Monday, August 06, 2007

Monday Morons--Liars

I hardly know where to begin.

I just don't get it. I don't understand why people lie so much. It usually hurts someone, and it makes things so complicated.

Lies are not something that I deal with very well. I have trouble even with the little white lies that keep people from feeling bad about their new haircut or the clothes that make them look fat. I think that I am a bit better at the lies we tell around someone's birthday or Christmas and such to hide surprises, but I suppose I could do without them as well. If I could give up all the nice surprises in return for never having to deal with lies, that would be a good deal.

I can understand why a person might lie to get out of a difficult situation, if the person lying thought that the lie wouldn't hurt anyone else. It's still wrong, but at least I can understand what might make a person do that. But I think that a lot of those difficult situations could have be avoided to begin with, and a little common sense before would have been better than a lie after.

And then there's people who are so convinced that they are going to get something out of lying that they don't care that someone else is going to get hurt, so they go ahead and lie. So that's just evil, and I don't see how those people live with themselves. But I didn't think that I had to deal with people like that very often.

Turns out that I'm having to deal with that sort of thing a lot. People aren't just lying in a few situations when they can't figure out anything else; lying is their whole way of life. They just lie on autopilot, and for no reason.

Some times it's just dumb stuff. Sometimes they're new in town and they have to convince everyone that they had a lot of friends where they used to live, or they had a lot of dates in high school, or whatever. I don't know why someone would feel the need to lie about that sort of thing, but usually no one gets hurt, except maybe the people telling the lies. But in the past few years I've had to deal with people who lie about all kinds of important things, knowing full well that someone else is going to have to deal with the lie. People lie about stuff at work, and people lie about relationships, and people lie about health issues, and people lie about money, and for some reason people just tell lies about other people.

I've had mechanics and other repair people lie about when they could fix something and such. And it totally makes no sense, because if the repairs are not going to be done at a certain time or for a certain price, I can't hire you. I've had bosses lie to me about when I'd be expected to work or what kind of work I'd be expected to do. And if you hire me to do a job and then expect me to work at a time I'm not available or for a job that I'm trained for, I can't do the work and you'll just end up having to get someone else anyway, so why not get someone else to start with. And I've had co-workers say that they would switch shifts with me, and then I've made plans accordingly and then they change their minds and don't want to switch shifts and I have to find someone else or change my plans again.

And I'm not even going to go into the other stuff people have lied to me about. Some of it is painful to think about. And it would take too long anyway.

What's really odd now is that I'm having to deal with people that I know have lied to me in the past. And the lies caused all kinds of damage and didn't do them any good either. But okay, we all know you lied, and now I'm going to ask you something and don't lie and make it worse. It's bad enough that you lied the first time, but we're trying to do damage control here, so don't lie again. And lying won't do you any good anyway. Telling the truth might help someone. And in any case, if you lie, in a week or two we'll all know that you lied, so there's really no point in it anyway.

So of course the person lied again. And the really weird thing is that the person not only lied about the question, the person also repeated a bunch of lies that were already known to be lies. I already caught you lying about that, and I didn't even ask you about that, so why would you say that?

According to my religious beliefs, that person will be punished in time. But it just seems like something should be done to this person in the here and now. More people will get hurt. I'm pretty sure that more people are being hurt at this very moment, but I do not know these people personally, and I can't imagine how I would get in contact with them. And I wonder that people who know this person don't just warn everyone that no matter how concerned this person sounds, the person is lying about something very important. It's a small comfort to people that have been hurt by lies that the liar will eventually be punished.

On a not so serious note, I am trying to decide what to tell the people at the Halloween store, just in case they call next month. I do not think they will call, but they might, and I want to have an answer for them before they do.

So let me back up and say a bit about working at the Halloween store. Many years ago I got a job at a theater in a mall, and one day while I was in this mall with a co-worker we noticed this temporary store that sold Halloween stuff. And the manager of the store asked if we wanted a job. Sure. And we both worked there and it was boring sometimes but mostly it was a lot of fun.

Since I remembered this job being a lot of fun, I applied for similar jobs almost every fall after that. Or, at least, I applied if I didn't already know that I was going to be out of town or something like that. It's a bit of extra money, and it's fun.

Except that I rarely even got called back after I filled out the applications. Halloween is usually a busy time for me, especially since about 1999 or so. And I always write on the application that I'm not available to work the Saturday before Halloween, or that I have to finish work by four or five that day, and then if I have another job or school I write down other times that I can't work. So even if I have the whole month open except for that Saturday, I usually don't get the job, because they don't like to hire people who can't work that weekend.

