I’ve been tinkering with this post for a while. I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to post it but I’ve come to a “what the hell point” about it.
Let me preface with the following statements; I’m the guy that doesn’t illegally download music from the internet. I obey the law. I do whats right because I believe that’s the best way to live. I like the simplicity of not telling lies. I have purchased all my videos, and software. I pay my bills, and I admit it if I’ve fucked up and missed a payment.I admit when I’m wrong. I tell the truth and have always done my best to be honorable.
The problem is:
Honesty doesn’t pay.
This flies in the face of everything that I was taught as a child. When I was a kid, My parents taught me that being honest was absolutely the best thing you could be and that the rewards of being honest were great.
As an honest person I could expect respect from others, I’d be someone who people trusted and preferred to do business with, my word would be my bond and we’d therefore not have to engage lawyers in anything but the most complex of contracts, I’d be a valued employee and could look forward to retirement as an honored person.
Perhaps these things were true when my parents were growing up.
They’re sure as hell not true now.
Let me give you some examples;
When I was dealing with the California EDD there was a question on the form you fill out. The question is “Did you start any training during period X or period Y. (X is the first week and Y is the second week). I answered yes… because I’m an honest man and I had in fact taken a 1 week training course.
My reward for being honest? EDD withheld the unemployment compensation for both weeks. Resulting in a shortfall of cash and late payments on several bills. Why the shortfall? because I was running that close to the line and attending the training class meant that I had to buy gasoline to attend the class.
Thanks EDD! Now I have the training to do a new job, but I don’t have the ability to attend any interviews.
I looked at that question for a long time before answering it. I knew in my heart that I should lie. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. In the back of my head was the knowledge that the class I was attending, reports the student attendance to the state of California.
If it wasn’t for raiding my 401K I’d have had my car repossessed when I owed less than 3K on it. Since the car could still be sold for 20K this represents a wonderful profit for both the bank and the state.
The correct answer is to lie to EVERY STATE OFFICIAL, and on EVERY STATE FORM. Lie about your age, ethnicity, your religion, sexuality, and national origin, your circumcision status, and anything else you can.
I’m now a blind, black, mexican, transgendered, 30 year old, druid. Prove me wrong!
Another example was when I was working for a government contractor as a Software Quality Assurance person.
The software was broken. It was horribly broken and with each iteration it was broken more severely than the last. As a lifelong QA person this is something that raises alarms in every industry.
A QA persons job is to find the defects, report the defects, and come up with a way for the defects to be demonstrable on command, preferably so that the programmers can do a fault trace and correct the code in 20 minutes or less. (As an aside developers hate intermittent or difficult to reproduce problems.)
As a QA person I recreated every defect I reported at least 3 times. I did this to insure that I’ really did have a defect worth reporting and that I’d documented the steps to demonstrate the problem in as simple a way as possible.
While doing my job, the defect count kept going up I dutifully reported the problems. I followed procedure, and because I was concerned with the safety of the end users of our product I stuck to my guns about the defects. But I was told not to report the defects and eventually my ability to enter defects was revoked. This left me sending my defect reports to my boss who wouldn’t enter them because it made the project look bad.
I was honest. I didn’t lie, even when it was suggested that I do so. This was after all a government contract and my job as a citizen and QA person was to make sure that the product was delivered to the end users with as few defects as possible and that the project be delivered under budget and as quickly as possible.
The game is that government contractors always overrun their budgets and their time. Why? because the government will penalize the contractor by reducing the amount of money it pays if the contractor delivers a product early.
Burying defects and slowing the progress of a project is the only way for a contractor to maximize their profits. It’s called follow-on maintenance.
So in this instance… once again truth is a very bad thing.
The common thread is that the state government and the federal government seem to operate on an illogic where honesty and truth are not in the best interest of the parties involved.
Under absolutely no circumstance should you ever tell the truth to your boss. In private or publicly, even if you’re respectiful and honestly trying to insure the success of a particular project or venture never tell the boss that their plan won’t work. Even if you have the weight of the history of mankind on your side… never tell them it won’t work.
By doing so, you’re just setting yourself up to be at the top of the layoff list. If there aren’t layoffs imminent, you’re setting yourself up for poor reviews, and being tortured daily.
At the risk of sounding misogynistic (I wonder what the opposite of misogyny is? Oh there it is. Misandry, I’ve been on the receiving end of that more than once.), this is especially true if your boss is a woman. She is always right, she is always perfect, her ideas are just the best you’ve ever heard. “Of course we’ll make space in the office by drawing pentagrams on the floor and casting spells to levitate the furniture. Obviously parking my desk and chair above my co-workers will work and save space.“
Just make sure that you’re as far away from the explosion and laying of blame as you can be because you can bet your bottom dollar that she will try to blame anyone else for her half baked plan failing.
Whatever you do… NEVER EVER keep a record of your bosses directives. Absolutely, never present that record as your defense to upper management when your boss tries to blame you for the chaos and failure.
You’ll win the war… But you’ll lose your job.
Oh and never point out to anyone that working is about receiving compensation for your labor… The correct statement is, you work because you love the people at your office and you think your job is important and fulfilling.
So from here on out. I’ve decided that I’m going to be like everyone else.
I’m going to lie, cheat, and generally fuck over everyone else. The rules no longer apply to me, I’m special, I’m important, I’m entitled!
Never let it be said I don’t learn from my mistakes…