Monday, October 20, 2008

Telling Secrets

Part of my profession is keeping other people's secrets. When a client tells me something, I do not pass it along. On the other hand, in my personal life, I have very few secrets. I'm a horrible liar. My mother, my wife and my siblings can always tell when I try to fib. But I don't discuss the specifics of my work with my wife, so in the sense of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, she gets the partial truth.

And to be blunt, most of the information I learn professionally is rather dull. So the greatest security for my clients' confidences is not encrypted files or locked cabinets, but the boredom they induce.

Recently, I did try to keep something secret from my wife. We were unable to do much for our tenth anniversary last year. This year I booked us onto a cruise for the week of our anniversary. Sally knew I was doing this, so that was not a secret. What she didn't know was that after booking it and giving her the details, I then tried to upgrade our cabin from inside to outside with a view. Unfortunately my cunning plan was spoiled by the very helpful travel agent I discussed them with. The good news is that we are in a much better berth than I had hoped.

All the while I was plotting and scheming, Sally knew something was up. She just didn't know what. She did know that it was going to be good, whatever it was. Wives are like that.

As part of my job, I keep secrets. As part of married life I don't. And what helps me in that balancing act is that my job will never require me to do anything immoral. And I am mindful that God knows all and that in the end everything I do I must answer for. I think too many people forget that point.

1 comment:

Patricia Hammell Kashtock said...

I like that. Keeping required confidences on the job -- one's client's secrets -- and not keeping secrets in a family.

Good, open way to live with integrity.

Pat Kashtock
Take It for What It's Worth