I've done a few things. Some of them couldn't have been done by somebody as all-round friendly and nice as the person that I know myself to be. Did I really do that? Oh. I did. One get-out is denial; clearly I wasn't thinking straight that day. Another is a weak, perverse, cover-up form of self-affirmation: hey, I'm tougher and more bad-ass than I look (it wears off quickly). And a third is spiritual growth - take it into the complex mix of good and bad, heroic and too shameful to admit, that makes up every human personality - and move a tiny bit closer to an understanding of who I really am.
But this is not about me. I'm following an exchange on Facebook. A young journalist has done some work for a PR agency that was first accepted and then rejected, and has asked for advice on how to get her invoice paid. My reading of it is: the PR agency is a recent start-up; the young guy behind it was unprofessional (and perhaps good-natured) enough to accept the work before he even looked at it. Then he ran into a cash-flow problem, or changed his mind about what he wanted, or read the work and it wasn't what he'd expected - or whatever; and his solution was to reject the work, go back on his explicit commitment to pay for it, and reply to the journalist's request for payment - well, not in a friendly way.
In an intimidating way, actually. The manner of the rejection puts me on the journalist's side. I feel quite cross. The closed group of journalists - thousands of them - where the journalist has gone for advice seems quite cross too. The young PR guy has shown himself to be something of a bully, in my estimation. There's a storm blowing up around him, and up to a point, he deserves it.
But I'd say one thing. We've all done things that we regret. There's a group on Facebook that doesn't like this guy right now, but I hope they give him a chance to atone - and maybe to learn something about himself, and put it right.