Bob Goldman
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Is Gov. Chris Christie lying when he says he had absolutely no personal involvement with the acts of political retribution that lead to "Bridgegate"?

I don't know.

The person I've tasked with finding out the truth about the matter was supposed to be here an hour ago with the facts, but hasn't yet arrived. Apparently, she's tied up in a monster traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge.

And what does it matter, anyway? Forget Christie. There is another tragically overweight person whose honesty and integrity is a matter of vital concern to us. This is a person on whom people depend and trust with their lives and their livelihoods.

That's right, friend. I'm talking about you.

Having watched Christie turn and burn on the spit -- note to self: be sure to order an extra large turkey next Thanksgiving -- I found myself wondering how often we average Joes and Janes find ourselves in a position where we have to decide whether or not to prevaricate.

Does lying at work represent a serious break in trust, or is it just something we all do to keep the wheels of commerce running smoothly?

For someone like you, this is not an abstract issue. With your history of major screw-ups and downright disasters, it is inevitable that you will often find yourself in a situation where you are held responsible for a situation that could be totally terminal to your company's profits, if not its very survival.

Considering the fault in the matter is likely to be yours, thanks to that pure streak of incompetence for which you are so famous, what do you do?

You lie, of course. If the situation is sufficiently serious, adding a layer of dishonesty to the disaster will not make an appreciable difference. You're fired if you lie. You're fired if you don't. But there's another reason to choose the path of untruth.

You might be an incompetent hack, but your boss is a pathetic jerk. The fact that he even has to ask if the fault is yours shows how dimwitted this dimwit actually is. To speak truth to such a critically impaired person is an act of cruelty. It's like running into a nursery school at Christmas and telling the little children that Santa Claus doesn't exist. (Sorry, residents of New Jersey, if I've shocked you with the 411 on Santa. I should have posted a spoiler alert.)

OK, Bob, you say. It makes sense to lie when the situation could result in termination of your employment, or your employer, but what about those "little white lies," like calling in sick when you're actually healthy or blaming a co-worker when your supervisor's Jaguar goes missing?

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Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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