests something of the complexity of Wagner’s cognition and the manner in which he ordered his personal psychological reality and conferred coherence on his perceptions.

The narrative of the drama proceeds in “real time” as the individual experiences of the characters unfold.  (A chronological listing of my experiences at Akin Gump would resemble such a “real time” narrative.)  But set against the chronological narrative is a musical “narrative” based on a redefinition or reformatting of the dramatic narrative; it is this redefinition or reformatting of the drama that is represented in Parsifal’s Cross: A Psychological Pattern.  (The foregoing paper [i.e., the letter reproduced above] represents a comparable reformatting or redefinition of my experiences at Akin Gump.)

In Wagner’s dramas, the redefinition, expressed musically confers new meaning on the “real time” dramatic narrative.  In the same manner, I suspect that my redefinition or reformatting of my experiences confers new meaning on my perceptions.  It is this “new meaning” that is termed “paranoid.”
________________

*Skelton, G. Wieland Wagner: The Positive Sceptic, at 104-108 (St. Martin’s: 1971).  Also attached is a discussion dealing with Wagner’s use of musical structures to communicate his definition of the “real time” dramatic narrative in Tristan und Isolde.  Id., at 86-89.

[attached are 5 Xeroxed pages from the Skelton book cited above: pages 104-109 and 86-89.]

7 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

The DC Superior Court stated about my argument that Dennis Race failed adequately to investigate my harassment complaint:

Moreover, neither DHR nor this Court need “determine whether or not defendant adequately investigated the charges of . . . discrimination’ before discharging plaintiff.” Evans v. Bally’s Health and Tennis, 64 FEP Case. 33, 38 (D.Md. 1994). See also Bradshaw v. Brookdale Hosp. Medical Ctr., 1993 Westlaw 289435 (E.D.N.Y. 1993) (even if defendant’s investigation resulted in an inaccurate determination, plaintiff offers no evidence that defendant acted with discriminatory intent). Consistent with the holdings of these cases, the Court concludes that any allegations regarding the adequacy of the firm’s investigation cannot negate the credibility of the respondent’s asserted reasons for the termination.

Isn't it reasonably foreseeable that an employee certified as unemployable by a psychiatrist will file for disability benefits?

Gary Freedman said...

The court will say it's up to SSA to investigate a disability claim thoroughly.

SSA will rely on the court assessing the sufficiency of an alleged psychiatric opinion that indicated I was not suitable for employment and potentially violent.

In the end, the taxpayer loses out.

Geithner: "Just put it all on my tab."

Gary Freedman said...

3. On the afternoon of Tuesday April 2, 1991, Chris Robertson advised me that I was to begin work on the Hoechst-Celanese document coding project. She further advised me that she was holding a training session for document coders assigned to the Hoechst project the next day, Wednesday April 3, 1991.

On Friday afternoon April 5, 1991 Chris Robertson advised me that I was being moved from the ninth floor office space to the terrace level. I had been working on the ninth floor since late October 1989. During the period late October 1989 until the spring of 1990 I worked predominantly for Ms. Constance Brown, whose office was located on the second floor. Beginning in the spring of 1990 I began working exclusively for Chris Robertson, whose office was located in the terrace level. Working on the ninth floor had caused no logistical problems for me.

Business Rationale: Assignment to work on Hoechst-Celanese: I was assigned to coding projects based on the needs of litigation support. A particular project might require additional personnel at any time, so that an employee might expect to be assigned to a project at any time.

Change of work space from ninth floor to terrace level: Until my move to the terrace level on Monday April 8, 1991, I had been the only litigation support employee not housed on the terrace level. There was a clear business rationale to have me work alongside litigation support personnel in the terrace level. Not working in the terrace level was an inconvenience to the litigation support administrator and to fellow employees who might need to interact with me from time to time.

Background Circumstances: I had consulted with Dr. Lewis A. Winkler, a psychiatrist, for the first time on the afternoon of Tuesday April 2, 1991. Immediately upon returning to the building from my consultation with Dr. Winkler, I ran into Chris Robertson in the elevator area on the lobby level. It was at that time that Chris advised me that she was reassigning me to Hoechst and that she was holding a training session for coders the next day, Wednesday April 3, 1991. [Lewis Winkler, M.D. was Jewish and born in Brooklyn, NY. He seemed very Jewish. Firm manager Malcolm Lassman was Jewish and born in Brooklyn, NY.]

