Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pants on fire

I’m a terrible liar. Absolutely terrible. I blame it on my irritatingly vocal conscience. That damn Jiminy Cricket sits on my shoulder and screams in my ear every time I do something that teeters on the edge of questionable behavior—especially when it comes to lying. I thought crickets were supposed to be cute and charming and wear funny little top hats. But not mine. He likes to yell. A lot.

I’ve always had a hard time telling lies, especially when it comes to work. I’ve never even played hooky once in my life (shameful, I know). So when it came to thinking about changing jobs, I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. Knowing how devious I’d have to be made me almost sick to my stomach. And since things at my company were tight, I felt even worse.

But I sucked it up and kept my job search a secret. Every time I went to work, I felt like I had a brick in my stomach. Every time I talked, I was worried I would say too much. I snuck out to make phone calls, hiding under bridges and crouching behind buildings to talk. I didn’t tell even my closest work friends, and when they asked me questions about jobs or moving, I lied through my teeth. Each time, it became easier to ignore Jiminy’s shrill voice.

Then one day I got an interview. And as luck would have it, I was able to schedule it on a vacation day I was already taking. Phew. The best part? It went really, really well. I felt great about it and knew my days of being a big liar were numbered.

But then I had to wait. And wait. And wait some more. The HR girl and I exchanged numerous emails, but that was all. I can’t even tell you how many times I cried/broke down/stressed out during those couple of months. I knew it was the right job, but all I could do was wait and act like nothing was going on. It was like leading a double life.

The call for the second interview came quickly and almost out of the blue after months of waiting. They wanted to see me two days later, in the middle of the week, in the city I wanted to move to.

I couldn’t lie to my boss. I just couldn’t. But once I got used to lying, the lies started to roll off my tongue. After I hung up the phone, I rushed straight into his office and told him I had to take my mom to get a colonoscopy and would be out all day (I’m such a terrible person!) To my surprise, he was so concerned for my mom that he let me take a sick day without question. I felt like a total slime ball.

I didn’t have to feel slimy for too long though, because I got the job immediately after the interview. And all my lying worked because they didn’t have a clue I was looking. I put in my two weeks, moved away and haven’t looked back since.

I’d like to say I’m better at lying now, but that would be a lie. Because as soon as my lying-out-of-necessity habit broke, Jiminy came screaming back with a vengeance and one hell of a guilt trip. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted!

So what do you guys think? Are you good liars? Brilliant at playing hooky? Have any good stories about lying to hide your job search? Let’s hear them! (And by the way, I LOVED reading your coworker rants last week. I laughed out loud many times, so thanks for sharing!)

10 comments:

Jessie said...

i'm the same way! i hate lying and am terrible at it. plus my company is so laid back that i could take an entire sick day without even telling them adn i'd feel uber guilty. so of course i'm the model employee!

Corporate Chickee said...

I too, am a terrible liar. I blame it on Catholicism! :) However, I did have one good lie going here...

When interviewing for my current job, my previous employer had just sent me to a week-long professional development course. It was about an hour from my home, so they set me up in a swank hotel and everything.

I kept having to excuse myself during the sessions to take calls... that I implied must have been urgent work calls. In reality - it was my current manager calling me back to schedule my second interview, then offer the job, and on the very last day of the conference, I left straight from the conference to my current employer to negotiate my salary and officially accept the job.

About one week after I returned from my professional development course, I gave my notice. I have to admit though - I didn't feel bad in the least. I was burned out and ready for a career-change, and I have never looked back!

wakingupamy said...

I am really looking forward to the opportunity to have a secret escape plan from my job. It has been the best job I've ever had, but it is coming time to move on. I have learned all I can learn and gained all the resume-building experience that I can from there. I need bigger and better opportunities and to get away from their fluorescent lights of death.

Ellen said...

I am a TERRIBLE liar. Especially when a friend asks me if I like their outfit and I um...don't. I did call in "sick" more times than I'd be willing to admit at my first job. I was there for four years, and the last one was pretty miserable--I had to take a little "me" time just to stay sane. I always felt refreshed the next day though, so I don't think it was SUCH a terrible thing to do.

http://www.firednfabulous.blogspot.com/

shaynaleahk said...

I used to be horrible... the truth - that I wanted to leave early to go to a concert, or take a later lunch to get a haircut before a date that night - would come right out. That was in my first job which ran more like family when I started there. I've since toughened up. I think of lying for job interviews, or personal time - whatever the reason - as a necessary armor between my personal and professional lives. The time I want to take off is mine, so I really shouldn't have to jutify why I want to take it if requested in a reasonable time frame... but when in doubt, 'doctor's appointment' covers a multitude of sins.

Freck said...

I'm a horrible, terrible, no good liar! I agree with Corporate Chickee - I blame it on my Catholicism.

Anyway, congratulations on the position. I don't blame you for telling a white lie in order to interview!

Seattle Kim D said...

I'm a terrible liar as well but I like to think of this as a good trait. :)

Sun Soak said...

unfortunately i'm a pretty good at lying... well, i wouldn't say lying. i'm just really good at avoiding answering questions.

~*~Snappz~*~ said...

Eh, I'm pretty bad, but it doesn't matter ... I work with a bunch of guys, and I'm one of only 4 girls at the workplace. The guys are always telling me how sweet I look, and how nice I am. If I want to leave early, I'll just say "doctors appointment", and head home to the couch, with the guys none the wiser. It would never even occur to them that I'm not telling the truth. The only place I get away with lying is at work though :-)

prashant said...

I did have one good lie going here...
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