I guess I’ve been pretty lucky: in over 45 years of working I’ve only fallen into one job where the boss was, as I politely call him, a challenged individual. I served as the administrative assistant to a service office in a major hospital. The function of the office was to make sure all the electronic machines in the hospital worked correctly and for the most part everyone who worked there was good at their job and fairly easy to get along with. But the boss seemed incapable of building a team; he often made remarks that hurt the staff. After five months of trying to make the place work smoother I started looking for another job. One day he called me into his office, handing me a written letter. In there he told me I was the most worthless AA he had ever had. I looked up at him and said, “Why Mr. H, that is the most you have ever said to me and you still have not opened your mouth.” Feeling I had nothing to lose I pointed out he had never trained me and if he wanted me to do something he could teach me.
His response was amazing. “It should be intuitive knowing what I want.”
“No,” I told him, “how can that be? You never have spent any time with me. I don’t know you except by your behavior. And that is nothing I care to emulate.”
Anyway, I was able to move on a little while later and he probably is still terrorizing people under his supervision.
The only other person who treated me this way was an abusive man who I foolishly married. He rarely spoke except to deride me, find fault and tell me I was worthless. But he, like the boss, expected me to know what he wanted without any effort of communicating it. It took me about the same amount of time to extricate myself from that relationship. And years to rebuild my soul.
The point? Words AND actions are important to knowing anyone. Listening to words that paint pictures with no basis in demonstrated actions means you better prepare yourself.
Today Kellyanne Conway, counsel to our President elect, has said we should not hold him responsible for his words. Most of us had already figured that out with over 70% of what Trump says proven to be at least partially false by various fact-checking organizations, but this is more. Conway is trying to do current and future damage control to things Trump tweets when he gets riled up, when he has something he feels he needs to say, or just generally any old time. If he is awake, assume that something potentially confusing/humorous/dangerous is being tweeted.
So, okay, we won’t rely on Trump’s words for accurate information. Let’s go by his actions. One recent move as he plans to step into the White House in a few weeks is to have a clean slate. Understandable. But unlike all prior Presidents who kept experienced people in place until he had the authority to hire new experts, Trump has fired all current high ranking staff and appointees. He wants all ambassadors to come home. He has fired the people in charge of the nation’s nuclear weapon arsenal. His actions leave a vacuum of leadership within the administrative branch of government.
Now, truly, the working staff of all the departments that are affected can most likely keep things rolling along. However, there will be no one with authority to make decisions that might be out of the ordinary.
And with Trump, we can expect nothing normal.