#29. Rumor Has It
Here’s the situation:
You work in an office. Generally, you are popular with your coworkers. However, you discover that there are currently two rumors circulating the office gossip mill, and both involve you. The first rumor is that you got drunk at the office holiday party and had sex with one of your married coworkers. This rumor is completely true, but most people don’t believe it. The second rumor is that you have been stealing hundreds of dollars of office supplies and them selling them to cover a gambling debt. This rumor is completely false, but virtually everyone assumes it is factual.
Which of these two rumors is more troubling to you?
* * *
We’ve all had rumors spread about us. Whether you knew what they actually were or not, chances are, if you attended middle school at some point in your life, you’ve had a rumor (or some kind of trash talk) said about you. Your chances are surely doubled if you also went to the hellhole better known as High School.
Fortunately for me, I know more or less what the rumors were about me during those times. Not bad. I’m actually kinda proud of the shit people would say about me, but still, I’m not a fan of what people have to say, period. Much less behind your back.
These have got to be the worst (hypothetical) rumors ever said about me. Damn. After reading the choices I instantly decided I preferred the second rumor. And even though I’ve taken a moment to consider the first, I’m sticking to my gut reaction. The first rumor sucks, no question, and even though the second seems twofold in nature: not only do I have a serious addiction, but now I’ve resorted to even more questionable behaviours–stealing–as a poor means of coping with my initial problem, it still only involves me. That makes all the difference in this one. This would be more troubling to me, especially if my coworkers would be more inclined to believe something like that about me, but I can deal with people thinking the worst about me. Just me. If it has to do with something I did to someone else, a serious offense like fucking a married man, that would be more troubling to me. Think what you want. Say what you want. Look at me like I’m a totally fucked up person, but you can’t say that I do fucked up things with or to others. I’ll be a thief with a gambling addiction before I play with fire and burn others.
The latter rumor gives me a chance to make a comeback. There aint no coming back from being a homewrecker. Just ask what’s-her-face.
What about you? Which do you consider the lesser of two evils?