The peculiar business of telling the truth

I recently bought a table from a store and for the first time as long as I can remember, I worked with a salesperson who not only didn’t tell the truth, but out-and-out lied.  From the timeline that the item would be available, to leaving me messages, to calling me about the product arriving, to scheduling delivery. All of it lies, none of it true.

Having purchased the item, we were told it would take a week to arrive.  The slipping timeline of availability I could have handled, but a week turned into a month and so on. The saleswoman, Kathy, said she left me messages – I had none. (And if you know me, I am pretty easy to track down, at least leave a message).  I didn’t know the item was even delivered to their store until I called to follow up.  Anyway, it was a bad experience all the way around.  She knows that I know that she wasn’t telling the truth.  I called her on it.  She continued to lie.

And it bugs me.  It will bug me every time I look at the table.

Many years ago, I worked for a company with a whole lot of men at the top.  I overheard one of the partners say to another, “the LA market is far too important to have a woman run it.”  I never forgot that person, his position, or that quote …  as they brought in a string of men, none of whom could actually run the LA market. (They finally acquiesced and put a woman in charge.  And she did something with it.  And the woman after her did too).  

They lied.  About people development, opportunities for promotion and responsibility, about people being “their best asset.”  At least, I thought, I knew the truth. I suspected my prospects were limited so I moved on.

Now, I work in an environment that puts a high value on truth.  There are times when the truth has to be massaged, checked for tone, balanced with compassion.  I would far rather know the truth, even if awful or illegal or whatever, than be fed a string of lies.

I wonder why for some, it’s just so difficult to be honest.  It’s peculiar, the business of truth and lies.  

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