Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hal and The Truth

From the left:  Rex, Hal, Glen, Ron, Paul, Marv, and Dave
Right after high school I had a job as a receptionist for a real estate office in Denver.  They had way more phone lines than I thought was reasonable, or that I was capable of answering with any degree of proficiency.  I was also bad at making coffee.  I was not comfortable there due to my lack of skills, and because a few agents I worked for didn't really believe in being honest.  Occasionally, when I would let one of them know that they had a call they would ask me to lie, and say they were not there.  They felt this was justified in business because it is a part of "the game".

I did not know how to handle this.  Occasionally these agents would even stand right by me, and tell me to say they were not there.  Unfortunately, I believe I did what they said, but I was so uncomfortable with lying that I was not believable, and the agents I worked for were frustrated with me.  I didn't enjoy this job.  People who know they are being lied to aren't exactly fun to talk to -- they get angry.  I was let go eventually.

I had a completely different experience at my job in the electric shop at BYU.  I was a dispatcher / receptionist.  I remember one of the other student helpers standing beside me once and telling me that if the phone was for him, I should say that he wasn't there.  My memory went right back to that job in Denver.  The difference was, my boss Hal overheard, and was very upset.  He informed me that I was never to lie.

Hal was the best kind of boss.  He was patient as I learned my job, and was willing to help me if I didn't know what to do.  Hal, and some other men that I worked with sang at my wedding reception, and when I had to quit my job to stay in bed, Hal brought me Anne of Green Gables to watch.  I am grateful for all of these things, and for having a boss that knew that it is important to tell the truth. 

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Way to go, Sher. I answered phones for a living for a while and I didn't like to say someone was not there when they were, so I said they were unavailable and asked politely if I could take a message. When I did that the person knew it wasn't personal, the one they were calling was just busy. I wish others understood that lying is never a good business practice.