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May 14, 2008

Are You a Big Fat Liar?

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lying at work to your boss

Photo Credit: Plamen Petkov

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1. The last time I called in sick was:
a. My first year out of college, when I came down with acute pancreatitis.
b. When I had flu-like fatigue and vomiting - after the office Christmas party.
c. When I was on vacation with my boyfriend in San Juan. (Didn’t want to waste a personal day.)

2. On LinkedIn and Facebook, I list my job title:
a. Exactly as it appears on my business card.
b. As it appears on my business card, minus extraneous terms like “assistant” or “junior.”
c. As it appears on my business card, plus descriptors like “director” or “head of development for.”

3. The biggest omission on my résumé is:
a. My middle initial.
b. That nightmare gig six years ago that I was technically “let go” from after two months.
c. Those two years in the state pen.

4. When the boss compliments my clutch work on a last-minute presentation - which I had nothing to do with - I:
a. Fess up: “Actually, that was Tina’s baby.”
b. Smile and nod - I can’t be stealing credit if I haven’t said a word, right?
c. Humbly reply, “Well, it was a long night, but the team really pulled together, and we ordered in sushi to make the best of it.”

5. Rolling in to work 45 minutes late because I was doing Jäeger shots at 4 a.m. this morning, I:
a. Confide to my cubemate and vow to sober up ASAP.
b. Feign annoyance and rattle off a commute-from-hell epic involving a funeral procession and some downed telephone poles.
c. Say, “Sorry, but I came in under sniper fire.”

6. When interviewing for a new job, I overstate my current salary by:
a. 0%. Cheaters never prosper.
b. 10 to 15%. They expect it, right?
c. 100%. Salary should be commensurate with the phony title I posted on LinkedIn and Facebook.

7. It’s 3 p.m. on Friday and the inevitable “What are you doing this weekend?” chatter heats up. I say:
a. That I’m ironing, cruising match.com, and watching season two of The Office while eating pizza in my underwear on the couch. Because that’s what I’m doing.
b. That I’m going to catch up on some paperwork and maybe see a movie with a girlfriend - by which I mean max out my Banana Republic card and make out with some guy at a bar.
c. That I’m running a 5K to end world poverty (donations anyone?), cracking the new Rushdie novel, then finishing up with a night of clubbing with LiLo.

Mostly A’s: THE TRUTH POLICE
You’re so honest, you’d even tell your friend those jeans make her butt look fat.

Mostly B’s: THE WATERCOOLER LIAR
You’ll fudge the truth to duck conflict or up your wattage at the cocktail party.

Mostly C’s: THE SOCIOPATH
You’d lie on an anonymous survey about your home-heating preferences.

More Moral Dilemma Stories
Liar, Liar: Truthiness
The Lying Matrix


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