I recall my 32-year and 2 months and 3 weeks career at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale with great affection. I remember working for a manager who relished misleading the University Administration. This person went on to tell me that if we did not stage a work slow down and illustrate how personal cuts had hurt Building Services…we would continually be reduced by more and more staff. He had watched other departments do what he was doing…with seemingly all success and no downside to causing our students and faculty and staff to work in unkempt and deteriorating facilities and grounds. In fact, I almost became convinced that I was the ‘Goat’ and the fool for not doing what everyone else seemed to be doing with no apparent knowledge of the ruse by the University Administration and the grudging approval of the Community. I wondered how that Administration could not realize the games that were being played with them. When it seems that everyone surrounding you believes one thing and you believe the opposite…it is a lonely life. I simply could not play with the most precious gift of a career at SIUC…nor punish the University Community for the budget shortfalls of the Leadership. I am an admirer of the original Star Trek television show and my favorite character was Mr. Spock. Mr. Spocks’ measurement of problems and conundrums was whether or not the solution was logical. The concept of demonstrating a lie to produce a truthful result was beyond me. I was convinced that Building Services must do its best…and we would ultimately be recognized for our dedication to doing a good job.
During the past few years, we have seen the same struggle with Lies and Truth. The struggle has been on live television and an attempted Coup of our Government…that almost succeeded. The Tug-Of-War has been in clear view of everyone and the old adage, ‘Do not believe what your lying eyes and lying ears…are telling you!’ I have heard a statement…many times…that, ‘God uses rough instruments to do his will.’ I heard the same illogical theory when many told me that to short-change the students and to cause the staff and faculty to learn and work in dirty buildings and unsanitary restrooms and classrooms with no chalk and that you had to kick the Daily Egyptians out of the door to enter. Rest Rooms with no toilet paper and no hand towels and facilities that no one would use… except in an emergency. Our former President said, ‘Just say that there was a fraud…we will take care of the rest.’ In other words…Lie so the truth will prevail.
‘The numbers are the numbers…numbers do not lie,’ said Billy B. ‘Donald has lost the election for Class President…by a lot,’ Jane noted. ‘Donald is already saying that the election was fraudulent and he has several tough guys surrounding him,’ Daryl said. ‘A police officer is guarding Chet…as he is receiving terrible threats,’ Neva J. said with a very worried look on her kind face. ‘I am going to do my best to be a good and honorable Class President…that is all that I can do,’ said Chet. ‘My cousin is in Vietnam…and our former Schoolmates are fighting and dying for the freedom that we hold dear…I will not fold to pressure…I have known pressure all of my life,’ Chet continued.
‘It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation…and a moment to tear it down,’ Neva J. said softly.