September 05, 2005

The Argument

Why did I get into a battle with the lady mentioned in the previous post? Well, she works for an organization that does ghost-work for people. I do not wish to get into the details, but people pay to get work done and pass it off as their own.

I casually remarked that this kind of work was inherently dishonest and based on treachery. It caters to a department of life that many, including me, hold in some esteem, and is not something I would like to be found cheating in. I went on to joke that if I made it my career, I would probably make it a lifelong source of income by blackmailing my clients after I had quit the job. (Ok. I am a Changeling.)

She first tried to convince me that since the service was being offered everywhere, it was not wrong. Sis and I insisted that everyone doing something does not make it correct. So the lady then said that if we are to be so moralistic, we should apply it to every area of our lives… never pay a bribe or “toe a line” to get anything done.

I beg to differ. I think we should choose our battles against the system of corruption. It is all very well to resist paying a bribe to get a phone connection one week early. It is foolhardiness to stand in a Haryana police station refusing to pay 50 bucks to get that FIR that is essential to save your ass in case a terrorist has got hold of your lost cellphone. Paying 250 bucks to the university for 5 extra marks in your revaluation is a crime. Making your mom stand in the queue for a duplicate marksheet because the lazy window clerk does not unnecessarily bully people with grey hair is intelligence.

Is getting a letter of recommendation to a university ghost-written by a professional the same as getting your mother to knit a sock for your SUPW homework? I am sorry, but I do not think so. I consider the letter of recommendation to be a document that should represent my worth correctly, and the stupid SUPW sock as a minor irritant forced upon me by a system that thinks I have time to knit stuff between preparing for my board examinations and retaining my sanity.

The lady went on to say that she had never ever paid a bribe and led a difficult life on her own terms. I replied that under those circumstances, her choice of a profession was even more starkly incorrect.

At this point she lost all respect for me. And she told me so in very eloquent language.

I did not argue further, but left the room.

So that’s that. Say something if you want to. And if you have lost respect for me, thanks for having had it in the first place.


shub said...

I know i wasn't there n stuff...but were ashamed? why?

Pleomorphous said...

In my language,


Rash said...

You're a girl after my own heart Inkyji. Only thing about the bit where you think her choice of profession is incorrect vis-a-vis the life she's lead...I guess you never know why some people stick to certain jobs and what compulsions they have for doing so.

Deepak said...

lost respect? because of this episode? nope, not yet!

That said, life is not a yes or no. One man's meat is other man's poison. I wouldn't go so far as call the profession "based on treachery", but I wouldn't call it right either. That said, I would put the moral obligation on the student paying for getting his SOP done, not on the ghost writer - who is probably doing it to feed her/his family. And no, if I were doing the ghost writing, I wouldn't assume a moral high ground either.

Ok, do I sound muddled? Told you, it wasn't a yes or no :)

Anonymous said...

Having your mom knit your sock for SUPW is bad, more so because your mom agreed to do it when she should have flatly refused.

If you are someone who is incapable of putting across your thoughts coherently in written language, I don't see why you should not get professional help to pen them in an eloquent fashion. This applies to things like statements of purpose.

However, I wonder how one can ever ghost write a letter of recommendation. Aren't they not supposed to be penned by profs? Very funny and if true extremely condemnable.

Justification is merely a matter of perspective. I remember Einstein's quote here "Killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder"

What is treason to you is trivial to another. Why don't you confirm it with your SUPW teacher :D

Kahini said...

Respect intact. Because you stand up for your convictions. Do not agree with all your arguments, however.

Sonia said...

i agree with everything u said, in both posts. i think u're right, but the lady not 'wrong'.
people do all sorts of things cos of circumstances in life. we shudn't judge. and there IS a way of talking to people. even if you don't agree. it's pretty big of u to realise it and want to change. not cos u might lose anyone else's respect, but cos u don't wanna hurt others' feelings unnecessarily.

Pallavi said...

does what you say matter as much as how you say it. you were upset about how you talked to that lady not what you said. would you think it ok, to get it rephrased 'more eloquently' by someone else to prove your point.
remember the thought is yours. the mind is yours too. just the conduit is someone else. a more effective way of communication. inasmuch is that wrong??

just a thought..

Heretic said...

Stand for what you believe in. Don't listen to people talking to you about ending sentences in participles or the like. (I really don't know what the heck they're talking of.) :))

Let the lady simmer, you hold on to your guns, but yes, don't keep shooting off your mouth. :p

Just let a meaningless discussion die rather than stoke it over the embers of someone's self-respect. Get?

-- Your friendly neighborhood sagely babaji

Saltwater Blues said...

Hi Inky: arguements like this are always tough ... a waste of time if you ask me, because nobody wins!

Many thanks for the email.

warm regards,

Joker said...

*GRIN* me too happy go lucky to be drawn in...
but now that you say it....
Nah *GRIN*

Ink Spill said...

@Joker: Grinning and hugging is all this boy ever does!

@SWB: I had to open a new mail account. Hope you appreciate the effort :p

@Heretic: Got it! Now I even sport a tag saying "Has it"

@Palliavi: Righto

@Sonia: Right again!

@Kahini: Hmmmmm

@Anon: You should knit more socks

@Deepak: Not yet? We'll see...

@Rash: True

@Pleo: Another crackpot

@Shub: ??

Pleomorphous said...

Crackpot? I thought you already knew... Oh, you are reiterating!!