"I am not merry, but I do beguile
the thing I am by seeming otherwise"
Othello (Act II, Scene I).
Keeping up appearances consumes more time and energy than we would care to admit. We all know people who are brutal. They go through life with a God complex, sorting out the good from the bad people in their midst. If you try to challenge them, argue that their simplistic black and white view of highly complex human beings merely reduces people into caricatures and that we do not live in a cartoon world, they will not know what the heck you are talking about.
Then there are people who like to please. The pleasers avoid any entanglement, agree with everyone, say whatever it takes to make others feel good about themselves (and therefore like them). They may say otherwise behind people's backs but in front of you they are the best friend you are ever likely to enounter.
If you try to challenge them, argue that people are not a game to be played, if relationships are not real, then nothing is, that they are reducing life into a game of second guessing and sugar coating, they will not know what the heck you are talking about.
Just when i thought things could not get any worse, this morning I met a so called "executive coach" who made my day go from bad to worse. She coached me on how to applly the 'sandwich technique'. This is how it goes:
Start by paying the employee a compliment, to get them to relax and open up. Now you have the sucker soften up for the punch, apply the bad news. Then to complete the other side of the sandwich close with something positive so they leave on a natural high. She shared this "bullshit sandwich" with me as if it were divine revelation.
She assured me with a broad shining smile that I would make more money in my business if I applied this "iron fist in velvet glove" technique. Then she suggested that since she had shared one of her "trade secrets" with me that we should exchange ideas - quid-pro-quo. Made me want to spit.
She had perfected the worst of both worlds. Tell people what they want to hear and attack them. She assured me that she was not alone, she was working with several other consultants, all of whom swore by this manipulative technique! I just wanted to swear. I had to get out of there, so i told her that I thought her little technique was unethical. That it would only cause more harm than good. She stared at me with disbelief. I said "Oh I am sorry, should i have started and ended that with a compliment?".
The crazy thing was that all these monkeys get paid good money to give this awful advice (caveat emptor!) . These executive consultants are our modern day preachers. All influence, no accountability! I wonder, do people like this know they are creating a mess? Or do they merely repress their memory? Or are they gliding through life - confident in their utter stupidity?
There are so many such people messing up the world. Corrupt politicans, perverted priests, ignorant parents, docile managers, twisted lawyers and greedy marketers. And they all do the same thing, sour their profession for the decent people in their ranks.
There are so many of them that even if we were to start cleaning up the world from one end, by the time we got all the way round to where we started, we would find an even bigger mess waiting for us than we had to clean in the first place.
Sorry. Am having a really bad hair day!
"So may the outward shows be least themselves:
the world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
but, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
obscures the show of evil? In religion,
what damned error, but some sober brow
will bless it and approve it with a text, hiding
the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple but assumes
some mark of virtue on his outward parts:
How many cowards, whose hearts are all
as false as stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
the beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;
Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk;
And these assume but valour's excrement
to render them redoubted!"
The Merchant of Venice
(Act III, Scene II).