Do you know who I am?

Behold! The most telling question in the English language. Over the years, I’ve been asked this question or a variation on this question more than once. Normally to strong arm me into making an exception for them or even to keep their name out of an article. I’ve seen versions on television and social media. Most recently an official threatening police during a traffic stop.

In every single instance, the only thing I could think was, “What a tool.”

Nope. I wasn’t impressed. I’ve never been impressed. News Flash. Most people aren’t impressed.

People who work their way to success, whether in their small town or worldwide, deserve props. I give it to them. It’s hard to climb those ladders and more often than not you have to kick off a lot of grabbing hands trying to pull you back down to get there.  Much more impressive are those who make that climb and still manage to stay humble.

I’ve met quite a few of those people in my life, too. They are awesome.

I’ve also watched people as they make that climb. There is always that moment, right as they swing into their chosen success, where you see a shift in their personalities. Some manage to swing back. Others don’t. Normally because they’ve surrounded themselves with the wrong people.

It’s human nature, I think, to be a little full of yourself when you reach a certain benchmark in your career. But people who pull out the “Do you know who I am?” have reached an entitlement level that stinks of insecurity. Power or perceived power is a dangerous drug and you are just begging someone to knock you off that top rung.

I doubt I will ever make it to the top of my ladder. Shoot, I have to pick a ladder first. But if I do, this is an open call that should those words or any variation of those words come out of my mouth, you have my permission to smack me silly. As a matter of fact, if the top of my ladder contains wealth, I may have a job opening for a person whose sole job is to bring me back to reality with a sharp slap or even a throat punch if things are really bad.

Until then though, this is just a friendly reminder to those who have reached success. Awesome! Good job! Way to go!

Don’t be a tool.

Michelle Leigh Miller is an independently published author, freelance writer, and blogger in Southeastern Ohio. Basically, she is just writing words.

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