Early in my career, I had a boss who was known to be a notorious – unless you view it as a good thing, in which case he was a legendary – Ladies’ Man. A colorful character. Single, ingratiating and rich. Master of the Grand Gesture, he once took a woman to Europe on their first date.
One Monday, he comes into work limping. Over the weekend, our show’s softball team had played another show’s softball team, and, while playing shortstop, my boss had strained his knee making a spectacular play. Or so it was described.
Something told me there was more to it than that. So I continued probing.
“How did it happen?”
“I haven’t played baseball in years. I was really out of shape.”
“But how did it happen?”
“I guess I didn’t warm up properly.”
“Ah. But how did it happen?”
“It was a ‘do or die’ play. I went to get the ball, and when I turned to make the throw, I wrenched my knee.”
“I understand. But how did it happen?”
He paused. He sighed. His face reddened. And he finally let it out.
”There were girls watching! It happened because there were girls watching. Okay? Are you happy now?”
I had gotten what I was looking for. It was very satisfying. You see, I’m a stickler in this regard. That’s why I pushed the guy. I wanted to get the truth.
Some people might question my behavior, offering alternate explanations:
“You were resentful of your boss, and you were looking to stick it to him.”
“You envied his success with women, and you wanted to embarrass him.”
“You’re an unpleasant, little creature who revels in the misfortunes of others.”
To these suggestions, I say, “Interesting, but incorrect.” I was merely looking for the truth.
I’m almost certain of it.