I talk to 5-10 people on a daily basis, which totally sucks because I hate talking on the phone. It’s the bane of my existence. And a new trend has emerged in my life where people feel compelled to say, “What I’m about to tell you is off the record…”
It reminds me of my former life as a Human Resources professional where an employee would plop down in my office and ask, “Can I tell you something confidentially?”
The answer is always no—you can’t tell me anything confidentially. I don’t want to hear it, and because you’re wasting my time, I won’t keep it confidential. Especially if you’re about to tell me a half-cocked story about sex, lies, and company fraud. Imma check it out.
So anyway, I thought I would address the whole ‘off the record’ thing because it’s so dumb.
- Nothing you tell me is off the record because there is no record. I’m not a reporter.
- Everything everyone says should be off the record. Having good manners means that you don’t repeat stories that aren’t yours to tell. If you hear stories that are tacky, you don’t repeat them.
- No one cares what you have to say, so even if it’s on the record, it’s not all that interesting.
Let me tell you something off the record: if you don’t want anyone to know about your shit, don’t say a word and keep it off Facebook. That’s the best way I know to use discretion and keep a secret.