I was brought up by my parents not to tell lies. Ironic in a way as my brother was an accomplished liar. I found it staggering that he was capable of telling the biggest untruths without a big neon light flashing over his head. Even worse, his version of events was usually believed over anyone else but that’s a whole other story for another day. To this day if I come across someone telling bare-faced lies, I still have to resist the overwhelming urge to allow my jaw to hit the floor. Or for my hand to make contact with their face. I just can’t understand it.
We all tell white lies from time to time: maybe it’s because the event to which we’ve been invited doesn’t float our boat for some reason, so we make up an excuse about double booking, parents being in town or whatever. I’ve done it in the past but as I’ve got older I tend to be more honest. I find making up an excuse tiring and a waste of energy. Nowadays I’ll say “nope, don’t fancy that” or just “no thanks”. There are days when I don’t want to be around crowds of people and I’m honest enough to admit to it. I’ve given up being bothered about other peoples’ opinions of me. I have enough confidence in my decisions to know that, as long as I’m not hurting anyone else, I need to do what’s right for me. I cannot and should not take responsibility for other peoples’ feelings. If I inadvertently offend someone, I expect them to be honest enough to tell me and we can discuss it. Like grown up people are supposed to do.
As far as work is concerned, I do my best to be as honest as possible. When I screw something up, I’ll hold my hand up and admit it. There have been occasions when I’ve even spent time wondering whether the problem was the result of something I may have done. Admitting you’ve screwed up may not be comfortable but, in the IT world, the sooner you figure out what’s caused the problem, the sooner you can go about fixing it. Covering something up or holding your hands up and saying “it wasn’t me” merely makes life more difficult for everyone else trying to fix things.
As I was watching the news about the Hillsborough inquest I wondered why the hell it’s taken 27 years to get to the truth. How much passing the blame, arse covering and deflection has gone on?
Wouldn’t it make a refreshing change if people just told the frigging truth? Can you imagine if a spell was cast over everyone, much like the little boy Max did in Liar Liar? Stick the politicians on the podium and ask them questions to which they can only give truthful answers. Take the Bankers into a side room and ask them who’s fault it is that the economy nosedived back in 2008. I’d love to see that. Everyone seems to be so busy covering things up because they’ve been allowed to indulge in childish games and irresponsible behaviour without any accountability and are terrified that they’re going to get found out.
I wish I had a magic wand …