Communicating Effectively During Shocking Situations [The Comey Hearings]

You may as well have asked me how I was going to respond if Ryu threw a fireball at me.

Bill - Airport

James Comey testified today.

If you’re interested in the transcript, here it is: James Comey Testimony Transcript

I thought that this interaction was particularly interesting:

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: Now, here’s the question, you’re big. You’re strong. I know the oval office, and I know what happens to people when they walk in. There is a certain amount of intimidation. But why didn’t you stop and say, Mr. President, this is wrong. I cannot discuss this with you.

JAMES COMEY: It’s a great question. Maybe if I were stronger, I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in. The only thing I could think to say, because I was playing in my mind — because I could remember every word he said — I was playing in my mind, what should my response be? That’s why I carefully chose the words. Look, I’ve seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes. I remember saying, “I agree he is a good guy,” as a way of saying, I’m not agreeing with what you asked me to do. Again, maybe other people would be stronger in that circumstance, but that’s how I conducted myself myself. I hope I’ll never have another opportunity. Maybe if I did it again, I’d do it better.

What I thought was interesting about that is that it combines the elements of what you said, what you did, what you thought, how you felt, and what you meant into one complex situation.

I also thought it was interesting and admirable that Comey told the truth and admitted that he was trying to find ways out of direct confrontation.

A lot of people try to front as if they’re always in control, but some situations occur where you’re actually surprised by the situation, have never been there before, and you react and respond as best you can until you’re able to regroup, consider what just happened, and formulate a better plan for next time, although in Comey’s case, he again admirably admitted that he’s hoping there ISN’T another time.

I think that it’s important that people strive for authentic communication, even when authenticity doesn’t make you look like the greatest or smartest or strongest person.

There are a lot of people who are scared to death to say “I don’t know”.

Instead of admitting what they don’t know, they make up some bullshit and make themselves look even worse because now you aren’t only uninformed, you’re a slithering liar.

Also, in writing down the transcript of this interaction, the actual words tell less of the story than if we had had video of it or if we had been there in person for the interaction.

Was That A Rabbit Over There?

The aforementioned was a business conversation, but the concept is applicable across the board, such as when the chick asks you “Does this dress make me look fat?”

Navigating this question isn’t as simple as it seems because there are may pitfalls like the video game and you don’t want to land on the alligator when its mouth is open.

The first implication is that the dress is an active participant in how she looks.

This may or may not be true, depending on the cut of the dress, whether there’s a belt, how much material there is covering which parts of her body, etc.

The second implication is that someone who isn’t fat can be made to look fat.

This is true in certain circumstances where chicks don’t know how to shop for themselves and purchase ill-fitting clothes that make them look slovenly.

In most cases, however, the main issue is her body type to begin with and not her choice of clothing.

So there are elements of your answer that will be the truth as you see it.

Unfortunately, those same elements could cause you to not get laid with this particular chick anytime soon, so it’s important to navigate carefully if that’s something you’re concerned about.

The magazines will tell you how to spare her feelings or to bullshit your way out of answering or some other ***** maneuver.

If you’re attempting to have an authentic relationship with her, tell her what you can afford to tell her of the truth as you see it.

Solutions

So let’s say you’ve already seen the gear she owns and she’s asking you about a red dress.

You can say “The black dress would look better on you” and hope and pray she doesn’t ask you why.

But let’s say you know what gear she owns and she looks fat regardless of what she puts on.

You could claim sudden blindness.

You could recommend accessories “That dress would look great with a trench coat.”

You could say “In fact, you’re making the dress look fat” and then scroll up to where I discussed her not giving you any anymore.

You could say “Let me take you shopping for something that actually fits you.”

You could say “My gym is having a sale this month for new members.”

You could ask her if she owns anything with stripes on it: psychologytoday.com/blog/the-superhuman-mind/201502/what-makes-you-look-fat-vertical-or-horizontal-lines

It all depends on the nature of your relationship to her and how authentic you’re being with her.

How authentic you’re being is going to be dependent upon how many of the perks of your relationship you’re willing to risk by telling the truth.

This brings us back to the Comey situation…

Who Polices The Police?

Comey is apparently 6’8″, so physical intimidation isn’t in the cards.

The issue is his respect for his own office and his respect for the office of the PotUS.

You aren’t supposed to ask independent investigators for favors.

You aren’t supposed to ask senior advisors to clear the room so you can speak privately to this person.

You ARE supposed to already know this.

