Thursday, January 15, 2009

Righteous Indignation

Several years ago, a young man complained via email about the air in his office. The air was unhealthy, either too hot or just not circulating. This went on for months, years. The head of office services, who was in charge of getting the air fixed, didn't like being accused of the truth of her incompetence. Her reaction was to file an anonymous complaint against the young man, accusing him of, of what?

He was called down to personnel.

"People are saying," said the personnel person, "that you don't like [name of person] for some reason... ... ..."

The implication was that it was racial.

I, that is, the young man, slammed his fist on the desk and said, "I DEMAND TO FACE MY ACCUSOR!"

Suddenly, it was over. She changed the topic and made it into an issue over violating company email policy. "Next time, don't be so inciteful," she said. "Is that inciteful or insightful?" he said. The bon mot went over her head.

When you're right and people who think they can get you fired are wrong, you can man up like McGoohan and fight, or meekly take it. I don't just mean to be like the fictional characters he played, but also to be like the real man. He was a unique soul for the ages.

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