Blowing The Whistle

I recently received a joke in my inbox which reads like this:

Why Men Should Not Write Advice Columns

As it appeared in a South Carolina newspaper:
Dear John,
I hope you can help me. The other day I set off to work, leaving my husband in the house watching TV. My car stalled, and then it broke down about a mile down the road, and I had to walk back to get my husband’s help. When I got home, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was in our bedroom with our neighbor’s daughter!
I am 32, my husband is 34 and the neighbor’s daughter is 19. We have been married for 10 years. When I confronted him, he broke down and admitted they had been having an affair for the past six months. He won’t go to counselling, and I’m afraid I am a wreck and need advice urgently. Can you please help? Sincerely, Sheila.
Dear Sheila,
A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the vacuum pipes and hoses on the intake manifold and also check all grounding wires. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the injectors.
I hope this helps. John.

Now it took me some time to get the joke. But then you get it and start to crack up!

The poor wife made her complaint to the wrong person; the complainant was seeking advice and perhaps some sort of redress from , of all persons, the offender himself!

How ironic is that!

But then before we brush this off as just another funny joke, let’s pause and think awhile! Are there similar situations you and I could find ourselves in? Nah, you say couldn’t happen!

Say with the advent of so many shopping malls and security conscious shop-keepers and companies, the closed-circuit camera is everywhere! But that’s for our security, isn’t it? So what we lose our privacy? After all, Indians are not privacy conscious anyway! Right? That raises the question, Who will watch the watchers? Or rather, who will monitor the monitors?

I am sure quite a few of you are familiar with the term whistle-blower.

In business terminology, a whistle-blower is someone who blows the whistle on any shady activities or wrong-doings committed by members of the higher echelons in the company. Or rather any unethical activities carried out by the top bosses , in casual lingo!

However being a whistle blower is not about the glory or even the satisfaction about doing the right thing! Whistle blowers can face reprisals within the organization; they can be cold-shouldered , made to feel unwelcome and sometimes even face punitive action ; both within the organization and even legally.


Two whistle blowers in recent memory, and oft-quoted as references, are Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom and Sherron Watkins of Enron who took on their superiors for the accounting irregularities of their respective companies.

So you can see the parallels between the joke and the situations of whistle blowers! Believe me, it can be no laughing matter!

For a comprehensive list of whistle blowers, see