Sunday, 16 June 2013

Just tell it like it is

A little while ago I saw the film 'The Invention Of Lying'. I found it to be a pretty enjoyable film despite starring Ricky Gervais who I'm far from being a fan of - I must be one of the few people who thought 'The Office' was utter bollocks.
The thing I really liked about it was the way people just said exactly how they felt, which was such a breath of fresh air although in reality, even if lying didn't exist, we wouldn't actually say everything that went through our minds out loud because usually we wouldn't want to hurt other people's feelings or embarrass ourselves.
What this film could show for a great many people though is just how important it is to be straight with people. Not being deliberately offensive or anything like that, it's just that it seems to have become normal to simply say whatever is believed to be what the other person wants to hear, and it shouldn't be like that.
Let's take the simple task of keeping an appointment as an ideal example of this. If I agree to meet someone at 5:00, I'll be there at 5:00. Not 5:15, not 7:20, and definitely no not turning up at all. If something happens to make me late, like a traffic jam, I'll let the person know what's going on. Call me old-fashioned, but I consider lateness to be rude. If someone tells me they'll meet me at a specific time, I get seriously pissed off if they're late. The last thing I want to be doing is hanging around waiting for someone who is either going to be late or not even bother to turn up, because all the time you're waiting you can't get on with anything else and if you do then that will be the point when the tardy time-waster will finally appear.

This little tirade is not entirely unprovoked, although it's something that is a common source of frustration.
Having found that Project Donkey (a Derbi GPR50R motorcycle for those who haven't been paying attention) once completed, was unsuitable for either the boy (due to him and manual gears not being the best of friends) or myself (due to a body that screams in pain if made to ride a sportsbike for more than 20 miles), I decided to sell it.
Tried to sell anything recently, especially a vehicle? Nightmare.
Having placed adverts in the local bike shop and on a couple of appropriate websites, I quickly had a queue of prospective buyers. Being a fair-minded soul I figured I'd give them preference based on the order in which they called. Arrangements were made with number one, who simply didn't turn up. No call or text to say "Sorry mate, I've changed my mind", not a sausage. I'd muddled around achieving nothing for nearly two hours waiting for some twat who didn't even have the decency to make an excuse.
So throwing fairness to the wind I called back the guy who lived closest, because surely that should improve the chances? He came to look, and after wasting a further day during which I had to keep other prospective buyers hanging around, failed to turn up to a second viewing and hung up on me when I called to find out where he'd got to. Wanker.
Called the next bloke who had been keen and intended coming all the way from Sheffield for it, but he then claimed he'd now got one from elsewhere, which was most likely a fib because by then he was fed up with me keeping him waiting because I was being messed around myself.
With a heavy heart I called back the next bloke on the list, wondering if everyone in the world was a useless tosser and whether it might be easier to just throw the bike in a skip and walk away from the money I'd spent on it.
This time however, I got lucky. Arrangements were made. the guy turned up with his son (who the bike was for), had a good look round as I explained about the work that I'd done, watched me ride it up the road and back to prove all was working as it should, and made an offer there and then. Not as much as I'd hoped, but at least I did manage to just about break even on the project.
All that aggro because of people who wouldn't just be straight with me.

So next time you say you're going to be somewhere or do something, make every effort to meet your promises. If there's a problem, tell the other party. Don't make promises you can't keep. Don't leave others just hanging in the breeze, waiting for you to drag your sorry arse away from Bookface or whatever; it's just bloody rude.
So many people today live their lives like they're the most important individual around, but if these people realised that if we all work together as a team and just be honest with each other, we could achieve so much more and make life infinitely less stressful for those around us.

The buyer was surprised by his cool reception when he turned up two hours late
to buy Sheila's comedy wig collection.