Saturday, May 15, 2010

Your Reputation is Safe with Me!

We do love to dish the dirt!  After a friendly divorce, the former groom moved in with his parents and the three of them did a few things with one another--driving together, visiting the daughter of the family and her roomates for a little dinner. the odd shopping trip.

The young man's mother enjoyed slamming the former wife (without the benefit of the young lady being present)  Her bemused husband accused her of extrapolation ---  gossiping and finally, with trashing an otherwise pretty nice little gal!

The former wife couldn't have been as bad as the mother in law made her out to be.  The mother in law put together 2 cents of this and a penny's worth of that and came up with $5.00 worth of nasty plot that was all against the soul that had once been made so welcome in the grooms family.

The trouble with gossip is that it freezes the victim in time with a label that cannot be easily removed in the minds of all who hear--all the while cankering the gossiper's soul without ever touching the victim.   It takes considerable self control to avoid such dubious pleasures.

Worked for a man once who had held high government posts at the State Level in Drug Prevention.  When I worked with him, he was the Vice President for Facilities of a growing Technical College.  I don't know if he transhed me behind my back, but he taught all of us that he didn't talk about a person unless they were present--and we should follow that good example.  Good advice!

Behind the back maneuvers can get vicious--and go on and on with no immediate rebuttal.  My former General Manager Vernon Thompson received all the emails that two attack artist Department Heads sent to him until he could stand it no more.  These two electronic warriors at least had the courtesy to copy the other when they sent the written accusations to the GM--and yet their offices were side by side.

Finally Vernon called them both into his office at the same time.  He said the e-mail tirades had to stop--and that from now on he was REQUIRING that instead of sending emails to document their complaints, they should huddle together, face to face and work it out.  Then he got out of his chair and warned them, as he left them in his office that  both had fifteen minutes to work it out face to face then and there.  He said when he got back, each would report to him on the solutions they came up with face to face.

After all the energy they had wasted on the fued through their keyboards it only took 5 minutes face to face to resolve the issue.  Vernon just smiled and encouraged them to check in with one another once in a while and make better use of their time.

I don't know if the little former bride and the mother in law will ever meet and hash out the current rumors.  I don't know if there will be any rumors any more.

For the groom--the former bride has pretty much fallen off the face of the earth--but if the rumor mill churns up again with $5.00 or $10 bucks based on 3 cents..I hope everyone has the good sense to wait five minutes and take a breath.

Socrates once said that "The greatest remedy for anger is delay."    I'm not exactly sure that's the case, but waiting to cool down the heat of whatever heat you're in is ALWAYS a good idea.

The Golden Rule Applies here more than ever--especially that tender reputations will always be safe with You, right?  JRH

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