'Explaining your situation is not going to be nearly as useful as trying to change it through action.'
- Merlin Mann
'I have nothing to say to you,' he said over the telephone.
He was a policeman so he knew his rights.
I had powers of investigation, but not over him.
I was on a deadline and he was a critical witness.
I thought about driving the three hours to try to speak with him in person only so I could say to my boss: 'I even drove for three hours to try to speak with him in person.' I would hang my head and he would put a reassuring hand on my shoulder.
The witness's refusal left me with so many questions and I was running out of time. No less than the Chief of Air Force was waiting on my report. I had so much work to do. I had to write so many more words to hide the fact from the Air Vice Marshal that I had nothing to say. 'What a long report,' he would say. 'You obviously worked so hard.' I needed to do some hard work.
So I went out and bought a newspaper and a coffee and a croissant and did the crossword at a café overlooking the Yarra River. I finished the crossword and sat and watched people for about an hour. Okay it was two.
I was following a rowing crew stroke its way past when it came to me.
I returned to my desk and rang him back.
'I just wanted to let you know that all the other people I've spoken with have laid the blame with you. The evidence as it stands will lead me to make an adverse finding about you so I wanted to give you the opportunity to put your side of the story.'
He spoke for the next two hours.
Step 1: Step Back.
Step 5: Hearing.