Say Hello To “Mr. Who’s Who!”

idiot Question?Gee, I am so special.  I just got an email from Strathmore’s Whos Who and apparently I’ve been accepted for inclusion in the 2009 edition.  Lucky me. 

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I got an email from them last year telling me the same thing.  Gee… I really am a WHO’S WHO of people, aren’t I?!

Well, not exactly.  I’ve been through this once before.  A few years ago I was told that I’d been nominated for an annual Who’s Who of Management Professionals thingamajig.  It was considered an honor because the only way to be in the book was to actually be nominated.  I immediately figured I was an amazing leader and somehow one of my employees thought so highly of me that they nominated me for inclusion in the book.  I was bursting with pride.

I was then informed that, while my name in the book is free, I could have a plaque made so I could display it on my office wall – “Darren Marlar, ‘Who’s Who of Management Professionals’, (insert year)!”  They already had my pride at a fever pitch, so telling me that the $5 plaque would only cost me $199, I totally bought it.

The plaque remains in a desk drawer in my home office, never being displayed.  I realized later how foolish it is to be in such a state of self-gratification and congratulation.  Exactly where does being listed in any “Who’s Who” book get you in this world?  Are there other Who’s Whos out there opening the book and thinking, “Sure, I’m a Who’s Who – but I want to be this other Who’s Who instead of my own Who’s Who.  That’s who I want to be! (Boo who… uh, hoo.)” 

I don’t think so. 

I soon left my managerial position, but it was exactly one year later that I was approached again.  “You’ve been nominated to be in the (insert proceeding year) edition of the Who’s Who of Management Professionals!”  Ah, I see.  Apparently the nominating committee is not who I work with – it’s whomever works at the Who’s Who office and sees my name on their list with the words “sucker who’ll pay money” written in red right next to it. 

No thanks, guys.  I’m not so desperate any longer to beef up my over-inflated ego that I need your publication to tell me that I’m somebody.  I’m nobody.  I know I’m nobody.  I’m fine being a nobody.

However, if you do come out with a 2010 edition of “Who’s Who of Nobody’s Nobodies” you’re most certainly welcome to drop me a note.  Especially if I can get a plaque.


Creative Commons License photo credit: CJ Sorg 

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