The other day I was reminded of Don Carmen, the major league pitcher who said "they don't pay me to hit," when some reporter asked him why had such a bad time hitting.
Carmen went on to baseball fame by posting a list of his stock answers to any future questions by "stupid reporters." Reporters could simply pick from his list: "I'd rather be lucky than good." Or, "We're going to take the season one game at a time." Or, "We'll get them tomorrow."
So, with apologies to Carman, I thought I would provide some canned answers for you to use in the workplace... for when your boss comes by and asks you something difficult.
1. Really? No one told me.
2. 1970 response: I have to do some research at the Library.
1990 response: My kid has a soccer game.
2000 response: I have a doctor's appointment.
2008 response: What's it to you?
3. That's not my job.
4. But my MySpace page helps me stay in touch with the culture.
5. You can't monitor my E-mails.
6. We have to make a profit.
7. Let's automate everything that has to do with the customer. It will make them happy.
8. I understand our customer.
9. Let's be careful and make only small, incremental changes. Anything else is too risky.
10. Just tell me what you want me to do and I will do it.
G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.