Names in this story have been changed to protect the privacy of, well, everyone.
This time last year, my boyfriend, Mark, was looking for a job. We bumped into my friend Vera and her hubby, Alex, and Alex offered to send Mark the contact details of a guy he knew who might be able to get Mark a better job. They didn’t exchange contact details and decided they would just communicate via us girls. Mark sent me an email soon after to forward to Vera so that she could send it to Alex. I sent it to Vera. Vera refused to send it to Alex. Didn’t give a reason, just refused. I was hurt. I cried and cried that a friend for whom I had done quite a lot, wouldn’t do this simple thing for me. I cried more. And then decided to continue to hang out with her because we work in the same office, but to keep an emotional distance.
Fast-forward to now.
Vera was fired yesterday. For a totally bogus reason. Vera is kind of a selfish person, but she’s a pretty good worker, and she was fired for such a ridiculous reason that I can’t even get my head around it. Anyway, Vera’s going to sue the boss. I went home yesterday, told Mark the story, and asked him if he knew any good lawyers.
Mark: “For Vera? Are you kidding me? After what she did to me?”
Me: “Well … we’re not like her, Mark. We’re good people. We help people.”
Mark: “Would Vera have helped you if this had happened to you?”
Me: “Probably not … but we’re good people.”
Mark: “Would the boss like it if he found out you were helping Vera?”
Me: “Hell no.”
Mark: “So you want to risk your job to help someone like Vera?”
Me: “It’s not about Vera. It’s about what’s right. The boss can’t get away with doing stuff like this.”
Mark: “So you want to risk your job, to do what’s right, and to help someone like Vera?”
Me: “I don’t know …”
I don’t know. I just don’t know. I keep thinking of the Martin Niemoller poem:
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I keep thinking of how helping her would be the right thing to do.
And then I keep thinking of how much Vera hurt me and how she would never help me with something like this.
And then I keep thinking of how wrong the boss is to fire Vera.
And then I keep thinking of being the next person on the boss’s list.
And then …
Well, and then I tossed and turned all night and couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t figure it out. I still can’t figure it out. So …
What would you do?