I know this blog entry may seem a bit off-topic as it is not specific to me. But it touches on some topics that are near and dear to my heart. It touches on weight loss surgery, truthfulness and law enforcement officers. Please click on the link below to read about the story. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/new s/121669711511520.xml&coll=7#continu
Once you have read the story, I would invite you to click on the link below as well. This will take you to a weight loss surgery forum and support group. The site is, “ObesityHelp.com”, and I have found it to be a great resource of encouragement and information. I encourage you to read the comments of the members. This occurrence has ruffled feathers for many different reasons. But I think you will gain some valuable insight from others who are walking this road. http://www.obesityhelp.com/forums/amos/a,messageboard/action,replies/board_id,4856/cat_id,4456/topic_id,3676826/
As someone in law enforcement, I hate to see a fellow officer lose their job. But what I hate more is ANYONE who brings dishonor or shame to our field. As a society, we choose to focus on the negative, we always do. And, unfortunately, there are officers who do negative things. The problem I have with this is that one lie, one bad choice, brings shame to all of us. It is not just the reputation of the officer involved that is tarnished, it is the job itself. Comments made in this thread alone prove that out. Christina W. states that it is a well-known fact that officers by nature are dishonest. We lie in interrogations, we lie in investigations, and we lie on the stand. T states, "I know officers who stop ladies for bogus reasons just to get phone numbers, have affairs, use excessive force, plant evidence, concoct stories, etc."
As someone who has served my community for over 15 years, how am I supposed to react to that? Do I have co-workers that lie? Sure. Do I have co-workers that may overstep the lines of their authority? Sure. Can anyone tell me that they don't have some co-workers who have the exact same problem?
When you hire a police officer, you are hiring a human being. And since there has been only one to walk this Earth without fault, there is always the potential for bad hires. If you say to me that the majority of my co-workers are dishonest liars, and that excuses this officer’s dishonesty then at a minimum I would say that you are uniformed and your logic is flawed. Are there bad cops? Yes. Are there also bad pizza delivery guys, doctors, and garbage men?
Yes. As to her lying, I have a big problem with this. There was no reason to lie. Everyone who has seen a doctor in the last ten years knows about HIPAA. We know that we do not have to disclose specific information about health issues to employees, employers or anyone else. She could have simply said "I need an emergency medical procedure." No one made her give a reason. No one asked her for specifics. She volunteered this info. She made the call to get the money. They asked what it was for. She told a lie. The "evil police department" didn't make her tell them anything. She made a conscious decision to lie. And her reason was that she didn't want to be "ribbed" for this surgery.
So it was a choice that her honesty and reputation were less important than possible teasing. This to me speaks to integrity. Are you willing to suffer some teasing and ridicule to preserve your sense of self? If you're not, then you do not belong behind a badge.
My last thought is simply this: How does she expect to succeed at this surgery if she will not even be honest with her children as to what is happening? How can you expect to succeed at WLS if it is based on a lie and you try to live a lie covering it up? She didn't just keep this from co-workers; she kept it from friends, family and children. Doesn't it strike anyone here that there are obviously some other issues going on? And as a matter of disclosure, I work for a department at least the size of Portland's. And yes my co-workers are aware of my pending surgery. And yes, I have been the subject of jokes and backtalk. And to that I say, "So darn what?"
I would welcome and look forward to any comments from those that read this blog. Please click on the feedback link and let me know what you think. I think there is much to be discussed in this occurrence and I am sure there are many strong opinions. You don’t have to agree with me, but I would love to hear your thoughts.
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Hi Scott! I've been following your blog for a while and look forward to your continued updates. I'm facing a similar issue--I have to have surgery and will be out of work for 2 weeks and I don't want to tell my employer why. The problem is that my doctor excuse will show the doctor name and will "give away" some things (I also work at the Medical College). I can see why she would lie--some things are very private and we feel we "need" to give some sort of explanation to our employers from fear of feeling guilty, I think.