Editing one’s written work isn’t enough; one should also edit what he/she says. I’ve heard other people contradict themselves, put their foot in their mouth, in the course of conversations and you wonder if they really know what they’re saying. To avoid further embarrassment I point out as politely as I can the error in their speech. But there are times that politeness isn’t the answer when sane thinking is needed. Shortly before the Christmas-New Year holidays, a colleague seemed hell-bent on locking horns with me. The funny thing was he never faced me to talk about the problem; he sent his messages through the students. The bottom line: an amicable solution was reached in terms of the students attending his program and not missing out on my lesson entirely. But, lacking in perspicacity, he proceeded to carry on as if a war was about to erupt, openly declaring, “No! This will be a controversial (sic)!” I ignored him and went about my routine, seeing that talking was complete a waste of time.

But, as I learnt through the years, politeness and sane thinking are sometimes not enough. At times, it’s always in your best interest to keep quiet every now and then because boasting is the surest way to alienate people and reveal one’s true colours. Take this one colleague who had a knack for nattering about his achievements, exploits and latest material acquisitions incessantly, and if you were to tie his conversations together you’ll have a narrative of a jack of all trades-master of none who’s adroit in spinning yarn day in and day out. His counterpart is this Queen of Embellishments I had the unfortunate luck of working with ages ago who, among other things, padded her résumé verbally every so often. The first time she said she graduated from an all-girls’ school but at subsequent conversations she proclaimed she graduated in the US but forgot the state where her university was located. She couldn’t remember her course either.

The most recent funny conversation I had had something to do with a mutual friend of a friend I ran into at a bookstore one fine afternoon. Our mutual friend detested mobile phones but carried one and if one asked for her number, she’d give it along with a warning of “Don’t text or call me.”

Lesson of the day: Some people will say it’s not enough to listen carefully. I don’t think that’s case. It’s more like keep your mouth shut if you have nothing intelligent to say.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by thejellyfarm on January 23, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I think Your Queen of Embellishments is suffering from a very bad case of amnesia 🙂


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