Tag Archives: venture labor

Bootstrap COO, Part 1

ubermensch

“It was not difficult to ignore the fact that the addicted man was glaring at him. He noted it, and did not understand because of what the man glared, but he was unconcerned. [He] was prepared to die violently at any time, which rendered him free to choose among emotions.”—David Foster Wallace

Travis Kalanick
CEO and Serial Entrepreneur
Uber
San Francisco

Dear Mr. Kalanick and Uber Team:

You’re not kidding, you need a communications designer, somebody to help you better design your internal communications? In my read of Susan Fowler’s adventures through your firm, all that your Human Resources staffer needed to do was to thank her for her courage to come forward and report, separately invite Amit Singhal into her office, listen to his version, explain his actions were unprofessional, violate your personnel policy, and harm the cohesiveness of your team.

Next step that too many mediators or human resources or mental health professionals forget or do not possess the skills to do: schedule a mediation meeting with the two of them together to give him an opportunity to apologize and move forward changing his behavior, or Unplay the Shame and Blame Game. No need to update wordy human resources manuals that no one reads anyway, require awkwardly produced live-action corporate sexual harassment videos that everyone resents the time of watching, or belatedly haul in the visually uneducated lawyers to produce those documents for you, I’ve got that whole process simplified to four dots to spread around your mediation table while chronological adults learn healthy communications:

unplay business cards

Unplay the Shame and Blame Game identity and business card print collateral.

First, the current structure of the relationship between you and your personnel, where communications have grown so toxic they’re making global headlines. As CEO, you’re the big red button at the top:

unplay power over

One example of Unplay in action: from your public display of anger venting your disdain for Uber driver Fawzi Kamel, who, as you reached your destination and prepared to exit his personal vehicle, grabbed the opportunity to explain Marxist theory or how capitalism works great for the powerful few but not so well for underpaid labor upon whom your business model depends:

kalanick-deny

While it sounds like your subcontracted driver since 2010 is almost more familiar with your business plan than Uber’s CEO, explaining he cannot survive on the low wages paid by your competitive fare reduction, you avoid owning that flaw in your spreadsheet logic and finding a better solution by deflecting the conflict to Uber Black, your higher end transportation option, and you and Mr. Kamel go back and forth on that for a bit, summarized here:

kalanick-avoid

Finally, while escaping the close confines of his vehicle, you fling back over your shoulder, blaming Mr. Kamel for your own behavior:

kalanick-blame

Somewhere in there you rationalize your business plan by telling yourself the martyr narrative of every entrepreneur who neglects to factor in a living wage for labor prior to pitching his reinvention of the wheel to his intended market, as if one CEO cannot pass down to another generation what he has already learned, “We went low-end because we had to because we’d be out of business.”

Exactly the effect of your rate reductions on Mr. Kamel’s freelance gig, if I understood him correctly, that he bankrupted himself by investing in Black automobiles to better serve your customers, right? So now you have something in common, with your difference that you’ve attracted both venture capital and venture labor, but have no plans to increase the returns on labor’s investment.

Beautiful job with your apology as public as your bad behavior, though. None of that second-rate, passive aggressive, all-too-common, “I’m sorry you feel that way” no-pology nonsense for Uber. Only the best for Uber’s investors. We need more examples of healthy apology like yours in the public sphere.

Thanks to Mr. Kamel’s video and Ms. Fowler’s blogpost, you finally heard yourself. I’d like to emphasize that you could not have heard yourself without being open to criticism:

kalanick-hear

Instead of playing the martyr or lashing out in anger, this time you reported your feelings of shame:

kalanick-report

Next you owned responsibility for not just for that one incident, but your overall behavior affecting the culture within your firm:

kalanick-own

Finally, you resolve the core conflict by recognizing your own vulnerabilities and committing to fundamental change and growth:

kalanick-resolve

Or 30 seconds of action, from the passive aggressive volvelle to healthy communications, which you may pause while self-reflecting on any conflict, personal or professional, public or private, foreign or domestic, at your leisure:

Did you structure your apology all by yourself, or was that thanks to Arianna Huffington’s influence?

