Stories from My Past: Boss told me to lie

Some companies are honest, and some are not.

I worked at a place once in which my Boss told me to lie. The company had been hacked and he said that we had to hide that fact.

Now I prefer telling the truth, and when someone tells me to hide something that doesn’t sit well with me. I could have gone to someone who would have wanted to know these facts, but if I had, I would have been fired. I probably would also not receive a good recommendation. Whistle blowers are not heros, they are looked at as criminals in most companies.

Lets say I had told the truth and gotten fired. Would that have made me feel good about myself? No. It didn’t make me feel good about myself keeping quiet, but the consequences to me were severe. When you are in this situation where both choices are not helpful, sometimes the best thing you can do is just to grin and bear it.

Why am I telling this now? Partially because I read on LinkedIn people struggling with ethical issues. People like to put situations out there and ask for “feedback” on what to do. I think people know what they want to do, and just want people to validate that. I rarely see people who truly question what they believe in and consider their point of view and its weaknesses.

LinkedIn is interesting because like Facebook, you see childish behavior. Rather than mature responses of people taking responsibility, you often see people trying to find excuses. Recruiters blame candidates, and candidates blame recruiters. Men blame women, and women blame men. Honestly, it all depends on the individual. Yes, there are some stereotypes that seem to be true, but they are not absolutely true and need to be avoided.

For example, I had a recruiter ghost on me and not update me on the process for a job. I will never work with that person again. Even when you didn’t get a job, you have to follow through on your promises to check back. It is never easy telling someone that the company didn’t like you, but it makes all the difference in respect.

I think we lie by commission and by omission. Which kind of lying do you do?

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