May 132009

Early poll results, as of 11:05 am EST on 5/13/09.

This is a tough one so I thought I’d create a post to work this thorny issue out in public. I’d need someone with good writing and organizational skills and an eye for detail. They would also have to be reliable.

Springsteen and Buckingham both strike me as control freaks musically. This could be a big benefit if channeled properly. I would imagine that they would really turn in good work product when they were done, and Springsteen in particular has a way with words. My concern with both of them is that they might let Great become the enemy of Good. Seldom are things perfect in life and I can’t be waiting around on a project while they continually revamp it in search of perfection. So, I’ll bring them in for interviews and hang on to their resumes but they wouldn’t be my first choices.

Sheryl Crow and Chrissie Hynde are appealing because they both strike me as team players, notwithstanding Chrissie’s past association with the punks. Also, as women, I could get away with paying them 33% less than a man, and in this economy I have to keep an eye on the bottom line. However, over the years I’ve heard a lot statements that Chrissie has made in support of various causes and I can’t risk her blurting that kind of stuff out during meetings when we are trying to close a deal. As for Sheryl, I suspect there is very little chance that she would pass the drug screening.

Peter Gabriel is out because he bailed on Genesis right as they were on the cusp of getting big. To me, this shows that he will put his own interests before that of the team. Also, I’m uncertain if he’s charmingly eccentric or just plain weird. In either event, I have a business to run and I don’t want to have to revise my office dress code to include the phrase “no fox head hats”.

That leaves us with Seger and Petty. Both seem very dependable. Seger is the ultimate “C curve” guy. He would punch in right at 9 and leave right at 5. He would meet every deadline. He would be a real asset to the company softball team. But I wouldn’t expect any extra effort from him no matter what the circumstances. And there might be union problems.

There’s no question that Petty’s work product is much higher quality than Seger’s. I often tend to underestimate Petty (perhaps it’s the lethargic speaking voice), but he is extremely reliable. You’re rarely going to get “A” quality work with him but you will always have a steady stream of “B’s” and “B pluses”. His loyalty is well demonstrated by the fact that he stuck with his second bass player through his addiction and after Howie died, he hired the original guy back. He’s constantly progressing but in a steadfast way. He seems like he’d put in the extra hours if need be but he wouldn’t let the job take over his life. I don’t want my staff to burn out.

So I’m going with Petty. I’ll offer the low range of the salaries and two weeks vacation but I’ll let him talk me up 10% on the salary and up to 3 weeks’ vacation so he can feel like he’s getting a deal. I’ll need him to start ASAP.


  26 Responses to “The “Who Would You Hire” Poll”

  1. hrrundivbakshi

    You’re clearly management material, cdm! Well done!

  2. Mr. Moderator

    cdm, I can’t thank you enough for kicking off this initiative. I was thinking of doing likewise but did not have the time to get to it. Your analysis is right in line with my thinking. I am shocked by initial poll results favoring the hiring of Gabriel, who would be the first guy I’d bypass after the poll’s obvious control freaks, Springsteen and Buckingham. It also came down to Seger and Petty for me, and I too chose Petty. The guy’s a sleeper, based on outward appearances, but he’s got the right mix of ambition, focus, and dedication to getting the job done. He won’t back down from a challenging deadline or client.

  3. Feel free to jump in with your own analysis. Properly vetting these candidates ultimately benefits the company.

  4. I’m glad this became a thread. It’s an intriguing concept that’s worth more than just a poll.

    I chose Chrissie Hynde. What I do, basically, is technical writing and editing. Chrissie used to write for the NME. Plus, she is a very good songwriter and lyricist, and her proclivity for terse, succinct writing is greatly preferable to Springsteen’s overwrought verbiage. Other employers might be wary about her latter-day work with song doctors, but I think it shows a willingness to collaborate.

    Also, the place where I work is pretty lefty and hippieish, so Chrissie with her PETA firebrand reputation, will fit right in here.

  5. Mr. Moderator

    WAIT A SECOND! Petty is my runner-up. I was so swayed by your analysis, cdm, that I allowed myself to lump Crow in with Hynde. In fact, in the poll, I voted for CROW – and here’s why: We don’t drug test at our company. She’s got all the determination and dedication to the end product as Petty, but her presentation is outstanding. I can take her in front of any client and she’ll know how to represent our company. How one presents oneself is important in my line of work. It’s also important that we subtly lead through what’s on the surface a subservient role. Crow has sung backup for the likes of highly challenging artists like Michael Jackson. By all reports, her backing vocals carried large parts of the Bad tour, yet she never overshadowed her boss. Petty is a sleeper, but I can put Crow out there and be certain of what I’m getting!

