People You Probably Should Not Trust

There are lots of people you should not trust. There are the obvious ones, like politicians, whose sole interest is being re-elected, who cannot be trusted to do the right thing for society, only to do the things he thinks voters want no matter how ridiculous. And others like car salesmen, whose interest is not to find a person the perfect vehicle or the best trade-in deal, but to maximize his commission. But there are other people, people you would not necessarily think of, you probably should not trust.

Psychiatrists – You can probably trust most psychiatrists, but only while they’re working. When they are off the clock, they are still looking at humans through Freudian eyes, analyzing their behaviors, trying to figure out their flaws and the reasons those flaws exist. I often imagine myself holding a conversation as innocuous as personal hobbies, wondering, “Is this person really interested in bicycling, or is he trying to figure out what childhood traumas lead to my interest in bicycling? Is he actually picturing the bicycle as an Oedipal symbol for my mother that I must ride?”

Clowns – People who wear smiley happy makeup are abjectly not to be trusted. Of course their acts are phony, pasted on to entertain, and of course clowns have received bad publicity from the scores of evil harlequins depicted in movies. But I can cite two specific examples to prove clowns cannot be trusted: One, the appearance of Ronald McDonald in the horrible movie Mac and Me. Two, the time I met Ronald McDonald in person in the sweltering heat, after which I vomited up a dozen chicken nuggets and contracted tonsillitis.

Store greeters – When they say, “Welcome to Buy-Mart, have a nice day,” their obvious mechanical and scripted delivery should tell the store patron the salutation is not welcoming, and the greeter really doesn’t care if shoppers indeed have a nice day. After all, where is their motivation? Not in the part-time hours for minimum wage and no benefits. The entire position is a sham to give shoppers a false sense of happiness when they enter a store filled with cheaply made junk, and false satisfaction when they leave after purchasing that junk.

The little evil kid across the street – You know the kid, the one who stares a malicious grinch grin when you see him, the one who tears bicycle donuts through your freshly planted grass seed, the one who points his toy bow and arrow at your car as you back out of the driveway, the one who decides to hammer ketchup packets on the sidewalk the moment you walk by. Sure, the kid is angelic when his parents are near, but evil works in solitude when there are no witnesses.

Solicitors – These are what the evil kids across the street turn into as adults, before they end up as store greeters.

The guy interviewing you – The guy who interviews you for a job is not going to be truthful about your qualifications for a job, or even what the necessary qualifications are. He is tasked by his manager to find a warm body who comes closest to barely qualified to fill the vacancy. He will never tell you that you are not a perfect fit, because he knows any candidate is suitable if that person can go through the routines and clean up the mess the last guy left. He will also never tell you, “Run away! You don’t want this! Run like hell from this place!” because he knows his own hellish burden will be eased once you are hired to go through the routines and clean up the mess the last guy left.

His boss – The boss of the guy interviewing you is the guy looking for a warm body and wants to get one at the least cost to the company. He will ply an applicant with tempts of a perfect work environment, salaries, vacations, life balances and benefits, but will ultimately not deliver, as his bonus is dependent on keeping his operating costs low. He also knows whoever takes the position will need to spend eighty hours a week for at least a year going through the routines and cleaning up the mess the last guy left.

Writers – The words they write tend to be their own version of reality, heightened for entertainment value, to evoke an emotional response, or a few cheap laughs.