I have always considered myself a storyteller. I grew up entering storytelling contests and getting quite far in my endeavors. My mom was quite proud as she herself always wanted to be a novelist. Our apartments were always filled with notebooks that had drafted stories, poems and novels. My aunt very early on got me one of the best Christmas presents ever: a typewriter. I was devastated when I had to lave the typewriter behind. Anyway, storytelling is in my DNA and everyday consciousness.
I am taken aback, however, when I encounter others who engage in everyday storytelling in the workplace. By that I mean major embellishments and outright lies. I have come across a few people that just never knew how to tell a story as truthfully as it happened. Although I was shocked, I came to appreciate these different types of storytellers. It was entertaining and at times outright delightful in both how silly the stories were and in how the storyteller thought we would believe the stories. For these embellishers told the stories in such a way that we were to believe them as truths. I came to realize that these individuals were somewhat broken and their stories made them whole in some way. Isn’t that why we all write anyway? Instead of writing their stories, they entertain us verbally throughout the day. Some of my past colleagues get disappointed and disillusioned when they realize that these embellishers are just that. I, on the other hand, have come find comfort in he embellished stories laughing at their imaginative storylines. As long as you are not fooled by the embellishments rejoice in their silliness.
A recent story one of these embellishers told me was quite hilarious. Let me recount the story here for you as it was told to me over drinks.
He works for the White House. Supposedly. None of us have any proof of this. I did work with him back in the day for the Department of Justice. He has changed government jobs throughout the years. He could possibly work for the White House in some way. He notes that this s why he does not have a Facebook page. I personally think its because if he did then all his friends would come to know each other and share his stories. For all we know, he does have a Facebook page under some odd pseudonym that he has managed to establish credibly (getting past Facebook’s real name policy).
Anyway, back to the story. As he works for the White House he has top-level secret clearance. He is an integral part of the security team and must himself be protected at all times. They engaged in a mock security exercise. Except he didn’t know it was going to happen. Then all of a sudden helicopters land on his roof. Five men in black with machine guns exited the helicopter shouting at him to stick his head out the window. Of course, he could barely hear them as the helicopter was super loud. They then lowered a rope to his window and demanded he grab onto it as he was raised up. They grabbed him and carried him to the helicopter within 30 seconds flat and off they went to the White House where he was reunited with several of his other colleagues. They all then were dragged to an underground hallway and sealed off in a bunker. The exercise lasted 30 minutes. He was then allowed to go free back to his regularly scheduled work activities.
Of course, I was to not know about this exercise and thus this must all be kept on the down-low. I finished my mojito and told him that absolutely this would not leave my lips. I didn’t promise anything about the keyboard. Now, is this story true? Most definitely not. Is there somewhere in there a grain of truth. Probably. But what is up for you to decide.
Meanwhile, I note d to him that it was awesome seeing how important he had become to the country’s well-being and was glad that he was being kept safe. Then I ordered my next mojito and settled in for the next story.