They Told Me To!
I’m amazed how people so easily banter about the word ‘they’ when attempting to either distance themselves from or include themselves in such anonymity.
Having spent part of my adult life in a service industry, I was always fascinated by how often people used the word ‘they’ to describe authorities-unknown, or perpetrators-unknown as tangible evidence of recollect and validation to compel people to do things for them.
‘They told me I could change this non-refundable, non-exchangeable, non-endorsable, non-edible airline ticket for another one, or get a refund,’ was one of the mantras I often heard. ‘They told me to be here at 4’, (when the plane departed at 4!) or ‘They told me that every seat was First Class on this flight.’ In that instance, it wasn’t ‘they,’ it was probably ‘I’ who said that!
So, to all those people who used ‘they’ as some magic potion to compel me to do things, and for all those people who angrily wrote down my name for the purpose of releasing invectives upon me from my bosses, or even as some swore ‘to make sure I never forgot the day I refused to follow ‘they’s’ instructions, I have this one thought of contrition to share with you.