So let’s say you work for a government agency as a construction worker and someone instructs you to do work on their private property instead of the government buildings that you’re supposed to be working on because you’re getting paid by the government.

That’s against the law.

Period.

If they want to pay you out of their own pockets when you’re not on government time to work on their house, that’s great. mo money. MO MONEY! **MO** **MONEY!!!** 😀

If they want to steal government money by getting them to pay for their private work, now YOU have a situation where you’re either going to do the work or you aren’t.

If you do the work, when the hammer drops, you’re going to have to testify that you KNEW you were doing the wrong thing, but you were following orders.

If you don’t do the work, you probably get fired with some unrelated excuse and then your family might starve.

Those are two bad choices.

Given the chance to have a face-to-face conversation with the person asking you to do the private work on government time, it makes sense to people who have never been in this situation to ask questions like “Why didn’t you say ‘this is wrong’?”

First of all, it isn’t YOUR JOB to explain to a superior what’s right and wrong. That’s the job of THEIR SUPERIORS.

If they didn’t get the message, that isn’t your problem.

Second, it could be a stunning situation because you’ve never been asked a question like that before.

You might not respond as efficiently and/or forcefully as you would hope because it’s your first time dealing with this and you have no prior experience to work from.

But I Digress…

One time in high school, a kid tried to extort me because he didn’t know who I was.

It was in a staircase at school. Nobody was there except the two of us. He said a whole lot of rah rah about what was going to happen in the future.

I literally said *NOTHING* to him because I was totally shocked at what was happening.

Not shocked because I was scared. I wasn’t.

I was shocked because most criminals are smart enough to figure out who they’re stepping to before they do it.

It’s like if you’re going to do a bank job or rob a store, you “case the joint” first and see what the security situation is before you decide to mask up and walk inside.

The high school I attended had 3,000 kids in it and I had never seen this kid’s face before evAr in life.

Second, I was down with myriad cliques and had at the very least 100 friends currently inside that same building with us… although none of them were in that particular staircase!!! 😀 hahaha

Third, I was shocked because I went to an elite high school and couldn’t believe this nerd-ass motherfucker had the nerve to step to ME when I could have had friends of mine appear at the school the very next day and stomp him into the mud in a way he would never have forgotten.

So I was literally shocked and amazed that this idiot stepped to me on some “In the future, you’re going to give me your lunch money” concept like as if we were in a movie.

What happened was he talked rah rah rah and then I walked to the lunchroom and told one of the cliques I was in that this situation had occurred and lo and behold this fool walked into the lunchroom, I pointed him out, and he received a talking to and I never heard a peep out of that kid evAr again.

Not to say hello. Not to say goodbye. Dude just steeeeeeeered clear.

I say all that to say 😀 If you look at the transcript of my interaction with this minor criminal, I didn’t say anything to him at all. The entire transcript would be like:

petty thief: “RAH RAH RAH!”
me: “…………..”
petty thief: “RAH RAH RAH!”
me: “…………..”
petty thief: “RAH RAH RAH!”
me: “…………..”
petty thief: “RAH RAH RAH!”
me: “…………..”

And then he left. He didn’t lay a hand on me. He didn’t even get within arm’s distance of me. Nothing happened other than he told me a bunch of nonsense that never occurred.

Caping

On paper, it looks like he told me how it is. In fact, I didn’t agree to anything he said. I didn’t say yes. I didn’t say uh-huh. I didn’t nod my head. I just stared at him like is this fool for real? How did he get in here? Does he actually go to this school? How come I’ve never seen this person before? Wait until he actually tries something so he can get decimated.

So I understand perfectly what Comey did when he said to Rubio:

JAMES COMEY: I don’t know. I think — as I said earlier, I think the circumstances were such that it was — I was a bit stunned and didn’t have the presence of mind. I don’t know. I don’t want to make you sound like I’m captain courageous. I don’t know if I would have said to the president with the presence of mind, sir, that’s wrong. In the moment, it didn’t come to my mind. What came to my mind is be careful what you say. I said, I agree Flynn is a good guy.

What he did was agree to part of it as an unstated disagreement with the rest of it.

I didn’t even do THAT with the creep! 😀 haha I didn’t agree to anything.

I wasn’t Captain Courageous either. I still had my bookbag on my shoulder. The dude was bigger than me so if he had decided to start a fight right there, I most likely would have taken more damage than he would have, but Trust & Believe he would have been damaged right there and potentially severely.

I didn’t “say nothing” because I was brave. My mind responded to a situation I had never been in before.

