I thought I was late for a most important meeting. The train ride to Harlem took over an hour. The A moved like the mind of a schizophrenic on lithium. I didn’t have a watch on. I knew I was cutting it close. I tried reading the watch another passenger was wearing but his heavy winter coat blocked my view.
I had a hearing at the State Office Building. The Division of Human Rights decided to call a meeting regarding the recent claim I filed relating to discrimination in the workplace. I rushed through revolving doors, showed the security guards my driver’s license, placed my keys and lighter in a plastic container and quickly stepped through a metal detector. I saw one of the people from my job standing in the lobby. I figured she was waiting for everyone else. I was right. I was the first to check-in through a bullet proof glass on the fourth floor. I’ve always wondered what the inside of Harlem’s only skyscraper looks like. The Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building is much more charming on the outside.
There were seven representatives from my job representing the defense. I sat alone. Slowly they entered the silent quiet waiting room.
“Oh, is this Mr. Taylor,” a fat, balding attorney asked. I knew his name well— ‘Jacobson’. I read it numerous times in formal responses to my complaints that my employer had filed through the pricey Madison Avenue law firm run by Jacobson and other ambulance chasers. .
“Yes, I’m Mr. Taylor,” I said while shaking his sticky hand. “Bear is spelled ‘B-E-A-R, not B-A-E-R’ I quickly pointed out while pulling my hand from his as fast as humanly possible.
“We caught that typo and corrected it,” Jacobson assured.
“Not in my copy,” I said.
At that moment, the representative from the Division of Human Rights appeared and escorted us down the hallway to a conference room. I was prepared to give the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services a piece of my mentally ill mind…
(To be continued…)