  6. I too am a little surprised that Gabriel is winning the poll. I am guessing a lot of people here work in technology, and they’re enticed with the idea of hiring the guy who helped made the Fairlight synthesizer popular.

  7. BigSteve

    I work in a university library, and I picked Peter Gabriel as the person most likely to feel at home in a university setting. I believe Sheryl Crow is the only one in the pool actually to have a college degree, but she went to MU in Columbia, so she’d probably think coming here would be a step down. Being a native Missourian could be either a help or a hindrance.

    Gabriel does give the impression of being well-read, but that’s not a real requirement for many library jobs. So it kind of depends on what position we’re trying to fill. It would have to be something where deadlines are not important, as the long wait between albums indicates an inability to work on a schedule.

    My university is high on diversity. Seriously, we get it, but they never shut up about it. Gabriel has a proven ability to work with people from other cultures. In fact, with his interest in counseling and therapy he might be perfect for diversity liaison, with a part-time appointment as selector for area studies and interdisciplinary materials.

  8. BigSteve

    And you’re right, Oats. I forgot to mention that ab ability to use technology would be a big plus.

  9. That’s a good point about Sheryl. Truth be told, I was having second thoughts about dismissing her so quickly.

    Having an employee who makes me, as well as the company, look better would be an asset in and of itself. Even though she’s not quite as showy as Petty about it, I think that she would also stand her ground when the going got tough.

    So, although Petty is still my number one choice, I might bump Sheryl ahead of Seger if she can pass that pee test. Surely some 24 hour cleanse must be available for these matters.

    I’ll let her talk me up 5% on the salary and one floating holiday in addition to 2 weeks vacation

  10. hrrundivbakshi

    I chose Gabriel because he struck me as somebody who recording musicians and music supervisors of all shapes and sizes would be impressed with. I’m hard pressed to think of a genre where musicians — or folks who buy music for film and TV — wouldn’t be happy to work with Gabriel. World music: check. Prog: check. Pop: check. Vague hipster cred: check.

    Peter Gabriel, you’re hired!

  11. Yeah, well, good luck trying to maintain some office decorum when he shows up with that fox head hat. Even on Casual Day, that’s pushing it.

  12. I, too, went with Peter Gabriel. I did so based on his seemingly easy-going nature. His ability to adapt, particularly to technology. His communication and leadership skill. Plus (this is the shallow part), he looks good. He could fit in and not stand out. He’d be a decent corporate image. He doesn’t look like a greasy, drug-taking rockinrolla.


  13. alexmagic

    Naturally, your line of work plays a huge part in answering this question. A major factor for my answer was that I work in a white collar, suit and tie office environment. What I’d be hiring for is someone to go out and deal with people, so presentation and social skills are key.

    Seger – who I absolutely assume is the best and hardest worker among the poll options – would never fit in. For starters, I’d probably want him to shave the beard, but I could never bring myself to ask him to do that. I also figure Seger’s never worn a non-novelty tie in his life. Does he even know how to tie a tie? I can’t hire Seger if I’m going to half to teach him how to do a basic four-in-hand knot. If I worked in a loading dock, Seger would top choice, hands down. Or if I worked for the post office. Wouldn’t Bob Seger be a great mailman? Think about it for a minute. It’s true, right?

    I think Petty lacks the skills to go out there and network, at least up here in the Northeast, and he doesn’t have a great White Collar Look. Buckingham seems too wishy-washy, and he’d probably hide in his office all day. Remember how he was half-assing it in “We Are The World” when starving children were on the line? He’s the exact wrong person for my office.

    I’m ruling out Hynde for the reasons cdm brought up. She’d probably get a second interview and all, but I’d just be wary about sending her out in the field.

    Peter Gabriel…forget the old costumes, just think of today’s bald, bearded, creepy Peter Gabriel. Doesn’t he even wear robes or a caftan these days? And I don’t trust his judgment at all after that whole “Barry Williams Show” era. I would have hired So Peter Gabriel, sure. But I don’t think I want the modern Peter Gabriel in my office until I do a thorough background check.

