It’s All Over But The Shouting

My mother-in-law had a rule for her boys.  Well, actually, they had a lot of rules, but the one that stuck out was this one:  If you tell a lie, you will be strapped.

They actually used that word.  “Strapped”.  I had a few spankings in my childhood, but no one ever used the word “strapped”.  My in-laws, on the other side of the same coin, never used the word “spanking”.  As far as I know, those boys never got strapped, but they certainly told some lies.

The thing about this rule that was most prominent in my mind was this:  You had to have a rule for that?

Everyone knows that lying is wrong.  You had to have a rule with consequences?  I still shake my head in disbelief.

Perhaps it was the difference in the cultures that we were brought up in.  I really don’t know the answer.  Really?  A rule that you will not lie?

The harder part became determining that a lie was told.  In other words, you got caught.  What if you didn’t get caught?  The rule couldn’t apply to you, because in order to be strapped, you had to be caught in the lie.

I told my mother-in-law once, “You had to have a rule for that?”, which was only a rhetorical question.  I’m still shaking my head on the whole matter.

Here’s where I’ll insert my disclaimer:  I’m not a perfect person, and I struggle with my imperfections.

But I grew up with a different set of expectations and rules.  The rules were unspoken.  You just knew what they were, and for little children, the rules were just understood.  Don’t lie.  Don’t steal.  Don’t cheat.  Don’t fight.  Be nice to your little sister.  (That last one was just for me.)


Earlier this year, I had an opportunity to change jobs and work at the spay/neuter clinic.

Do you ever think that you can predict the future?  I mean simple things that are predictable because you have been in similar situations before and know how things play out.  If I drive too fast, and I get caught and get a ,ticket, and I don’t pay the ticket, what will happen?  Frankly, I don’t know what will happen because I would pay the ticket.

That’s just me.  I’m scared of stuff.  I’m afraid of consequences.  I don’t like it when I don’t know the rules.

So I decided to change jobs because I had concerns about the viability of the veterinary practice that I worked for.  I read the future.


I was in for a rude awakening.  I knew the folks at the spay/neuter clinic.  I’ve been using that clinic since they opened about five years ago.  I wanted to make a difference, and I love the concept of spay/neuter.

Jumping forward about 90 days after my hiring, I was released from employment.

I applied for unemployment benefits.

(Insert jumble of paperwork, a hearing, weekly paperwork, phone calls, and the interminable job searches.)

After six weeks I received a notice that I was disqualified for benefits.


Do you  see that part?  Click on the image to enlarge.  THAT part.  The part that says I LIED?

So now the state of South Carolina has it on file that I am a liar.

I went to the unemployment office and filed an appeal.

I went to see an attorney.  He requested the file from the state so that he could determine which part of my application shows where I freakin’ LIED.

I received another notice that there would be a telephone hearing between an officer of the state, my employer, and myself and my attorney.

The employer, during his testimony, stated that I had mispresented myself and that he told me during the interview that I would need to perform two specific procedures, and that my resume and my application both stated that I could perform those procedures.  Yet, strangely, my resume does NOT state this, and my application (of which I do not have a copy, because who does that?  Who keeps a copy of their original application before they turn it over the the potential employer?), had it been produced by the employer, does also NOT state this.

I never even had an interview.  I never had an evaluation or exam.  I never had a  working interview.  I never received a job description.  I was never asked if I could perform specific functions in a factory setting.

Initially I asked if the clinic had any openings, because I was reading the future and decided that I could not stay at my present employer.

I was told that there was an opening, and I asked for consideration for this position.

I was asked when I could start, and when could I take a urine test.

I’d like to insert here that people know me.  They know what kind of person I am.  My reputation precedes myself.


 The hearing is over, and the matter is in the hands of the state.  It seems clear to my attorney that I will win the appeal.

Because really?  I want that “LIAR” part removed.

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4 Responses to “It’s All Over But The Shouting”

  1. leo Says:

    Not to belittle your plight because I’m with you on not wanting to be called a liar, but I’m off on a tangent. When I was a youngster my father shaved with a straight razor because that’s all that was avaiable at the time. He sharpened that razor on a leather strap, or strop as I’ve heard it called in other places. When we boys were young, and misbehaved, which we often did, and were caught in the act, we received the business end of that razor strap. We didn’t need to be threatened, we knew were tempting its usage when we misbehaved.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      I suppose that they used the term “strapped” because that’s the term they knew, and it didn’t necessarily mean that they were punished with a strap.
      You know and I know that records are very useful in family research. I really don’t want to stay on record FOREVER as a falsifier.


  2. TheBarnTales Says:

    That’s so crazy. Did the clinic just make that up because they needed a way to keep from having to help cover your claim??? CRAZY. And how will that work? Will they amend that or strike it or what???

    There’s a pretty long list of mean stuff I’d rather have said about me than that I lied. My dad was (IS) a liar (pants on fire, for sure), and that made a big impression on me as I grew up. I usually will not even say something silly to my kids without adding “Not really, I’m just messing with you!” at the end. SANTA CLAUS, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy don’t come to our house. I say something like “I dunno why… want me to make something up so you have an answer?” daily. Last year, we got a refund with our federal taxes, but it was less than we thought it would be. When our explanatory letter came, it said I lied on our tax return. When I tracked it down, the e-file form had kicked off one kid’s SSN and DOB, so it was like I had filled everything out for one kid, but randomly said we had 2. It took hours (and three separate reps) to figure out what had actually happened. :/


  3. In Which My Pants Are Not On Fire « Ruthrawls's Blog Says:

    […] As it turns out, said pants are not on fire.  […]


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