The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist
AUGUST 2000, No. 1, Sect. 1
Fight when you can
Take flight when you must
Flow like a dream
In the Phoenix we trust!
Table of Contents
Q & A: Managing the Quietly Surly and Passive-Aggressive Employee Shrink
Rap: Being Down and Out in the Valley of the Upgrade
Sect 2: Heads Up: Media 15 secs: Cosmo, AOL/Digital City Chat and Online Psych
Main Essay: R & R for Healing Body and Brain Strain
Readers' Submissions: How To Be A Good Republican
Ask the Stress Doc
Work Stress Q & A
(Eds. Note: This column was originally written for WorkforceOnline.)
1) Managing the Quietly Surly and Passive-Aggressive Employee
Q. We have an employee that appears to be disgruntled. As a result, she is
creating a hostile work environment for coworkers. For example, she won't speak
to anyone, she slings boxes across the floor, and when someone asks her a
question she is purposefully vague. This doesn't seem to really violate any
policy, but it is really affecting morale of coworkers. How should I proceed?
A. What comes to mind when you read the phrase, "hostile work
environment?": Direct verbal threats of violence, deep gouges in the hood
of a car parked in the employee parking lot; sexually harassing or personally
invasive behavior from staring at an employee in his cubicle (or scratching
on the cubicle wall or rummaging through an employees waste basket) to
following a person around the workfloor? What about pulling up XXX or KKK web
sites for public display?
Actually, as you note, a hostile work environment can be created by a
disgruntled coworker, one who, "wont speak to anyone, (who) slings boxes
across he floor (or) when someone asks her a question is purposefully
There are two serious dysfunctions in this latter scenario: First, this kind
of passive-aggressive and overtly aggressive pattern is not just
anxiety-provoking for others, but may have an intimidating intent or effect.
Will this individual ratchet up the hostility and become globally explosive or,
perhaps, start focusing on a specific target? Are problems with alcohol or
drugs, an underlying or unrecognized depression or a burnout state fueling the
hostility fires? A person displaying problematic behavior and emotional
conflicts or a personality disorder fairly quickly becomes a morale and
productivity tumor in an avoidance-based operational system.
Second, when employees believe management or company policy will not or
cannot address, set limits or discipline such provocative and dysfunctional
behavior the tumor turns malignant. (Alas, management has been known to overlook
or deny the interpersonal actions and consequences of a high producer.) Various
organ systems are invariably compromised and damaged. Employees, at minimum, are
distracted; colleagues fear and anger levels rise. The possibility of
retaliation and/or mutual escalation increases. Gossip and group cliques feed,
if not scavenge, on this ambient tension. Employees steadily lose confidence in
and respect for a "know nothing/do nothing" management structure. And
morale, a belief in capable leadership and productivity are highly
Stress Docs Prescription
What about some strategies for disarming the hostile employee? As you didn't
specifically indicate your role or relationship with regard to this problematic
individual, I will take a multifaceted approach. Consider these five strategic
1. Peer Confrontation. Because of the somewhat unpredictable nature of the
problem employee, I encourage the work team to confront the supervisor not the
troubled and/or troublesome colleague. The supervisor must hear how people are
being adversely affected by this persons behavior. If the supervisor does not
expeditiously address this problem, the group should approach the next level of
authority or schedule an appointment with Human Resources.
Theres a guerrilla tactic if management is unresponsive: people from the
work team or department schedule individual appointments with the Employee
Assistance Program (EAP) Counselor. Not only can the EAP professional be a work
team advocate in this stressful scenario, but eventually someone high up will
notice all the "lost company time." (More on the EAP option in 5.)
2. Clear and Firm Policy. Management and Human Relations need to design a
practices and procedures policy on what constitutes a hostile work environment,
including intervention and prevention steps. For example, continuously slinging
boxes across a floor can readily be assessed as an unsafe work practice. Any
warehouse in which Ive either worked or consulted would not tolerate such
unprofessional and potentially hazardous behavior.
3. Team Performance Evaluation. In performance evaluations, more and more
organizations are including the category of team player, that is, does the
employee demonstrate a capacity for collaboration, cooperation and coordination
with direct colleagues, personnel in other task-related departments, matrix team
members, etc.? So being purposefully vague or not speaking to anyone, especially
if one is withholding or manipulating information that others need for doing
their job effectively and safely needs to be a vital component of a formal job
evaluation. This performance component should be formally included in a job
description as well.
