Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Footnote People

With the footnote people, there is always an escape clause. Words are filtered to the point of being meaningless. A yes is a perhaps and a maybe means forget about it. They are often amiable but you sense that is a distraction, much as a magician may flourish a bright handkerchief. What is really going on is always different from what appears to be going on. Options are kept open.

Large meetings are the Serengeti where they feed on the credulous.


Dan in Philly said...

The funny thing is that over any reasonable length of time, no one can hide who he truly is. Ask anyone and they'll probably give you a good idea of whose word you can rely and whose you cannot. Everyone filters others' comments through experience, and those who think they are so clever with their prevarications in the end learn that no one takes anything they say seriously.

For my part, I have learned to embrace the language of percision and meaning. When I don't know the answer, I don't hesitate to say "I don't know." When I am wrong I admit it. When I commit to something I try to do it, and on the rare occasion when I cannot I communicate that as soon as I can.

This has given me a modest reputation of someone whose words have meaning and are worth listening to. Though I'll never be mistaken for an oracle at Delphi, such a reputation is worth having to me.

Michael Wade said...


That is a golden reputation to have.