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This is a blog about Truth, Justice and the American Way. The stories are true. No names have been changed to protect anyone's identity, including my own. If the story is about me, then I'll say so right up front. If I don't use a name to identify whom the story is about, then it's because it's not relevant. So please do not call me or e-mail me with your kind condolences or unwarranted congratulations about something that you believe is a cleverly disguised bio from my alter ego. These stories, like my photo, are unretouched.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let's Blame Amy!

Long ago, I owned a film production company and we had a summer intern named Amy Kohn. She was only with us for a few months and she didn’t have much in the way of job responsibilities but Amy was a lovely young lady and we all liked her a lot. After Amy had gone back to college for the fall term, whenever something went wrong around the office, it became a running joke to blame it on some bonehead thing that we pretended Amy had done or forgotten to do or, more often than not, something with which she had never even been involved. It was just a handy way to avoid taking responsibility for anything problematic.

This became such a useful pretext that years later employees who had never even met Amy regularly blamed things on her. It was part joke and part convenient excuse. Paperwork that was long overdue was in a folder labeled “Amy’s file.” A broken drawer had a post-it note stuck to it that said, “Amy, would you PLEASE fix this!!” Sometimes you would only need say, “Amy,” and roll your eyes and everyone understood that someone had screwed up big time but it sure wasn’t going to get hung on anybody present.

Everyone has an Amy in his or her office or life – a scapegoat for whatever is going wrong at the moment. Something for which you just can’t bring yourself to take responsibility. I don’t have a job right now, but it’s not my fault. Between the economic downturn and the cutting of federal funds, they couldn’t pay me so my position was eliminated. See, totally not my fault! I haven’t gotten a new job yet but in this dismal job market that’s not my fault either. In fact, I have several friends who are out of work and dead broke but they are not to blame. I also have a couple of friends who are single and wish that they weren’t but there’s nothing they can do about it. Their inability to get a mate or even a steady date in no way reflects their looks or their self-centeredness or their arrogance or boorish mindset or lack of commitment or (insert your excuse here).

Taking responsibility for your own actions is a bitch.

I’d like to write more about this but I really ought to be plowing through the heap of unironed shirts that are sitting on my dining room chairs. I meant to finish them yesterday but then we took my visiting brother-in-law out to brunch and it was so hot out that we escaped into a movie theater and by the time we got home it was too dark to iron. I mean, am I responsible for the sun going down? Of course not. The sun is up now but it’s getting hot again and, to tell you the truth, I didn’t sleep all that well last night. Also, I’m pretty hungry. I think I’ll wander into the kitchen and make myself a sandwich and then catch a little nap. After all, I gotta eat and get some rest. Who could blame me for that?

“Amy, would you PAH-LEESE get to the ironing?” (head shake and deep sigh here).


  1. Amy takes many forms, in 'whipping the dead horse' syndrome. Now, let's get your Pc's dedicated to a good cause, shall we, so you can't blame the computer anymore either, folks.


    Patrick from Aussieland August 2009

  2. You are a funny writer. I love your blog. I also hate it when nobody thinks that they have any blame for what happens. I recently got downsized and I'm sure that I have become the Amy at my old job. Everybody is probably blaming me for everything that is going wrong around there and I can't do anything about it. It makes me feel helpless and angry. At least you tell it like it is. I love it. You go girl.

  3. I'm thinking Amy took the car keys

  4. Nice try, Scott, but the only person with the car keys in his pocket that day was you.