Starting in law school, continuing till the final hour’s billed, and doubtless, just before the toe tag’s attached, there’ll be a marketer trying to wrest a lawyer’s last discretionary death’s door dollar. This was true back when conventional wisdom held lawyers were dependably fertile targets thanks to all that money they supposedly made.
But even now after the economy’s shown lawyers aren’t recession-proof or that the glut of tuition-indebted law school graduates has consigned many to work for peanuts, the trolling’s only become worse.
There’s pay-per-click; online lawyer directories; SEO and social media; lead referrers and lawyer rating advertisers. And not to mention uber-expensive practice and case management software, electronic legal research tools, and court rule books by annual subscription. You’d think prudence if not parsimony would dictate careful cost-benefit analyses.
In an era of selfies and self-promoting portly posteriors, who even knew such anachronisms still existed? Like phone directories and cockroaches, apparently who’s who will survive who cares at the Apocalypse.
And then last week, I was emailed with news I’d been selected for a top 100 list! Who can stand the ‘adulation’? But like ‘winning’ sweepstakes notices and attorney email collection appeals, they’re not unique.
But as for those “Who’s Who” directories, they’re simply a form of vanity publication since one way or another, ‘honorees’ pay for the ‘honor.’ Most follow the same model, too, which is that inclusion is ‘free’ while the publishers overeagerly hustle expensive copies along with other overpriced distinctions of a dubious honorific.
When you’ve gotta pay for such faint praise in what one pundit calls, “The Hall of Lame,” then “Don’t feel too special if you’re invited to be in a “Who’s Who” directory” as blogger Sheryl Harris posted at “‘Who’s Who’ invite aims at your ego — and your wallet.”
Fortunately for me, however, about the same time I was being pestered for paid ‘triumphant achievement’ honors, I unexpectedly received something more valuable — a “VIP gift” from a Vietnamese Pho restaurant I frequent.
The owner and her wait-staff appreciatively presented me with a flashlight pen imprinted with the restaurant’s admittedly homophonically-challenged business name, “Pho King Eggroll.” They said it was given “only to VIP customers.”
Just think, I’m a “Pho King” VIP and all it cost me were some bowls of noodle soup.
Photo Credits: ”Toe Tag,” by Dep. Garcia at Wikipedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License; Vanity by A. T., 1890 (source: Wikipaintings), public domain; Children with paper crowns, by phlubdr at Flickr via Creative Commons attribution license;Untitled, by The Integer Club at Flickr via Creative Commons attribution license.