So a couple of years ago, which is like fifteen years after I had the job at the other Halloween store, I filled out an application to work at a Halloween store. This is not the same company as the first store. So far as a know, that other company is no longer in business. So I got all dressed up when I went to turn in the application, cause these people are very busy getting the store opened and often they try to interview you right then and there if they are interested. But that didn't happen, and I went home.

But I did get called back for an interview, and I did get hired, but for a bit less money than I am used to. But I so remembered working at the other store being a fun job, so I took the job anyway. And I made sure that the manager had read all the stuff I wrote on the application about when I could work and time off and all of that. And she said it was no problem.

So I was very surprised to see my name on the schedule for that Saturday night that I'd already said I wasn't available. And they like to individually talk to all the employees about a week or so before Halloween and make sure that they're going to work when they are scheduled and all of that, and if they do then they get a fifty cent raise or something like that. So I'm in the manager's office, and instead of signing this paper that says that the bonus plan has been explained to me and I promise to be on time for all of my assigned shifts, I'm telling her that I won't be at work on Saturday night and maybe it's best if I just left at the end of the shift.

So she takes out my application and reads the stuff on the back, and somehow it still doesn't sink it that it means I have no intention of working that night. And she reads it again. And I can't imagine how she didn't understand, cause that's the first thing that I wrote down, in capital letters, and underlined, etc.... So it's really starting to make me uncomfortable, and I start to get up and say that maybe it's best that I leave right away. But she says no, and she changes the schedule. I sign the paper and everything seems fine after that.

The job was not as much fun as I remembered, and I did not make much money. It's a big store, and I get tired. For the money, the job just isn't worth it. But there is some fun stuff, I do like helping customers with that sort of thing, there's sometimes free haunted house tickets, and there's an employee discount. Not that I should keep spending my money on this sort of thing, but I usually do anyway, so getting a discount is nice.

So I made like a thousand dollars, but between the gas money and the money I spent in the store and the money I spent on fast food while I had the job, I didn't really take home that much of it. Whatever was left I spent on Christmas stuff.

So after Halloween when we are putting the leftover stock in boxes for next year, we are all taking and a lot of the people were saying stuff like "It's been nice working with you" and "I'll see you next year." And I thought, next year? And it turns out that a lot of the people will work at the store for many years. And I just thought, why? Hopefully I'm going to have a real job next year, or I might go to school next year. I just couldn't imagine that I would have enough time to work there again the next year.

But then the next year came, and the manager called and asked if I could work. And I had a lot of stuff going on, and I told her that. And I was going out of town a lot, and I told her that. And of course I still had stuff that I do with my friends and I still don't work the Saturday night before Halloween, and I told her that. And I had applied for a lot of other jobs, and if I got hired for any of those I would not be able to keep working for her, and I told her that. And she said she was fine with all of that and she was fine with me starting work a week later than she asked for because I was going to be out of town.

I've got plenty of blog entries last year about what happened. Basically, I needed a distraction, and the manager was willing to schedule around all of my stuff, so I took the job. And she would check with me before she wrote the schedule, and when my husband's schedule changed and I went out of town, she did not get mad she just changed the schedule for me. And I was still very upset about everything back then, so it's a wonder that I was any help to her at all, but she never got mad or suggested that I should quit.

So I went out of town for a week, and when I came back the manager had quit because of a family emergency. And this district manager was trying to take over, but he kept making mistakes. But it's a temp job and most of the stuff I just decided I'd do anyway. But that last Saturday night isn't up for discussion. And I left a note reminding him that I would either just be working til three that day, or I wouldn't be working at all. So of course he scheduled me to work until six. And I tell him that's not what I agreed to, and that if he really wants to make me feel bad he can insist that I work til four since that's what I wrote on the application. He had read the note and ignored it, but he hadn't bothered to look at the applications to see when people could work. And he kept trying to show me in some manual where it says that all employees must be available all weekend before Halloween. Who cares what it says in your manual. I didn't write the manual. I didn't sign anything saying I agree to work that weekend. I worked a lot of the shifts as a favor to the manager. Just because someone is willing to do a favor for the manager does not mean that they are going to do the same favor for you, and they are certainly not going to do extra stuff for you that was never part of the agreement.

