“You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men
This week, I have been mostly becoming addicted to Suits and considering the nature of truth. Laughably, given the triumph of the pending reversal of the bank-charge-to-be, partner-in-crime and I were almost immediately robbed on TradeMe (a Gumtree/Ebay equivalent over here).
We handed over $1720 last Tuesday, expecting delivery of goods by Friday. On Saturday, I received a message saying said goods were broken on Thursday night. Having spent all our money buying a car on the Wednesday, the seller says they don’t have the funds to pay us back straight away. But there were assurances our money would come back to us asap. A week later, I followed up. They ‘honestly’ don’t have the money to pay us back. But will. By 1st April if not before. Never mind that we’re paying credit card interest in the meantime and have effectively loaned this guy 2k for a month for free to buy a car. Having said he’d send the goods on payment, why did he even still have them at the end of the week? Couldn’t he have posted the item when he went out to buy a vehicle with our money? Is it even broken, or is this whole thing a scam? This could just be an unfortunate situation. I’m trying to be patient, putting myself in the seller’s shoes. But I just can’t tell how truthful those shoes are.
I dropped a line to TradeMe to let them know the situation. But even if it becomes evident that the seller’s leading us on and not planning to return our funds, they can’t actually do anything to enforce repayment. Like so many things, online trading is all based on trust.
I don’t think I would have made a very good lawyer. I only ever wanted to be a movie-star lawyer anyway (Tom Cruise in The Firm, Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise in Cocktail… wait…). Anyway, I’m unsuited to a life of Suits. I just can’t hack lying. I’m not saying that lawyers lie. But when there are two sides to a dispute, lies are all around.
I was in court last month for a contractual dispute, representing my employer. It was a fool’s errand because, at every turn, I was confronted by lies. The respondent was lying; the witnesses were lying; disgruntled ex-employees were lying; or more current employees were lying about what the ex-employees had been told. Some lies were blatant, while other lies I’m sure they had told themselves with such conviction that they were convinced they were the truth – but that didn’t help me. I ended up pulling the case, because I couldn’t produce enough evidence that everyone’s lies were just that.
I wrote notes on how frustrated I was at the time – I’m looking at the garbled mess of hyperbole as I type. I couldn’t face a collusion of lies with an unsupported truth. And it killed me. Bear in mind this was just a small-fry contractual issue, not a life-changing criminal court charge. But I cried with frustration.
People lie. They cheat. They steal. They hurt. They maim. They kill. But we have to move through life with a little trust. There are good people who act in good faith and we can’t look upon everyone as the enemy. My hope is that in cases more important than my company’s dispute, truth overcomes lies and justice is done.
My hope is also that I get my money back from my TradeMe perp. Perhaps he is in good faith and really does just need some time, for genuine reasons. Hmm.
Let’s take a poll – am I getting my money back?! Who else has a problem with the lies other people tell? What’s the worst lie you’ve ever been told and how did you handle it?