Call me anything but boss

William reading the comics

William reading the comics, 1998

When my former husband and I moved to southern Indiana in 1988, we became friends with a carpenter named Joe who possessed an endearing confidence that everything he thought and said was right. He and his wife were literal about the biblical injunction to go forth and multiply. By the time we met, they were well on their way to having a chief for each of their own twelve tribes. My husband and I, on the other hand, had decided not to reproduce, convinced that our species was already consuming such a disproportionate percentage of the earth’s resources that we had a moral duty not to make things worse.

One day Joe brought up the subject of our not having kids. “People who don’t have children are just selfish,” he began. “Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that you two are bad people. But you think only of yourselves: your work, what you’re going to cook for dinner, where you’d like to go on vacation. Now, none of this stuff is unimportant! But when you have children, you’re forced to think about others. Instead of keeping everything for yourself, you’re forced to share. It makes you a better person.”

Those of us who have a business but no employees occasionally find ourselves faced with a similar kind of judgment. Some people see the mere fact of having a business as evidence that you’re privy to a certain largesse that should be shared. If you don’t have employees, well, shame on you for keeping all that wealth for yourself. You ought to be a job creator, give something back.

You can find out where this opening leads in “Don’t Call Me Boss,” one of the stories in Making Things Work

6 responses to “Call me anything but boss

  1. Compelling intro. Superbly written.

  2. Damn I think I couldn’t even be friends with someone who says stuff like that. I believe in the freedom of choice and everyone may do as they please. Maybe they’re the selfish ones bringing children into a world of stress, unhappiness and equality.

  3. Personally I’d prefer to think of others because I wanted to, not because of feeling forced to do so. I don’t think not having children or not employing people makes anyone a bad person: just someone doing what is right for them.

  4. If it is not too personal, what was your reply to Joe on that matter?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s