Now where did this "it's ok to lie" thing start. I don't know for sure but some people say it started with a certain president that lied about what he did and was never punished for it. I am not one to judge but when someone says Technically I did not do whatever that is a lie. Which leads me to my topic for today....Not telling the truth.
It’s not what you say that counts, it’s what you don’t say. Now who remembers that game show? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Ok you can tell me in private because that would be showing your or should I say Our age. I don’t even remember the show all that well but I do remember the intro where they said their name in kind of a catchy way. I seem to recall it was kind of a fill in the blank game show and the contestant had to do the filling. Anywhoo.
Truth in advertising:
We have been doing some window (and craigslist) shopping lately for a few items and I got to thinking about advertising or more precisely truth in advertising. I remember when I got my first car. It was a 1969 VW square back sedan with a sunroof. Sounds pretty snazzy I know but it had its share of problems. For starters the radio didn’t work and it had some surface rust but I planned on getting it painted so I didn’t mind.
As most teenagers do, the first thing I did was to get a radio for the car. And not just any radio, it was an AM/FM radio and it had transistors not tubes. I know I was a big spender and it was the best that radio shack had to offer at the time. I think I paid $60 for it including speakers. The good news is that I only paid $250 for the car and I paid cash for it. The bad news is even though I had it painted it wasn’t long before the rust started showing through again. And there seemed to be rust everywhere on it.
When I bought the car, I got it from a “friend” of my father’s. He told us that it just had some surface rust and that the engine had just been overhauled. I never questioned why the engine had to be overhauled even though it was low mileage and he never volunteered the information. He also never told me why he was selling the car so cheap and I assumed it was because he was doing my father a favor. So technically he wasn’t lying. It was about 6 months later when I found out the truth about my little car.
Apparently the previous owner drove it down onto the beach in Daytona. Driving on the beach was allowed and free back then so that part isn’t anything special. However he parked it close to the water at low tide and got the car stuck. The tide came in and flooded the car up to the seats. It also flooded the engine with seawater which is why the engine had to be overhauled. That explained the rust. The car still ran well and did have that new stereo so I kept it.
When I joined the Navy, I figured it would be a while until I needed a car so I “sold” it to my brother. He agreed to make payments every month. While I was in boot camp, he totaled the car and quit paying me because “why would I keep paying you….the car is no good now” I guess that was in the fine print somewhere but I didn’t see it that way.
But the funny thing about back in the day is that most car "dealers" were truthful in their advertizing. If they put an ad in the news paper for trucks for $5000 dollars, you could go to the lot and actually find many trucks for that price. These days, the advertisements are nothing more than lead-ins to get you to the dealership. Most of the time you would be lucky to find one of the trucks at all and if you do, it most surely won’t be for the advertised price. And when you question their integrity they will show you the ad and point to the disclaimer at the bottom in teeny tiny print that says something like “exclusions apply” or “not all dealers have advertised cars” or something similar.
The last time I went shopping for a car, I asked the salesman that same thing. I said; wouldn’t it be more honest to put everything up in large print instead of hiding the negative things in fine print? He didn’t have an answer other than everyone does it. So I am guessing since everyone does it, it is ok. At least as far as he was concerned it was but not in my book.
Truth in asking:
Last week while searching through Craigslist (I love Craigslist by the way) I came across an ad from a lady asking for free women’s clothing. Here is what the ad said and I am paraphrasing:
My husband just found out he has brain cancer and he can’t work. I need some new clothes but I can’t afford to buy them with him not working.
Ok let me stop right here and say I felt sorry for the woman at this point and thought if I had some extra clothes I would gladly give them to her. But she continued:
Hospice has already stepped in and I have lost some weight so none of my clothes fit me so I am looking for something in a 4/5.
Hmmm something smells fishy here, but she goes on:
My husband didn’t have insurance and he just died so I really need some nice clothes to look for a job.
Now all that was in the same post, written on the same day, so…...
Either that was one really aggressive cancer or she is really slow at typing. I’m not poking fun, I am just saying.
Truth in sincerity:
Last week I also saw an interesting request on our company bulletin board. A woman was looking for a car for her daughter so she could drive to college. Because it was a long distance she was looking for a “very reliable car. She also asked that it be in very good condition (I am guessing because a girl just has to look good) and she mentioned a specific kind of car that she wanted (it was a kind that her daughter really liked). She then said that she only had $800 dollars to spend on the car and oh yes, one last request: She would really like a convertible. No way….Yes way.
I thought to myself; That takes a lot of nerve to post something like that. First off if she really just wanted a reliable car she would have taken anything out there that got good mileage and ran well. Secondly my first car wasn’t much less than that when you included the price, paint job and radio. And that was 1973. Is a moped a convertible? Those are really dependable.
Have a great day,