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Ask The Vatican Assassin (Taking Dictation)

Got a problem? Well, your worries are over: We here at Shaking Through World Headquarters have an expert in the field of "problem-solving." When he’s not busy carrying on the noble tradition of the Knights Templar (“God’s Green Berets”)--snuffing out world leaders, dispatching demons and generally saving the world like a long-haired, street-smart James Bond--Vatican Assassin spends his free time indulging his every hedonistic whim, which gets him into lots of trouble. Who better to dole out helpful advice to the lovelorn, conflicted and confused?

Posted: August 4, 2002

Dear Vatican Assassin,

I've been working in my current job for the past four years. I'm pretty happy with my position and I've worked hard to be recognized for my achievements. My problem is not with my job, exactly, but with someone I work with.

Charles came to work for the company about a year ago, fresh out of grad school. We worked together on a big project and spent many late nights, drinking coffee while hunched over the keyboard. To make a long story short, we began dating even though it was against company policy.

Things were moving along nicely (and discreetly, I believed) until about six weeks ago when I discovered Charles had been bragging about his conquests over lunch with some of our male colleagues. I confronted him and he denied everything.

Needless to say, I'm no longer seeing him. But the damage has been done to my professional image.

My question is this: Do I come clean with my coworkers about the relationship so that I can defend myself or should I keep my mouth shut even though there are rumors flying about me?

Signed,

Took Dictation and Regretting It

TO: Took Dictation

RE: Your Bonehead Decision

First off, mad props to you for working so hard and achieving your goals in the rat race. You are officially recognized as one of the more aggressive go-getters in the maze, and get to go to the front of the class. Kudos.

With that said, let the pointed advice fly. And speaking of fly, what were you thinking, McFly?? Rule of thumb Number One in any office or work force nation is that you NEVER sleep with ANYONE who wears the same name badge as you. PERIOD. Why? Well, for starters, look at the friggin' situation you're in right now! Had you not done the missionary mambo with Chuck, you wouldn't be writing to me asking what to do about it. No, you'd be writing asking me about something else.

But hey, it took me four times before I learned that very lesson. Why? Because I'm a male, and when it's being thrown at me, especially when I'm single, well, hey, who am I to turn it down? Still, never sleep with a fellow employee. Not only will it make for an awfully uncomfortable Christmas party, but it will make you a target for some other idiot who thinks "Hey, if he/she's stupid enough to sleep with a fellow employee when everyone knows you shouldn't, then maybe they're stupid enough to fall for this one too."

Your second mistake was thinking you could sleep with someone, particularly a male, and think it could be kept discreet. Hell, even I've been guilty of bragging about some of my accomplishments over some pillow talk. (NOTE: If my boss is reading that part: Your Holiness. You didn't read that. It was all a bad dream. No one's pinned anything on me yet, have they? Go back to sleep.)

In the office nations, they might as well have a white picket fence dividing each cubicle or office. We gossip by nature. It's in the blood. Ever wonder why, when you're standing at the checkout line, you grab the Enquirer? Not because it's the only thing there; it's not. You grab it because gossip helps the mind feel not so bad. If you're hearing or reading about some other poor schmoe who's got it bad, your life starts to look pretty damn good. Likewise, we tend to brag about our accomplishments to redeem our self-worth coupons. And the smaller the community, (i.e., the office), the quicker things get spread. I can guarantee you, had Chuckie not said something, you would've let something slip. Probably to someone you thought you could trust. And then you would've been writing me a letter about how to get even with that betraying bitch or bastard. You should've known better. He was going to pound his chest to someone about you. You wrote your memo, now read it.

So what to do? Well, basically, you do nothing. Certainly don't repeat your mistake. Certainly take no action against the ape. All that would do is paint you as the one with sour grapes. Granted, you have sour grapes, but no need to let anyone know more than they already do. Should someone ask, tell them it's simply called a personal life for a reason; it's PERSONAL. If someone important asks, well, you are the one who is going to have to justify how you knowingly broke a company policy. At that point, it's best to try and take the ape down with you. Hey, he broke it willingly as well. (If they just let you go, then your next call may be to an attorney.)

Still, don't say anything. Period. If you've established a rep as good as you say, then saying nothing only supports your image of professionalism. Are they going to talk about you behind your back? Yup. And you can't stop it. Why? See the previous mentions about gossip. And I guarantee you again that had it not been this relationship, they'd be gossiping about something else about you. Because in reality, people live vicariously through others, because in truth their own lives are too boring to pay any attention to. Why else is 'Reality TV' so popular? Why else is the divorce rate so high?

And another thing: Stop worrying about what others think. If you keep on obsessing about your work image, being recognized for achievements, or your rank and serial number and what people gossip about you, you'll miss out on more than you wished to. Aittle thing called life.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a crowd of people waiting for me in the break room, all dying to hear of my weekend exploits and general tall tales. What's neat is, the more bullshit I feed their eager little ears, the more I chuckle when someone tells me "Hey, did you hear what they said? Man, what idiot would believe that? Someone must've lied to them!"

Yeah, someone must have lied to them all right -BWA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAA!!!

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