Is it clear? Is it authoritative?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 21, 2016

Let’s imagine that I’m your boss, and I summon you to meet me at my office tomorrow. Since you haven’t been here, I send directions. You find them confusing, so you ask: “Should I turn right or left as I come off the highway?”

I reply: “My directions are clear.”

You (being a polite person), write back: “Yes, I follow the directions, except at that one point. Should I turn right or left?”

I don’t reply.

When you tell other people that you’re having trouble with the directions to my office, I complain that some people never stop asking questions, and wonder aloud whether you have psychological problems. Meanwhile my receptionst sends out a memo scolding you for questioning my authority, since it should be quite obvious that I know where my office is.

Two questions:

1) Do you now know whether to turn right or left as you come off the highway?

2) How do you feel about working for me?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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