As I read the story in three parts, I had hardly been through half of the first when I began to feel my blood boil. The abuse of trust, the sense of betrayal, the dishonest duplicity and treachery for which words still fail to convey the disgust to the level that one should.
Online, through social media networking forums we portend to establish relationships and in the process hope that the people we meet can become friends and friends indeed.
There are many that will become friends, having nurtured acquaintance through interaction and created bond of trust on which we might begin to stake a lot more than we would dare to offer to strangers.
The online communities where the Internet persona does reflect the person rather than a schizophrenic detachment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the same body allows us to drop our guard such that we trust but fail to verify leaves us innocent, naïve and sadly vulnerable too.
There are people that have earned respect by reason of their views and opinions; we hope that when we meet them in person they are no different but greater figures of admiration worthy of more respect.
It cannot however be said of all who appear to command an audience that belies public sainthood but private devilry.
Whose promises are not worth much, whose character is rubbish and have a demeanour that makes a diabolical version of Machiavelli easier to befriend and trust to personal hurt.
Trust but always verify
For all the engagement one can have towards the prospect of working with these people, there are a few strict rules we need to follow in order not to have our fingers burnt.
Always obtain independent references concerning these people, not only from observers but from those who are colleagues with the person.
Never enter into a gentleman’s agreement of just the shaking of hands without legally binding contractual terms that must be signed and delivered, if possible notarised – these people are neither gentlemen nor ladies, they have no spoken word that can be their bond.
If you have nothing in writing, you have nothing to rely on and you have no case when the issues come up for review – trust but verify. If those people are honest, truthful and credible, having any of the views documented should never ever be a problem.
Always keep a copy of all correspondence and ensure that whatever ideas they are selling to you are if said to be approved by their line management are confirmed from their line management before you act.
Only on your terms
Never change whatever status, condition, situation or circumstance you are in for a prospect that does not look legally enforceable from the moment you are at crossroads where a decision needs to be made.
Never be blackmailed into taking an offer that you are not entirely comfortable with, if they want you they should sort out their end of the bargain rather than inconvenience you with the uncertainties of where you stand.
You have more leverage in demanding the formalisation of your contractual terms before commencement than after you have resumed because that situation after you are on-board becomes less of a priority.
Pragmatism over patriotism
Do not let the opportunity to work amongst your people becloud your judgement of the circumstances you might encounter, the price is high enough leaving your comfort zone, do not raise it higher by allowing patriotism to trump pragmatism.
If you are a gambling person, don’t show your hand until enough is on the table to call your bluff. Be prepared to walk away from an untenable situation and do it resolutely; do not be held to ransom.
I would have preferred to write a more direct indictment of the person(s) concerned, but this is a shot across the bow and the torpedoes are being loaded in the tubes for which there will be no counter-measures and that is a promise, threats are so passé.