Once we’ve negotiated my contract, you’ll be the healthiest boss for whom I’ve ever worked. Healthier than research scientists globally renowned for their expertise in the structure of RNA. Healthier than most of my graduate school faculty and all of the institution’s administrators. Healthier than the schizophrenic old lady Seattleites elected to their school board and for whom I designed her identity and rebranded on a budget vastly smaller than the corporate-backed incumbent, who blamed me for her refusal to listen to my visually educated expertise and wanted me to jump up and down, shouting and waving my arms in the air before she and her home-schooled junior campaign manager one semester shy of an AA degree would agree to pause in their raging back and forth at each other about the precise wording of a thank you letter six months in the writing, their sole strategy before I came along to venture labor for better designing solutions for problems haunting our nation’s schools:

mclaren-before

Marty McLaren for Seattle School Board, before, screenshot metadated 30 August 2011.

From a few concepts I generated identifying not just the issues in Seattle’s local campaign, but the coast-to-coast churn in national education policy, I finally coaxed my client to commit to this identity, a combination of Helvetica, with its visual associations with business, that I redrew by hand to reference the tech business world’s disdain for analogue teaching media while profiting from pitching digital product to underfunded schools, on separate layers in Illustrator, for the best of both worlds, print-ready vector graphics and the ease of importing into After Effects for motion-ready screen communications, although my client continued to call me up at all hours, raging that she wanted PURPLE because PURPLE is her favorite color, and her campaign should not identify and communicate her intended goals to her target audience, but should be all about ME, no matter how many times I gently explained that color is a powerful visual element, not to be used lightly, and violet, a challenging and expensive color to produce in dyes and inks, historically communicates royalty, or class privilege, thus the opposite effect if she hoped to align herself with poor and oppressed voters:

mclaren-identity

My corresponding tagline, also vector-graphic, motion-ready, of course references the lyric of Woodie Guthrie’s folk anthem, inspired by Wisconsin activists who brought their capitol sing-a-long to their home state of Washington:

mclaren-tagline

You and your team at Uber sound far healthier than the allegedly drug addicted more senior of her two campaign managers, who finally showed up after missing my first three or four post-primaries design strategy meetings with his hair dyed bright green, prepared to contribute no political campaign expertise beyond a 45-minute oral rendition of his data already available on LinkedIn, as well as bragging about his brother on the Washington state legislature, and describing a daughter enrolled in private school, while whining that professional design takes too long, nowhere near your sophisticated appreciation of the subtle tension between form and counterform.

“Until you came along, I didn’t know racism was an issue in this campaign,” her home-schooled campaign manager snarled resentfully, after I pointed out the gaping discrepancy in logic seeking votes from poor, disenfranchised voters while chasing after white, upper-middle class voter dollars; how was that any different than the incumbent’s strategy?

Two slides from my lengthier design presentation analyzing the problems in education politics as well as how to go about solving them at the local school board level, as I hoped to segue into producing print and web collateral prior to election day, rather than watching a visually illiterate retired math teacher, her petulant and tardy green-haired campaign manager, and his surly under-educated assistant all continue to churn in circles debating design decisions without listening to my visually educated expertise:

First, screenshots of the slate of candidates for Seattle School Board that year, so we could examine her redesign in context of the competition, asking my small audience to choose who they would vote for as if they knew nothing about the candidates other than their web communications. They hemmed and hawed and each chose a different candidate, hesitantly, as if trying to guess the “right” answer on a pop quiz. None of them chose the campaign they had been working on for months, including the candidate herself:

mclaren_strategy

I deliberately placed Michelle Buetow in the top left, as the prettiest of the dismal design selection, because most Americans read top left to right, and Kate Martin, a subsequent candidate for Seattle mayor, in the center as a focal point, hoping to nudge up the visual literacy of my audience to even an -nth degree. As a landscape architect and another designer, Kate’s visual literacy translates to graphic design at an ever so slightly more sophisticated level than the rest of the candidates clumped together, all communicating not much more than visual chaos on par with back-of-the-Yellow-Pages visual acuity.

Without having to edit a stitch of code, my next slide made one change in visual vocabulary, not with the element of color to the PURPLE my client wanted but could not afford in corresponding print media, but with the element of value, and the entire room immediately understood the power of speaking about the value of education in black and white:

mclaren_strategy2

By the next morning, however, my mentally unstable client was back to raging that she wanted PURPLE, even without the print budget for PURPLE, unwilling or unable to proceed forward with her campaign. Worse, in a group email without asking for my autonomous and visually educated opinion in advance, she volunteered my time to the slate of education activist candidates, ordering me to show up at her house to film all of them so they could add my unpaid labor to their YouTube channels.

