What if I never asked the question?


What if I had never asked the question, would anything have happened? In my work I ask a lot of questions. I have to in order to get stories out. And being of a curious nature sure helps. But sometimes I do wonder: what if I hadn’t asked that question? Would that person have told me just as much? And taking it further: what if I hadn’t gotten that story, and it didn’t get published, would the problem have been addressed?

Power of the media

The latter is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It seems that only when something is in the media, it is addressed, or attempted to be. With media attention comes urgency. Only then it is out on the public table, then people have to and can’t ignore it longer. The tax affair, undesirable behavior, tampering with emissions tests. Would that have been addressed had it stayed under the radar? I’ve seen enough in my career: there are cases that tens, if not hundreds of people know about, but that still remain silent. Everyone is afraid for their job. So the media is power, but I don’t want to view it that way. Because that would also mean that I can manipulate it to use it however I want to. That is not correct either. But the fact is that it does put pressure. As long as that is for a good cause, for improvement, I can live with that.

The leg press machine

Back to the questions. Because I have doubts sometimes: should I ask him/her? Those situations often end in a yes, especially if it bothers me enough, I step forward. The leg press machine (a piece of fitness equipment) is a good example of this. That thing is always occupied in my gym. I’m sick of it. It is a device that mainly attracts people who are in love with sitting. I see -sorry- mostly guys chilling on it checking their phone. You don’t get strong muscles from sitting, but whatever. Same thing this morning. I still had 10 minutes before I had to go to work and until then I hadn’t managed to find the device unoccupied. I sat strategically, on a device that offers a good view of the leg press (they are also scarce) so that I could strike immediately the moment someone goes off. But that didn’t happen. I did notice some movement, but only of the head and shoulders that seemed to fall to the right. In a last-ditch effort to get my ass and legs trained this morning, I walked up to him to ask, “Sorry, how many sets do you have left?” The boy was already in the land of the Nod, the phone still half in his hand. I can guess what would have happened this time hadn’t I asked the question; he would have been late for lectures/work.



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