Bob Goldman
WORK DAZE

BY BOB GOLDMAN

FOR RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013, AND THEREAFTER

The Wrong Answer

Don't get me wrong. I respect The New York Times. Every time they write a major story about me, whether it's in the style section, the business section or the pet-care section, they always get the facts right, mostly. (Despite what you read, or see, I really am 6-foot, 4-inches, with mane of long blonde hair, chocolate-brown eyes, and a six-pack of rock-hard abs.)

But this time, the Grey Lady totally blew it. They could have hired me to become "The Workologist" and answer questions about workplace conundrums, but instead they hired Rob Walker. He's a lovely man, I'm sure, even if he doesn't have a six-pack of rock-hard abs, but when it comes to working in this modern economy, he doesn't know squat.

Consider the Workologist's recent response to Matt from Brooklyn, N.Y. Matt was writing for advice on what to do after discovering a co-worker's name and phone number on a website "collecting 'customer reviews' of escorts." The person who made the discovery was not on the site to post his own review, or so he claims, but once he had found the incriminating digital evidence, Matt from Brooklyn wasn't sure whether he should: 1) tell the co-worker; 2) tell the co-worker's supervisor; or 3) "pretend that I never found it and tell no one. That's what I've done so far."

It is admirable that except for publishing the story in a national newspaper with a subscription base of several million people, Matt from Brooklyn has kept his mouth shut. But the response from Rob "Workologist" Walker is significantly less admirable. "I'm certainly no expert on such sites," he writes, and I, for one, believe him, "but the idea that someone would use his real name and phone in that context seems extremely unlikely. Maybe the guy is a victim of some kind of crossed wires. The Internet, after all, is thick with bad information."

Putting aside the trash talk on the Internet -- and don't try to tell me Justin Bieber didn't kill JFK -- what is immediately obvious to me is that the co-worker not only did have his personal information on escort Yelp, he also put it there himself. Why? Because he wanted everyone to know that he is the kind of groovy, edgy guy who uses an escort service and has very high standards for what he gets for his money. In short, he wants to stand out from the boring mass of average employees, doing average jobs, and hiring average escorts.


Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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