The following tale might be the ultimate modern American story. It has a couple of victims, a villain, something little, something big and a lawsuit. The only question is: who is who? We submit it now for your edification.
From Steve Patterson of The Chicago Sun-Times
The note affixed to the office door handle of a Columbia College (Chicago) professor was short, simple and to the point."Jack sucks donkey c---."
Reid Hyams is suing Columbia College to get his job back. He was fired for putting a Post-It note on colleague Jack Alexander's office door that read, "Jack sucks donkey c---."
It wasn't a student prank.
It was, school officials contend, the workings of another professor who was embroiled in a dispute with his colleague.
But after Reid Hyams was fired for placing the note on Jack Alexander's door, Hyams filed suit against Columbia, alleging the school wrongly fired him for what he calls "an impromptu joke."
Besides, Hyams said, the note he wrote had said "Jack sucks donkey d---" and that's just an industry slang term for a type of electro-voice microphone.
"Somebody intentionally changed the term from one that has an industry connotation to one that does not," said his attorney, Stuart Gimble. "Was it an inappropriate joke? Yes. But did he write what they say he did? No. That's why we're very surprised things have elevated to termination."
School officials declined to comment, while Alexander did not return calls.
The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, contends Hyams had a good record at Columbia's School of Media Arts and should not have been fired over the incident.
His dispute with Alexander, he contends, came after Alexander had a spat with a school secretary and Hyams was asked to switch offices to bring peace to a department where "everyone in the department is at each other's throat," according to one professor.
It was shortly after that move that Hyams placed the note on Alexander's door.
Others from the office saw it and claimed to be offended by it, school officials said.
Hyams confesses his "joke" was inappropriate, but hardly thinks it warranted losing his job.
"I'd just like to sit down with them and talk about it," he said.
So read the story and make your judgments.
Who's the villain and who's the victim?
Are perhaps the students of Hyams the vicitims, for having had their education interrupted?
Is Hyams the villain? Or, the victim?
Is the reader a victim for having spent 2-3 minutes of his life on this story?
Or is there none at all?
Which is it?
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