So you’ve hired an adult contemporary rock musician

If you’re in middle or senior management, and you’re reading this, then you can now relax: help, finally, is at hand. It’s odds on that you’ve discovered something about your workplace. Something scary, something terrible… something not quite right.

It might have been the mullet. It might have been the wardrobe. It might even have been the fake smile, perfect white teeth and that little glint in the eye. But you’ve discovered the horrible truth – you’ve hired an adult contemporary rock musician.

These musicians are known in the community as Boltons. You’ll know for sure that there’s a Bolton in your office when the following signs begin to appear. To being with, normal people will whisper about the Bolton, pointing to them surreptitiously and giving each other that look that says “I think that’s someone famous… no, really, it looks just like a guy I saw on MTV about 20 years ago.”

Then, the swooning will begin. It’ll start slowly, but once it takes hold, workflow through your business will grind to a halt, as most of the women and even some of the men you’ve long suspected of being a little light in the loafers will be spending most of their time suddenly clutching their breasts or foreheads, and sinking slowly to the floor.

A mistake anyone can make
Hiring a Bolton is a mistake that anyone can make, but once it’s made it’s extremely hard to reverse. You see, there’s very little in this world that will negatively effect a Bolton. Bribing them with sex doesn’t work, as most of middle America would gladly sleep with a Bolton, given half a chance. Threats and nasty insults don’t work either – they simply encourage the Bolton to “Feel the Unbearable Sadness”, and then write a song about it.

Perhaps the hardest thing to come to grips with in terms of the Boltons is the aura of incredible sexuality that they will ooze throughout the office. But the smoldering good looks and a fancy denim and rhinestone wardrobe hide several flaws, which can be targeted in order to render the Bolton powerless, like holy water on a vampire.

You’ll need to perform the following actions, in this order, to rid yourself of the Bolton permanently.

1. Replace all lights in the office with bulbs of at least 150 watts. This serves to show off the real, physical age of the Bolton – the gap between their stated age and actual age increases exponentially as the years go on. Eventually, when they’re sixty eight, the lie becomes so great that they mathematically can no longer exist, claiming instead to be –14 years of age.

2. Rig traps, baited with Grammy Awards, just out of reach of the upstairs window. No Bolton can resist a gleaming trophy, and it’s likely that they’ll take a terrible tumble from a massive height in their earnest quest for ‘recognition’. Which leads us to point three.

3. Ignore them. It’ll take some doing, as their sheer presence is often enough to turn even the crustiest, most vile and perennially single office manager to jelly. But ignore them you must, for they are like boogie-men: If you do not believe in them, they feel that they can no longer exist.

If that fails, a small measure of espionage may be in order. You’ll need to set up a fake PR agency in Europe (Germany is the most likely target), and send your Bolton an email that reads as follows:

“Dear Bolton

We are to you today writing to let you know that in Germany, you are now the number one. Your song about the love and the kisses of many women and some men is very popular with our young people, who are liking the dancing and singing to the rhythm of your music. Please be attending our amazing Berlin music festival at once.


Heinz Fritz, agent to the stars”

Your Bolton will be on a plane within six hours, bound for Germany, where it’s very likely they’ll be arrested for having bad hair.

If these tactics are unsuccessful, then you’ll need to resort to violence. By far the easiest way to kill a Bolton is to leave the awards statuettes within easy reach around the office –Boltons cannot resist the urge to kiss these small tributes to talent and rigged record sales results. Once they start, it’s likely that you can nudge them gently, lodging the statuette in the Bolton’s mouth and blocking the windpipe. When they’ve stopped thrashing around on the floor, simply remove the award and hammer it violently through their heart, to make sure they stay dead. Then it’s simply a case of popping the corpse in the incinerator, and whistling a couple of hard-rock riffs to disperse the spirits that will inevitably gather around the flame.

Once the Boltons are gone
There are several things you need to do in order to ensure that your Boltons stay gone once you’ve dealt with them. And this is where our company differs from all others – our competitors will give you the first three steps, but not tell you about these vital points – so you know you’re getting your money’s worth here.

Beware of the comeback. Every single Bolton in the history of the world has attempted it, and for the most part they are mildly successful. Even the very worst of them have made some impact in the form of a comeback, so it must be stopped at all costs.

You can avoid the comeback by being brutal with the rest of your staff. Any mention of the Bolton once it is gone should be frowned upon and, if need be, the culprits formally cautioned or even fired, depending on your mood.

Secondly, you should stamp out any and all talk of a ‘tribute’. The tribute is what we call a ‘gateway’ development, and usually takes the form of three or more of your workforce getting together and behaving in the same manner as the Bolton. Once the tribute is done, and the entire office knows about it, the path is paved for the comeback.

Even an ironic tribute is dangerous – the kind of tribute that is performed in jest, which does nothing but mildly amuse anyone who hears it for ten minutes, and then gives agency to the entity that is the Bolton.

Fear not – for Boltons are mortal.
Disregard their talk of ‘legacies’ – Boltons are normal. They need to eat, drink and shit just like the rest of us, and even though they might at some stage of their life played in front of a packed Wembley Stadium, they’re just people – human beings, just like the rest of us, right down to their rock-solid belief that they are far better at what they do than they really are.

Other pamphlets in this series include:
Sometimes they come back: erasing your Bolton’s back catalogue
Murder on the Dancefloor: killing musicians as a hobby.

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...