I Don’T Know How To Be Anything Other Than Honest!

I do not believe that honesty is always the best policy when it comes to voicing your opinion. I don’t believe you should lie, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, sometimes it is better to remain quiet than to speak honestly. We have all been there! “What the hell were you thinking when you did that to your hair?” If you don’t have to say it then you shouldn’t, what is the positive gain? It is better to remain silent about something that might hurt someone, even if it is the honest truth, than to say something hurtful that has no productive reason to be said. If it won’t help someone and doesn’t have to be said then I believe that it most likely shouldn’t be said. I live my life honestly, I practice what I preach so to speak but I believe that unless it serves the higher purpose of helping someone there are a great many times that being silent, or saying as little as possible, serves a higher purpose than to tell an idiot they are an idiot! Or a great many things similar that are not quite so dramatic. I believe I should live honestly absolutely. I always try to set an example by my actions and not necessarily by my words. People are much more likely to respect your opinion if you show it by how you live than by you telling them how wrong they are! When I was a twenty something employee of a small company and my “boss” was the owner of the company, along with his wife, I became good friends with them and about a year after I was hired the owner hired one of his good friends to be a salesman. This was in 1985 and our country was in the process of trying to be more liberal in having women and black people in positions of power in the working world. My employer was pretty much oblivious to this scenario in general, he had always owned small businesses and in small businesses you pretty much could, and probably still can, fly under the radar because you aren’t big enough for anyone to care what you do with your company, even if they never should care no matter what. In the first year I worked at this company I was encouraged to take on as much of the running of the company as I wanted to do and it was a very fulfilling and exciting job. The company was a business that sold “signs”, painted wood signs, electric signs, and the fast growing business of neon signs at that time. I was encouraged to do anything in the business I wanted to learn to do, a very great opportunity for a 28 year old ambitious and energetic woman. I had an artistic background so I took orders for painted signs and helped with the designing of them, I also started running the crews, scheduling jobs, I took job orders for repairs on electric and neon signs as I was very mechanically inclined and soon learned what questions to ask when a customer called in and said their sign wasn’t working so I could diagnose what the problem was and give them an estimate before I sent our crew out, as well as being the accountant for this company that I was originally hired to be. The good friend that my boss hired was a very amiable black man who had always worked as a salesman in retail businesses and this company that he had joined was sort of a retail company but it was essentially more of an advertising company as opposed to a company that sold objects like “stereo” systems which was the background this salesman came from. I do believe that hiring friends is a risky business much of the time unless you are positively sure they have the same work ethic and vision about the company as you do, otherwise you risk losing a friend and not gaining a good employee. But that is probably beside the point in this story. I am not sure if my story is about honesty or reality to be certain. The new salesman was a very nice man that I soon became good friends with, and almost 30 years later we are still friends, but it became apparent that he had no idea how to sell signs and it probably was a doomed position from the start. My employer hired a salesman because he got a lot of calls from business owners that wanted attractive flashy signs to boost their businesses and he didn’t really want to go out to the locations to see what they wanted so he hired his friend, who was a successful retail salesman, to go out to the locations to see what kind of sign would be best. Well that is like hiring a person who works at a grocery store to go out and select the best produce to buy from a farmer. Yes they work in a business that sells something but the difference between selling a pre-made sign and visualizing what kind of sign would creatively advertise your company is the same thing as having someone who stands at the cash register and rings up the groceries going out to a farm and picking out the good vegetables to sell. Yes, they have a little in common, but very little and the task you are expecting from the employee is not in his wheelhouse. So that being said that isn’t what my story is about anyway. Sam was a great guy but Denny hired him for an impossible job, he hired him to go out in the field and see what the customer wanted or needed and there was no way in hell that someone who hadn’t worked in art and advertising could ever advise a client on what kind of sign would best work for his business, so Sam’s job and days with the company were numbered from the very beginning. It wasn’t his fault, he was hired to do something that Denny was the only one in the company qualified to do the job and for some reason he thought he could send someone out in the field to ascertain what the customer needed. But I digress, because the most important things I learned from this experience have nothing to do with the reason Sam was hired and what tale I have to tell. Denny had good football tickets for the college team where I live and I am a big fan of going to see the local college team play football. I was made the official “Secretary” of the company, which was another great advancement for my career. I got to meet several bank presidents and all of those things I realized would be good career moves, but I also realized some of these “powerful” people weren’t playing with a full deck. In particular there was a bank president of a fairly big bank in town that I found out that the president of was a “transgender” guy “gay” or at the very least very “odd”. I didn’t care what he was but the main point was that his public image was not real, or at least not really known, as he was married but after being invited to dinner with this particular bank president I was introduced to his wife and found out she was what I think you would refer to as “transgender” or “gay” as well. No big deal to me, I have never held any prejudices towards any of these people. Well the bottom line of this story is I was invited to go to a football game with my boss and his wife and our new salesman. I ran into the “banker” and his wife at the game and later on in the evening at my boss’s house where I was invited to go after the game and the banker’s wife came up to me and asked if I felt “weird” because of being invited to the game with our new salesman. I said no “why would I feel weird?” She said it was because I went to the game with a black man. I was floored. He wasn’t my date but if he had been my date I probably would have been more floored. I really thought I lived in a world that I could go to a football game because I like football so I said ”I went with a black man as a date, why shouldn’t I?” and “What the f***ing business do you have to judge when you and your husband are gay or bi or whatever? And “What the f***ing business is any of this yours at all?” This was my very first experience with very NOT HONEST people. It truly amazed me!

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