Bad Reputation

joan-jettA good friend of mine posted a list by author Sue Fitzmaurice on Facebook of things to do to let go of your ego.  One of them was “let go of your reputation.”  Right away I thought of the song Bad Reputation, by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Though this song was released in 1980, I wasn’t aware of the song until 1982 after the release of Jett’s big hit “I Love Rock n Roll.”  1982, it was the year I started high school.  I was starting to become aware that my choices of friends, activities, boyfriends, even music was creating my reputation and this bothered me.  Labels.  Cliques.  No thanks.  But not an easy stance to take in high school when everyone wants to categorize and label everyone.

I thought people were done with labeling when I entered corporate america.  One day an older, stiff lady from my group thought she should sit me down.  She proceeded to tell me that I was an “exempt employee,” meaning, I was not eligible for over time and I had to wear a suit everyday.  She proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t eat lunch with the “non-exempt employees,” meaning the people who did get paid overtime and wear a uniform.  The puzzlement on my face lead her to tell me it was because of this “unwritten rule.”  She proceeded to tell me that the non-exempt had a fixed time for lunch and that if exempt employees are in line getting their food, then we are taking time away from their lunch break.

Well, I’m no rule breaker.  Heck, I almost went to the Naval Academy.  So for a couple of weeks I waited to eat my lunch at 12:30 with all the other exempt employees.  I was walking down the hall and one of the guys I used to have lunch with asked me where I had been.  Being young and naive, I told him about the unwritten rule.  He laughed and said that was a load of bull.  Man was I pissed.  So what did I do?  I went home and made a mixed tape with this song on it and I ate lunch whenever I was hungry.

“Bad Reputation”

I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation
A girl can do what she wants to do and that’s what I’m gonna doAn’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not meAn’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
Never said I wanted to improve my station
An’ I’m only doin’ good when I’m havin’ fun
An’ I don’t have to please no oneAn’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not meI don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
I’ve never been afraid of any deviation
An’ I don’t really care if you think I’m strange
I ain’t gonna change

An’ I’m never gonna care ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
Pedal, boys!

An’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
The world’s in trouble, there’s no communication
An’ everyone can say what they wanna to say
It never gets better, anyway

So why should I care about a bad reputation anyway?
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me

I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
You’re living in the past, it’s a new generation
An’ I only feel good when I got no pain
An’ that’s how I’m gonna stay

An’ I don’t give a damn ’bout my bad reputation
Oh no, not me, oh no, not me
Not me, not me

(azlyrics.com)

 

Leave a Reply