…And other things that lie to you.
I’ve always dealt in truth, even to my detriment.
This was put to the test last week, when a person with a small amount of power in a governmental position told me to prove something. In order to do so, I had to literally dig up my own past. I had to disturb something that was dormant in a system, to the point where the persons involved in the system were confused as to why I was digging. “It is pointless”, they told me. (It’s really a sad situation when one set of government officials, the very ones involved in a situation, say “you should have lied” regarding the other government officials. But, I did not… because I do not.)
This is the same person who CLEARLY had an issue with another situation in my life, one he obviously took personally.. A reality of my life, done legally, reflected in every legal document I have, including everything previously done on a computer before him, yet *he* needed proof. Ok. He even went so far as to say he couldn’t trust the documents in front of him; ironic being that one was issued by the same agency that ultimately employs him. However, that’s ok. Clearly, for some reason, this gentleman, felt this document would be harder for me to procure than the other one in question. (It’s actually a common thing, more common than people realize, even if they don’t understand it.)
However, that’s ok. While it DID get to me, I didn’t let it show. I smiled.
Maybe it’s a dangerous thing when people JUST start to smile…
He told me I had thirty days to provide these proofs, and then dismissed me (and he WAS dismissive).
I was an hour away from where I could even get anything, which meant I’d have to drive an hour back to START to gather these things, plus access a system that had put any information regarding me in the basement files (seriously, I wasn’t in the active system… they had to dig, and they still couldn’t find me for a while). Then collect the secondary paperwork, including the one presumed harder to obtain (I knew right where that was), then drive an hour back.
Three hours later, I walked back in. I knew this person wasn’t happy to see me. I suppose I was expected to fail, however… I am not GOOD at failing. I just don’t know how. I keep going, because, isn’t that what we are supposed to do? How we get things done? We just go on…
I also knew, as did he, he didn’t need to send me for these papers. I was never asked for them before, in this same situation. Someone, many someones, equal to and above his station, had previously approved this situation (it’s not that I was just “rubber stamped” through the process previously, it’s just that these situations literally didn’t matter or had obviously been apparent to where the *proofs* where no needed before. I didn’t get lucky or pull a scheme – it really was just inconsequential bullshit that he wanted). This person clearly, for some reason, just did not care for me. And that’s ok, because not everyone likes you, no matter how hard you try. He tried to make a situation that was already in my favor impossible for me. That’s alright.
Watch me smile. Watch me pull this rabbit out of this hat. Furthermore, watch me pull a DEAD rabbit out of a beat up, torn hat. He thought he was going to stop me, make my life difficult and that he had legitimate cause to. Perhaps he did.
I admit I as angry about the situation, perhaps still am, however… as I said at the time, and as I will say now… I feel sorry for him.
Maybe I don’t do a whole lot with my life… or maybe I do. I don’t jump through rings of fire, but my life progresses forward, constantly, regardless… even if I do nothing, it moves forward. If I was in a position equal to his, it would progress. Some people’s do not. This person’s has not. This person is in this job, and this is the only place he’s going to go.
I walked into that situation (and left it actually) with a smile on my face. I walk into every situation knowing that everyone’s job is equal, everyone’s job matters. I am truly GRATEFUL that people do those jobs and are there to serve me and help me with my needs. I HONESTLY feel this way and believe this. I respect these facts… until you give me cause not to.
This person’s actions made me think “Someone above you, and before you, thinks I’m ok. So, just follow suit, Suit, and wait to retire.” – No, that isn’t nice. However… His actions, in my eyes, and opinion, took him from a position of authority and someone deserving of respect, to a sad man, stuck in a mid-level position who was never going to advance higher than it, trying to exert what little bit of authority he has, needlessly.
If you feel you need to do that… Ok.
Sure, I supposed you could look at it and say he was being a jerk, but… technically, he was within his rights to be, I mean… after all, he WAS doing it “By-the-Book“, as he stated. (The irony is, I produced the proofs he required of me… but I also held back. The paper trail isn’t completely logical if you follow it, it goes from A to C without explaining B – Oh! don’t get me wrong, I can CLEARLY and easily explain B, and I HAD that with me to show and offered it. However, he only took “A” and “C” as “B” is something he understood and accepted (didn’t have issue with), so he didn’t want or need that ‘proven’. If I was going “By-the-Book“, I would have covered my ass and asked for “B”. IF he was truly going “By-the-Book“, on paper that would have been needed to be explained – All he did, in essence, was prove how pointless HE was being. The paper trail he created, isn’t complete! He only, ultimately, proved MY point.)
That’s wonderful. That’s safe. That’s sad.
It has become my perception that he needed to FEEL important by setting up hoops he thought I can’t hop through (because he wouldn’t even answer my questions directly… like when I asked what if I couldn’t get paperwork I knew was dormant.. apparently there was no option, according to him. I guess no one ever told him, there is always another way. I’ve said many a times, life is never black and white… << I thought I had a previous post to link to about that, but I can’t seem to find it. Clearly, I must write one.).
“By-the-Book” works both ways in that case. He took an honorable position and years of service and in one act of pointless authority reduced it to something technical. Instead of making himself seem powerful, he um… actually did the opposite (and pulled others in that position along for the ride). There’s no opinion or discretion or humanity or even common sense in your world, just a “Book“.
Everything we do really is a reflection of who we are and what’s going on in our world. How we treat people is indicative of that. This man showed aren’t any rabbits in his world….
… which means there’s no magic…
…And that IS sad.
Anyway, back to the whole honesty thing… I AM honest, even to my detriment, as stated. However, the good thing about being honest is, there’s nothing to remember, you don’t have to remember your lies (and I am really bad at lying anyway).
I had a situation this week where I was over compensated by a company. I called the and informed them of the situation.
I tried to pay for what I was given. The representative said they didn’t expect me to call and be honest about it or try to pay for their mistake (which they didn’t realize until I pointed it out). However, I knew it was the right thing to do.
Maybe some might say I’m *stupid* for not just taking the freebee, but I can look myself in the mirror knowing I did the right thing. I always said I never wanted anything that wasn’t mine. Besides, why ruin a good relationship I have with that company over an inexpensive item?
In the end, the company told me to just keep the item, to consider it a gift, so.. I was honest and I got to keep the item anyway. No fear of repercussion no fear of it being taken from me… I tried to do the right thing.
so really, in both cases I shared in this post, honesty ultimately won out even if it was a little more work at the time. At least I do not have to fear the repercussions associated with dishonesty.