“Most advertisements are lies. Beer doesn’t make you sexy, it gives you a paunch. Technology doesn’t automatically make companies productive. Quite the contrary; it often makes companies less productive. Car brand “A” is just as safe as car brand “B”. Face cream can’t do a damn thing about your wrinkles. And so forth, ad infinitum. …
If you’re in an industry that advertises, you are party to lying, if not outright, at least in some form of exaggeration. And those lies are to your own advantage, because your salary is being paid by sales that took place because of those lies.
Not that you should feel bad about that. It’s just part of living in the real world, rather than trying to live in some ethical fantasy world.
Similarly, bosses lie to their employees all the time. They hire you to work 40 hours and then give you the stink-eye if you don’t work 60. They say that everyone is getting a fair salary, but the boss’s pet is making 50% more than the guy in the next cubicle who works twice as hard. They say stuff like “there’s no truth to the rumor that there might be a layoff.” Which, in fact, means there will be a layoff. …
I tell the truth (appropriately and kindly) to the people with whom I work with and for. People who know me know I can be trusted.
But I’m not going to be mean and petty by telling an unpleasant truth at the wrong time to the wrong person. And I’m sure as heck not going to rat out a co-worker simply to kiss up to a boss, which is apparently some people’s idea of “ethics.”
When I see a system that institutionalizes lying, I try to avoid it. But if I ended up being forced to interact with a lying sack of BS, I would feel no compunction whatsoever dishing out the same in return, if telling the truth would mean taking food out of my children’s mouths.”