I am an artist and a designer, not a videographer. At that time, I owned a professional Italian-designed tripod, light stands, my analogue Pentax for documenting my painting portfolio, a Sony point-and-click tourist digital camera, and an iPhone, useful tools for composing visually literate digital images, as you can see from my Vimeo channel, but by no means professional videography equipment. With zero comprehension about how images are produced, still a retired math teacher thought she would both art direct and tell me how to execute her campaign collateral, incapable of making executive decisions about her campaign goals, fulfilling her contractual obligations, and respecting my visually educated expertise for how to accomplish those goals.

Screenshot of the web collateral of the racist schizophrenic that Seattleites elected to make decisions affecting their children’s futures after I realized the education activist/woman/victim would cause every bit as much harm to Seattle schoolchildren as the corporate/man/so-called abuser. I had reached the tenth signpost on designer Milton Glaser’s road to hell, recommended a decade of therapy to help my former client recover from a childhood growing up with a domineering, upperclass mother ordering household servants to do her bidding, followed by 17 years of marriage to a man she described as, alternately, both a “sociopath” and the “love of my life,” before she would be ready to proceed with any professional communications, and resigned from her campaign:

mclaren-after

Marty McLaren for Seattle School Board web collateral, with inset .jpg of the candidate standing on a bridge backlit by the rising sun, boasting inconsistent typography and brand taglines, “Trust and Transparency” in meatspace, and “The Schoolhouse is Our House” reproduced in Chalkboard without paying our contractually agreed rate for my design research and strategy labor, which she nevertheless used to get herself elected and continued to use on her web presence in her new position as Seattle School Board Director at least as far into the future as the metadate of this screenshot, 09 May 2014.

As you can see, her digital communications revert to the visual chaos of the slate of candidates, with her dueling campaign managers attempting to reconstruct my educated professional labor without my design files. Strangely enough, they ended up with a green chalkboard instead of PURPLE.

In her letter responding to my request for payment, she spins around her passive aggressive volvelle, openly acknowledges using my professional identity and rebranding design labor to get herself successfully elected, while readily confessing her inability to manage her own budget, blaming me for both her failure to uphold the bullet-point terms of our contract as well as her green-haired campaign manager’s inability to get out of bed to do his fundraising job, and priding herself on speaking out against racism – just not to her under-educated campaign staff – hypocritical illogic best explained by her synapses failing to fully fire across the gaps in her brain, symptomatic of schizophrenia:

mclaren-refusal

Marty McLaren, Seattle School Board Director, refusing to meet her contractual obligations.

Or the logic of post-truth, four years before that term entered our national vocabulary.

Even on your worst day at Uber, you’re still healthier than a broad swath of Seattle’s schoolteachers, who refused to identify their audience in advance of meeting in front of Steve Jobs’ shop waving signs on sticks in the air raging at anyone who asked critical questions or shared perspectives different from their own, instead of designing their communications plan in advance.

Since global brands in post-Great Recession America had been doubtful of an artist’s ability to translate my skills to the digital corporate arena before this volunteer experience, I decided to go one step further than simply making up fake ads to appeal to creative directors, and instead analyzed the brands profiting from the demolition of our education system thanks to bipartisan legislation fairly coincident with 9/11 that left so many of my students arriving at university severely traumatized, unprepared to think critically, with oftentimes fragile egos easily shattered when encountering new ideas:

So I was not at all surprised when, unaccustomed to the responsibilities of her new position of power, the school board director elected to public office by teacher union labor spun around her passive aggressive volvelle, and recommended suing the teachers’ union when they went on strike four years later, blaming the teachers for her own executive board management failures.

To hear a Boeing engineer describe her workplace at the Collaborative Breakout Session of Seattle’s 2010 Designers Accord, that similar management style cost that global transportation firm an additional $12 billion on their 787 Dreamliner, lost the state of Washington its $8.7 billion investment after executive management transferred many of its educated professional engineering jobs out of state, and still more recently Boeing lost out on an $80 billion federal defense contract, when it turns out that even building and selling war machines requires healthy communication skills.

