The Invisible Chains that Shackle Whistleblowers and Workplace Justice Advocates

  1. You are seen as a Problem.
  2. You are not Credible unless you win your case.
  3. You cannot win your case unless you abide by these rules.
  4. These rules are the rules you must internalize.
  5. These rules are the rules you must internalize, even if you are unaware of them, and especially if you are unaware of them.
  6. There are no other rules, except for any new ones that you may not be aware of. You have no input into the construction of these unspoken, new, and shifting rules. You must abide by them as well.
  7. From the moment you object to inequities in the workplace, you must live your life as if its sole measurement is how it will recounted in a newspaper profile or judicial opinion, for which you will have limited ability to challenge stereotypes, falsehoods, or anonymous quotes.
  8. Potential lawyers, interested journalists, and other connected advocates will see and treat you as a Problem, as an Other. This will be an invisible veil through which you will communicate with them. You can’t see, hear, touch, or smell this veil, and its existence will be denied, but it is there and cannot be removed.
  9. You must alternate between fear and hope until your case is decided, a result which is likely to be preordained or arbitrary.
  10. You must pay your lawyer, whether with money or otherwise.
  11. You are beholden to your lawyer, on whose fate your career and good name rests.
  12. You must treat peers like Others because that is the way they are treated by your betters and that is the way they treat themselves.
  13. You must treat yourself as an Other, for there is no other way to be treated.