I absolutely detest lying. Being it white, black, green or purple lie, just thinking about committing it makes me cringe.
Of course, sometimes some white lies are necessary in order to protect the other party (Questions such as: “Do I look fat?”, “Do people not like me?” absolutely require clever maneuvering) but still they leave me uncomfortable.
In the Brazilian+Corporate world context I’ve learned to commit 3 (not mutually exclusive) typical lying crimes for which I will probably have to repent for the rest of my life:
1. Lying about time – in order to instill a sense of urgency to act in the utterly disinterested counterparty, I have learned to create imaginary deadlines for deliverable of my interest. The common one being: yesterday (as in: this was do yesterday but I’m doing you a HUGE favour by letting you submit a bit later)
2. Lying about importance – in an environment where everything is due yesterday and everything is extremely important, one cannot achieve anything if he or she says something along the lines of “oh, don’t worry, this isn’t super urgent, do it whenever you have a moment”. This type of response is guaranteed to get your request to the bottom of the pile. Instead, I’ve learned to invent elaborate stories about God, the President, the upcoming end of the world and whatever else that will lead the other party’s realizing that he or she should drop everything he or she is doing and get on working on my request. This lie absolutely must be accompanied by a heart drenching phone call (if in person groveling isn’t possible).
3. Lying about the source – I worked with a colleague who at any request of even the slightest change would invoke his director’s name (“I must align with X, because he doesn’t like changes”). I was very surprised that this guy felt the need to align such little things with his director. “Where is the sense of accountability??”, I naively thought to myself. Until, I realized that the colleague was the one who didn’t want changes and he cleverly used his boss as a factor we couldn’t disagree with (as he wasn’t in the room). This is another form of lying I haven’t fully adapted, but I sporadically use. Some of the variations of this are:
-Name dropping: “big shot XYZ is asking for this”.
–Avoiding ownership: “sorry, man, I really understand your situation, but such and such is asking for it and I cannot do anything about it”.
–Excuses for non delivery: “you know how it is working with ABC, I try to get things done but he or she is just to busy to get it to you”.
Am I a bad person? Or just a corporate politics survivor?