Enjoyed a good laugh with an appreciative audience for my story of being locked up in 2014 for a month of my life without what is called due process of law, shackled and chained without arrest or access to competent counsel, after my Micron engineering brother-in-law tried to force me to perform household labor for less than a toilet paper budget and an Idaho mental health court judge, trapped in a low-ceilinged, fluorescent-lit courtroom without access to wifi or my digital files, described the reality of my post-Great Recession Athenian job-seeking efforts as “delusions,” unable to comprehend the real-world, corporate dollar value of communications, once I returned to relatively democratic Seattle from fascist Idaho and at a holiday party last year met one of Boeing’s Communications Leaders. The first thing she said as we exchanged business cards was, “Wait, first I have to scratch out one of these telephone numbers,” because their executive management’s idea of repairing poor workplace communications is to reduce their budget for communications.

Your worst day at Uber sounds like a walk on the beach to me.

Super-fun for me at that same party watching a Real, Live Architect and an Honest-to-Goodness Aerodynamics Engineer unfold and proudly refold my business card, reminding me of that time in undergrad when I earned a ‘D’ on an entry-level three-dimensional design paper-folding assignment, another post-Great Recession professional networking experience about which I shall remain mum should I again endure the misfortune of returning to planet Idaho without my own posse protecting my socioeconomically vulnerable back before Governor Otter is able to rustle up a grown up apology for his executive management failures.

With your green light, my goal as COO will be to get the structure of your internal and external communications to look more like this:

unplay one-to-one

Unplay: healthy communications between two healthy human beings.

Hence my identity for Unplay:

unplay mark only

Unplay mark without typography.

Some psychologists describe our ability to hear and appropriately respond to new ideas or opposing opinions as a process of deny-deny-hear in healthy, ego-invested individuals, with hostile or aggressive individuals ever cycling from denial. From my graduate research in trauma, I would say or until they are able to recover from traumatic experiences, acquire healthier coping skills, and learn to empathize with the perspectives of others. In light of your media attention over the last month and your new self-awareness and commitment to growth, how much would you say it is worth to your business if you could reduce your deny response – as well as, domino effect, the deny responses of all of the individuals within your organization – to just once, or even less?

unplay-deny

Now to scroll back up to better resolve your conflict with your drivers. Pace the opinions published at Bloomberg, in my estimation, Mr. Kamel’s behavior was worse than yours, albeit less swear-y, shouting over the top of your responses, while you at least asked questions to better pinpoint his objections to your business plan. It takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline to train yourself to pick and choose among emotions rather than shouting or swearing back, but those behavioral skills can be learned, as my vast personal experiences prove. What I heard Mr. Kamel say is that if he was earning a living wage, he could offer better service:

driver-resolve

The perspective that Mr. Kamel does not seem to grasp yet, with your joint ventures with Volvo and Daimler for self-driving vehicles, he is just an intermediary cost for your business goals, cab drivers soon to be replaced with automated technology.

I do not use your app, as I am outside your target market as a trafficking survivor as well as personally committed to public and pedestrian transportation for a more sustainable planet, but it sounds like you have already engineered a two-way evaluation system. For that intermediate window of opportunity before self-driving cars become the norm, why not allow your ridership to decide when your drivers deserve merit pay increases?

Further, why not recapture the market excluded by low evaluations?

Send them to me. I’ll work with Mr. Singhal and his peers. It’s just a matter of recovering from trauma and learning healthy communication skills, respecting the boundaries of others instead of forcing your will or abusing your position of power.

Uber’s internal communications conflicts wouldn’t even require the HR staffer as mediator if 1) your women were more experienced in setting boundaries, and 2) your men better respected those boundaries.

Explaining sexual harassment to men can be as simple as saying if the perpetrator would not like his job on the line if you had texted similar messages to him and he refused to sleep with you, then he should not abuse his position of authority over his subordinates, got it? Poorly educated, predominantly black, homeless men readily understood the sexual harassment policy I instituted – despite the initial resistance of a white, male, self-described diagnosed “sociopath” staffer – and enforced in our community when I explained it that way, accomplishing what higher education administrators across this nation routinely fail to do, but perhaps wealthy, predominantly white engineering geniuses could also follow along?

