Stop using the phrase “rock star” to describe people who aren’t rock stars

The term "rock star"I went to a job-related training class a few weeks back, and upon successful completion of the course, one of our instructors informed us that we were all “rock stars.” What had I done to achieve rock-star status? I sat in a room with 10 other people in business-casual attire for three days, hunched over a laptop. We did have lunch delivered every day, though, which I imagine was exactly like eating off the Jack Daniels-soaked deli tray on the dirty floor of Nikki Sixx’s dressing room after he threw it at a roadie during Crüe tour in ’86.

Rock stars are mythical, dangerous, and everything most of us aren’t, shouldn’t be, and couldn’t be. Rock stardom is a dream; a one-in-a-million shot that comes true for very few musicians. It’s something to aspire to, emulate, and marvel at. And when you slap that label on “Keith from accounting” because he got his budget numbers done early for the second week in a row, you’re tarnishing the legacy of every dirtbag who’s ever unbolted a TV from a cheap-hotel dresser and winged it into a swimming pool five floors down.

Also: the term is “rock star,” not “rockstar.” Rockstar is an energy drink, a video-game company, and a really terrible song by Nickelback which no one would ever want to be compared to, associated with, or forced to listen to.

The worst offenders? Job postings on Craigslist. Do a search for “rockstar” on your local CL to enjoy a sampling. Here are a few absolutely real ones from our neck of the woods:

“If you have an outstanding ability to multi-task and can communicate like a rockstar, we want to hear from you! :)”

But what if I communicate like the rock star Shane MacGowan?

“Sports restaurant and bar looking for a SUPERSTAR Server. Please only apply if you meet the following criteria: — Can handle an 8 to 10 table section like a Rockstar.”

Dude, you just know Robert Plant would crush at that gig.

“The nations first organic airbrush tanning salon is looking to add another rockstar to their team!”

May I suggest Dave Navarro? He always looks tanned and airbrushed.

“We need a high-volume Accounts Payable rockstar who can multi-task, take initiative and drive processes.”

Because if there’s one thing rock stars are known for, it’s their level-headed approach to money.

“If you have a ROCKSTAR personality & work ethic and want to be part of the BEST, please apply!”

This one’s for a strip club, so that might actually not be a bad fit. Does anyone have Don Dokken’s phone number?

Please, people, I implore you: give this one a rest. Either that or we lock you in a dank, dingy basement with Keith Richards and his stash for two days and we’ll find out how much of a rock star you really are.

How about you? Got any instances of “rock star” misuse that drive you nuts? Let us know in the comments.

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