So never mind, we don't need to have this discussion. Not only will I not be here Saturday til six, I don't want to be here now either. I have stuff I'd rather be doing, and it's not worth getting upset like this. I need time off to get ready for the party, but I was going to go ahead and work this week because that's was I agreed to do before I realized going out of town for a week would put me so far behind schedule.

And the district manager finally gets it through his head that I am not going to work his schedule, and he says that I can have the rest of the week off if I'll work til four on Saturday, which is what I originally agreed to do. So that worked out okay, but I was tired from working before I went to the party.

After that, he wouldn't let people get their schedules over the phone. I went to the place twice to get the schedule, but after that I decided to stop wasting time and gas. He could call us after he figured it out. I never got a call, so I didn't work any more shifts.

So I doubt that I'm on the list of people they want to call back this year. On the other hand, I was surprised to get the call last year. Even if you don't plan to work many hours, they still have to hire a bunch of previous employees who sort of know what to do just so that they can get the store open. They hire a bunch of new people after that. They hire new people almost every week. When the store is first open, there aren't many customers, and except for the unloading the truck and putting out the new stock, you don't have much to do and you're not scheduled for many hours. The last two weeks there are a lot of customers and a lot of work to do, and after everyone is working as many hours as they can, that still isn't enough and they still need more people, even if it is just for a week or two.

So if the manager is hired back, I'd probably work for her. If someone else calls, I don't quite know what to say.

Okay, I probably won't work a lot of weekends. If I work the Saturday before Halloween, it will only be from 10-3. I'll say this week I can work these hours on this day, and these hours on this day, etc...and if that's helpful to you put it on the schedule, and if it's not helpful I just don't need to work that day. Don't put something else on the schedule. And that doesn't mean that I can work the same hours the next week. The next week I'll go through the whole thing again and say I can work these hours on this day, etc...and if that's helpful you can put it on the schedule. And sometimes it will all change Friday night if my husband's schedule sends him out of town, and once in a great while his schedule will change with even less notice than that. And of course, if I get sick or if the library wants to hire me, I'm going to quit without notice.

I could tell all that to my old manager, and she could make all of that work. If someone else calls and says the schedule could be made that way, I don't think I'd believe it.


The Diva's Thoughts said...

Hmmmmm...I've never worked at a Halloween store before.

laughingattheslut said...

Having a seasonal job is a tricky thing.

Maybe you get a job at a Halloween store because you like Halloween, but then you have to work on Halloween or don't have time to sew your costume and stuff like that.

And maybe you get a job around Christmas cause you like Christmas and you'd like some extra money to spend on Christmas stuff. And maybe you think that you spend so much time in the mall that you might as well work there, and then it's easier to go shopping right after work, cause you're already at the mall. But it doesn't really work out that way, and you don't have enough time to do the stuff that you like to do at Christmas time. And by the time you get your paychecks and can buy that extra Christmas stuff, it's like the week before Christmas and it's a real hassle to do anything and you're tired and just want to go home.

And it usually isn't worth it for the money, unless you have carefully picked the store you work at for it's employee discount.

evil-e said...

"and I promise I will never lie again" --"Liar" by Henry Rollins

"it's not a lie if you believe it" -- George Costanza, Seinfeld

"Tell me why, tell me why, why do you have to lie" --Liar, the Sex Pistols

"He lied, they died"--Otep

This is a really good post, and that is no lie, I swear.

laughingattheslut said...


I forgot to add a conversation my parents had with my brother when he was little:

Mom--"Did you do this?"

Brother--"No, it wasn't me."

Dad--"You did that, didn't you?"

Brother--"Did you see me do it?"

I think one of our cousins said something like "I didn't do it, and I'll never do it again."

Princess Extraordinaire said...

I am sorry you're haivng sto deal with so many people who lie - it's just not fun to be on the recieving end of something like that..or on either end to be honest...

Babybull40 said...

Lieing about stupid things is wasting time.. And even if it's a white lie..But most people do it to save face and not wanting to hurt someone'd feelings.. Like a Bum walking down the street stops to ask you for spare change.. You say no even if your wallet has some..Why? Because we don't want to keep giving out to these people so they can go and buy booze.. Some of the panhandlers downtown are quite agressive.. So I make sure I steer clear of that... I can empathize with their situation but I don't have money really to spare... I don't get asked as much when I have the baby with me.. Sometimes I will buy a coffee or a sandwich for them instead.. that way I don't have to lie and I know where the money is being spent...

On a different note.. I have worked for a temp store for a holiday and it can be fun.. I was able to work most shifts and met some really nice people while working there.. I think it was for around Christmas...