The incident I describe in my application for a survival job with Seattle Police Department was not one where I placed boundaries on a man’s behavior toward me, rather, that was me standing up for a more vulnerable woman. If a man wants to hover while I’m ploughing through unwashed undies in my gym bag searching for a clean pair, I realize he’s got issues, but I am so fully grounded, or, as a Holocaust survivor I met at Pike Place Market described me, with such “a presence of quiet authority,” wholly centered within my own body, that encounter would not have disturbed my boundaries one bit. But for another woman, more fragile in her personal space, the perpetrator’s behavior was not okay. When a woman says no, that means no, and for that I was happy to work with the healthier men in the group to provide support enforcing boundaries on sexual harassment.

Here’s how I handled a situation directly comparable to Ms. Fowler’s unwanted sexting:

Recognizing me from the lockers, another homeless man disrupted my writing at the market to tell me his trauma monologue on the pretext of striking up a dialogue: an undergraduate degree in psychology, with additional coursework in anthropology and sociology that did not cover the same material as my own, in particular that bit about how males want access to females and females want access to resources, let alone my graduate readings in psychoanalytic theory. A quarter horse ranch in Colorado. An ex-wife who tried to control his life. A daughter unintentionally named after the Roman goddess of wisdom and warfare. A son, now grown, a researcher at the Hutch. A background in commercial real estate. Previous experience with military contracts, and the challenges of negotiating with government agencies. A previous girlfriend he described as bipolar. Unsolicited promises that he wouldn’t tell me what to do, a continual refrain woven throughout his monologue, until I wished I could charge him an hourly fee and schedule another appointment for the following week.*

To my surprise, before I could even arrive at my next appointment, he had already sexted, where apparently telling a trauma monologue substitutes as foreplay for some men:

sexting

It is not that I was without empathy for his suffering, but any man wanting to seduce me with written words had better write like Calvino or Borges or Coetzee, otherwise best to bone up on his listening skills. Or the unattractive flaw might be the industrial design and user interface of the FCC’s Lifeline program; stepping backwards in technology from an iPhone to Samsung’s flip phone is comparable to returning from typewriters to chipping away serifs into stone.

“Sex is communication,” I did my best to peck back a polite boundary, while remaining open to suggesting design consulting just in case he was able to scrounge up a budget, “What I look for is someone ready for dialogue. Have you considered seeing a psychologist?”

Instead, he shared with me his limited understanding of psychology, a defensiveness that is often referred to as stigma, or the popular fallacy that psychotherapy is for the sick, rather than one possible tool in an empowering box toward self-awareness, and once again his follow-up text offers no indication of dialogue skills, still insisting on his point of view without expressing any curiosity about my likes or attractions, or any interest in me as anything more than an object to absorb his suffering:

sexting2

Always collecting more data to increase my knowledge of psychosexual relations, while longing for refills for my Waterman and Crane’s 100 percent cotton stationery, I pecked back another boundary, “Has this strategy been effective for you in your past relationships?”

Oh, yes, he insisted, many times, not cognizant that just because his strategy worked many times with other women that meant it would work with me, let along considering that maybe boasting of his past successes might further erode his chances with me? Then he shared with me his judgment of his tactic – rather than calling, or better still, getting to know who I am as a person before declaring his passions in person, texting, perhaps the most passive form of communication yet to be devised – as “bold”:

sexting3

Sexually bold, to me, used to mean, for one example, delivering sensual pleasure on an outdoor balcony of a hotel towering over the Las Vegas strip, but I can understand why some men define “bold” differently than I do. This fellow clearly has no idea of the frequency of my “bold” offers from men.

Maybe his ex-girlfriend was “bipolar,” or maybe she ramped up the volume of communication to “tossing furniture around” when she grew weary of listening to him without his reciprocal listening to her-? Maybe the ex-wife tried to control him, or, even without hearing her perspective, I can logically surmise more likely a tug-o-war between two emotionally immature individuals. What bold looks like to me now are men with the courage to reveal their vulnerabilities, who, in group situations, treat others really well, and who treat me with dignity, reciprocating my respect.

I pecked back one more boundary before we returned to business as usual the next time our paths crossed in person, no harm, no foul, not an interaction I would have even bothered to report to HR had it occurred in a workplace:

sexting-boundary

Peer-to-peer sexual communication is a bit different than sexual communication between supervisor and subordinate, and again, that is due to their relative positions of power.

