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MONDAY, JULY 04, 2011
It happens to all working class heroes.

Your boss calls you into his office to be "assessed" but you know that's just a fancy word for being judged. His words are just summaries of characteristics you've already decided to settle on adopting. "You've been coming in 15 minutes early anymore" his words are countered with your thoughts "That's because you haven't been paying proper overtime when I stay 15 minutes after as well." If he wants change, he needs to give a proper incentive. Just repeating that "You're not as enthusiastic as when you first started here" is less convincing than a raise. You've heard it all before. He looks down at his list of questions that end with checkboxes to tick off and then he reads out loud: "Did you ever want to be a rockstar?"

You give a confused look to stall for a few precious seconds as you think of a proper answer and just when you think you've paused for too long he adds "Answer honestly" as if his list of questions had that statement in brackets: "(Tell employee to answer honestly!)" And you think to yourself, what is a Rock Star? Is it a good or bad thing? Does hoping to be a rock star mean I'm not afraid to dream of the improbable? That I have high hopes and want to have fun while achieving them? Or does it mean that I'm terribly irresponsible? That I run on false hope that influences bad decisions? Does it mean that I'm a free-spirit that might quit the job at any second for a better gig?
Does it make me a potential creative genius or just another generic wannabe?

Too many questions run through your head. So you just start making straight comparisons of the top rock stars on your list: Radiohead seems pretty intelligent and responsible, to be like them surely is a good thing. But then again Modest Mouse seem pretty unstable. Wait, does your boss even listen to these bands? How do you know he's not thinking about the Rolling Stones? You're definitely not Mick Jagger. Although they do seem to be quite business oriented so maybe they're a good thing. For all you know he can be a Simon & Garfunkel fan and see the whole "rock star" image as a down-to-earth, folksy social thing.

Now you've taken too long and you don't have an answer. So just ask him: "What kind of rockstar are we talking about? Because I'm kind of like a... John Lennon.. (Everyone like Lennon!) ..but not a John...Johnny Rotten!"

He replies that he only asked a "Yes or No" question.

What would you have said? I'll tell you my answer. I got mad that a job will hold even the hope of winning a dream lottery of having girls, money, fame against someone. Regardless if I would ever actually accept or reject a musical career, or even dream of such a thing, it's not something to be judged by. So I said: "Save your songs of company loyalty for some other working class hero because my fantasies, whatever they be, are in a land that can't be invaded." ....Ok, I never said anything nearly as verbose- that too was a fantasy- but I did answer: "Yes."

To which he nodded his head, checked "Yes" on his list. And he never let me know what he thought of it.

What would you have said?



It's hard enough to imagine myself with a job, in the first place, and a boss, in the second place, who would ask me such a question.

And I don't like Yes-or-No questions. Too binary. All the objections you raise about it (what kind of rock star, etc.) are too obvious to let myself just answer yay or nay. No true or interesting question even has answer, let alone one out of only two possible ones.

Anyway, what I'm saying, I guess, is, I don't know...



Replying to Hogan:
You're confusion brings me comfort. It happened in high school, one of my first jobs too. One day I'll go back and ask what it all day...

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