“I’ve tried to think about it from their point of view,” I was shaking my head, “and whether or not it was a good business decision or not, it’s just that they were such assholes about it. I mean, c’mon, blame me for shit that’s not my fault and then say ‘but, oh, that’s not why we’re letting you go, so don’t bother to defend yourself’.“ I can’t seem to stop shaking my head. “And the whole ‘as reward for ten years of blah blah blah, here’s a position in the storeroom’ when they know that I know damn well it’s just how they make sure no one can claim unemployment. So from their point of view I still think they are out of line.” I shrug my shoulders.
“Business lies,” my wife puts her hand on mine and it calms me as it always does. “It’s like this new kind of white lie, to cover all the greed. There’s all this justification for making money, everyone wants to protect the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to, and to strive for even more material wealth. At the expense of all else.” Now she’s shaking her head. “The lies they tell,” she glances around the break room, “they don’t even realize they are lies anymore. They are so lost in the culture of greed, they can’t see anything else.”
“Business lies,” I’d never heard that before. “They are insidious. Like the lies you have to tell when they ask you your 5 year plan. You have to be so selectively honest when you’re trying to get a job – I guess it’s silly to think employers aren’t being selectively honest, as well.”
“It’s the system that makes liars of us all. Look at what it has done to Moe and the others.” My wife’s words transform me. Suddenly I feel so grateful for the whole situation. Or grateful to be out of the situation. “The purpose of corporations is to make profit – nothing else. It has no concern for the effect it has on people. I mean, look what it did to you, I know you would never pee on someone’s blanket out of spite, but for you to say that, even jokingly…well, it’s a little out of character for you. But look at Larry and the rest of them. Who knows what their true character is? All we get to see is what the corporation has pulled out of them, which of course is ugly, it inevitably is. And as annoying as that is for you to deal with, imagine how absolutely tragic that is for them.”
I never was invested in this job enough to ever “go postal” about it, but the anger I did have is fading. I no longer feel the need to tell somebody off on the way out the door. I can actually feel compassion for these men and their business lies. Who hasn’t told some white lies, business lies, or any other kind of lies? But, there is a real danger in lies, especially when you start to believe your own . How have these “business lies”, that roll off their tongues so easily, transformed these men? In a country run by corporations and the lies their legally bought and paid for politicians tell to conceal their motives, being jerked around by a corporation is unavoidable. No longer being employed by a corporation, however, could at least remove me slightly from the non-stop race for material wealth that eats the souls of even the winners (especially the winners?) And whatever their motivations, Moe, Larry and Curly all helped me take that first tiny step away from corporate enslavement, so I am, to some degree, grateful to them.