You probably even have the engineering skills to code keywords, phrases, or image scans into all of your corporate digital communications, with a pop-up gentle prompt to warn future sexual harassers of the consequences of their actions: are you sure you want to send that sext? That means losing your job. Or maybe you would like to help me build the Unplay app for users worldwide to download to their digital devices as a well-machined tool better designed for conflict resolution than a nuclear weapon?

It is simply a matter of placing and maintaining boundaries on the abuse of power, which means understanding the structure of power in any given relationship, as Design at Twitter suggests:

Still, you can’t blame a guy for trying to acquire access to females; that’s swimming upstream from over four billion years of some very successful biology.

On the other hand, it is better for the gene pool if you do not deprive females of our ability to decide which men will provide us with access to the resources we desire.

Otherwise, soon you lose access to all females, as the Head of Cybersecurity at the EFF points out to you:

Is it really fair, however, to exclude your high-performing, overly aggressive males, with your well-publicized history of demonstrating that same behavior from your position of leadership? Are you setting a double standard, or are you trying to pivot, demonstrating your authentic personal growth?

The other problem, as my experiences working on rebranding and identity for a successful campaign demonstrate, men are not the only ones who abuse their power:

Where you may see only members you belatedly decide to exclude from your community, and only after critical mass of viral headlines tell you this behavior is unacceptable, I see potential, nearly bottomless market for my trauma recovery, healthy communications, and conflict resolution services. Then you do not have to lose your highest performers, I finally find an employer healthy enough to respect my educated expertise with a professional wage, and soon Google and Facebook and all of the other tech firms will be coming to you asking: how did you do it?

Bootstrapping to your newly created position as your right-hand COO, I bring my experiences introducing the concept of boundaries between my prosecutor ex-husband and his ex-FBI domineering mother and emotionally unavailable father who provided him with role models bereft of healthy communication. Which is not to say I blame him for our intercommunications, to the contrary, I have openly acknowledged my bad behaviors, retrospectively coming to value our relationship for my time of intense learning and growth. Their federal agency, combined with the conflict resolution skills of legislators from across the Western states, couldn’t maintain boundaries on my third cousins’ abusive behaviors without spending upwards of $9 million and somebody getting killed, despite their positions of authority and power relative to mine.

From my position of socioeconomic powerlessness within my family, I introduced the concept of basic human dignity and maintained that boundary all the way through Idaho’s mental juridical health system staffed with undereducated, technologically incompetent employees, many of whom are every bit as abusive as the most toxic members of your team, worse, they failed to use your Silicon Valley technologies to investigate the reality of child abuse, elder abuse, labor trafficking, rape, and homicide, after my Micron engineer brother-in-law, every bit as toxic as the most dysfunctional members of your team, accused me of being “delusional” and “psychotic” for sharing opinions different from his own, with Idaho’s mental health workers every bit as docilely obedient to the abuse of male power as your human resources team members described by Ms. Fowler, giving me ever-expanding opportunities to further prove the unerring accuracy of my 2008 MFA thesis research in critical theories of identity, trauma, and the taboo, practice equanimity, and leaving me still destitute but well-positioned to find a team interested in competing with the very lucrative, morally bankrupt psychopharmacology market.

Seven months after I design directed to competitive success on zero budget with a very challenging all-male team in a very challenging environment, a computer science major on the losing team killed his adoptive mother, a mother-substitute-object, the brother of a former Idaho state legislator, and critically wounded a Seattle civil rights lawyer, for another example of the value of healthy communications in real-world terms, or the harm caused by a department more concerned about requiring redundant analogue data input from their clients than confessing their culpability in triple homicide to the police department tasked with investigating those crimes, how men’s violence against women harms men too, how STEMs urgently need to add blooms both in curricula design and on each and every one of your teams in the theoretically grown up workforce, and I learned the nation’s mental health “professionals” earn taxpayer-funded paychecks to “teach” drawing or design, despite their visible lack of qualifications in my cross-disciplinary fields, while offering their clients zero conflict resolution skills or psychotherapeutic care, and dispensing drugs causing egregious global harm.

