I recently received an invitation for inclusion into a Who’s Who registry. I debated its merits for a nanosecond, looked again at the reassurance “…is pleased to inform you that there are no fees or dues to be included in the publication,” then figured, what the heck. It would be good ink for the agency, right?

I filled out and submitted the requested information, then received a call a few days later. After answering more questions than I would have liked, the representative excitedly confirmed that, yes indeed, I was Who’s Who material.

And, of course, here came the sales pitch. Would I like to purchase the four-figure option most people go for or the lesser, three-figure package? When I told her neither, the sputtering began. She was incredulous. Did I not know the value of this prestigious listing? How could I possibly say no? I said, “Well, I’m simply taking you up on your original offer to be included at no cost in this listing. That’s all I’m interested in.”

I heard a click followed by a dial tone.

Who did she think she was hanging up on a Who’s Who? Hmmm. Maybe the designation isn’t so special after all.