    The Boss is an interesting case. He’s self-motivated, he’s a winner and he’d put in the hours. He can use his folksy charm when he’s making his calls. I might have to talk him into wearing a suit to get him past any lingering Tunnel of Love issues (and he’d definitely need a real tie, not one of those bolo ties). And yet…I don’t know. A flag is being raised on him, but I don’t know what exactly it is, and I can’t help but notice that no one else has voted for him yet, either. When you hire Springsteen, are you getting Ricky Roma or Dave Moss?

    Me, I’m hiring Crow, and the Mod hit most of my reasons. The background singing was a big thing for me: she’d have a great resume, showing some tremendous career climbing skills. She’s got a little bit of the folksy charm thing going and I’d trust her out there with the people. No, she doesn’t have anywhere near the upside that Springsteen would, but I think she’d be a solid performer and a good member of the team.

  14. So, Peter Gabriel is leading the polls and only two of us have spoken up for him…where are the PG Lurkers?


  15. I am in ad sales, so I would hire the hot chick (Crow)plus she appeals to the lowest common denominator (guys who like hot women)

  16. 2000 Man

    I was thinking the only one of them that ever worked a job at all was probably Seger. I’d hire him. The rest of them seem to be somewhat flaky to me. I want customers to know that my guy is gonna be there, and he knows his shit. I think Bob knows his shit.

  17. Mr. Moderator

    Sheryl Crow was a teacher – middle school, I think, before she made the full jump to Professional Singing. Did she sing backup for Don Henley as well as Michael Jackon?

  18. I think that she did, which would lead me to believe that she is good at maintaining her composure while dealing with complete douche bags. Since I’m a lawyer, and therefore spend my day dealing with other lawyers, this could be her most valuable skill.

    Geez, Petty better kick ass in the interview if he wants this thing…

  19. This is a no brainer for me: Peter Gabriel. I work maintaining audio gear at a university, and one of our pieces is an SSL desk. Since Peter Gabriel is part-owner of that company, I’d be glad to have him around!

    Or I’d hire Bun E Carlos, since he already owns a tie.

  20. dbuskirk

    My understanding is that the Boss has never held a job. Next….

  21. It’s good to hear the justifications for Peter Gabriel.

    But now I’d like to hear what Lindsey Buckingham is bringing to the table. Two people voted for him and I’d like to know why.

    I’m just seeing a control freak who may or may not bring the company the unwanted attention of a witch. Am I missing something?

  22. I didn’t really think about it all that much. My first instinct was to go with Lindsey Buckingham. I’m a college professor, and Buckingham seems to have the most academic look. Plus he can work independently, is good with technology, and is a decent lyricist.

  23. mikeydread

    Gabriel is your ‘leave it to me’ type, but probably not a great team player. Bruce I think would give a good day’s labour, roll up the sleeves and get on with it.
    But in the peculiar world of teenage literature (yep, I’m librarian) that I move in, Chrissie Hynde would be hard to top. She has maintained her cool across the years (if we don’t mention UB40), is an animal rights activist, and keeps the outsider edge that appeals to smart teenagers. That punk past don’t worry me none. In fact, I’d be delighted to find in on the CV.
    And let’s face it, what teenage boy wouldn’t be pleased to find Chrissie Hynde at the reference desk?

  24. diskojoe

    mikeydread sez:

    “And let’s face it, what teenage boy wouldn’t be pleased to find Chrissie Hynde at the reference desk?”

    I’m a part-time reference librarian myself & that reminded me of a time a couple of years ago when a mother of a teenage boy who sullenly stayed in the background came up to me & asked if we had any books on “punk rock” for her son, who was doing a report on it for school. I wonder how Chrissie would have handled that?

  25. Mr. Moderator

    Mikeydread, that is a fantastic pitch for Hynde’s qualifications in your line of work. Bravo!

    I’m also seeing the argument for Gabriel as it applies to those of you in technical fields.

    I hope each and every one of you who has participated in cdm’s thread here has or will have hiring power in your lifetime.

  26. alexmagic

    Another thought on this: as I said above, Buckingham is never going to get the job, but I would bring him in for an interview. My first question would be “Hey, what’s the deal with the dog barking on ‘Holiday Road’?” After he answered, I’d thank him for coming in and but tell him we’re thinking of going in another direction.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube