When someone says, “I’m being completely honest with you,” they are probably lying.
The “appliance doctor” was expected between four and six pm. At 6:30, he called and said, “I’m on my way!” We said goodbye and hung up. An hour passed, then two… we finally turned off the porch light and went to bed, dishwasherless for another night. The next morning he explained, “My phone died right in the middle of our conversation! I was saying, ‘I’m on my way… from out of town, and I’m not going to make it!” We rescheduled.
Our next appointment window was drawing to a close when I called him. “Oh, I threw out my back!” he moaned. “My chiropractor told me to take the meds he prescribed and go right to bed! Can I come tomorrow?” Besides the fact that chiropractors don’t prescribe drugs, I let it slip.
We had already sunk several hundred dollars into this appliance practitioner and we were invested in making him finish the job. The third appointment was scheduled between 10:00 am and noon. He called at 1:00. “I’m on my way. I’ll be right there.” I called him back at 2:50. “I told you I was on my way… from Columbus. I’m moving a little slow because of my back. I’m being completely honest with you. I’ll be there in 20 minutes.” Yeah, right.
Believe it or not, he had one more big one up his sleeve. At 3:30, he called and said, “I’m stuck on Fair Avenue in the middle of high school traffic!” First, you don’t go down Fair Avenue to get to my house from Columbus. Second, the high school let out an hour ago. Last, I had driven down Fair Avenue myself a few minutes before and there was no traffic.
This Ms. Jones would like to say, “Cut the crap.”
Do you ever pull the wool over Ms. Jones eyes? Are little white lies acceptable in your company culture? Have you ever pulled the, “Oh, I was just going to call you…” or “Didn’t you get my message?” routines? Are you more concerned with your ego or your honesty? Ms. Jones is a reasonable lady, she understands that mistakes happen. She’s willing to forgive your blunders, but she won’t overlook your lies.
When you have a corporate policy of truthfulness, an interesting thing happens: you won’t allow yourself to make the mistakes you used to so easily lie about.