4. Supervisor-Hostile Employee Relationship. Clearly, a supervisor needs to
have a face-to-face meeting with the hostile employee. The supervisor must have
documentation which specifically enumerates the professional disruptive
behavior. In addition, the supervisor needs to inquire how the employee
perceives her general and specific work floor/work team behavior. And the
disgruntled employee needs to be confronted with the specific concerns
identified by colleagues. (Of course, confidentiality for all employees needs to
be respected.) At some point, a team meeting with all parties present is
advisable. This meeting may require a professional facilitator.
Returning to the one-on-one, the supervisor might usefully inquire whether
there is something in the work environment, including work relationships, that
is troubling or frustrating this employee. With a person not overly defensive,
one capable of hearing the supervisors feedback, this meeting might become a
wake up call. Sometimes, a disciplinary letter in an employees file or losing
a couple of days pay, especially if the problem persists after a first
discussion of the problem, can be a reality check. (Remember, unless the level
of behavior is significantly destructive, maximum disciplinary action should not
be imposed if the supervisor and employee have not had a previous formal
discussion of the problem behavior.)
The supervisor and problematic employee may now be able to establish a
performance improvement plan. Goals, action items and timelines will need to be
monitored on a regular, perhaps weekly, basis at first. If really fortunate,
this person may even accept a referral for EAP counseling. I've also known
supervisors who've worked with a shop steward or union representative to help
calm and modify the behavior of a disgruntled employee. However, if the problem
has been fairly chronic and defenses are well-fortified or if the problem has a
definite biochemical component (e.g., clinical depression) then rational
discussion and, even, traditional supervisory discipline may not be sufficient.
And, of course, if alcohol or drug abuse is part of the diagnostic picture then
medical treatment along with cognitive-behavioral intervention becomes critical.
5. Critical Intervention and Support. Especially with an employee
demonstrating a pattern of hostile behavior, a supervisor may need outside
assistance in dealing with such a problematic individual. For example, one
recent intervention that helped turn around a hostile employee was my
facilitating a confrontation between this employee and his supervisor. Larger
reorganzation and dysfunctional leadership issues at higher levels had set the
stage for a hazardous work climate. The supervisor intially felt he was not
getting any upper management support in his attempts to set limits on and
discipline the hostile employee. Angry and dejected, the supervisor eventually
gave up confronting this employee's disruptive behavior. This only exacerbated
the employee's acting out patterns. A new division leader committed to tackling
workplace morale plus an intensive individual and team intervention process put
the brakes on a vicious work environment/behavior cycle.
Another vital conflict resolution step was holding a group meeting with the
hostile employee, the supervisor, the new division head and the other team
members. At first, I encouraged the team members to discuss the impact of the
supervisor's detaching from his supervisory role. (I knew confronting the
supervisor would be less threatening than tackling the hostile employee.) Still
feeling mostly safe, these peers next spoke of their upset or discomfort with
the hostile employees angry outbursts and bullying behavior. (The angry
employee often is in denial about how aversive his behavior is to others. And,
of course, the problem employee frequently sees his or her acting out as
justified or provoked by others.)
The moral: a supervisor should strongly consider asking for support from a
Critical Intervention Specialist (my motto: "Have Stress? Will
Travel!") or an EAP Counselor. While supervisors are usually aware of the
EAP referral option for a problematic employee, the supervisor frequently
overlooks the EAP option as a coaching resource for him-or herself. Whether an
intervention consultant or an EAP specialist, collaboration with a professional
trained in dealing with hostile personnel and work scenarios will help the
supervisor feel less isolated and vulnerable. Nothing like having good backup
when tackling a hostile situation.
Of course, depending on the nature of the hostile behavior, internal security
may need to be placed on alert (or brought in for consultation) if the employee
becomes increasingly agitated during an intervention/discipline meeting or, for
example, if he or she refuses to leave or keep off the work premises if
instructed to do so.
Five strategic interventions have been highlighted: 1) Peer Confrontation, 2)
Policy Clarification, 3) Team Performance Evaluation, 4) Supervisor-Employee
Relationship, and 5) Critical Intervention and Support.
By building these steps into the company's operational philosophy, policies
and practices, upper management will definitely strengthen organizational
leadership, individual and team productivity and workplace safety and morale.
And the system as an interdependent whole will finally be ready to
Shrink Rap: Being Down and Out in the Valley of the Upgrade
How quickly one can go from stress and technology expert to a spiraling state
of techno-panic. All it takes is: a) being interviewed by a couple of magazine
reporters ("Vanity thy name is Gorkin!") on how the small business
person as well as the general public can cope with the ever present, ever
increasing demands of technological instruments and innovations, e.g., cell
phones, car phones, laptops, palmtops, FAX, email, smart appliances, etc. and b)
venturing into the labyrinthine, demon-lurking shadow of chaos and depression
"The Valley of the Upgrade." And believe me, I do fear evil!
These days, instruments of efficiency are themselves becoming instrumental
for increasing numbers feeling out of control of lifes demands and
responsibilities. And alas, even with the guiding hand of technical support or a
web master (and, alas, sometimes because of such mavens) staying on the edge of
expansion can be fraught with uncertainty and anxiety. And when cybermania is
not so far removed from a condition of technophobia, when the workstation
so does the Stress Doc.
Setting the Primal Screen
Actually, high anxiety hit about a month ago when told by an email recipients
firewall service that an attached file detected a virus. My trial McAfee Scan
had ended. Was I being punished for my brief security lapse? And worse, was I
Im immediately on the phone ordering the McAfee Scan software. Well,
immediately is bit of an exaggeration. I cant recall how many buttons were
pushed or how long I had to wait for a human voice. And then the trial starts in
earnest. The first technical representative assures me that installing the
software from their web site is "easy." Just follow the 21 steps of
instructions covering at least two pages. Several futile attempts made it
eminently clear that I was going up the down escalator. The obvious lesson:
"Never trust a technical support person who claims, "Its
easy!" Basically, she was trying to get rid of me.
It took a second McAfee support person to explain that I, along with legions
of cyber folks, had "The Pretty Princess Virus" (or some such
seductive name). And the virus was preventing installation of their scan. He was
walking me through the input process at the MS--DOS level, when I get a
"Call Waiting" signal. (I have a dedicated modem line so theres no
equipment conflict.) I put Mr. Techie on hold, dismiss the call in 30 seconds
and, to my horror, Mr. Tech Support is no longer there. He has my number, surely
hell call me back. Dream on Doc. My disillusion is compounded by the fact
that this guy agreed that techie #1 was just trying to dump me. He seemed to
understand my need for step-by-step guidance. Okay, lesson #2: "Never break
away from tech support!"
Three hours later, and several consultations with his supervisor, the third
expert finally delivers me to the land of milk and honey
or, at least, no more
undetected viruses. Two creatures are detected and zapped.
And, in the immediate aftermath, with just a little prodding from my web guy,
John, I transformed this cyber danger into a technical window of opportunity: I
would replace my fairly dated system with a new computer. Following Johns
recommendations, I ordered a much faster system 500mhz, four times more
memory, 8GB hard drive, etc. (I still feel Im talking dirty. ;-) John isnt
a "hot rod," GEN X techie. Hes of the Baby Boom Generation, having
received a PhD. In computer sciences in the 70s. In addition to a web
design/development business, hes VP of Technology for a large savings and
loan. But theres the rub. He had COMPAQ ship their IPAQ with a Windows 2000
The Virtual Extended Weekend from Hell
Initially, John sets up the computer, the external modem, the zip drive and
the 17" monitor. (Who said bigger isnt better?) Before finishing he
connects to my Internet Service Provider (ISP). He installs the trial AOL 4.0
which comes with the IPAQ. Then he has to leave, though he promises to be back
tomorrow (Saturday) with a Microsoft Office CD and a tools disk for transferring
data to a zip drive . John has the proverbial wife, dog and house, that is, a
life. The nerve! (When I was doing a lot of writing, a favorite aphorism was:
"I no longer have a life, I have a memoir." Now with the influx of
media interviews its, "I no longer have a life, I have a quote!" My
existential purpose is definitely shrinking.)
Speaking of shrinking, the previous night I had to weather being called a
"wimp" by a therapy client a lawyer, no less when I confessed
to waiting for my web guy to unpack the computer boxes in the hall. Hey, as long
as Im no longer a "computer virgin," knock yourself out. Youll
the compassionately mirthful meek not just the techno-geek shall inherit
cyberspace. But I may have to wait for my reward
And wait, and wait.
Friday evening, after John left, I started downloading AOL 5.0 from America
Onlines upgrade download page. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment for a
guy who probably has a touch of ADHD. The 10% per hour download rate wasnt
just maddeningly slow, AOL would throw me off after a few minutes if I wasnt
interacting with AOL. So I was chained to the computer. The only thing saving my
sanity was that I didnt lose my completed percentage of download upon signing
back on. And to make matters worse, even as I got up to 58% completion, the
lower box still smirked that that 400 minutes (of the original 600 minutes)
remained for download completion. A friend on the phone could barely stifle her
hysterical laughter. Good night. Time for a Salty Oat Cookie and Darjeeling
First Flush at the teahouse.
The next morning Im at 68% and just cant endure more babysitting hours.
Of course, a call to AOL technical support elicits a recorded message suggesting
calling again when tech support is less busy. And then a window (alas, with a
small "w"). My neighbors door is open. I call to her as she is
prancing down the hall. Yes!
She has an AOL 5.0 CD, bless her heart.
I insert the disk, seem to be making progress signing on as a current member,
when a window asks for my screen name. And wouldnt you know, "stressdoc"
is taken. Hello
Wake up, you damn program: "Im the Stress Doc. Its
my screen name!" In near desperation, I uninstall AOL 4.0 thinking somehow
that might be the screen name obstacle. 68% completion rate be damned. While I
get points for boldness, clearly an "F" for diagnostic assessment
skills. I still cant sign on to 5.0.
Mercifully, my friend Hank calls to bring over a Norton Utilities software
package. Hank, an Emergency Room Doc enjoys tinkering with the nuts and bolts of
electrical systems and gadgets. And yes, Hank points out that while I started
the sign-on process as a "current member," I overlooked the need to
change the default member status in a subsequent question box. My heart leaps
wildly as we sign on to AOL with 5.0. (Nonetheless, Hank is right: too often I
get impatient and dont read directions carefully.) I gladly endure Hanks
slightly superior grin, heartily pat him on the back, tussle his hair and offer
to treat us to an ice cream cone.
But the unadulterated joy is tempered upon discovering that his version of
Norton utilities 2000 is not compatible with the Windows 2000 operating system.
Still, the finish line is in sight.
The Light, The Tunnel..The Train
Later that day John returns, heartened to hear that Im on 5.0. And then,
almost as quickly we both are deflated I have no Internet access. After
pondering the issue, theres only one likely answer (which Im proud to say
I announced first): Windows 2000 and AOL software are not compatible. John
initially is skeptical; WIN 2K has such wide usage. Surely, AOL must work with
this operating system.
But before our working session ends, we are both left with a common task, one
that particularly pains John, a big fan of Windows 2000: 1) are the new computer
operating system and AOL compatible? and, most salient, 2) can one safely remove
Windows 2000 and replace it with Windows 98?
The answers from the sources: 1) not quite yet; AOL is beta testing AOL/WIN
2K compatibility and 2) yes
but a variety of audio, video drivers must be
downloaded from COMPAQs web site. So I have another assignment: buy Windows
We take a work break on Sunday inspired by Johns wife. The previous
evening on the phone she angrily lets me know that Im abusing her husbands
time or, at least, not paying him enough money for all the hours he puts in
working for me (and other web clients). And, as mentioned, John has a day job.
While not using a good "I" message "Do you want to be the
cause of him having a heart attack? -- his wife has a point. Nonetheless, she's
missing the obvious: this is life and death; my Internet access is at stake. And
her abrupt hang up doesnt sit well. (Then again, I wasnt a total innocent.
I had called John Saturday night to share my findings from COMPAQ and AOL. John
wasn't home. His wife would only convey a verbal message as she didnt want
any more weekend contact between John and me. My message: "Have John call
me when he gets back.")
When John calls Sunday afternoon, unaware of last nights phone encounter,
I let John know, "He has a good agent." And in the puzzled silence, I
add, "His wife!" With genuine appreciation, John accepts my offer of
$500 for this consuming project. (His ongoing commitment to our web site clearly
influences my decision-making.)
While the triangle confrontation is defused, I belatedly realize the angry,
somewhat hysterical reaction by his wife (John doesnt have a heart problem)
evokes echoes of encounters between me and my mother.
Monday night, seemingly, one last push five hours, another call to
COMPAQ. We need to download to a floppy disk an old execution order(.exe) link
to install Windows 98 with requisite drivers. And it seems it cant be done
without sacrificing six of eight gigabytes of hard drive. We lament our state,
then quickly (its getting late) dismantle the new IPAQ, repack it and set up
my old computer system.
Actually, it doesnt feel so bad being back in the old saddle. I never did
bond with my new system. Also, Im aware of feeling less anxious about the
process now that diagnostic confusion is not running rampant or because Im
spinning wildly in tech support circles. Of course, now the big issue is whether
COMPAQ will allow me to exchange my system for a computer with Windows 98? Or if
COMPAQ, itself, can do the necessary surgery?
While not yet having the answer to this one, the learning curve this weekend
has been as steep as it has been frustrating. Some sadder but wiser
psychological wisdom has been gleaned. And here are "Five Hazards of
Pushing the IT Envelope When More Technologically Geek than Meek!":
1. Accept Vulnerability and Pay Attention. As a self-employed, home-based
professional with a limited (yet painfully growing) understanding of the
complexities and interfacings of computer hardware and software systems as the
world gets increasingly hi-tech, my vulnerabilities are increasingly evident. Of
course, this on the edge state is magnified when a significant component of ones
business and art is computer and cyber dependent.
And yet, as Ive discovered in this Brave New World, one doesnt have to
be the Lone Range or the Lone Hacker (in the non-criminal sense of the term). In
fact, for us low and medium tech folks self-employed or otherwise
collaboration is essential. For example, my synergistic efforts include working
with: a) a web master on a site, b) editors of e-zines, c) chat group hosts, the
AOL/Digital City team thats responsible for the promotion and functionality
of the weekly "Shrink Rap and Group Chat," and d) a consultant adept
at establishing effective metetag listings to improve search engine positioning.
The computer and cyber worlds are too vast and complex for me to be a
techno-virtual expert along with the compelling desire to evolve as a writer and
public performer. Listen, Stress Doc
"You cant do it all!" And
yet, I want to not just psychobabble but also to walk the talk; to live my
aphorism: "Go web young cyberite!"
2. Explore Dependence, Evolve Interdependence. Through my "On Becoming
an Internet Entrepreneur" workshops and through an online coaching service
for health professionals, Ive been struck by the numbers who have avoided or
dawdled when it comes to generating an Internet presence. These folks are
thankful for email and a capacity for online research; they also have the
mistaken belief that you must be techno-savvy or at least know Hypertext Mark Up
Language (HTML code) to get started.
For us hi-touch folks, the key, as mentioned above, is finding computer and
cyber professionals with whom you can collaborate; people who can bring your
experience and content to life. As I announced to my web guy in our prehistoric
startup era (about four years ago): "John, you have all this arcane
computer knowledge, I have all this psychobabble, lets build a website."
But while there are many points of active interchange integrating content
and graphics, layout of a webpage, etc. that lends itself to mutual
brainstorming, when a technical breakdown occurs, the leader and follower status
differential is clear. Actually, the computer and the Stress Doc become the
patients. In the current Windows 2000 debacle, the instant phrase was John
performing surgery to remove WIN 2K. Surgery on my brand new baby!
Uncomfortable dependence also occurs when calling up tech support. One needs
to be prepared that a 20 somethings smirk streaking through the phone line
just might bite you in the ego. Alas, an expert status in many roles is
irrelevant. I have to accept feeling like (and sometimes being treated as) an
awkward, inadequate distinctly subordinate player in this interchange. Its
not unlike how many Type A clients feel when they begin the psychotherapy
process. They dont truly understand their genuine, undercover emotions nor
what it means to share real and vulnerable feelings. These individuals are
familiar with establishing an aggressive posture or an intellectual debaters
or bullys armored cover: the best defense is being offensive! Im not
looking for a complete Type A personality transformation. My learning curve goal
is a little less denial coupled with communication skills for expressing
emotions, especially anger, in a non-hostile, non-accusatory and non-abusive
And for me, when computer crisis time hits in this vulnerable learning space,
while frustration is inevitable, the key is getting my anxiety under control.
3. Ebb in the Web, Go with the Flow. When a major operational computer
problem hits that resists the quick fix and prevents or retards my
Im hurtling to a state of high anxiety if not
a near panic reaction. After several futile problem-solving attempts I can only
hand over the problem to an expert. Im also noticing that my loss of control
with the computer, especially not having a clear diagnosis or prognosis, seems
to mimic the grief process: after the initial shock and dread, a helpless
feeling prevails until I sense the problem is being competently addressed.
