Saturday, 27 December 2014

Doing The Right Thing


The shortcut to happiness is lying. There’s no two ways about it. I even blogged about it the last month. Although most of us lie, not everyone is a good liar. What separates a good liar from the bad one is their body language and memory. I’m one of the bad liars.

I’m not kidding. Whenever I try to lie, I either start laughing my head off as if I’m watching Tom & Jerry cartoons that I used to in childhood, or I simply forget it. Yes, my laziness even stops me from lying smartly.

As a kid, I wanted to lie for various reasons. Sometimes to become a popular kid in the town; sometimes to avoid getting punished. I once even tried to con my friend into doing my homework! But I never succeeded because I would never remember my lies and then I’d end up with severe punishment. Believe me, there was no fun in lying for me. One fine day, I had had enough. I decided not to lie at all. At least that way my life would be less fraught with worries! 

Although I speak the truth out of sheer laziness, it sometimes does bring joy to me. The joy of knowing that I did the right thing even though I suffered for a short period of time. The joy of knowing that I have the right to be indignant when I see a scoundrel lying through his teeth. Yes, yes, I know I don’t speak the truth out of principles but still, I’m speaking the truth, ain’t I? Shouldn’t that count for something?

Unfortunately, this habit of trying to speak the truth most of the times does give me sleepless nights sometimes. I know, truth and sleepless night doesn’t sound right together but that’s what happens.

Do you want to know how that can happen? Here's how:

It was the year of 2008 and I was working as a news reporter. There I was engrossed in my work and suddenly I heard shouting. When I went to see what the commotion was all about, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. A fellow news reporter was verbally abusing his manager, who happened to be a female. I could hardly believe that anyone could shout like this, and that too in such abusive language in office! Whatever the reason might be, is shouting in such an uncivilized manner the solution? I hardly think so.

My disappointment with the colleague exacerbated when I came to know about the reason behind the rude yelling. It was a denied leave request. Such a horrid reaction for such a small thing! Small thing because it wasn’t any kind of emergency leave. It was a leave to take his wife out for a date.

Shaking away my disappointment and hopelessness of the situation, I got back to my work. After few hours, the head of India operations called me into his office. Of course thousands of thoughts raced through my mind for such an order. Did I bring a legal suit on the company’s head? Or did I break some major office policy?

I wouldn’t be lying if I said my heart was nearly in my throat when I took the seat with the king of our office. And then came the huge question: how rude the colleague was?

Sticking to my rule of speaking as much truth as possible, I said very. And then I went on to repeat whatever was said, albeit in a sophisticated manner.

After some thought, another loaded question was thrown at me: what would I do in his place?

This question was the most difficult question for me because I was very sure what I would do. I would throw away that person but how could I say that when I knew whatever I said may impact my colleague’s career?

I was between a rock and a hard place. Except truth, I didn’t know what to say. I tried to avoid the question by telling the boss that he was better experienced than I to handle this. But my boss was stubborn. He wanted my answer. Period.

Alas, I decided to speak my mind. I knew I may live to regret it later on but what else could I do? I said I would fire him, listing my reasons. The boss didn’t react to it but he thanked me and asked me to get back to my work.

Within 15 minutes, the colleague was summoned. After 30 minutes, he came back followed by the boss. He cleared the desk in the boss’ presence and left. That’s it. He left!

It’s an understatement to say I was shocked! I couldn’t believe that my boss considered my two cents.

I started feeling guilty. Guilty of ruining someone’s career. Guilty of making someone unemployed.

At the same time, I had a small satisfaction of doing the right thing.

Maybe sometime you have to live with little bit of guilt along with the satisfaction of being right.

I still don’t know what’s right: the guilt or the satisfaction.

This post was written for Kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein campaign in association with


  1. You responded correctly but your boss....what a shame !. In what management school was he trained? .He should've taken a decision but not based on a outsider opinion, rather on a thorough and professional assessment about the dispute. You were unnecessarily added to a incident from which even you could've ended up being a victim.

    1. I don't know what were the things done behind my back but whatever it was, I'm happy that such indecent behavior wasn't tolerated. Thanks for reading me :)

  2. Speaking your mind and speaking the truth - both are things that require a lot of courage. I'm inclined to say that you did the right thing, based on the scenario that you've said.

  3. You did the right thing. I don't lie, I feel it's like bringing more complexity to already complex lives. Be simple, say what is, not what you think should be. Btw, liars are good storytellers and I envy them for that.

    1. Exactly Saru! You have to remember those lies. That's simply too much of work. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. That was a tough call, but I think you did the right thing!

  5. It's always tough doing the right thing. But it has it's rewards in the long run.