Friday, 3 January 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Truth or Dare

Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy? 

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRUTH


We had guillotines in Switzerland many years ago. Today the death penalty no longer exists in Switzerland. We have an army defending our borders against those that wish to attack our banks and deposit their hidden profits. Or am I getting that mixed up with politics? I took the photo at the Criminal Museum in Zürich on the occasion of an organised guided visit of the first aid group that I belonged to.

Is honesty the best policy? “Of course” said my mum and many other elderly people when I was a small unblemished example of homo sapiens. Today I am a golden oldie and am not so sure. I learnt a lot on the way and one of my lessons was if someone asks a question that might result in guilt then the first answer is “I will have a look”. I remember my working days where our boss, a lovely man, just wanted a quiet life in the office,  time to read the daily newspaper drinking his coffee with no added problems. The telephone rings, he talks somewhat with an excited voice, there is a problem. He turns his head to the workers, including me, and asks “Did anyone ………? The question is not important, only the answer. The first reaction is silence. He looks intensely at one of the usual suspects, which usually might be me, for an answer. I had gathered experience through the years, especially with said boss, and so the first reaction is “I will have a look”. He then continues reading the newspaper, drinks his coffee and peace reigns.

The problem is not yet solved, but step one has been taken. He is convinced I care and I am looking. I forget the whole thing and hope he does as well. He generally does as the problem whatever it is, seems to be forgotten with the second cup of coffee and tenth cigarette of the day. It might be that the problem is not solved, he asks again in the late afternoon “Did you find anything out about …..?”. “I have to finish another business, but will have a look afterwards” I answer with fingers crossed behind my back.

Afterwards might not come and if all goes well the problem solves itself. If it does not solve itself, there is always tomorrow. I survived thirty years, my boss a little less and things changed to such an extent in the organisation that bosses seemed to become obsolete, the computer was to blame. Computers never make mistakes, only the people that use them? True, but computers cannot talk and the people can. If you are sly enough you can even bridge that gap.

You have guessed it, honesty is not always the best policy and if nothing else works,  then hope that the others have found something more urgent to deal with and forget the whole thing.

I have just completed a form for my father for the financial side of his further care in England. My father, bless him with his 98 years, has lived on cash dealings all his life. “I do not want a cheque book”, “do not want a bank account” and so you cannot teach an old horse new tricks. The British government decided. as the form was too difficult for my father to complete, he should give it to someone else, being me as the only remains of the family. I am sitting in Switzerland now operating with the local council where my father lives in England. I could easily complete such a form for the Swiss authorities, with a little help from Mr. Swiss, but I am not an international finance expert. This time I had to tell the truth, there was no “I will have a look later”. I have now spent almost two weeks back and forth with a Mr. X in London discussing things. My father kept me waiting on a long distance telephone call to London searching for his insurance number, but success. The form was converted into a pdf document and now Mr. X had received it.

There are times when honesty pays and times when it is better left alone. You just have to judge for yourself.

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1 comment:

  1. The truth is out there.........somewhere :-))