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.