Why Guilt-Ridden People Make Better Leaders
“Uh…well, I’m going to lunch,” I said. It was 12:15, and my stomach was growling.
Fred doesn’t usually show up around here in the executive suite, so it seemed a little suspicious. But, whatever. Maybe he was looking for a lunch date.
He stood there at my office door, looking awkwardly down at the floor while pawing his foot into the carpet, then he commented on the colorful print hanging on my office wall.
“Yes,” I agreed, as we both fixed an admiring gaze towards it. “The evocative interrelation between color and form has a soothing effect, don’t you think?” Fred nodded.
We chatted for a couple more minutes about this and that, and then he suddenly swooped in for the kill.
“Your name has come up for a random drug test,” he abruptly announced, as if cramming the entire sentence into one lengthy, multi-syllabic word.
Ah. So that’s why Fred is here.
Our company, like many others, has a random drug screening program. Fred asked if I would mind being escorted to the occupational health unit.
“Sure!” I exclaimed enthusiastically as I jumped out of my chair, suddenly feeling the compulsion to sound overly innocent and pure. Meanwhile, a rush of terrorizing thoughts ran through my head.
“Did I take any drugs last night? No, duh, of course not! But what about wine? Does that count? Dear Lord - I had two glasses of wine! And on a weeknight! Wait – what about those fish-oil pills? I think I read somewhere they test positive. Oh no! My acid reflux prescription! That will surely show up as cocaine or something! No, no, no, no, no!”
I tried to maintain a low profile walking down the corridor as the panic of guilt-ridden thoughts swept over me. Eventually, I worked up enough courage to ask the most dreaded question of all:
“Will I have to pee in front of you?”
Fred chuckled. “Only if you tamper with the evidence.” I made a mental note to follow the instructions very, very carefully.
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