We were driving down a country-ish road when jogging on the shoulder toward us was this woman, her legs striding, arms pumping, head bobbing, and face frowning. It was not a look of determination, nor was it one of concentration. It was one of displeasure. It was one that said “I am two miles from home in any direction and I want to be there, not here.” What we knew, from knowing others who jog along the shoulder of country-ish roads, is that when she gets home there will be a husband, a parent, a partner, a child, or maybe a cat or dog who will very innocently ask , “How as your run?” And then the lies will begin!
It was fine. I had a great run. It was the perfect morning to get an extra mile in. And the check’s in the mail, too. Truth be told, there are some instances that we know have never had the truth be told of them. Early morning joggers are amateurs when it comes to the really smooth lies.
Whether it’s taking a little blood out for a blood test, a lot of it out at a blood drive, or getting an annual flu shot, “You’ll just feel a little pinch,” is not exactly truthful for any of them. We are both blood donors. We’ve both had flu shots. And we’re ready to tell anybody who comes that close to us with those sharp objects that we know we’re going to feel more than a little pinch. Save the lies, tell it like it is. This is going to hurt but just for a little while and once that goes away you’ll feel much better for it.
Every day millions of people ask another millions of people how they are. We’re not sure why because we know that an answer is neither required nor expected. If so, no one would ask “Hey, how are you?” of someone who is getting on the elevator one just got off. Yet it happens. The appropriate answer to that question at that time should be “buy high, sell low” just to see if anyone is actually listening. Quite often, then and at the millions of other times when the inquirer can actually hear the answer, the answer is “Oh just fine, thank you.” You know you aren’t. No one is ever just fine. Ever.
Whether we’re asking or are being ask, almost always “Do you want help with that?” is followed by “Whew!” when the answer comes back or goes out as no thanks. Nobody ever really wants to help, at least not with physical assistance. Maybe if the help needed is of the mental type we’d all be helpers and then when someone asks why we’re just sitting there we can answer with another collective lie, “Yes so, I am working.”
Just a little bit longer. No, that’s not a commentary on this post, although here it is truthful. Most other times that one hears those words it is going to be longer but not by a little bit. We hear this when waiting for a table at a restaurant, for a meeting with the boss, for a refund check coming in the mail, for the doctor to take his or her turn with us, or for an opponent to finish a Scrabble move. The funny thing is that everybody on the delivery end of “a little bit longer” knows exactly how much longer it will be. Why not tell us. We suppose either they aren’t confident that we find their services worth waiting for or that their services aren’t worth waiting for.
It used to be a little more sensible when business was conducted by letters, phones, and secretaries. Now to tell someone you never got the message, meeting reminder, or new project deadline in the time of email and shared electronic calendars is a bit far-fetched. Yet not so far-fetched that by personal experience we can say that just about every time a meeting is missed, a deadline goes by, or a message is ignored, the guilty party still tries to claim ignorance. “Must be something wrong with the server,” is the new “the check is in the mail”
Can you think of any others? We’d love to hear them! Ummm, errrr, let’s do lunch.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?