Living your life in the public eye, inevitably you’ll hit a bump in the road along the way. It forces you to stop, pull over and replace the flat tire. The disruption has a ripple effect, causing a pile up of problems ahead. Minor fender benders mostly, nothing yet a write off. No big deal.
No one’s pointing any fingers or demanding you be banned from driving. Accidents happen after all. They only question that comes up is why you were driving on that particular road in the first place. I mean, weren’t you supposed to be at work then, doing the job you were being paid to do? Obviously, there’s a reasonable explanation.
At which point of time, you have two choices. Come clean, make your case and let the chips fall where they may or… or… puff out your chest with the conviction that you’re smarter than everybody else, buff out the scuffs of your shoes on the back of your pant legs and engage full on in the delicate art of spin.
1) What? It’s not like I’m the first mayor of this city (for example) to be driving on this road at this time of day. The guys before me did it all the time. Nothing to see here.
Confident you’ve put out that little fire, you turn and walk back toward the car to see if the staff you brought along with you have managed to change the tire yet. But the questions keep coming. It seems your response didn’t actually smother the flames but fanned them a little.
As anyone who gets a 4 year-old’s non-answer answer – they did it too – the logical response is, yes well, if the others jumped off a bridge, would you jump off the bridge too? The question was, why were you driving on the road at this time when there were important matters to attend to back at work? The demands of your job are many. There’s probably a very good reason, lots of them in fact, why you’d have to skip out on a meeting. What was it?
A second opportunity has been offered for a soft landing. Cut bait, answer the question honestly, directly and move on. Or… or… just double down. Spinning, once spun, is difficult to simply unspin.
2) It’s all about the kids, folks. The poor unfortunates who would be dropping out of school, doing drugs and shooting up our neighbourhoods if I didn’t volunteer – volunteer! VOLUNTEER!! – my time and keep them on the straight and narrow. I’m out here on this road at this time just trying to be a good guy. To make this community, this city a better place for everybody. By questioning me, you’re questioning my motives and under-cutting the only chance these poor kids have to make it out of the ghetto and finally get them a piece of the pie.
You turn back to the car and ask your various staff working on it if they’re done yet. The wolves are temporarily at bay but… where’s Adrienne when you need her?… it’s times like these when maybe having more people around would make the job easier. The flat would’ve been fixed. You’d be on your way. Nothing to see here. Nothing to see here.
But.. But… The questions continue.
Couldn’t you be doing all that, helping out of all the poor unfortunates, at your job? Isn’t that what you’re getting paid to do, to build stronger communities and a stronger city? Why are just these particular kids worthy of your attention?
Slightly unnerved, you snap at your staff still hard at work on fixing the flat. Pick up the pace, folks! This is getting awkward.
Wait. People now notice that not only are you not where you’re supposed to be neither are some of your staff. Are they being paid to help you volunteer for your extracurricular pet projects? That grinding noise is the sound of a whole new can of worms being opened.
Time to go all DefCon 2.
3) Attack the attackers.
How dare you impugn the integrity of my staff! How dare you question my motives! How dare you relegate these poor unfortunates under my care to a life of crime and hopelessness! You’re guttersnipes, all of you! Shame! Shame, shame on you all! Instead of following me around all the time, harassing me, mocking the very institution of high school football, why don’t you all get off your lazy asses and go do your jobs!
This is our job, comes the response. We are paid to provide coverage of your workplace and the contribution you make to it. This isn’t about your staff or under-privileged kids. It’s about you, and right now it strikes us (almost unanimously at this point) that you’re not really doing the job people expect of you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be out here on this road at this time.
4) Activate Muhammad Ali/James Brown Flurry.
I am the greatest mayor (for example) that this city has ever had. I am the hardest working mayor (for example) this city has ever seen. I am the greatest, hardest working mayor (for example) in the world. In the galaxy. In the solar system. In the universe.
At which point of time, the spare tire’s on the car, the engine’s running and your staff are quietly and sheepishly – they’re not being paid to be part of this spectacle; only dutifully following instructions — summoning you to hop in and get moving. But the snickering from the growing crowd that has now gathered around you is too much to simply walk away from. The spin cycle is not yet complete.
5) Embrace victimhood. Dropping to one knee, head bowed, the whole brouhaha is too, too much for you to bear. This is the signal to staff to bring you the cloak, to drape it around your crumpled frame. This, the Cloakhood of Victimhood.
This is unprecedented, this unwarranted attack upon me, my staff, my supporters, my kids, my poor unfortunates. Why won’t anyone think of the kids!? Was ever a mayor (for example) so abused, scrutinized, vilified and demonized as has been done to me? You’ve always hated me, had it in for me. You never gave me a chance. Haters gotta hate.
Loyal staff gather around their boss and help him to his feet, guide him back to the car. Just as it seems he’s going to slump into the backseat and be driven off, he throws his cloak to the ground and shakes off the helping hands, marching to the driver’s side door.
6) Defiantly claim it’s all been a smear campaign.
Smears! All of it, smears! Why don’t you all get real jobs?! How much do you volunteer, huh?! Any of you taking time out during the work day to help the poor unfortunates? I thought so. Too busy smearing the good intentions of others. Smears! All of it!
With that, the car drives off, catcalls fading along with the sound of the engine. The strategy fully implemented. Move along. Nothing to see here.
Until the next car crash. And there will be another car crash, of course. How couldn’t there be? The road just got a whole lot bumpier.
— 360ily submitted by Cityslikr
Like the Conflict of Interest it is an open an shut case!
Just ask Fickel, Shirokoff and special assistant; Gillis when they used City resources for the Rob Ford Football Teams…that’s if you can
P.S. Adrienne had a comment in the Sunday Sun