As you may or may not have noticed, I've been mercifully distracted by more important things in life than this nonsense as of late. Also, developments have slowed to a trickle, what with pending court proceedings backed up endlessly. At this point, the soonest Yvonne A.K. Johnson's appeal of the anti-SLAPP ruling could be heard is in September, but even that is not a sure thing. There's just three to five oral argument dates each month, so it's a matter of waiting to get on the docket. Her suit against Spokane Civic Theatre appears to have been continued into January of 2015. So, you know...there probably won't be any major developments for a while.
It's kind of nice to not be focused on it so much, but it also postpones indefinitely the point at which I'll be able to be fully disentangled from Yvonne A.K. Johnson for good. And so I still have days when I get a little sidetracked by the unresolved frustration of it all. Today, I found myself engaged in something of a thought experiment regarding the fundamental nature of how my termination played out from the beginning.
It's obviously really difficult to divorce thinking about all this from the salacious aspect of the story. It's damn near impossible, really. (I apologize if you're not "in the know." You'll have to do your own research because I don't feel like recapitulating it here.) It went like this: Event A (scandalous stuff) occurred, setting wheels in motion that led to Event B (my termination). Right? Well...not really. I mean, everyone who was close enough to Spokane Civic Theatre to really know the whole story knows that Event B was probably a foregone conclusion and that Event A merely provided a miraculously convenient (from her perspective) excuse. In other words, Yvonne A.K. Johnson probably would have fired me sooner or later because she's more-or-less incapable of working with anyone that isn't a cowering pool of sycophantic jelly. Which I am not.
(I want to assure you here that I have exhaustively explored, at the behest of many, many people, the theory that Event A was somehow orchestrated by one or more individuals involved in Event B. I understand the desire to find order in the chaos and that's certainly how the John Grisham version would turn out, but I just have not found anything even remotely conclusive to keep that theory alive.)
So just step back for a moment and reimagine the whole thing as if Event A had never happened. Imagine that, after moving across the country to take what I thought was a three-year contract, Yvonne A.K. Johnson just called me into her office one day and said "You know, this isn't working out and since this is an at-will state I think we'll just go our separate ways. Have a nice day." (Now we all know she wouldn't have been that decent about it. She would have accused me of something terrible or questioned my mental state—both things she did to other people—but still, let's just pretend that's how it went down.) What would have been the reaction to that?
My first thought is that it would have been severely muted—that the scandal actually riled people up on its own terms. But when I really think about it, I see that the reimagined scenario would have been even more offensive. I mean, you can't just drag a family across the country for a "trial period" to see if you like someone or not...at least not under the guise of a three-year agreement. That's just not something you do. If that's your intent, you hire locally or you make it extremely clear that continued employment is very much an open question based on a highly unpredictable rubric consisting of one person's mercurial impulses.
I guess what I'm saying is that I think that is exactly what happened. This isn't a new thought exactly, but I've always kind of leaned on the scandal story because a) it's nearly impossible to escape its grasp and b) it seemed like the stronger argument. I don't mean to say that I made a cynical, PR decision to lean on it, but rather that of the arguments available to me as a result of Yvonne A.K. Johnson's and Spokane Civic Theatre's actions, that seemed the only plausible one to make. And it is probably the case that I did not have a choice in the matter. The scandal was not going to go away—especially not after the "protect the children" speeches. Still, I was riveted today by contemplation of the un-sensationalized version of the story and its implications.
To be sure, the scandal will haunt me for the rest of my days. I was recently recommended for a pretty major job opportunity and made it through to a second interview. It's not a job I applied for or had any real qualifications for, but apparently I am (if I may be immodest for a moment) impressive enough to have been recommended and then considered seriously. That interview was cancelled the day before it was scheduled due to "a decision to hire from within." Now maybe that's really what happened. Or maybe my "Google Problem" is what happened. And that is the kind of uncertainty I'll live with for the rest of my life as a result of what Yvonne A.K. Johnson and Spokane Civic Theatre did to me.
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming...