Monday, June 30, 2008

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By August, I drawn up plans to work on the phenolic resin problem, and I began to
address some of the lack of good business practices I had observed in the laboratory. The latter problem was particularly disturbing to me because it was a hindrance to me carrying out my job. The first thing I needed to know was what the other people in the laboratory were doing. I decided to institute monthly reports. I wrote a memo describing the proper report form and stated that reports would commence immediately and would be due every subsequent month. Normally, I would have had to clear such a change with Ravi, but he was still in the hospital recovering from open heart surgery. Therefore, I cleared the memo with Darth. I felt I had been hired as a manager, and I should begin to exert that authority to implement changes necessary to “build the laboratory”.

In the laboratory, I began the experimental work to solve the phenolic resin problem. My work in the laboratory was met with open aggression by John Mason. The open aggressiveness by John caught me by surprise, because his behavior was so loud and unusually antagonistic that I wasn't quite sure how to handle it. One particular annoying mannerism he exhibited was the continual questioning of everything like a child will do until the parent becomes annoyed. John also suddenly became the laboratory know-it-all. Mention any subject and John would give a ten minute nonsensical dissertation on the topic as if he were the world expert on the subject. Most people would find this personality type annoying, especially in a work environment where it couldn't be avoided, and I was no exception. This exaggerated behavior was to continue for several months and then it would cease abruptly and entirely. And I would latter find that Jim was the first of a line
of successive antagonists.

In Ravi's absence, my mind was slowly being poisoned against Ravi by other
employees. I met the Milwaukee regional sales manager, Paul Johnson, who had been a
chemist for Bordens Company. Paul who had worked several years as a phenolic resin
chemist befriended me in the laboratory by telling John and Jeff that I knew my chemistry. Paul also gave me some hints as to what was the best way to prepare the phenolic resin I wanted. He also informed me that the Clines were unhappy with Ravi and that they wanted to get rid of him. He also said that Ravi was very unpopular with everyone at Gamma Supplies. I could have cared less, but what the conversation did, along with subsequent reinforcement from Darth, was make Ravi and I adversaries. With John giving me all the static in the laboratory, and with Ravi being painted as an adversary, I was becoming a little dissatisfied with the whole situation. And it constantly bothered me that the whole situation seemed created or artificial, but I couldn't see any reason for creating such an atmosphere. I buried myself in my laboratory work in an attempt to forget all the external

Ravi returned in mid-August and the situation quickly grew worse. A few weeks
earlier, I had visited Ravi in the hospital, and he was so glad to have company and
someone to talk to that he practically begged me to stay a few minutes longer. Now that he was returning to work for a few hours a day, his attitude toward me took an abrupt change.

With time the situation would grow to where I alone was pitted against John and Ravi. Darth played the role of a sympathetic friend, but he made no effort in improve the situation nor did he offer any advise on how to handle the situation. And, despite all of the suggestions that the Clines wanted to get rid of Ravi, the rumors also said he had a contract which was good through June of 1977. I knew I could not tolerate the situation that long.

Ravi also made no attempt to hide his antagonism towards me. When the monthly
reports finally did come due, I did not get any copies. I inquired to the secretary as to where my copy of the monthly reports were, and she said Ravi told her not to give me any. A few minutes later I ran into Darth's office and I was furious. I told Darth about the monthly reports.

“Don't worry, you'll get a copy of the reports,” he said as he turned and stormed off in the direction of the secretaries office. As he left I felt uneasy; Darth seemed mad about what I had told him, but when he rushed off his movements seemed stiff and seemed to lack spontaneity.*


*Several years latter I read an article in Psychology Today about acting out emotions. The article concluded that it is hardest to act angry, because when people act angry they become “rigid and stiff in their movement.”

Thursday, June 12, 2008

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My first action when I returned to Gamma Supplies was to write a trip report. My former company had don an excellent job at training new employees in good business practices, and if I had any criticism at all about that learning experience, it was that the business practices were emphasized at the expense of good research. However, one practice I had developed was to write everything down as it occurred so that there was a permanent record of what had transpired.

I wrote a report on the Tenneland trip and itemized the changes in the phenolic resin that Paul Jones had suggested. I did not have the report typed and did not circulate it because I was not sure who would be interested in it. I placed it in my desk drawer file in the original handwritten form.

Several days later Darth called me into his office, and we were talking about Tenneland trip and my research plans. While we were talking about the trip, Darth casually said, “I see you write everything down; that's a good practice.” I was stunned, the son-of-a-bitch had been going through my desk and was telling me that by implication! Up to that point, I had written nothing to Darth nor anyone else and in fact, I had been so busy I had not given the secretary anything to type. The only way he could have known that I was writing things down was by reading my report in my desk. Darth then quickly proceeded to avoid all questions I raised and the only near definitive answer I got was that Gamma Supplies and Tenneland had some form of formalized manufacturing agreement.

The report incident brought up the whole issue of privacy and security. I suddenly realized that I did not have any locks on my desk, and my office door could not be locked. Anyone who has worked in an industrial laboratory will tell you that security is next to Godliness. Gamma Supplies was involved in a major legal battle with Better Supplies, and the person responsible for the technical aspects of that battle did not have and could not get locks on his files and office door. When I approached Jordan about locks, he merely shrugged it off and said something to the effect that Gamma was a small company and didn't pay attention to such things. This was to become that standard mantra for any poor business practice and it was reinforced over and over again by Darth the the other managers in the business. Gamma Supplies was just a little old business with very poor business practices.

At that time, I overlooked the fact that all the accounting files were kept in locked file cabinets in a locked office, and the whole plant was surrounded by a barbed wire topped fence and there was a security guard on the premises during off hours. What I was being told and what was happening in the rest of the company was not consistent. Eventually, I tried to get the company handyman, Phil Knight to install a lock on my door, but that met stiff resistance and a lock was never installed. Since I was never able to get locks on my desk or office door, my files were open to anyone who walked into my office.

The lack of locks was not the only source of irritation concerning privacy. I always carried a briefcase to work and left it on my desk. I carried current work papers in the brief case which enabled me to access them quickly and to have them at home when I wanted to work. I never locked the briefcase because it could be unlocked in five seconds by a child with a paper clip. On several occasions I would open my briefcase to get some papers and find that documents had been moved as if someone had been in my briefcase. This did not surprise me given Darth's attitude toward privacy, but the fact that papers were left disturbed, as if it were done deliberately, puzzled me.

On one occasion I tucked a letter I wanted to mail in a small, snug compartment in the lid of my briefcase. That evening when I went to mail the letter, it was in a different position. Now I was convinced that someone had moved the letter. It was in a different position. I carefully repositioned the letter in its original place, closed the case and swung it around, threw it about and did about everything that the gorilla does to those suitcases in those luggage advertisements. In fact, I dented on corner of the briefcase, but when I opened it, the letter was exactly were I had positioned it! Someone had intentionally moved the letter so I would notice it. But WHY?!

Since the invasion of my briefcase always would occur , as best I could determine, at times when I was away from my office in a controlled situation I could never catch the culprit. But Darth, through subtle suggestions he dropped always implied that he was the perpetrator. Although I was not aware of it at the time, the purposeful “careless” rifling of my briefcase and desk plus other privacy invasion incidents were all directed to generate strong emotions and confusion. It also gave me an environment where I had no privacy.

Several years later I did some reading on mind control and mental torture. There areseveral key elements in destroying the human mind and turning the person into a robot. The top four elements are: 1) Severe prolonged stress 2) Lack of privacy 3) Isolation 4)The use of suggestions and implications. At the time I, as most Americans, had absolutely no knowledge about such dark, evil practices as mind control and mental torture and realistically there was no reason to have such knowledge when in a normal environment. But at this point in my stay at Gamma Supplies, I was already experiencing three of the four key elements.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

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The house we purchased was all I had hoped for. I was a ranch model with a full
basement on a lot of over 1 acre. The living room had a huge picture window through which you could see the marshes across the road and the towering silos of a nearby farm.

On the left was our only neighbor, and our properties were separated by a hedge row and a row of fully grown poplar trees. There were two vacant lots on the right which separated us from a major road in the area, and to our rear were farm fields which were planted alternately with corn and soybeans.

The interior was equally beautiful. The kitchen was large, and was divided from the family room by a bar from which food and beverages could be served. The family room was paneled with dark wood and featured a room dividing two-way fire place which separated it from the living room. The dining was just off the living room a featured a large glass chandelier.

The house was large, but not too large for two people and was unique in its design. Since the house was only two years old, there were still lots of things
that could be finished to add a personal touch to the place. And the basement was
unfinished except for the laundry room which meant a game room or workshop could be
added later.

The house was exactly what Ursula wanted, which is why I found it very strange that soon after we moved into the house, Anita became very depressed. Ursula was a strikingly attractive, tall woman with a vivacious outward manner, who befriended people readily. In the nine years we had been married, I had never seen her really get downabout anything. Suddenly she was noticeably depressed so I asked her what was wrong.

“Nothing”, she replied.

“Anita, something is bothering you. I have never seen you depressed like this and you've been this way for several days. Do you want to talk about it?”

We had been sitting together on the couch when she got up in an attempt to avoid the conversation. “Never mind,” she said. “I'll take care of it myself.”

I replied, “Well if you won't talk with me, maybe you should get some professional help because I've never seen you like this before.”

Then she turned in an attempt to give me some answer, she said, “I guess it has something to do with not having a baby.”

We never discussed the matter again and Anita did seem to improve after a few days and the subject never came up again.

The last week of June, John Mason and I boarded a flight to Summerfield, Ohio where the Tenneland plant was located. The flight was memorable because we hit severe turbulences due to local thunder storms as we approached the Dayton-Columbus airport late in the afternoon. After a safe landing, we were leaving the airport in a rental car when a tornado warning came on the radio and we were advised to pull of the road and seek cover. Such was my introduction to Tenneland, Ohio.

The next morning John drove me to the Tenneland plant where we were to spend
the day. At one point in his career, John had been a salesman, and it was obvious by his outgoing, loud, smiling manner with which he greeted people at Tenneland. I was hurriedly ushered around, introduced to people and then shown the laboratory.

The Tenneland plant was typical chemical manufacturing facility with a small
support and quality control laboratory. The plant itself was designed like the southern Tenneland plants which meant it was an open-air plant and was not completely under roof. This design was fine for warm southern climates, but it presented some problems during the cold Summerfield winters.

I was introduced to Paul Jones who was the chief chemist at the plant and a Ph. D. chemist like myself. In my brief introductory conversation with Paul, he related some of his background and experience which was very similar to mine. It was so similar, my first impression was that he had seen my resume or had been briefed on my background, but I was a little bewildered as to how he would have accessed my info.

Paul was extremely cooperative. He demonstrated all the tests and synthetic procedures for phenolic resins for me, and gave me access to his small personal library. He also gave me a copy of a computer search of the current technical literature and told me that he would see that I got a monthly copy. The rest of the day I spent reading and learning phenolic resin chemistry.

The next day I was told Carl Host, whom I had not yet met, would be flying to
Summerfield from Texas and that I should get together with Carl and Paul for a meeting. The meeting the next day consisted mostly of Carl and Paul discussing the manufacturing of some of Gamma's products. Since Gamma Supplies did not have adequate facilities to manufacture all of its products, Tenneland was manufacturing some of them. I sat there dumbfounded as Carl gave out some very specific information about the manufacturing of Gamma products. Carl talked as if he were talking to his boss. I had come from a company like Tenneland and I knew how companies valued manufacturing secrets. Such information was closely guarded. And since Tenneland had a product line that it sold to the same foundry industry that Gamma Supply sold to, I saw a real danger in giving Tenneland such detailed information.

Eventually, I entered the conversation and the topic became the phenolic resin used in Gamma Supplies' “Quick Set” foundry binder system. I asked Paul, who was a phenolic resin expert, what he thought the problem was and what might be done to correct it. He quickly gave his analysis and then itemized several changes that should be made in the resin to make it work. His answer was very specific and complete as to what was needed. After the meeting, Dave went on his separate way and John and I returned to Milwaukee.

I returned to Chicago with more questions that answers. What was Carl Host's
function in the company? What type of arrangement did we have with Tenneland
and was it formalized? What was Tenneland's role in Gamma's legal battle with
Better Supplies? Was Tenneland to provide technical support and do some research on phenolic resins? What was John Mason's function to be since he was Ravi's right had man and Gamma Supplies/Tenneland's Summerfield liaison? I was confused and needed some specific answers, but I was not to get them.

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