I will put this gently and professionally: the other day at work I was helping a guy whom I would not describe as nice.
So at some point during this interaction he was becoming dissatisfied because he wanted to pay less than what a particular service we offer costs. His approach to this dilemma was to tell me that he's "here all the time" (odd, since I have worked here for 4+ years and have never ever seen him) and that "everyone knows him, including [my] supervisor" (obvious lie). And, should I not help him out, he'd have to let my supervisor know.
I will put aside his entertaining threat to rat me out to my boss for enforcing our pricing policies.
What I am regretting is that I missed the chance to spring a sublime verbal trap. Here is how it would go if this happened again:
Him: I know your supervisor and will have to tell him about this.
Me: Oh, you know Norman?
Him: Yes, Norman. I will have to talk to him.
Me: That will be difficult, because there is no Norman here!
Him: [Is briefly stunned, then bursts into tears of shame]
Never again in life will I have such a chance as this. It would have been just like a clever interrogation in a mystery where the brilliant detective catches the crook in a web of his own deceit. You need a few key elements to set up this situation:
1. Someone is very obviously lying to you.
2. They are doing such a bad job lying that you know they are lying literally as the words are coming out of their mouth.
3. The lie is covering up some crime that you are charged with solving.
OR, 3a, You don't particularly like this person and would not mind humiliating them.
I think above all that professional courtesy prevented me from nailing the guy. I don't engage with the (very few) nasty people we deal with, I just withdraw and try to get rid of them. But, it's a missed opportunity. I won't miss the next one.
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