|Would you mess with this woman? "Whether it is better to be|
loved or to be feared, then it is better to be feared." That's closer
but still not it.
If you are known for being kind and helpful and generous and all round lovely then there will come a point where you have to turn someone away. And, in those turnings away, there will be someone who thinks ill of you and publicises that event enough to influence those who know you. Ergo you will be remembered not for all the times you were nice and lovely and all round great but for the one time you acted out of character and turned someone away - you will be seen as bad and generally not nice. Mud sticks.
By contrast, if you are known for being capricious and cruel and evil and selfish then the one time you help someone and put yourself out for them will be noteworthy enough that people will remember it. In other words, although your reputation is poor people will view you with affection because of the one thing that you did that was good. In effect, they will write off your usual behaviour for that one good deed just as they would write off all the good that was done in our first example on the back of one bad deed.
|Niccolo Machiavelli in all his rather odd glory.|
My first essay on Politics at Uni was on him.
Why am I posting all of this? Well, a colleague has been off on long term leave and so we have had a member of staff covering for them for a short time. I have always put myself out for this member of staff and been on hand to help where no else was. When systems didn't work as they ought or lessons weren't in the right places it was I who made sure there were things in place. I offered to help marking, I spent hours guiding them through mark schemes and lessons that I didn't need to do. Why? Because I am a doormat? Maybe, mostly because no one else was helping.
Today that member of staff left, the colleague returns, and they were handing out presents to say thank you. So far so lovely and unexpected. My new boss got wine, chocolates (big and posh) and a joke present of X-ray specs or somesuch. Another colleague received her favourite wine, some posh chocs, some personal items that they liked and a bow and arrow - silly but connected to their 'fighting spirit'. My final colleague got beer (they're fond of real ale), wine (their partner likes wine to share), sweets (based on a throwaway remark about what they liked three months back) and a set of x-ray specs. These were all accompanied by thoughtfully written cards with lovely nice things written on them.
|In case you didn't know what it was. Amazon reports|
it as being nearly a tenner, so maybe it was expensive.
But why? Why this?
I am, to say the least, confused. I have no idea how to interpret this turn of events. Was I such a bastard to this member of staff that they really didn't like me? Or is this because I was the only member of the Department who would 'get the joke' and thus a good thing? Or am I just a bit of a joke in the Department generally? Of course, as you'd expect, I have gravitated toward the less flattering combination of the above interpretations, it's how I roll, but I am a little... well, a little saddened by it all.
Am I such an arsehole?