Don't be a snitch. We all know this. We all know telling a teacher that some 6-year-old "started on animals" sociopath has been victimizing us only causes us to lose the respect of the one friend we had (the aforementioned sociopath).

Tattletaling is sneaky; it's underhanded; it's somehow undemocratic. There are many examples of whistleblowers being ostracized for their decision to go public, even though they revealed dishonest or illegal behaviour (I KNOW there are such examples, which is not precisely the same as being able to PROVIDE such examples - do you own homework, lazybones). 

Social hierarchies would dissolve if the secrets that prop them up were to be revealed. Certainly the world of business would be crippled if the public ever became aware of the fact that under every corporate headquarters is a hideous, powerful oil leak that cannot be capped. 

That's why I say shame on you, Mississauga employee at the place they install or replace street signs, for going to HR with your disloyal complaints. I mean, would YOU run crying to teacher if any of the following things (as reported inThe Toronto Star) happened at your workplace:

  Two employees were bound face-to-face with duct tape on top of a large table in the sign workshop. Other employees then threw water balloons at them.

  An employee was bound with duct tape, put on the back of a truck and sent through a car wash.

  An employee, on his birthday, was told to lean over a table; other workers were instructed in turn to hit him, allegedly to “hit hard and to kick or punch in the face, ribs or groin area,” the report said. If the blow didn’t appear hard enough, they were told to hit harder.

If we all ran to an authority figure every time one of our coworkers punched us "in the face, ribs, or groin area", would any work ever get done? If we found a boss who outranked the boss who was telling everyone to wrap the duct tape around us just a little bit more snugly and told him or her of our mistreatment, wouldn't we really be throwing a wrench into the engine of capitalism? (I suppose the City of Mississauga is not really an "engine of capitalism", but I couldn't think of a phrase that sounded as impressive and used the word "civic").

If we want society to continue functioning smoothly, we must remember to view our own individual issues in the context of the greater good. How many street signs will go unrepaired because Mississauga is too busy reviewing videos of what an independent investigation termed "locker-room antics"? How many traffic lines will go unpainted because Mississauga is investigating which kind of hard shots to the groin are too hard?

So employees, school children, younger siblings everywhere, take note: if you keep mum, you might just gain the respect of the people who taped you up and started punching you in the face. If you come forward and inform on your abusers, all you'll do is inspire others to come forward, and what would that accomplish? We'd have nations full of cry-babies, lost productivity, and rolls of duct-tape just languishing on the shelves. We might be forced to use them on ducts. 

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HEREI will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

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