“You have the right to remain silent; anything you say or do will be used against you in the court of law” – too bad the Miranda Rights don’t apply to our average everyday ordinary backstabbers. If it were up to me, I would sentence such people to jail without bail for at least a year and a 20,000 word apology for the victim, plus a mandatory sewer-cleaning duty for their entire two-year parole period.
You strive and struggle, trying to find your way in the dark alleys of your life, but there will always be someone, somewhere, lurking in the shadows to stab you, once, twice, even thrice, to make sure that you don’t get to see the light of day (i.e. your reputation is tarnished beyond repair). Be it your work place or your social hangout, a family dinner or a friend’s party, you are always surrounded by one or more such individuals bad-mouthing you or highlighting little mistakes of yours and turning them into life-threatening situations (especially when the time for a pay-raise or a promotion is just around the corner). Instead of doing something constructive, these conniving people spend days at a stretch scheming and planning your downfall, just waiting for you to slip so that they can lend a hand pulling you down the ladder (they don’t stop until they are absolutely certain you have fallen face-first in a deep pile of rubbish). They know no gender, religion, caste or creed; that’s what makes it difficult to identify them. They infiltrate your friends, invade your privacy, gain your confidence (con-men or grifters is what they are) and are not beneath lying. Enemies are better than such friends as you are at least aware of your foes; these so-called friends and well-wishers play the role of termites, slowly eating away at the foundations of your being, not resting until they bring the whole house down.
Most, if not all, of my readers will agree to have crossed paths with such scumbags at least once in their lives – I came across one yesterday (ergo this blog). As with all my articles, there is a personal story/message associated with it and this one’s no exception. Today, I’ll share with you a story so sinister, it’ll make your skin crawl (apologize for being so melodramatic but hey, that’s what’s keeping you reading this blog now, ain’t it?).
He-who-must-not-be-named (the backstabber – let’s call him He-who) runs a mid-sized business in the country I reside in. I Thank God everyday for not having to work for/with him; he belongs to the service industry and vends some of his goods/ideas (at exorbitant prices) to my uncle’s firm. He-who knows what I am capable of so he once offered me a critical position in his company with stock-options. The offer sounded pretty lucrative at that time but due to some personal reservations, I had the good sense to turn him down.
My uncle and I have an extremely friendly relationship, so much that a 25+ year age-gap doesn’t hinder it in the least. So he calls me in from time to time if he requires some help or advise in matters/areas I am more familiar with. As with most 50+ aged men, my uncle is not well-aware of the intricacies of He-who’s business; as I have some experience with this work area, my uncle pulled me in for help.
After we outlined the scope of work for He-who, we asked him for a price quote. My uncle, being the generous guy he is, gave him a lot less than what He-who asked for but a lot more than what I told him it should cost us (your money, your rules – burn it up for all I care). After a few initial meetings, the work went under way. In a phone conversation with my uncle, He-who commented that I had a childish nature, since I questioned his every his move (I let the remark pass as I am big on second chances); the backstabber was unable to hide his dissatisfaction that he would not be able to make a fool out of my uncle this time around (like he did during his last assignment for my uncle – I wasn’t around back then). We had just started off when my uncle dropped out of the scene for a three-week family vacation. Before going, he asked me if I could follow-up with He-who from time to time and I gladly said yes.
A few days after my uncle left, I tried calling He-who’s phone; he did not pick it up. So I sent him an email instead, asking for an update. Having worked in a professional capacity for a long time now, I make sure that I mind my P’s and Q’s and send out a courteous vibe even in my emails (all my past colleagues can vouch for that). His responses were ambiguous, impersonal and extremely cold, to say the least (Bbbrrrrrrrrrrr). I tried calling him numerous times to no avail, and the email responses always came back with one excuse or the other; evidently, he was lagging behind in his work and couldn’t produce any finished work product.
Upon my uncle’s return, I told him all that had gone behind his back. He immediately called He-who and asked him for clarifications. This is what He-who said: “Yousuf has some severe attitude problems”. Little did the wretched soul know that my uncle had turned on his speaker-phone so I could hear the other end of the conversation. I turned red with rage but didn’t say anything (I was about to but my uncle told me not to). I stormed out of my uncle’s office, printed out the whole email exchange that had taken place between He-who and me, and placed it in front of him. God knows I did not need to prove my innocence to my uncle, as he has watched me grow into what I am now, but I had to have an unblemished reputation. He read through the entire exchange and said (these are his exact words), “Unfortunately, people like He-who suffer from an inferiority complex. They feel jealous and threatened by someone who will easily call their bluff”.
I know the whole story may sound meaningless and trivial to some people, but I just wanted to highlight the extent others might go to to satisfy their ulterior motives. Little do they know that God is watching, following their every move, and he will eventually make it clear who the real culprit is. I feel nothing but pity for the pathetic existence of people like He-who, who are hell-bent on ruining other people’s lives to reach their worldly goals. You are not immortal and no matter how fast your run, you will one day have to face God’s wrath!