The Secret

In an effort to become a possible confidant at work, I accepted the responsibility of taking on the secret that my former boss was having an affair in the workplace. It was a secret that I unwillingly came across when I walked in on my boss and his assistant being intimate in the break room. Due to my knowledge of this secret, it empowered and encouraged my boss to be more open with me about his affair. Entangled in this form of confidentiality, I was pushed to create lies that later resulted in intense anxiety.

In order to protect my boss and ultimately my position, part of my job description became arranging lies. Just as Professor Blevens stated, “lies guard secrets.” I created fake business trips in order to guard secrets from my boss’ wife about what was really happening in the office. I created lies ranging from fake business conferences to fake seminars. These lies were so intricate that I created fake websites, flyers, and itineraries in order to conceal the romantic getaways between my boss and his assistant. Keeping my boss’ affair a secret ended up giving me intense anxiety when his wife and his assistant were in the same room at company events. I would avoid all three of them like the plague and would volunteer myself to refill the concessions table even when it was still full just to get away. I would feel panicked when my boss would call me into his office because I was unsure what kind of lie he would want me to fabricate next. He felt empowered that he could continue to keep his secret while I acted as his secret agent.

The greatest consequence I faced was a “lower[ed] resistance to the irrational and pathological.” My behavior seemed erratic and too defensive when my desk mate would casually ask what I was working on or why I had so many meetings with my boss. As well, I would never save anything to my work computer; I had the irrational fear that when I was not at my desk, someone would open the files and discover my lies. I was definitely paranoid and began to feel as though I was the one being unfaithful. This secret forced me into a confidential agreement and later into the constant fabrication of lies in order to protect that secret.

Eventually, I confided in the Human Resources representative and shared the secret. In doing so, I felt disloyal and incapable of being trusted. By admitting to the “intentional concealment,” I was attempting to regain the honesty and sincerity of my character. What I first thought would be no big deal, ended up becoming a burden that limited my ability to do my actual work responsibilities well. And although I “display[ed] loyalty to my peers”, I was also displaying the unethical behavior of lying.

Ultimately, my boss’ wife divorced him and I resigned from my position for “irreconcilable differences.” In going through a web of lies, confidentiality, and secrets, I discovered the undeniable power of being an agent of the truth. GOOD.


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