What is the correct response to have when one is confronted with a question—a near allegation—of wrongdoing? No, I’m not talking about Rod Blagojevich. There are too many blog posts about him already without me adding to the muddy waters. No, this time, this is about me.
Someone saw me handling an item and without watching the entire scene, assumed that I took the item. Had she watched the entire scene (rather than selectively snooping), she would have witnessed me handing a few components to an employee who was standing there with me, and would have seen me putting the main object back where it was. She would have witnessed me walking away with nothing more or less than what I originally had in my hands. Or she could have asked the employee who was there about it and found out the truth. Instead, she waited a few days and then asked about the matter.
Having taken nothing—being innocent in the matter and having a witness—I take great offense to the allegation or suggestion that I had done something wrong. I AM OUTRAGED over it… INCENSED! You see, I take the trust I engender in my work relationships as something as valuable as my life itself. I strive to be honest—painfully honest as some have noted—rather than have any shadow of doubt hang over me. A reputation is so hard to build and so easy to ruin.
If you consider the value of anything in the complex, there is nothing worth taking compared to the value of what would be lost. If I had taken the item, I could lose my job and put my family and home at risk. I would have a challenge finding work after that. Right—like I would risk something that serious over a broken, potentially non-functional piece of plastic and metal?
So my response is simple. I have brought the matter to the attention of those with a need to know. And now I need to find a place of peace about what has happened and whatever the outcome may be. That need drives me to the place where I should turn more often. If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation one day, perhaps this can bring comfort to you as well:
1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses; for they have been ever of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.
(King James Version used to avoid any copyright issues)
If we lose our integrity, what is it that we have? If we are dishonest, who will ever believe or trust us? And if we steal, who will have pity on us?