I’m a tattletale

I never understood the aversion some people have to tattletales. Loyalty is assumed at times when it shouldn’t be.

I was once in a room of about fifty people who were being considered for jury duty. We were asked to come forward if we ever were the victim of a crime. One woman who did not go forward talked in a loud voice about a burglary she had experienced. She was picked for the jury and I told on her. The person I told was very negative towards me and told me to wait. More than an hour after all the others who were not picked went home, he came back with a very changed attitude. The judge thanked me for my information. The woman was kicked off the jury.

This case was clear cut. The woman was not even talking to me, and I could hardly avoid eavesdropping. I owed the woman no loyalty, but I do have loyalty to the jury system. Other cases are not so plain.

Do I owe more loyalty to those in authority or to those who “confide” in me? I put “confide” in quotes, because a statement without agreement that it is secret is not in confidence. I don’t remember being in the position of revealing what I’ve explicitly agreed not to reveal. People may assume, but they are stupid to do so. At work I think there are times that people tell me things when they want me to pass the information to the authorities. I usually come back to them afterwards with saying, “I told the head of the department about your problem and she said . . .”

I’m a tattletale, and I will tell everyone that.

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