I’ve noticed a disconcerting trend lately. And by “disconcerting,” I mean annoying. To me. Honestly, this isn’t normally a difficult thing to accomplish, but this particular situation has gotten so out of control in the past year that it warrants both comment and mocking.
Lately, when it comes time for one to write one’s bio, say, on their Twitter profile, or break down their “experience” on their blog’s “About Me” page, people are increasingly turning to ridiculous superlatives and unverifiable labels to jazz things up.
Now inserting a little hyperbole into one’s resume has been going on since Pope Pius II put out his 13 volume autobiography, but this new wave of blatant, dizzying exaggeration and unaccountability is starting to reach ridiculous heights. What’s more demoralizing, this transparent embellishing appears to be somewhat effective.
Probably my biggest pet peeve is when people bestow the title “guru” upon themselves, meaning, by definition, “a leader in a particular field”. Really? Are you a leader in your field? And if so, does that mean the other 10,000 people claiming to be gurus in your field are also leaders? Well, that’s simply not possible.
“Guru” is just a nebulous, evocative designation that anyone can claim at any time without having to complete any study, training or testing. I could call myself a break dancing guru and no one could (or has the inclination to) prove me wrong. Hell, while I’m at it, let’s tack on “brunch guru” too.
Another rage trigger is when people crown themselves with three or four improbable job titles simultaneously, like social media advisor, financial consultant, interior designer and sommelier. All by the age of 26.
Firstly, in the unlikely event that someone is really being paid to perform all of the jobs they’re claiming, there’s no way they could be doing any of them well.
Secondly, when did people start getting the delusions of grandeur that allow them to believe they’re experts at anything after so little genuine experience? Albert Einstein, though he made several remarkable breakthroughs in his 20s, didn’t really hit his stride until his 40s. That was Albert “Greatest Fucking Mind of the 20th Century” Einstein. So, I can’t help but be skeptical when someone three years out of college announces that they’re writing a book about how to get rich, orchestrate the perfect marriage or find everlasting happiness.
Unfortunately, much like the heart-breaking popularity of lists, I can’t help but acknowledge that this is probably how things are going to be from here on out and if I want to continue to compete in this arena, I’d better adapt. As such, I’ve started to retool my resume, which I present now for public indulgence, demonstrating how extraordinarily talented I am without citing any supporting evidence.
Leif “It Boy” Pettersen
HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS
* Super-genius-level communication skills (except when dealing with idiots).
* Internationally acclaimed writer, with expertise in a broad spectrum of topics, including travel, tech, wine, relationships, food, germs, bros, hos, basketball, TV, radio, juggling, acting, walking, talking, peeing standing up, skim-reading, long division, your mom, parallel parking, annoying things, omelets and boobs.
* Life-long travel badass – visited 428 countries on 11 continents and can drink the water anywhere he damn well feels like it.
* Pointing and grunting fluency in 83 languages.
* Web page design authority/guru/innovator/collaborator/masticator.
* Inventor of blogging.
* World renowned photographer, with over 100 photos posted on the “internet.”
* Adapts quickly to change and new experiences (in bed).
* Highly dependable, punctual, and efficient judge of stupid stuff.
– Best-selling author of guidebooks on more than two European countries.
– Work has appeared in dozens of high profile, internationally renowned, award-winning, religion-changing magazines, anthologies, books, web sites and retweets.
– Countless stirring, swoon-inducing appearances on radio, TV and online videos.
– Domestic and international electronic payments wizard, who, if he really wanted to, could have caused a global financial crisis with a touch of a button during his years working for the Federal Reserve System. But he didn’t, because he’s infallibly awesome and loves puppies.
– Consumed over 500 bottles of wine and 2,000 pints of cider, and has never puked up any of it, making him both a consummate journalist and an ideal house guest.
It’s still a work in progress, but you get the idea. If I play my cards right, 2010 will be the year I achieve previously unthinkable riches and fame while performing the bare minimum of actual skilled work, kinda like Megan Fox, except with manners.