So Important to be Right

Recently, someone discovered that he (or she) had given me erroneous information during the course of the Evil Day Job and admitted the error with the words, “Oops, I lied.”

No, this person hadn’t lied. She (or he) had made a mistake. When did it become so vitally important to be right in our society that we would rather be known as liars than admit to a human error?

After all, they don’t send you to jail for making a mistake under oath, in a court of law. But there’s a word for deliberately withholding information or giving false information, and a recommended jail term to go with it. Perjury, however, seems to be preferable in ordinary workplace conversation than human error.

I’m not perfect, and I’m not afraid to admit that. I’ve also noticed that if I admit the error before anyone else can pounce on it to point it out to The Powers That Be, I don’t get into trouble. A simple, “Yup, I screwed up, let me fix that,” and we can move on. No confusion, no raised blood pressure, no finger-pointing. Done. Filed.

But, when someone else makes an error and starts trying to duck responsibility for being human, well. Then I have to pull out all my CYA files and protect myself. I’ve been trained well over the years, so I keep very good CYA files, and it annoys me no end when someone else tries to blame something on me that I didn’t do. They get both barrels, because I’m stubborn; I take enough blame for my own mistakes, thank you very much.

So maybe the difference between the people who lie (even accidentally) and the people who make honest mistakes is emotional maturity. But, really, is it so bad to be wrong once in a while? Wrong can be fixed. Lying, well, lying can be a crime. Just ask Bill Clinton how much trouble it can cause you. Ha!

On an almost entirely unrelated note, we’ve confirmed Sherrilyn Kenyon and Michael Hauge for Mayhem in the Grove 2011 (the conference formerly known as Murder in the Grove). The new website is scheduled to go live at the end of July, fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong. And then we’ll be able to open up the call for proposals Sept. 1.

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