The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

People Never Forget, They Just Pretend They Do …
November 21, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

So today is the last day I write this blog for over 2 weeks.


As I said on Monday, I’m off on holiday – and while I’m sure you find this incredible, given the amount of time off I’ve had this year – the fact is it’s true.

I leave tomorrow, return 9th December, then 2 weeks after that we have Christmas holidays then New Year holidays and then – literally a couple of weeks after that – Chinese New Year holidays.

And to think some people don’t actually want to move here. Fools.

Anyway, as it’s the last post for the next 2 weeks [and it will be, because Jill will kick me in the head if she so much as see’s me use any technology while we’re away] I want to leave you all with a bit of a sentimental post.

“Oh no” I hear you cry.

But I’m asking you to bear with me on this. At least for a little bit.

I was recently in another city for work.

I was sat at the desk in my hotel room, looking out at the bustling city as the sun was starting to set on a beautiful – if bitterly cold – day.

Some nondescript music was playing in the background when my attention was suddenly drawn to a Facebook message that had just come through.

I looked down and saw it was a message from someone I had literally not seen – or spoken to – for 19 years.


Now I need to give you a bit of background on this character.

Many, many years ago, I was in a band.

We were quite good, had quite a following and big things were expected of us.

Anyway, along the way, we acquired a bunch of mates who all helped us out in different ways.

Some with transportation. Some with publicity. Some just coming to every gig.

One of these mates was our bass players flatmate.

Despite being quite a bit older than us and having experienced a rather ‘textured’ life … he was a good man and really wanted us to do well.

Anyway, one day, I went to our bass players house only to find that his flatmate had gone.

He’d packed his stuff and left without a note.

He’d also left with one of my guitars.

It wasn’t an overly expensive guitar, but it was still mine.

I was obviously fucked off, but it was apparent he had bigger issues in his life so just accepted it was ‘one of those things’.

Zoom forward 19 years and here he was, messaging me via Facebook.

I responded warmly, because [1] I was genuinely interested to hear why he had got in touch and [2] despite the incident with the guitar, I had always liked him.

Within seconds, I got a reply.

It was an apology.

A request for forgiveness.

He said he had always felt terrible about stealing my guitar but he had found himself in trouble that required him to leave Nottingham in a hurry and to do that, he had to get as much money as he could as quickly as he could.

He wanted me to know this incident had always played on his mind and he felt he just had to reach out and say sorry and face the consequences, because he honestly felt he could not move forward properly unless he addressed this issue.

I read this email a number of times.

Over and over again.

He he was, a man of 50, pouring his heart out to someone he’d not seen or spoken to for 19 years about an incident that – while wrong – was relatively small in the big scheme of things.

I wrote back to him.

I said the only thing I was really upset about was that he hadn’t felt he could tell me about his issue so I could try and help. And while I’d of rather he’d not stolen my property, I knew he would not do it unless he literally felt trapped in a corner.

There was a big pause between me sending this and him replying.

When he did, it was short, but no less powerful.

He said, thank you. He said he was grateful for my response. He said the weight that had lifted off his shoulders was unimaginable.

This made me happy.

Sure, he’d made me angry when he stole the guitar, but the price he paid for this act was 19 years of slow, nagging, guilt … the worst kind.

Now I know you might think I’m going over-the-top with this given he’d managed to get through 19 years before making contact, but the fact is he did. He didn’t have to. He could of kept quiet because the chance of us ever running into each other was almost zero.

And here’s the thing, as good as he felt that he’d come clean [which I genuinely believe was more important to him than me forgiving him] I also felt good he’d admitted to it.

Sometimes in our work lives, we forget we’re dealing with people.

The pressure, the speed, the expectation results in us focusing on the destination, not the journey.

Tempers can get frayed, arguments can happen, tears can occasionally flow … it’s all shit to be honest, given it’s only a job and it’s only bloody advertising.

Which is why I think if you’ve done something wrong, it’s always worth holding up your hands to it.

Sure, sometimes someone thinks you’ve fucked up when you don’t – and that’s another thing altogether – however there are many times, where you know the way you acted or responded wasn’t right and yet you try hard to forget about it, or write it off as just ‘the way work sometimes makes us’.

But the thing is, you never forget.

And the ‘victim’ never forgets.

It niggles and prods away in the background and as much as you can try to act like it’s not bothering you, you know it does.

Which is why when it happens, it’s always good to come clean.

The respondent might not be as forgiving as I was with my ex-bass players, ex-flatmate, but after you’ve done it, you’ll finally understand why people say ‘honesty is the best policy’ because even if there are ramifications, the sense of emotional freedom you get can never be underestimated.

Though obviously the best thing is to try and not fuck up in the first place. That is an even better policy than honesty, so to speak.

I know the guy who took my guitar doesn’t read this blog. But if he ever does, I want him to know I always thought highly of him, but now I feel he’s even more of a good man.

See you in a few weeks.

