Hard and Life Changing Decisions

Hard and Life Changing Decisions

Sometimes we are faced with decisions that affect not only our lives but also the lives of our friends and family. Certain decisions cannot and should not be made in haste; sometimes these are the very decisions that require immediate attention and a speedy final decision. I was recently faced with one of these decisions and, even though I felt like I made the most ridiculous choice. I can look back and see it was the best decision of my life.

The Problem

One of my co-workers accused me of doing something that is a felony. I was called into the office where the investigator tried to coerce a confession and lied to me and said they had me on video committing this crime. I called the investigator’s bluff and requested to see the said video and was not allowed to see it without a subpoena. I was, also, suspended for three days pending the results of the investigation. The manager called me at the end of the three days and said they had not reached a decision and wanted to know what I wanted to do and I had 10 minutes to decide. If I went back and they determined I was in the wrong I would lose all of my built up benefits. The information that was left out was I would be arrested, this was not a possibility but a given because of the seriousness of the accusation. If I resigned my position I would receive all of my vacation pay and not lose my retirement package; charges would not be filed.

The Decision

I had a very hard decision to make within a matter of minutes and was not able to consult with my family. Maybe I was catastrophizing the situation by thinking about the worst possible outcome, but that is unlikely because the accusations hold felony charges. I knew that if I went back there was a chance that I could be arrested even though I did nothing wrong. I had to make a quick decision and had only two choices: walk away from that job even though I had a family to help feed and lots of bills to pay or maintain my innocence and risk ruining my reputation by being paraded in front of the store in handcuffs. I had no time to calculate the impact I had only 10 minutes to decide; I chose to walk away. This was a hard decision because either choice I made would negatively affect my family; no one choice had lighter consequences.


I analyzed the entire situation and I can see the overall condition of the company and understand their logic in “getting rid of me”. The company was, basically, making a business decision in getting rid of me. This decision was not because I was having behavioral or poor performance issues, because I was not, but because the condition of the economy. I was the highest paid employee in the pharmacy under the pharmacist; they could pay the salary of two people with what I was making. Shortly after I left, they hired two more employees who had less experience so they could justify the lower salary. The hours for the store had been severely cut the month before and they laid off over 1,000 employees in our region three months before; I was just another statistic. My innocence was proven a year later when they asked me to come back. The girl that accused me of these things also wanted a promotion and as long as I was present that was not going to happen and new state laws would make it harder for her to obtain a position like mine so the clock was not working in her favor.


There will be many times that we must make a decision on the spur of the moment and will not be able to analyze the situation or the possible consequences. These decisions can often make us feel as though tossing a coin in the air would render an equally wise decision and favorable outcome. There is no way to avoid these issues but we can practice our decision making techniques so that when these problems come we will have confidence that we made the best decision given the circumstances.

The Tattle Tail Story

The Tattle Tail Story

When I remained in grade 3 I had this repellent instructor that disliked kids who screeched on other kids, no matter the issue. It didn’t matter if you grumbled about somebody taking an eraser, unfaithful on a test, taking your lunch money, or socking you in the mouth … she didn’t wish to need to handle it. To her, stability was found in silence.

If you were affronted by a fellow student and occurred to discuss it to her, she would react by a) neglecting you, and b) pinning a long donkey’s tail made from building on your behind with the words “tattle tail” emblazoned on it. I attempted to make it look fashionable.

Sherron Watkins’ Act

Personally, I ‘d like to think that the lessons we discovered in primary school help us out later in life. If so, I’m definitely pleased that Sherron S. Watkins wasn’t in my class. As you might, or might unknown, Sherron S. Watkins was the Vice President of Corporate Development at Enron who informed then CEO Ken Lay in a now-famous August 2001 memo that financial scams might damage the energy trading company. She stated his action was to release a “fake” probe and aim to have her fired.

The Collapse

It was less than 4 months before Enron collapsed into bankruptcy at an expense of countless tasks and billions of dollars of stock-market wealth.

Enron’s failure stimulated a federal examination that led to the numerous scams and conspiracy charges for which Lay, 63, and Skilling, 52, are now on trial. The 2 face years in jail if founded guilty.

The Truth

Did anything favorable come out of the Enron fiasco? I think we can point out 2 silvery-gray lined clouds. Initially, it’s everything about stability. Regular people matter. Decision matters. Sincerity matters. Diligence matters. There is a place for Truth.

Second of all … the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Sarbane Oxley Act of 2002 is considered to be among the most substantial modifications to federal securities law. It was available in the wake of a series of business financial scandals, consisting of those impacting Enron, Arthur Andersen, and WorldCom.

In a world of openly traded business, there is a lot at stake. Not only are the business accountable for their staff, customers, partners, and consumers, they’re also accountable to the every-day, well intentioned, share holder who has actually selected, appropriately or mistakenly, to think that what the company states holds true … is in fact True.


We need to have the ability to trust individuals in charge. Whenever a company does something notable, the CEO is frequently the very first one to enter the spotlight and take the credit together with a huge fat perk. (Lay generated $150 million in earnings, perks and stock plans. He still sleeps comfortably every night in among his numerous estates.) But, when things are bleak, some CEO’s appear to vanish into a world of conferences.

Stability, honor and truthfulness aren’t just virtues indicated for the 3rd grade. They’re qualities for life … and what a much better place the stock exchange (and society at big) would be if everybody lived these virtues more frequently.

While the stock exchange is still filled with fundamental threats … it might be just a little much safer than it use to be. So hats off to Whistle Blowers like Sherron S. Watkins … and leave the donkey tails in the house.