Tag Archives: lying

Lie to me

I was once, oddly and extremely excitingly, asked to give a talk. The talk was to a PR company (any other PR companies should stop reading now please) and it was about ‘Wooing Journalists’. Despite being so nervous I had to change my shirt in the taxi on the way to their offices (after which, naturally, I felt no need to give a tip to the taxi driver, or to look him in the eye as I gathered up my sweaty clothes and paid him), the talk went surprisingly well.


It occurs to me, writing about this now, that my personal bar for ‘things going well’ may be slightly lower than other peoples. This morning I congratulated myself on remembering my oyster card as I left for work.

The PR company paid for my talk, so I’m certainly not going to regurgitate it here for you for free (anyone who wishes to pay to hear it, do, by all means, contact me. Even you, test audience of little sister, who begged me to stop ‘following her around practising your serious journalist face’), but I will give you a taste:

“When inviting people to things, whatever they may be, let them know who else will be attending.”

This pearl of wisdom has endless applications, and its value often depends upon wildly different reasons, but it is always right.

I have just been informed that this evening’s events include someone I dislike intensely. Luckily, my host has double-booked herself, so it will be just the 2 of us, me and my object of dislike, for dinner.

If I didn’t know first-hand how badly my host manages her diary, I would assume something improper was under-way.

Equally, a few weeks ago I was lured, tired and unwilling to go out, to the pub with the duplicitous promise that someone I very much wanted to see (imagine Ryan Gosling, but less worryingly good at portraying psychopaths) was certain to attend.

In fact, I may have to ring up the PR company and insist I re-give my talk:

“Don’t mislead people. And tell them who’s on the guestlist.”

(If you need me, I’ll be busy the rest of today booking talks with schools and church groups).

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Lie to Me

‘I’m popping out to get a packet of tissues,’ My colleague announced to the room. ‘Can I get anyone anything?’ I have been fooled by these innocuous-seeming questions before, so I said politely, ‘No thanks’. (Apparently, people are unwilling, despite their liberal use of the word ‘anything’, to pick up your dry-cleaning, or just ‘pop’ to Selfridges to see if that handbag you saw last week is still there, and possibly now on sale).

‘Oh, yes please,’ One of my other colleagues piped up. ‘Some nurofen.’ Caringly (it’s pretty boring in the office- I am trying out some new personas), I asked her if she had a headache. My colleague gave me the type of stricken look one would expect in response to an request for a large loan, or a small organ donation.

‘No,’ She replied finally. Completely baffled, I spent the next 30 minutes thinking about what other, secret uses she could have for nurofen.

Unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, I began to wish she had simply lied, and said she had a headache. There are many other situations where I wish people had lied:

1. ‘Is this a suitable dress?’ I asked, as I entered a friend’s party. ‘Not really,’ She replied.

2. ‘Did you see my solo?’ I asked my Mother, after my prep school play. ‘No,’ She replied cheerfully. ‘I was having a drink with your Father. Never mind, there will be others. (There were not. Although, having drunkenly performed this solo at a Hen Party this weekend, it is probably for the best).

3. ‘Have you eaten my chocolate puddings?’ I asked my little sister recently. ‘Yes,’ She replied, looking me up and down. ‘I really didn’t think you needed them.’

4. ‘Would it be OK if I joined you for dinner?’ I asked my little sister, before the chocolate pudding incident. ‘I’d really prefer if you didn’t,’ She replied.

5. ‘I have such a funny story,’ I told my Mother recently. ‘Oh darling,’ She replied. ‘I very much doubt that.’

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