“What are you going to do if POTUS asks you for something that you know he shouldn’t be asking you for?”

“What are you going to do if your employer asks you to work on their house on government time and money?”

“What are you going to do if some loser thinks you’re a mark and decides to extort you?”

All three of these are stunning circumstances and you won’t be on your best mental game when something like that occurs out of the blue.

I had walked down that same staircase by myself hundreds of times, and this ONE TIME, there was a creep that wanted to talk yang. 😀

You may as well have asked me how I was going to respond if Ryu threw a fireball at me.

How am I supposed to answer that when I don’t believe the Ryu OR fireballs exist?

Integrity

I also believe Comey about the the tapes.

Since he had the presence of mind to recognize that Cheetolini is a habitual liar and write down the interaction IMMEDIATELY after having it, his notes are most likely verbatim.

Even if a word or two is off, the tapes are going to be very close to what he wrote, across the board.

Same thing with his testimony about phone calls.

He says he never called Cheetolini other than when he was instructed to call the WH switchboard, so he never initiated phone calls with him.

These things are all on record as far as who called whom.

I also feel that Comey did the right thing by requesting not to have any more unsupervised contact with him. (Though a good point was brought up as far as Comey accepting phone calls from Cheetolini after he said that.)

He had already suffered the awkward situation of the POTUS asking him for something he shouldn’t have been asking him for, so to avoid that, having all conversations between them being in front of witnesses is prudent.

And let’s be real, here.

If Comey’s saying Cheetolini called him on his office phone, you know damned well that every call that comes to that phone *IS* recorded and that as the director, Comey had access to those tapes and knows damned well that they exist, which is why he can say in public “I hope tapes exist”.

Does that make sense?

a) Comey actually had the calls with Cheetolini so he knows what was said.

b) Comey has and has listened to the tapes of those calls, which are going to be internally classified so they’re not going to exist as far as the public’s concerned, so he knows that if tapes are produced from the WH, they’re going to match the tapes he already listened to and that he knows are in his former company’s posession.

Also, it was funny how Comey was laughing when he was asked if he was the one that asked to have dinner with POTUS. 😀 😀

Imagine that. Things don’t work that way. Never in my working life have I suggested dinner with a boss or client of mine, unless we were actual friends.

The boss or client asks. You accept or make an excuse like “I have a date with my wife.” 😀

Hills & Death

So let’s consider the alternative… 😀

So imagine I’m walking down my high school steps weighing 125 lbs and some taller, heavier dude blocks my path talking about in the future, I’m going to pay him money.

Wait… First of all, if I recall correctly, this ***** wasn’t even asking me for money RIGHT THERE.

He was telling me about future money. Not that I carry money on me because I don’t, but if he would have tried and succeeded to take anything from me in that situation, I would have made sure that he paid at least 10 times that amount in hospital bills.

But imagine the scenario that actually happened and then I would have said something like “That’s all very interesting, but if you try that, not only will I get you expelled from school, but I’m going to make sure my friends beat the living shit out of you so if that’s something you enjoy, you go ahead and seal your fate.”

hahahahaha 😀 That’s all very brave and whatnot, but that probably would have led to a fight right there, when the result of my staying quiet was that he didn’t touch me, I didn’t touch him, and he learned why he should leave me alone without having to be convinced via physical pain.

Win-Win.

So imagine this interaction:

Cheetolini: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Comey: “Nah. Fuck that.”

……..

See, that’s automatic fireworks in a situation that Comey eased his way out of through a select choice of wording.

As Comey says, it wasn’t a hill worth dying on.

He said what he had to say without compromising the office he held at the time, got out of the room, and documented the conversation for future reference which ended up coming in handy.

There are times that you know damned well that you aren’t going to comply with what this person is talking about. That doesn’t mean you’re obliged to tell them to their face that you aren’t going to do it if you aren’t comfortable with expressing that.

It doesn’t make you a coward. It makes you diplomatic.

At the end of the day, you compromise your office or you don’t.

You hand over your lunch money or you get the bully jumped.

You tell the chick she looks fat in that dress or you tell her you like fat chicks anyway.

Agreeing that someone is a good guy doesn’t negate your prosecuting them if they did the wrong thing.

Colluding in a conspiracy makes you A PART OF THAT CONSPIRACY and if the dominoes fall, they’re going to fall on you too.

Sometimes, it’s better to get fired for noncompliance than to tarnish yourself, your career, your office, your bureau and your family name via compliance.

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