The Hoechst training session on April 3, 1991, which lasted about 1.5 hours, appeared to have been hastily called in that a number of key issues with regard to the design of the data base had not yet been decided upon. A number of questions had to be left unanswered, pending a final determination with regard to the data base design. The attorney Cynthia Hogue attended the meeting. At one point in the meeting Cynthia Hogue reported on a conversation she had had with David Callet with regard to Hoechst document coding. Cynthia Hogue mildly ridiculed David Callet, a highly respected partner in the firm, and concluded her remarks about him with the comment, “Oh, silly David.” [I had the paranoid feeling that David Callet had made a favorable comment about me based on information reported to firm management by Dr. Winkler--and that David Callet's comment about me aroused the jealousy of firm personnel; I had the feeling Cynthia Hogue was trying to elicit a negative facial expression from me upon hearing David Callet's name, which would then be reported back to David Callet. David Callet had been the senior attorney on Eastern Airlines and, like me, was a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University.]

During the week of April 1, 1991 rumors were circulating in the firm that management was planning to lay off a number of legal assistants as a result of the recession. On Friday afternoon April 5, 1991, shortly after Chris Robertson advised me that I was being reassigned from the ninth floor to a permanent space on the terrace level, I attended a legal assistant meeting featuring Mr. Malcolm Lassman. The meeting had been called to respond to the rumors of planned lay-offs. Mr. Lassman reassured the legal assistants that their jobs were secure.

Gary Freedman said...

The original text of the previous comment can be found at the following site:









http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2010/02/social-security-document-submission.html

Gary Freedman said...

Re: "Stellar performance."

At the Akin Gump meeting on 9/11/91 I attached self-referential meaning to Katherine MacKinnon's use of the phrase "stellar performance." I thought it referred to my sister Estelle possibly having given a favorable report about my visit.

MacKinnon was an associate who worked for the client Hoechst under billing partner David Callet.

In June 1988 I worked in an office adjacent to Callet's office. I introduced myself to him on one occasion. Callet said: "I notice you seem to work very hard." Note Callet's implication is that I was "putting on a show" to impress a partner. In effect, he was saying it was a "stellar performance."

I see this as possible evidence of the narcissistic culture at the firm, where it is assumed that "the outsider" is simply acting in an attempt to impress.









http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2011/04/akin-gump-culture-of-narcissism.html

Gary Freedman said...

From: COMPLAINANT'S REPLY TO RESPONDENT'S RESPONSE TO INTERROGATORIES AND DOCUMENT REQUEST (January 1993)


http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2010/02/akin-gump-my-side-of-story.html
"Further, Dennis Race's assertion that Complainant could not work with other legal assistants was based in part on the bad faith statements of the Legal Assistant Administrator, Maggie Sinnott--statements whose veracity Dennis Race failed to question. During the early part of Complainant's employment, Ms. Sinnott routinely kept Complainant isolated from other temporary employees who worked on the same project as Complainant. Maggie Sinnott's assertion at the time of Mr. Race's investigation that she could not work with Complainant because she found him difficult to work with is inconsistent with Ms. Sinnott's earlier actions during the summer of 1990 when she actually sought out Complainant despite the fact that at that time she was no longer Complainant's supervisor and, further, had about 60 other legal assistants under her supervision who could have performed the same task.

Respondent fails to note that attorneys were eager to work with Complainant. On Thursday August 8, 1991, Complainant's supervisor, Chris Robertson, upon advising Complainant that she had arranged with attorney Mary Ellen Conner that Complainant work temporarily on a project for the client Hoechst-Celanese, stated: 'I spoke with Mary Ellen Connor about your working on Hoechst chemical analysis. She said she's enthusiastic about the idea of having you work on the project.'"

Gary Freedman said...

Evidence relied on by the D.C. Corporation Counsel in Briefs filed in DC Superior Court and the DC Court of Appeals:

31. Late in the morning or early afternoon on Friday April 13, 1990, Maggie Sinnott stopped up to my office on the ninth floor and was talking to a legal assistant about the bates-numbering of some documents. She repeated the word “bates” again and again. Which I read as a reference to masturbation, and referred repeatedly to an employee (whom I assumed to be a temporary legal assistant) whose name sounded Irish in derivation. There may have been other sexual allusions.

Compare the following facts:

Early arrivals at the luncheon meeting were attorney Mary Ellen Connor and legal assistants Bob Dillon and Sandy Jones. Mary Ellen Connor had just returned form the U.S. Open she criticized Aaron Kickstein but praised Jimmy Connors. Sandy Jones mentioned something about having eaten some lamb dish and also talked about T-shirts.