Economy and the truth

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“There’s no smoke without fire” is a popular saying. When rumours circulate about the character traits of certain individuals, the natural inclination of many people is to assume that there must be truth in what is being said, since it takes some effort to concoct false information. “Why would anyone invest time and energy in trying to make anyone else look bad?” is the question that many folks might ask.

From a distance it might appear as if organisations that are regarded as pillars of exemplary conduct in a society are unlikely to be interested in being economical with the truth in order to get desired outcomes. This was the opinion I had about a particular institution, until I had an experience that changed my perception.

Someone asked me to provide a reference for a job, which I agreed to do. I received a phone call from the potential employer and did my best to present the person in the best light possible.

Later on, I discovered that the organisation decided not to employ the person in question (which was up to them to decide, obviously). Was any reason provided for not giving her the job? It turned out that the organisation’s operatives went out of their way to tell lies about what I said in the phone interview.

What did they stand to gain from putting me in a position where the person who trusted me as a referee thought I had stymied her chances of getting the job? Perhaps everyone should be wary about believing the information circulated in the media nowadays.