Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Maybe it’s a Blessing, but I think it’s a curse, that some people can exist just fine, living in a chronic state of what I call: integritas-rigor mortis.
They LIE! They possess not an ounce of personal integrity. They can emote an untruth as easily as most people breathe. Better yet, they can live, quite well, with their dishonesty without any signs of guilt or remorse.
I'm sure you probably know some of these people. They are everywhere. They are endowed with the ability to look at you dead in the eye, LIE, better than any prize-winning Oscar-toting thespian, and make you BELIEVE them. I, in my time, have sat inside the theatre of the absurd and watched the performances of some mad gifted and brilliant liars.
Trust… my name’s not Paul McCartney… but Maybe I’m Amazed.
Last night, a co-worker lifted some cash from the till.
No. This is not some Hitchcockian mystery; but more like a Woody Allen dramaedy. See, I already KNOW for a fact who the culprit was. The thing is, they’ve successfully finessed and polished their Act of Sincerity to a tee. They appear to be so damn honest and so very trust-worthy. The thing is, you want desperately to believe in them. And because they've become such convincing players upon the stage, most people DO believe them.
Trust me. Had I not SEEN, first-hand, this person so slyly slip the cash inside his pocket, I would’ve thought this act impossible of them. It all happened so quickly, that I almost thought I’d imagined the shit.
Yes. I realize for many of us, times are indeed hard. Trust, I’ve spent the greater part of the last year trying my best to hustle some extra ducats. I’ve been a-knocking on the doors of tardy and negligent editors asking for the status of those lax checks. I've been offering up my services, submitting, resubmitting, following-up and sweatin’ those dreaded deadlines. When reaching that critical point were the change is strange, I will go into tunnel-vision mode: slaving, scraping, saving and short-changing creativity in an effort to fatten my wallet.
But being hungry or being needy, hasn’t descended to the point of me actually stealing from people... people who trust and believe in me. It hasn’t led me into committing some bold, bodacious, or blatant integrity-free act.
I hope it never will.
So, after witnessing the incident, I took this person aside, and said ‘I saw what you just did, man.’
But guess what? He denied it. He looked me straight in the mug, and shot me with this quizzical what-the-fuck-you-talkin-about gaze. He said something about “making change.” He displayed these prize-worthy Denzelian-like skills and dismissed and denied what my eyes had so clearly seen.
Hey! Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, you cats better look out, yo!
Yes. He was good, too. So damn good, I almost believed him. I almost questioned my own eyesight. But I knew what I saw, and now he KNEW that I saw him. But since he obviously played to win, he wasn’t about to admit a damn thing.
We’re not real friends, only coworkers. He’s been there maybe four months. I know he has a new kid and wifey separation issues. I offered to split my tips with him, if he would only replace the cash I’d witnessed him stealing.
He looked at me like I was some crazy person.
As I gazed in his eyes, I realized that no matter how hard or earnestly you might try, you can’t make a person rise up, do the right thing, or be Real with you. It hurt, insulted my intelligence, and pissed me off to see this denial, up-close, and then to watch this feigned little act of resentful anger.
I didn’t want to make a scene, or cast either of us in a suspicious light, so... I let to go, knowing that while the conversation had dissolved, the real issue and the consequences of it would not simply vanish.
I know the code of duh street: you don’t rat, ya don’t squeal, ya don’t snitch, ya don’t reveal. But this AIN'T the streets. This is MY livelihood! This ain't a game! This is real-life!
Truthfully, if it came down to losing MY livelihood, or protecting some less than upright individual, well, that choice has already been made.
So, when the cash is counted, when totals are tallied, when receipts are checked, rechecked and checked again, when the discrepancy is noticed and employees are questioned… someone will have to rise up and take responsibility. Someone had better possess the gonads to step up and be a man. Or at least, a RIGHTEOUS human being!
And when it's all said and done, and the ish really does hit the fan, I can only HOPE he has *that righteous role* stashed somewhere deep inside his acting trick bag.