Secret Digital Recordings

A reader posted this message on my blog recently.

I'm a new reader of your blog.

Why didn't you make secret digital recordings (either audio only, or audio/video)?

Surely, recordings would prove how you were treated, who said and did what, etc.

The reader makes an excellent point.

If you are being bullied, sexually harassed, victimised, discriminated against or lied to, then it would certainly be useful to gather information in the way described. Of course, it raises the question of what you would record. People tend not to give you advance warning that they will do these things to you, or that they will be about to have a conversation with you that they will later claim to be completely different from what it actually was. The person you are about to have a conversation with may not be the person that is mistreating you. Would you record that?

For example, I had a very innocent conversation with Selina Gibb. I had no idea that Selina was a liar, or that she would ever do or say anything to harm me. We had always got on very well. I had absolutely no reason to think that she would later give a false account of that conversation in an attempt to have me dismissed. Apart from being my friend, and having known her for about ten years, I could never have imagined that she would take such steps in collusion with others, and turn up to a disciplinary interview and lie in an attempt to have anyone sacked. She took a great risk in doing what she did, and she may yet live to regret it. A recording of that conversation would be helpful, but luckily it was not essential.

I am an email hoarder. I keep emails that most people would delete as soon as they've read them. That was very lucky because I had lots of emails that refuted the very strange and false allegations that were made against me. Those people who decided on the spur of the moment that they would make those allegations hadn't thought it through. They were thinking about the future, and how their allegations would achieve their aim of getting rid of me. They share the same problem as Kathy; they are very bad liars. They gave no thought whatsoever to how their allegations were inconsistent with the facts. If you decide to create a fictitious world, you cannot escape the fact that it has to cohabit and be consistent with the real world; and that's not easy. To lie in collusion with others is to take a massive gamble. The overall lie is only as strong as the weakest and most obvious liar, or the liar who is first to admit that it's all a lie. None of these women I'm referring to are particularly clever. In fact, if they were, they would never have attempted such a stupid stunt. Each of them made allegations that were easily refutable with emails alone.

So I agree with my new reader, but it may actually require that you record everything; all of your working hours. Thankfully with digital recordings, it no longer requires a stack of cassette tapes, or rewinding the tape to find the conversation you are interested in.

One problem, however, is choosing the time to announce that you have a recording. For example, if I had let everyone hear a recording I had made of that conversation with Selina, they would all then know that I was recording everything, and that would cause them to change their behaviour around me. Would that be good or bad? No, you would have to wait until there was no other option but to make people aware of your recordings. When might that be? You might consider an Employment Tribunal would be an appropriate time.

My new reader justifiably asks why I didn't make secret digital recordings. Once he or she ploughs their way through all of my blog, they will see that I have neither confirmed nor denied that I made secret recordings. Furthermore, I will never deny that I have a secret digital recording of a conversation with Selina Gibb.

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