The Self-Important Olympics

Monday, February 02, 2009

First of all, hat's off to ATK stalker and part-time commenter John R for the concept.

In my profession, I am surrounded by self-important people (and maybe I am too...I do have a blog, after all), who exact their self-importantness to varying degrees.

So John set up some "events" whereby self-important people can accumulate these events, the gold medalist being the most self-important tool you can imagine. You know the type: excessive speakerphone use, name-dropping, etc...and thus is born:

The Self-Important Olympics!

The events:

Most Elaborate Email Signature
It's fine to have a lengthy signature if it includes raw data: phone numbers, email, company web site. But this is the type of person that has a 12-line signature, inclusive of imaginary job titles and gratuitous salutations ("For A Better Tomorrow;" "Yours In Service;").

Most Absurd Business Card
Remember this scene from American Psycho? That's this event. Titles, attention paid to card-thickness, type, coloring, etc.

This person drops names in the most casual of conversations. Talking about your favorite restaurant? Drop a name of some bigwig you "spoke to" there. Even better, the true Championship-level namedropper mentions people by their first names, and in especially gratuitous circumstances, refers to them by nicknames (Governor Jennifer Granholm is simply Jenny). Extra consideration is given for the benign nature of the story in which one namedrops, as well as for whether or not the dropped name actually had anything to do with the story being told.

Busy Body
This event, and the person it encapsulates, is the behavior that is put on public display to show importance by way of level of activity. In other words, I am important because I am so damn busy. When you talk of your favorite TV shows, this is the person who sighs, throws up their hands and says "I just don't have time to watch TV." This person checks their Smartphone obsessively. This person walks around with cell phone almost permanently attached to their ear, or better yet, with Bluetooth constantly attached, even at lunch or just sitting in the office.

Originally, this was part of the Busy Body event. But it warrants its own event. This person will make every single phone call, even to family members, on a speakerphone. Too busy to life the handset, multitasking too much to hold a receiver, this person would call their own mother on a speakerphone. Those taped illegal conversations Blagojevich was having? He was on speakerphone on every one.

Reply All/Spamming
Regardless of the innocuous nature of an email ("If You're The Last To Leave, Please Turn Off The Lights"), this person will Reply All with wit. wisdom, or even just a brown-nosing response. This person will also forward "interesting" or "poignant" articles to everyone in the office. This person sometimes isn't in an email chain...they're the creator of incessant chains of emails.

Smartphone Obsession
Are you bothered by the fact that your phone isn't vibrating your hip every 3 seconds to indicate that you are receiving some sort of message, so you check it over and over, just to see? Do you check it in the middle of talking to someone else? Do you actually halt current conversations to mention the importance of a message that either just arrived or is due to arrive? Then this is your event.

Employee or Service Industry Abuse
The Champion-level abuser treats employees as if they are there simply to serve. This person tasks employees with absolutely the most benign tasks, but does so very publicly, to show dominance and importance. They like to show that the "have people." Further, the Champion of this event makes up obnoxious nicknames for the janitorial staff, asks to be addressed formally, and treats our hard-working individuals in the service industry as brainless automatons there to serve every ridiculous whim (my macaroni is a tad cool, please take this back to warm it up). What separates a gold-medalist, though, is the person who treats people who are not their own if they were.

Facebook Abuse
This is easy: the gold medalist is that person who somehow values quantity over quality in terms of updating their Facebook Status or in creating Facebook Causes/Groups. Do we really need an update when you're buying coffee or going to your car? This person thinks so.

This person wears pressed slacks and shirtsleeves to "River Cleanup Day." 3-piece suits are the norm, not the exception.

"Don't You Know Who I AM??"
Self-explanatory. If you have ever uttered this phrase to anyone at all, from waitstaff to law enforcement, then this is your event.

Each event certainly has its own bronze, silver and gold medalists, but we should certainly award a special medal to that special someone who wins a gold in the most accumulative categories. Did I miss any categories? Who would you put where (for instance, I am easily a bronze medal in Smartphone Obsession...I check constantly, but fall short of interrupting conversations to talk about who is emailing/texting me).

Have at it in the comments section.


Mrs. Smitty,  12:36 PM  

Gratuitous use of signed pictures or other ridiculous things. See a hat that reminds you of someone? Autograph it and send it to them. Picture of you with 10 other people? Send them each an autographed one! Do both? Gold medal winner.

B Mac 1:10 PM  


Bob 3:22 PM  

Gratuitous use of pictures of ones kids?

Plastering "My kids is an honor student at..." stickers all over your minivan.

Any and all hollywood award shows.

Bob 3:36 PM  

At one time I may have been eligible for the business card category when my boss insisted I be "Chief of Staff" in a state Rep. Office. For those who don't know, I was chief of a staff of 2....including myself. I had to bring in a buttload of interns to make it look better.

B Mac 5:04 PM  

Been there, Bob. But my resume clearly indicates that I was "Chief of Staff".

Along with the Smartphone guy, I'd like to nominate Talks-on-the-phone-at-inappropriate-times Guy. If it is your turn to turn left at a bust intersection, if you're at the counter at your local coffee shop, or if people are waiting for you... hang up the damn phone.

Bob 5:44 PM  

"Been there, Bob. But my resume clearly indicates that I was "Chief of Staff"."

Well, the resume is a different story depending on where you are sending it.

Mike 7:39 AM  

Good stuff, Smitty.

Joel 11:34 AM  

I really am too busy to commment.

Sopor 11:55 AM  

How about somebody who makes fonts from their handwriting? Does hat count?

Yes, I'm currently doing just this =)

Joel 12:02 PM  

And, sorry, off topic, but you brought up Christian Bale... anyone hear this clip of him going BALLISTIC on the set of the new Terminator shoot? It's on TMZ.

steves 4:08 PM  

Wow is right. Bale always seemed to be somewhat tempermental to me.

Rickey Henderson 8:12 AM  

Yeah, he's just a breath away from asking the poor lighting guy if he likes Hewey Lewis and the News....

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