As I drove into work this morning I was listening to the Gene & Julie Show on 103.7 Lite FM and had to giggle. They were encouraging their listeners to give up the candy they weren’t fond of and donate it to Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that sends care packages and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members. What a great idea.
Years ago when Ty had just begun to understand the treats of Halloween, I convinced him there was a Halloween Fairy that would come that night and leave cash for the candy he wasn’t fond of. This was my creative way to encourage him to only keep his favorites. For the next three years he looked forward to separating out his candy and spent quite awhile analyzing just how much he should leave for the fairy, since he knew the more he gave away, the more cash he would receive. This candy farce went well…until he entered the first grade, and came home to confront me about my lie. Seems he shared our family story of the Halloween Fairy with his friends at school and they told him there wasn’t such a thing. Although he handled the teasing from his peers pretty well, he was mostly concerned that I ate his candy. Actually, I did eat some, took some to work, and saved some for occasional treats in his lunch. Not that it really matters though.
Sir Walter Scott coined the phrase, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”
Sometimes in business we’re tempted to lie to each other and on occasion it’s anticipated or expected. Case in point. We’re all working under deadlines, and we’re all going to add a day in our production schedules to have some give and take in case something goes wrong. And, you can count on something going wrong. This can be a good strategy, especially with someone you haven’t yet developed a history with, and before you can completely rely on their word.
Ty forgave me for my white lie back then, but as our trust of each other has grown over the years, I no longer use lies to get his cooperation. Trust takes a long time to mature.