Respecting the democratic process

We were driving down the highway to our next job. Crew Leader Carl had the radio set to a classic-rock station, and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” started playing.

“Oh, for crying out loud,” said Stan, one of the newer crew members. “I’m so sick of classic rock.”

Carl glanced at him in the rearview mirror. “What’s the problem?”

“This station plays the same two songs over and over,” Stan said. “I swear, weren’t there more songs in the Seventies besides ‘Hotel California’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven’? We need some variety.”

Carl shrugged. “Too bad. My truck, my music.”

“But it’s not your truck,” Stan said. “It’s the company’s truck. And if we’re going to play the radio, then everyone should have a say.”

“He’s got a point,” I said. “We should open it up to a vote.”

“This ain’t no democracy,” Carl said. “I’m the boss, and I decide what station we’re listening to!” 

“Raise your hand if you think everyone should have a vote,” I said.

Everyone in the truck raised his hand — except for Carl.

“You’re outvoted,” I said.

He shook his head. “Don’t much care. I’m the boss.”

I looked at Stan. “What kind of music would you prefer?”

“Country,” he said.

I looked at Juan. “You?”

“Rap,” he said.

I looked at Francisco. “You?”

He shrugged. “Ranchera.”

“OK,” I said. “And I like classical. So clearly, each of us prefers a different style. Because there are five of us on the crew, and five days in the workweek, then each of us should have our own day to choose the station. Sound fair?”

All of the guys murmured and nodded enthusiastically. 

“OK, Boss,” I said. “Majority rules. We decided we each get a day to choose the radio station.”

Carl kept his eyes on the road. “We’re listening to classic rock. End of story.”

I frowned. “You know, you’re not very respectful toward the democratic process.”

“Of course he isn’t,” Stan said, sitting with his arms crossed, pouting. “Most dictators aren’t.”

“Both of you shut up,” Carl said, turning up the radio. “Jimmy Page’s solo is coming on.”