It’s All A Matter Of Perspective

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Local Music, Music, Storytime
Tags: , , , , , ,

When I worked at Rational Software in the late 90s, they hired a new VP of Human Resources named Michael. My first impression of him was at our holiday party, where he shushed a few people who were talking during executive presentations, and then proceeded to look on and listen with an interest level I only wish I could ever have for executives giving speeches (yawn). The way he shushed the others kinda bugged me, but I thought “OK, the man got to be a VP – he must be doing *something* right.” My girlfriend at the time, who also worked for Rational, actually knew him from a previous job and said he was a really nice guy. But I hadn’t met him – I’d just made a snap judgment of him from his one action in front of me. I was just a lowly engineer, and he was at the top of the HR department – it was unlikely we’d ever meet on level ground.

Enter RipChord. My boss at Rational, named Mark, was a drummer. Since I was a bass player, we had endless non-work things to talk about, and when he told me he had joined a band, I was interested in knowing more about it. Turns out that the singer was also a Rational employee, none other than Michael himself, grand poobah of HR. I wondered just how much this guy could rock out, since RipChord was a classic rock cover band. Well, it just so happened that I would get the chance to find out.

Word got around that I had a makeshift recording studio in my apartment, and the band wanted to record some of their tracks to make a demo for gettings gigs. They asked me to help them out, so of course – why not? It was interesting because I didn’t have a lot of space, so the band members came to record their parts individually. When the time came for Michael to record, I finally got to meet him for real. No suit and tie this time – in walked a really tall guy in shorts and a T-shirt, and he played acoustic guitar as he sang, and it all came out quite well. I was impressed with his musical abilities, as well as his ability to be just a normal dude.

But even better was that while we were recording, he kept deferring to me and my expertise. When we did take after take, he kept saying “You tell me, you’re the expert.” And he meant it. That felt so cool, to be in a position where the guy with all the power at the office was now somewhat under my control in my “studio.” I suppose it goes that way for anyone who is out of his element, but it was eye opening for me.

RipChord is still together 🙂



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