I was slow to understand the power of honesty. I was even slower to appreciate the power of dishonesty.
I remember when I was hiring the fellow who would become my assistant. Troy was a bit intimidated. A few days before I had told a thief not to come back. That can be a good thing to do: Honest people feel less like suckers, and it takes a lot of sales to make up for thefts. While I was interviewing Troy an angry man – maybe twenty-five years old – came and demanded to talk to me.
“My big sister says you cussed at her and through her money in her face!”
“No, I did not.”
“She says you accused her of stealing!”
“I know she took things. I told her not to come back.”
“She says I should beat you up for lying about her!” What do I say to a guy who has been dominated by his older sister since childhood and sent as her attack dog?
“You don’t know me, but you know her. Who do you believe?”
“Oh.” He then turned very quiet and left. Troy broke into laughter. We worked very well together for several years. It turned out that he had left his previous job because they wanted him to lie. There seems to be a trend. My friend Anh I also found after her previous employers had lied to her.