Let me start off by saying I am a liar, I lied.
During your last job change where you may have been trying to negotiate a package or settle some legal issues or even hold out and play a little cat-and-mouse and try to get more money, didn't you hate it when the media was all up in your grill demanding to know what was going on?
I remember my last job. I am an engineer. The time had come for me to leave my job of four years and move on to another one. I was purposely not wanting my current, at the time, employer to know what I was doing. For one, it is my business if I decide to take a better paying job or even a job I like more, and no one gets to decide when I will do that or if they will allow me to do that.
Now, I realize that sanctimonious fans of other teams, beat reporters for newspapers, and bobble head dolls who yap into the camera at ESPN have a moral superiority over regular folk. They have an inherent right to know, or even determine, if a grown man will take a job or not.
They also have a right to know when it will happen and why it will happen, and that way they can determine if they will allow it or not.
Let me give you a reason for why I lied.
As I almost had my deal done and had just about secured a better job, I was going to give my notice and work out the last week and a half. Well, as I sat on the dock of the company I was employed at eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, up swarmed 19 news vans with lights flashing and people piling out with microphones in hand.
I almost choked. I asked them what the hell was going on, what is happening? They starting shoving microphones in my face, pushing me sideways and denting my lunch bucket. They were screaming at me and demanding to know if it was true that I was in talks with the engineering company on the other side of town.
I didn't know what to say, it happened so quick. Then I started to feel angry because I was hungry, for one, and secondly they didn't have any right to make any decisions for me concerning my job. They had the nerve to be very rude to me, asking why in the hell I would even want another job, was I a money whore, didn't I care about the job I already had, who did I think I was, etc...
That really ticked me off so I started screwing with them, just to get them going. I called them morons and said that I wasn't even thinking about taking another job, I loved my current job, leave me alone, let me eat.
They left after about an hour of just watching me eat. I had quit talking to them and just put my head down and tried to finish my lunch.
Guess what? All of them came back the very next day, and the day after that, and so on, and kept asking me the exact same questions again and again and again and again. I got an ulcer because I was trying to eat my food too fast just so I could run back inside and hide from them.
I just kept lying to them, and it was fun after a bit. Here were these arrogant people demanding to have a say in my future, demanding to be a part of one of my life decisions, demanding to know if I had, in fact, decided to take that other engineering job or not.
That went on for weeks, every single day. I eventually was even too nervous to go out back and eat with my friends; I started losing weight and felt really sick. My name was on every radio station and in every newspaper in the whole country.
"Will Altie take the engineering job on the other side of town?" blared the headlines. "He says he won't. We love Altie and want him to stay at his current job for the rest of his life because he owes us and he told us he would," said the local newscasters.
It all just blew up, it was crazy. Finally, I just said to hell with this, I told them I was outta there, see 'ya. They went bats*it crazy. It was a madhouse.
I was called the worst liar since Hitler, my family was threatened, I felt unsafe in my home. They sabotaged me in any way they could at my new job. I was hounded unmercifully night and day, and taunted and sneered at by creepy looking people that lurked around every corner.
I mean, everyone knows how it is, that happens to everyone a few times in their lives. It is completely normal. I still don't know why they really zeroed in on me though. I mean, there have been lots of engineers who have lied to the media about their job prospects.
I remember one engineer at Ole Miss who told reporters he would only leave there in a pine box. Three days later he took a job in Auburn, Alabama.
They didn't give him a hard time at all though, I guess no one really cared that much about the new job he was taking so it didn't really matter. I can name over 11 engineers, over time, who have lied to the media about their job prospects but it was never jacked out of shape like it was with me.
There have undoubtedly been many more who have "lied," because about 25 years ago it was pretty much just accepted that coaches, sorry, engineers, didn't have an obligation to answer the news media truthfully when they went on their periodic witch hunts.
I just hope that the next time I take a job that my livelihood isn't put on the line by arrogant, pompous, smarmy little men who think it their birthright to dig into another man's business.
I also hope that nitwits on engineering message boards don't continue to call me a liar for the rest of my life; they are a horrid bunch of self-righteous blowhards.
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