Putting the Blame On Others

In Florman’s book, Florman hires a specialized underwater welder named Barney to help repair wooden fenders on the Cross Bay Parkway Viaduct in Queens.  Barney studied the plans carefully, and informed Florman that he would have no problem with the project.  He was so sure about this that he went ahead and gave Florman his staggering hourly rate.  However, when Barney actually arrived at the site, he noticed the tide was too powerful to work six times a day and he would only be able to work at high or low tide. which would cost Florman three times as much to pay Barney.   Not only did rip Florman off by not making sure that he could finish the project with no problem, but he also put his blame on Florman by saying, “You didn’t tell me about the tide”.  What Barney should have done was to actually look at the site where he was working and decide right there whether or not he would have difficulty in performing the task and how much it would cost Florman. Instead, Barney made more stress on Florman by not being observant enough and blaming Florman about it.  In Laura Shippler Chico’s essay in “This I Believe II”, Chico writes about what kind of person she wants to bring into the world while she is pregnant.  She talks about how the first quality that she wants her child to have is honesty, which is something Barney could have used more of.  She writes about how when you’re honest, people trust you, and you trust yourself, and that is the foundation for all the rest.  I remember a time when I accidentally broke a lamp playing with a sponge ball when I was little and my mom asked me who did it.  My initial reaction was to blame it on the dog, which would be a stretch for her to believe, in which case I stopped myself from doing.  Knowing that I would have to pay the price for my own mistake, I told her it was my own fault.  From there, I was grounded and had to be lectured on the importance of not throwing things across the downstairs kitchen, which was worse than it sounds.  I had to pay the price for my own mistake, but at least I was honest.

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