43 Comments so far
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wait a fucking minute. you let some prick off who nicked one of your overpriced pieces of wood and strings but you didnt talk to me for a fucking week because i accidently chucked your fucking meds in the bin. you double standard dick.

and im not going to mention your 1000th fucking holiday of the year because i know youre fucking heading to me and i am hoping to fuck you forget about knocking on my door if i dont bring attention to it. fuck it, i just have. more of your cunning manipulation shit in action campbell. come on then, lets get it the fuck over and done with. at least im sharing the pain with auntie.

Comment by andy@cynic

Sorry to hear this Andy. You had enough to contend with this year without this being put on your plate.

Comment by DH

And you think I bear a grudge, wasn’t that something like 15 years ago? We will discuss it in a week. Ha.

Comment by Rob

If this is your attempt at getting a sainthood, it’s not going to work.

Unless you are the patron saint of blagging.

Comment by DH

too fucking right, its been my annus horribilis and thats fucking latin for a shit year, not a statement on the state of my fucking arsehole.

Comment by andy@cynic

I can’t get past you being in a band that had a following. Who were they? Sandal wearers or zombies?

Comment by Billy Whizz

I’m guessing it was the Noise Abatement Society.

Comment by John

Funny you should say that John because the first gig I ever played resulted in someone threatening to call the Noise Abatement Society … though that was also because in our keenest, we turned up to the pub at 10am when we weren’t going to be even playing till 9pm.

But that’s what happens when you’re under age and enthusiastic. Not that I would know what that is anymore!

Comment by Rob

Good on him. He should not have stolen from you but he at least finally admitted it and apologised for it when he could have easily stayed in the shadows. It would have been nice if he had offered to reimburse you along with his apology but it is still positive he came clean. The family are looking forward to seeing you. Safe travels and don’t spoil my kids so I look bad in comparison.

Comment by George

Glutton for punishment.

Comment by DH

What about stolen ideas?

Comment by John

good fucking point doddsy. start apologising campbell rather than buying bling shit off our brains brilliance.

for our, read mine. i was just trying out being humble and it fucking sucks.

Comment by andy@cynic

Definitely a sentimental post Rob.

I can’t say it’s well deserved but have a great holiday.

Comment by Pete

These are the posts are like the best. Hello everyone.

Comment by Marcus

Hello matey – it’s been a long, long time.

Comment by Rob

Stupidly busy. And stupid. I hope that you are all well.

Comment by Marcus

Better for having you pop by. God, that’s a sweet thing to say isn’t it … and scarily, it’s utterly true.

Comment by Rob

no blog shit today can only mean one thing, youre fucking heading over. come on then campbell, lets get the fucking thing over and done with. the sooner you come the sooner you fucking leave me in peace.

Comment by andy@cynic

Happy holidays Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

campbell turns up on our fucking doorstep and its -10 and snowing. coincidence? not a fucking chance. pray for me you lucky bastards.

Comment by andy@cynic

Then you know what to give thanks for tomorrow – the distance between NY and Shanghai.

Comment by John

Thanksgiving is ruined.

Comment by DH

It certainly was for me. Despite that, it was great seeing you and even Billy. It almost made me feel like I miss you guys. Note I said “almost”.

Comment by Rob

The feeling wasn’t mutual.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Stop complaining, you loved it. Probably. Ahem.

Comment by Rob

The comments when rob is away are sometimes the funniest

Comment by mediacraftsman


Comment by John

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

BTW, Mediacraftsman … I quickly checked out your blog (the joys of jet lag!) and it looks like it’s going to be great, so welcome. Mind you, if I didn’t know the others on this blog were too lazy to do it, I’d swear its one of them, Ha.

Comment by Rob

oi campbell, ive not heard of any city meltdown or riot, have you left the us already?

Comment by andy@cynic

I just saw him for coffee. He’s still here. I turned up late so he would buy the breakfast. Got to get something out of it.

Comment by DH

WTF! Unless breakfast cost a million bucks, you need help.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Hope you’re having a good holiday Rob. Sorry I missed you, next time.

Comment by Pete

Your gain was my pain.

Comment by DH

fuck off with your whining, at least you got breakfast out the bastard, all i got was a fucking headache and he somehow got me to pay for the privilege of giving it to me. talk about history fucking repeating itself.

Comment by andy@cynic

I like the commentary continues even when Rob is away. It’s comforting in an uncomfortable way.

Comment by Bazza


Comment by Billy Whizz

Uncanny chatty

Comment by John

Maybe you can make that an update in ios8 so none of us have to come here again.

Comment by DH

I too enjoy the continued chatter. Just shows how irrelevant the actual posts are

Comment by northern

Which is why I won’t care when he comes back and writes 50 posts about how good his 50th holiday of the year was.

Comment by DH

And analogies about pollution and planners.

Comment by John

I don’t know if it’s lovely or tragically sad you guys still write stuff on here when I’m not around. On the positive, if I die tomorrow, it’s sort-of pleasing to know I’ll still be in your lives, even if it’s based on a group view of how annoying and unpleasant I am.

Comment by Rob

If we keep commenting here, we don’t have to read the new stuff.

Comment by John

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