What would it be like to work with an office full of liars? Imagine every single person in your office looking you square in the eyes while lying to you. Recently I found out what that might be like, and what a completely mendacious group I work with.
It all started on a Friday morning. It was the day before my birthday and I was feeling particularly self-indulgent. There was only one thing that would satisfy my debaucherous cravings, a weekend in New Orleans. I immediately went online and booked a hotel, but no flights were available. This called for extreme measures: a road trip. I walked over to my wife’s office at 11:00 am, dropped the hotel confirmation on her desk and said, “If we leave now we’ll be in the French Quarter in time for dinner.” She loves the Big Easy as much as I do and I expected her to clean up her desk and get ready to go. But instead she said she was busy and couldn’t get away for a couple of hours. No problem, I thought; that still left us plenty of time to hit Bourbon Street.
A few minutes later I got an email from Andrea, our office traffic manager, requesting my attendance at a 3:00 pm meeting. I replied, “I have a suspicious feeling I may be out of the office at that time and cannot make any commitments beyond Noon.” She tried to persuade me but I wouldn’t budge. Things were looking good.
Then the staff took me out for a nice birthday lunch. I was enjoying the moment when our printer called and said we had to be on press at 4:00 pm. This was starting to cut into my plans. But I had a solution. Go home, pack and leave directly from the printer’s office. Nothing was going to spoil my road trip. About that time Jeff, our CFO, suggested I look into an early morning flight on Saturday. That was tempting, but I was holding firm on leaving Friday afternoon.
After lunch, several more small barriers got in the way of my “Happy Birthday To Me” celebration. However, I managed to tear through each of them with the dedication of a man on a mission. Then my phone rang. It was Rob, my business partner. He had just left a new business meeting with a prospective client. He said the meeting went very well, but the client wanted to drop by the office after work and meet me before signing the contract. He asked if I would be available. A client meeting trumps everything, so I took Jeff’s advice and booked a Saturday flight.
I was very excited to meet our new client. I cleaned off my desk, researched the client’s business and waited… and waited. No client. I was getting a little concerned when suddenly a party appeared. Not just any party, it was a blowout, complete with plentiful libations, catered jerk chicken, a DJ, a belly dancer, a somewhat comical Soul Train line and best of all, friends. At that moment I realized the meetings were all fake and I work with a bunch of liars.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.