While I deeply respect your consultant Eric Holder’s legal expertise and in particular his former position as Attorney General, he nevertheless failed, for whatever complex political or personal reasons, to reinforce boundaries collapsed under the toxic behaviors in the banking industry that led to the 2008 global financial crisis simultaneous with my graduation and your Uber startup. During his tenure, the DOJ invested $3.3 billion in a passive aggressive communications model marketed toward families in conflict, and the last White House administration peddled a victim/bully labeling model rather than teaching healthy conflict resolution to schoolchildren, not recognizing that bullies self-identify as victims. With her Senate confirmation delayed for several months by legislators duking it out over a sex trafficking bill, the team of lawyers reporting to his successor Loretta Lynch only managed to prosecute to an acquittal of my third cousins for their public wrongdoing. Granted, she did not get a chance to hold that position long enough to wade through what must surely be an overwhelming stack of criminal and/or civil rights complaints filed against Universal Health Services CEO Alan Miller. Needless to say, I am not holding my breath waiting for the current regime to recognize sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or trafficking – whether sexual or other forms of labor – as criminal behavior.

Building the ramparts in the war on terror, the CIA contracted with two Spokane-based psychologists whose tactics, by the agency’s own admission, produced no reliable intelligence at best; critics point out they likely harmed national security for generations yet unborn, despite $80 million invested in three years of their labor. In less than a year, I obtained time- and date-stamped confessions to elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and labor trafficking from a senior engineer at Micron while subsisting on nothing more than a SNAP budget in ongoing criminally violent environments. As you can see, I encounter no shortage of men desperate to tell me their deepest, darkest secrets and desires.

Post-carceral, I did not need to prove the reality of my relationship to convicted serial killer Ted Bundy; of my biographical facts that taxpayer-funded, under-educated staffers within Idaho’s broken mental juridical health system irrationally decided were delusions, that one I only said would not surprise me. As intimately familiar with my family’s psychosexual dynamics as I am, I was not at all surprised after I analyzed multiple data sets to 11 generations to confirm my world class expertise in trauma recovery and human psychology.

From my perspective, it took me nearly 20 years to recognize the communication failures through all the layers of bureaucracy delaying resolution of a sexual assault homicide, expecting grown ups to do their jobs, but only two years, on nothing more than a SNAP budget, to provide psychoanalytic expert witness testimony on the systemic breakdowns in communication leading to a spree shooting, triple homicide event, which means I am growing exponentially. As an artist, I always try to push myself harder, like levels in a video game, so now I am looking for opportunities to prevent the next genocide before it happens.

As Uber’s CEO, you readily recognize your business is more than a ride-hailing app. I’m not trying to speak for you, but I’m guessing that when you were young, you did not dream of running aground locally owned and operated cab drivers, am I right? I see you at the cusp of an era between car culture and what comes next. Maybe we have time to wait while your market audience enjoys the James Bond fantasies of prepubescent white boys from suburban Los Angeles:

Or maybe you are in a position to drive healthier, more sustainable markets?

From your 21 March 2017 post from your newsroom, I notice you have already begun implementing your promised changes in leadership. Kudos to your new Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey, and her strategy of first listening to your staff. By repairing Uber’s job descriptions of unconscious bias, in her first 11 weeks on the job she has already accomplished more than the United States Navy. And of course the Marine Corps has quite a bit more growing to catch up to even your team.

Congratulations as well to Bernard Coleman on his new position. I look forward to learning from his experiences leading diversity for a candidate with vast global experience, name-brand recognition, operating with a war chest budget, who nevertheless flubbed the #NotMyAbuela question, and showed up on election night wearing a crisp pantsuit accented in regal PURPLE – with her husband in matching tie – presumptively prepared to ascend the throne of the most powerful position in the world, having woefully underestimated the level of white, rednecked male misogynistic rage across this nation.

Sooo, speaking with an authority better educated than my Mexican-born grandmother and Native foremothers, that means Mr. Coleman will find access to interlibrary loan my thesis research and attend our interview prepared to ask two or three smart questions about “diversity” or identity theory? I have 10,000 questions for all of you, which I will try to reduce to a plummy handful not readily answered via 21st century media research.

Will you have room for my staff to join us?

coober-search

Thank you for all of your hard STEM work attracting funds to afford my expertise, while publicly acknowledging your need for the breadth and depth of my blooms to help you re-envision your company culture.

To be continued…

* details changed to protect anonymity, while still remaining true to his telling