Friday, 3 October 2014

"Eheu Fugaces, Postume Postume"

Met a bloke I hadn't seen for bloody years very recently. He'd got himself into a shedload of trouble and currently awaits a sentence. He didn't say anything to start with as he assumed I'd heard about his big mistake, which I hadn't, despite it making the press. I felt sorry for him, more so for his innocent family. He wasn't a child molester/sexual deviant, a thief or a breaker of bones. He'd let a chain of events get out of hand and had made a huge error of judgement that could cost him a loss of liberty by way of an exemplary punishment. I told him he'd be lucky if he got it suspended but his admission, clean sheet and conduct prior-to would be a sway in his favour. `The thing is`, I told him, ` we all make genuine mistakes and get things wrong through occasional bad judgement which, in itself, is caused by many factors but mainly inexperience. If we could go back in time to do things better, most of us would, so we shouldn't judge the less experienced soul we once were, based on the experience we have today`. I don't know if that helped.

It also got me thinking about people I've encountered throughout my working life, who I may have either misjudged, let down or disappointed in some way. If I got it wrong, I wasn't wrong deliberately. If I got it right but they didn't like the outcome, well, maybe I could have gone about it in a different way, but I couldn't see it because, at the time that was all I had. I have given evidence in court as a character witness for a defendant. I have also declined to give prosecution evidence when a former colleague was being prosecuted because it just seemed like a witch hunt. For me, it is all about the ethics and if he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt then they wouldn't need me to over-egg the pudding of justice. Sometimes the prosecution looks like its using a sledgehammer and to me that is distasteful.

I never turned away from doing something I believed needed doing. I could never ignore something bad because turning a `blind eye`, is to condone and if you are paid to get things done properly and don't, then you are a fraud and not earning your keep. I never set out to do harm. I'm sorry if I did, but my intentions were always to do what I believed was the right thing, however personally damaging it was for me to do so. By the same token, I don't bear any malice or ill will. It's done and forgotten. Life is way too short. So if you are out there and you see me, do say hello. The slate is clean.


Bill Brandt said...

We have all done things we regret - would that we were allowed a "redo"!

Life is one giant classroom.

Quartermaster said...

I guess I can forgive you for being born British of you can forgive me for being born in the USA. :-)

I'd still say hello.

I would like to get over to the mother country sometime and see places like the British Museum, the Imperial War museum, Some of the old 8th AF fields in East Anglia, Gilwell Field, and friends in Grimsby. I'll do my best to avoid the ethnics and getting thumped. If I get the money to visit, I'll drop you an email so you can warn everyone of the destruction to come.

Anonymous said...

Just to say "hello". Always pleased to see/read a post from you.

Paul L. Quandt

Hogdayafternoon said...

Thanks chums. There's one or two former colleagues who got the sharp edge of my management decisions over the years.

If only they'd heeded the advice at the time, because time proved me to be right :(