Friends, allow me some time on a soap box about the proper way to act as an employee.
I’ve never said, nor have I ever been so naive to believe that I am an ideal employee. I have several fatal flaws:
– I take the time to know every aspect of my job.
– I work harder than most to make sure that I am the most qualified, competent employee around.
– Many employees will ask me technical questions because they value getting the correct answer over having to sort through the corporate double-speak they are used to.
– I have no problems with calling somebody on their stupidity, regardless of title or position.
– I am well liked by my subordinates and the consumer.
I’m sure there are others, but this is a good enough list. When I am a manager, I am only slightly less demanding of my staff than I am of myself. This explains why they like me. They know they will get a square deal with me if one is to be had.
This brings me to my problem, as well as a new feature that will be coming soon. There are several qualities that I strive to achieve. I originally learned them as qualities of a Black Belt when I used to teach Martial Arts, but I have also learned them in other circles. Stephen Covey writes about something similar. I will be adding all of the qualities that I think are important as time goes on.
Here’s the situation that has prompted this. I am currently not in a Management position, even though I do run my own office. I have one slot for an employee that has been vacant since February. Right now, the company is testing two different employees to fill the position. After working with the first (I haven’t started with the second yet), I don’t want them. Why you may ask? The answer: Because they lied.
Not a colossal lie, not a job-saving lie, but a stupid, inconsequential lie that in and of itself wouldn’t have justified me not wanting this person to work here. Those other kinds of lies I can understand; this type of lie is just stupid.
But here’s the rub: If this person is willing to lie about the inconsequential, what would stop them from lying about something that is truly important?
To make matters more complicated, and in the interest of full-disclosure, I have it on good authority that this person is scheming, along with members of Management and other employees who represent the grand mediocrity, to blast me for comments I’ve made, things I’ve done, or whatever.
I’m not surprised by this: quite the opposite. I told this person on the first day that when they decided to do this, the only request I had was that they were accurate in their accusations. How’s that for nice?
When you are an employee, or even just in everyday life, you need to be honest. My dad used to say that a lie is just as good as the truth, as long as you could get someone to believe it. I never subscribed to that belief.
I’ve believed that it is so much easier to tell the truth than to lie (I admit this has not always been my belief, but it is now, and has been for some time), simply because you don’t have to work as hard to remember the truth than to remember which lie you told to whom.
If you choose to lie, understand you WILL BE CAUGHT. There is no two ways about it. You might get away for a while, but you eventually will screw up and get caught. If, like my mystery friend, you lie over the minutia, you will have destroyed your credibility forever.
If the mystery person is reading, I understand that there may be some reasons out there that I’m not aware of. I don’t care. Once you have lied, I treat everything else you say as suspect. I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.