Never before, have so few kept secrets from so many.
We live in a world on a precipice. Maybe the precipice. There are so many existential issues confronting our society today, it’s hard to know which to pay serious attention to, and which to tune out. Financial breakdown, terrorism, political corruption, even the theory that a giant planet, traveling in a 3,600 year orbit around our sun, there’s a lot to worry about today. The good news (if that’s an appropriate way to look at it), is that regardless of the issue, someone somewhere knows what’s going on. Many of them have a whistle in their hand, and some of them are good people who want the rest of us to know the truth. A few of those good people have the courage necessary to blow their whistle and warn us.
But how many do? Not enough.
I am a whistleblower, and despite the fact it cost me a career I’d worked hard to attain, I believe it was the right thing to do, but I made a serious mistake.
If you are going to blow a whistle, you must go outside, do some stretching, followed by some deep yoga breathing, and blow the ever lovin’ shit out of that whistle. LOUD. As loud as you can. LOUDER than you ever thought you could. Do NOT blow it internally, so as to not attract attention to yourself or the organization that has created your need to force a tremendous amount of air through that device. Blow that bitch.
I didn’t do that. I made a quiet phone call to an office very close to the CEO, to a heavyweight who respected me and had relied on me for some important work in the past. I was blowing the whistle on some very serious stuff. Illegal stuff. Hell, it was fraudulent stuff. I didn’t want to open a Pandora’s Box that once unlocked, could have cost the company millions of dollars, and quite possibly cost my employer assets that are at the core of its business. Please trust me when I say I’m not employing an ounce of hyperbole. As I said, serious shit.
Also, I didn’t want anyone involved to get fired, even though the actions taken by the offenders were specifically prohibited in the company handbook, and employees were warned that doing what they did would result in termination. I didn’t report the activity that because of my unique level of access to company information I was the only one of thousands of employees who had the confluence of responsibilities to see what was going on, just because it was dishonest, but mostly because what the bad guys were doing was making several of my coworkers look very, very bad. Coworkers who were doing a good job honestly, but were being criticized because they weren’t as successful as the fraudsters appeared to be. The offenders in this scheme (and I’m sorry I can’t be more specific about this thing) were cheating in a big way, and in a nasty, scumbaggy way that if it got out, would embarrass the company considerably.
My intentions, I believe, were good. I was thanked and praised for my actions, and I put the unpleasant situation behind me. Then, something very bad happened. The Senior VP whose people it was committed the sin, in a corporate shuffle, became my supervisor’s boss.
Yeah. What were the odds? He had nothing to do with the scheme, I assume, but had to be embarrassed, because his crew did the deed. I became number one on this weasel’s hit list, and a couple months later, after ten years of faihful service, I was handed my exit agreement, just before Christmas. The legal wrangling and negotiation over my departure, which at one point involved an offer of reinstatement, which, because of the unprofessional way the company’s scumbag lawyers lied, threatened and ran my legal fees up to where I finally had to write my counsel a check in excess of $25,000, I was in no mood to accept. All of this because I didn’t go outside and dig down to the bottom of my lungs to blow that damn whistle like the Archangel Gabriel himself will, if you believe in Bible prophesy, blow his trumpet loud enough for every man, woman and child to hear it.
Questions relating to why I didn’t appeal to the big guy I had reported to, as well as equally heavyweight Veeps I knew, all have good answers. Because so few people knew what I had stopped, or even that the fraud itself had been committed, I had to let this little, rotund, hair tinting douchebag get away with screwing me and my family over.
I tell this story because, as I said before, we have so many potentially devastating evil schemes in the works, that good intentioned humans can’t let the evil-doers get away with whatever they are planning.
If you have a whistle to blow, please don’t hesitate. If you know something that if undisclosed, would be harmful to our way of life, or your fellow man, you must blow your damn whistle, and when you do, throw caution to the wind and blow it loud so as many people as possible can hear it. Do it for yourself. Do it for your country. Do it for your people.