When the McAfee installation problem hit over July 4th weekend, with no
cavalry in sight, I developed a case of the "emotional flu." Staying
in bed allowed me to alternate between shutting down all the turmoil and
obsessing over whether my files were indeed infected. And taking to bed,
analogous to lying on the couch in psychoanalysis also allowed me to pay close
attention to my inner emotional cauldron, that is, to face the shame and fear:
when informed of the virus, would the recipients be angry and anxious enough to
decline being part of my informal syndication list? Grappling with this fear of
rejection and approach-avoidance tension propelled me to do the right thing. I
warned the small sample of recipients of an infected zip file attachment and my
determination to scrub all files. Courage is its own relief, if not reward.
When the flu symptoms subsided, the next challenge was letting go of business
as usual. Being organized and focused is critical for successfully juggling my
various roles Yet when breakdown hits I must adapt to a different mode: a) when
working with tech support, I must accept that a big chunk of the day may have to
be devoted to waiting on the phone (even Mozart cant totally tranquilize me
at these moments), being transferred to the right department, more waiting,
maybe or maybe not getting the right computer doc with the right screen-side
manner, being cut off, etc., etc. The key realization: I must let go of my
preordained schedule and agenda.
And this letting go process is even more pronounced when I turn the problem
over to my web master. Its truly out of my keyboard, mouse and hands. And the
unexpected epiphany is that despite being laid low by a mini "dark night of
the soul," I can survive being grounded in cyberspace. While the computer
is an essential part of my day to day operations, its valuable recalling that
I have a real life as well as a virtual one. With a history of clinical
depression, no doubt being on Prozac enables me to more quickly crawl out of
bed, to more resiliently resolve conflict, to flexibly shift out of grief-black
hole entropy into refocused energy once "the flu" runs its course.
Clearly, vulnerability and vitality have Yin/Yang potential.
4. Be Vigilant with Viruses. Speaking of the flu, clearly theres been
first hand learning regarding the disruptive potential of getting a virus. And
whats so difficult, akin to real life, you can get it from a well-intentioned
friend or colleague. I likely contracted a virus from my book editor while
sharing attached files that had been worked on with an editing software program.
(And its possible, my sending back the files led to her system breaking
down.) Big surprise...We subsequently have shifted to a cut and paste email
The reality is that viruses are everywhere present. The McAfee tech person
assured me thousands of others also had Pretty Princess startup problems. I
suppose theres some truth in the updated maxim: "Misery doesnt just
it likes miserable company!"
After my editor speculated that one can download infected information from a
web site not just from being hacked or opening a Trojan attachment, daily virus
scanning is "de rigueur." So, from one who has lost his cyber
innocence and sense of being impregnable and invulnerable
Practice Safe Cyber!
5. Challenge the Cutting Edge. Not being a gadget geek, I dont
indiscriminately need to have the latest peripheral or version of this and that.
And now I have good reason for upgrading somewhat conservatively: major
technology components are not in sync. AOL doesnt work with Windows 2000;
Hanks version of Norton Utilities purchased a month ago was not WIN 2K
compatible. Experiencing first hand the benefits of Windows 2000 over 98 in his
bank manager role, John recommended ordering an IPAQ with the latest operating
system. Alas, from a variety of sources, including a COMPAQ engineer, WIN 2K is
more for corporations. Next time, I speak live to a salesperson, not just place
an efficient online order.
But I still believe we are in pioneer territory and space-time regarding
computer technology and the Internet. Many learning curves lie ahead. To
paraphrase a Stress Doc essay written in the aftermath of breaking into Cable
Television in the early 80s: Its the age of "Creative Risk-Taking: The
Art of Designing Disorder." So lets keep exploring and documenting our
trials and triumphs. Anyone have a tale of techno-terror that was survived with
some healing humor? In anxious and amorphous, on the edge times, mutual support
sharing the tears and the joys is critical. As pioneering film genius
Charlie Chaplin observed: "The paradoxical thing of making comedy is that
its precisely the tragic which arouses the funny. We have to laugh (due to)
our helplessness in the face of natural forces and in order not to go
crazy." Sounds like a philosophy for helping me and others
(c) Mark Gorkin 2000 Shrink Rap Productions