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!)