As if Facebook, MySpace and “because I’m worth it” TV ads weren’t enough, it seems self-importance has found a way around the banks’ firewalls with the sudden influx of “me walls”. They’re popular across the pond – in fact, I’ve seen several in my American colleagues’ offices. But now, in an attempt to feed her ravenous ego, my boss has treated herself to a floor-to-ceiling version.
So, while waiting 20 minutes for her to show up for a meeting, I took the opportunity to scrutinise her wall. After casting a cynical eye over the various certificates in finance, I spotted one that looked about as genuine as a clapped-out Toyota in the black cab queue at Paddington Station. Or maybe the official who signed it was my boss’s secret separated-at-birth identical twin, because the signature had an uncanny similarity to her own.
Then, among the degrees from various American universities with dubious names, I spotted the jewel in the crown: a picture of my boss with Nelson Mandela. Shame Nelson appeared to be looking at a different camera from that of my boss, though, otherwise the obvious cropping job would have been quite convincing.
I’ve also spotted a few mini-me walls around the floor. My colleagues have taken to adorning the screen desk dividers with Blu Tacked-up pictures of their dogs and boyfriends (and in some cases it’s hard to tell the difference). One occupant had made a little banner in pastel pink lettering that read: “All about me”.
Then there’s the personal Wiki pages on the company intranet. What does it say about somebody if she uses the window on her workplace to display images of her Girl Guide badge collection? That she may be useless at her job but at least she can rub two sticks together to produce smoke? And what about someone who has catalogued his collection of Hard Rock Cafe badges to show how well-travelled he is?
Whatever next? Blood samples in monogrammed gift phials?