Reply to post: How to spot a lie

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Paul Johnston

How to spot a lie

A couple of decades ago I had just started a job at Uni, running all the Unix stuff, workstations DNS server, NIS NFS, Mail,the whole shebang!

I was invited to go to the pub on Friday night early on and one night late on the tales of who did what to whom and who got caught started! As the newbie I just sat and listened.

First thing Monday morning I got a mail from the head of school, who wasn't one of the drinkers to the effect I shouldn't spread rumours and that doing so might end up bad for me at this time I was still under probation. Never one to sit and consider the options I went straight to his office and pointed out I wasn't the one saying anything as I had only been there a few weeks and all this stuff predated me so he should look to others as the issue.

Typical senior prof, ummed and ahed and said he wasn't picking on me and had actually sent it to all staff involved.

Nipping back to the office looking at the mail server I saw (without looking at anyone's mail I hasten to add) the modification stamp on my mailbox file was when the prof had sent the mail to me and no one else in the pub gang had been modified at the same time. (I always got in early Monday just to check before start of play).

Later spoke to people and they said no they hadn't received a mail about conduct off premises outside work hours about stuff which it was nothing to do with the boss!

Welcome to academia!

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