What’s the connection between three dead dogs, Bruce Springsteen and a Coconut?

Peter Foy explores the difficult concepts of truth and reality

By Peter Foy

Bruce Springsteen is a titan of the rock and roll world. He is “The Boss”, devoid of flim-flam and self-importance. He’s the prophet of blue-collar America, renowned for his ability to speak – or, more often, sing – truth to power.

    "...Standing before you is a man who has become wildly and absurdly successful writing about something of which he had absolutely no experience..."  

Only he’s not.

Listen to the recording, “Springsteen on Broadway” and you’ll hear these words:

“… I’ve never held an honest job in my entire life … never worked nine-to-five … I’ve never seen the inside of a factory and yet it’s all I’ve ever written about. Standing before you is a man who has become wildly and absurdly successful writing about something of which he had absolutely no experience. I made it all up.”

He made it all up.

In my home I have a painting. It was a gift to my wife, given long before I met her. The picture depicts three dogs: two Dalmatians and a black Labrador. They are painted, beautifully, with one of the Dalmatians lounging on a George Nelson Coconut chair and his two friends reposed in front. All three are long since dead so we, affectionately, call it the “Dead Dogs Picture”.

I never knew any of those dogs, but I do know that while Mrs Foy loves her animals she never allows them on furniture – certainly not a George Nelson chair! The artist didn’t know those dogs either. She painted the portrait from photos sent to her by a third party.

She made it all up.

The question is: do we believe that Springsteen’s canon or the Dead Dogs Picture picture are deliberately misleading? Of course not. Truth and reality are different things. Closely related, but different.

A story is true if it has ethical integrity.

Ethical integrity comes from a deep-rooted set of values that define right and wrong. A set of values that is accepted by everyone involved in that truth.

I go to my office each day, knowing that Just Recruitment Group Ltd has a deep-rooted set of values, truths. I know that we might occasionally violate those rules, which is why we have a policy to encourage folk to “Speak Out”. The important thing is that we have the rules. And we believe in them.

    In every conversation I have with a client, candidate or colleague I know that I will be held to account to an ethical standard, a Truth.  

In every conversation I have with a client, candidate or colleague I know that I will be held to account to an ethical standard, a Truth.

So much is happening in the world today, be it in the business or political sphere, where Truth is important. Our understanding of truth is being tested to the limit. As business leaders and citizens we need to hold true to our values, those deep-rooted beliefs about right and wrong that define us. It might make us unpopular, but it will keep us honest.

Truths are not facts. The dead dogs were never in that pose, but they were loved. Bruce Springsteen never worked in a factory but “Promised Land” is still a brilliant anthem for the working class.

By the by, if you do dip into “Springsteen on Broadway”, his tribute to the Big Man, Clarence, is heartfelt and moving. Clearly truthful but maybe not factual.

Published: 29 May 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Why AI personality testing gives me the creeps

You may also enjoy: Inspirational people: Billie Jean King, tennis player, equal rights campaigner

Jobs currently available

Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £18,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Chelmsford
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909015
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a driver to join a large and well-established business, with multiple branches across the UK.

This position will be based at their Chelmsford branch.

The role involves delivering various items to locations in and around the Chelmsford area.

You must have a full clean driving licence and have experience of driving either transit or LWB vans.

Working Hours:

  • 45 per week Mon-Fri 7:30 - 5 plus 2 Saturday mornings (8am-12pm) per month - paid at overtime rates!


  • Salary Negotiable.
  • Attendance bonus scheme.
  • Company pension scheme.
  • Shared profit scheme.
  • Uniform and PPE provided.

Duties will include:

  • Deliveries in and around Chelmsford
  • Assisting with various warehouse duties
  • Proving a friendly service to customers and other staff whilst out on the road and within the branch as and when required.
  • Working with the team to ensure the branch runs smoothly and customers are delighted with the service.

In order to be considered for this role you must have worked in a similar role, have excellent IT skills and a good telephone manner.

This is a great opportunity to join an organisation that promotes from within, provides extra training and development and further company benefits.

Read more
Workshop Technician/Mechanic
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £17,500 - £27,000 per annum
Location: Hadleigh
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909014
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Workshop Technician/Mechanic on behalf of a leading independent parts specialists based on the outskirts of Sudbury, Suffolk.


  • £17,500 - £27,000 depending on experience.

Great working environment in a high-spec workshop with heating and insulated flooring, to ensure employees are comfortable all year round.

Duties include:

  • Repair and refurbish motors and gearboxes.
  • Stripping down engines.
  • Disassemble and fix parts.
  • Complete root-cause analysis.


  • 23 days annual leave, plus bank holidays.
  • Free parking.
  • Profit share scheme, available after probation.
  • Medical scheme, available after probation.
  • PPE provided including boots and company branded tshirts / fleeces.
  • Training courses.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a great company offering lots of progression and excellent benefits.

Candidates must drive due to the location of the company, and will occasionally be required to drive company vehicles.



Read more
Business Development & Account Manager
Sector: Sales
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Witham
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909013
About the role

Are you looking to work for an exciting new start-up business offering a great opportunity for you to grow?

Have you worked to targets, and enjoy selling?

Just Recruitment  is delighted to be recruiting for an Account Manager for our client based in Witham.

The role of the Account Manager is to build and develop relationships with new members, working with them throughout their one month free trial and ultimately upgrading them to a paying member.

There will be no cold calling in this role, all leads have come to express their interest!

If you love working in a team, talking to new people, have worked in sales before and have good verbal and written skills then this could be the role for you!

This is a full-time, permanent role working Monday – Friday.




Read more
Legal Secretary
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Clacton on Sea
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909000
About the role

Just Recruitment is excited to be recruiting for one of the East of England’s longest established Legal Firms.

Operating for over 250 years, they are a full-service law firm, which has doubled in sized over the past four years, and they are looking to expand further by hiring a new Legal Secretary for their Clacton branch.

They are looking for someone with experience of;

  • Electronic diary management.
  • Telephone liaison.
  • Front of house/reception duties.
  • Digital transcription systems.
  • Using accounts software.
  • Various other clerical and administrative duties.

The ideal candidate will have experience working as a Legal Secretary, with a genuine passion for building a career within the law.

They must also have fast typing speeds and the ability to multi-task effectively.

In return you will receive;

  • A competitive salary.
  • 20 days holiday + bank holidays.
  • Contributory pension scheme.
  • As well as a whole host of other benefits.
Read more