"What is the most important rule in life?", Mr. Bureaucrat, a career officer in a government agency, blurted as he swang his club and sent the golf ball 200 yards away. I managed only to shrug my shoulders, not knowing that Mr. Bureacrat was about to give me his life lessons with a swing.
"Never stick your neck out for anyone," he declared as we walk towards the golf ball in the green. "You know kid, in my youth, I once facilitated a big transaction in which powers that be made a lot of money, because of my signature. I was given my share, but theirs were a lot more. And we partied like we have been friends all our lives. But things got bad when the lawsuits started coming, and I was left on my own. I paid the lawyers, I paid the fixers, I paid everybody who demanded to get paid to get my ass off the hook. And you know what? I was left on my own. My fair weather friends wouldn't even send me money for bail. I lost it all, but survived with a lesson in life. I vowed that no one is ever going to make that money on my signature, except me. " he said as we found the ball about five meters away from the second hole.
He continued,"These politicians, they come and go. They tell you they have a project, and it would be good for the country, and they have some budget for the boys, for so long as I sign on the dotted line. I've managed to dodge these proposals, not even when they brandish those legal opinions from those bastards in the legal department. Hah -- those lawyers will never go to jail for writing a stupid opinion. But people like me who made government a career will do, especially when the new politicians take over. And you know what? They have all been sued. If I have not been as careful, I would have ended up exactly as the first time. I've outlived them all in my department, and I've managed to stay away from the lawsuits. Remember this kid: Never stick your neck out for anybody." and we stopped as he aimed his putt.
"It's such a lonely world," I told myself as his golf ball rolled into the hole.