IKEA stacks

Along the east wall of my apartment, I have two bookshelves pressed against each other: a 4×4 Expedit unit, and a 2×4 Expedit unit, from IKEA. However, as shelf space runs low, I am considering stacking the 2×4 on top of the 4×4. That way, I can add another 2×4 unit along the side, and I will gain an additional sixteen cubes of shelf space.

So, basically, what I have now kind of looks like this:

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

But I want to make it look like this:

[ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ]

So that after adding another unit, it will come out looking like this:

[ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ [
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Make sense?

I’ve seen some photos of Expedit units that simply look stacked one upon the other, and others that appear as if they’re been anchored to the wall. It’s my guess that simply stacking a 2×4 on top of a 4×4 will provide enough weight to hold the unit there, but I’d like to find someone to actually tell me: “Yeah, I stacked my Expedits five years ago and the fuckers haven’t moved an inch” before I risk it myself.

FYI: while they can sometimes be a tremendous pain-in-the-ass to put together, I love IKEA’s Expedit units — they look clean and modern, they’re easy to clean, and they hold a lot of books or media.

Cat Mess Remover


I returned home yesterday evening shortly before 7pm from a holiday weekend in Connecticut. I was not that surprised to find cat messes on the carpet, the afghan on my bed, my desk, or my couch. I was sort of dismayed by the stain on the couch, because I was pretty convinced it was going to mean I’d have to replace the seat, since the stain was rather dark.

I was a little upset, too: a friend came over to house-sit Friday, to play with the cats and keep them company, and to watch Star Trek in its Blu Ray excellence. He left me a note, which included: “No cat mess yet!” I’d warned him about their tendency to make messes.

After cleaning up the assorted messes to the best of my ability, I dug through the bathroom cabinet for Resolve. Not finding it there, I went looking through the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Didn’t find Resolve, but I did find a bottle of 8-in-1 Complete Pet Stain and Odor Remover.

Let me be clear: this is not a plug. Well, it is a plug, but it’s not a paid plug.

I followed the instructions: I shook the bottle up, sprayed the substance on the stains, waited ten minutes, blotted it up to the best of my ability, and allowed it to air dry. This morning, while the carpet could stand a vacuuming, the couch looks perfect and beautiful and, best of all, clean.

(I’d post an after photo, but since I neglected a before photo, it’d be kind of pointless. Take my word for it.)

I Can Read His Righteous Sentence By The Dim And Flaring Lamps

I mentioned, I think, that I went to a Catholic School through the sixth grade, and every Christmas, we put on a musical pageant. One of the songs we sung was, really, not a very Christmasy song — it’s a song of God, sure, it’s a religious song, but not about love and peace and harmony, rather, about His vengeance, trampling out the vintage of the grapes of wrath. It’s a song that speaks of a terrible swift sword, burnished rows of steel, even of the beauty of the lilies across the sea — and I find myself, stirred to this day, by the music and by the lyrics.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps,
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat:
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave,
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave,
Our God is marching on.

Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Our God is marching on.

Here’s some background on the Battle Hymn of the Republic, from Orson Welles:

Bring Me Flesh, And Bring Me Brains/Bring Me Zombies Hither

Last night, as most Saturdays are, was very quiet past 7pm. As I perused the front of store tables, a particular book caught my eye, and I immediately opened it to page 19.

Now, look, you may not know this about me — I was raised Catholic, and attended a Catholic school until the 7th grade. Every Christmas, we’d put on a performance for all the parents, singing traditional Christian Christmas songs. Not the fluffy stuff, y’know? No Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Instead, stuff like Oh Come All Ye Faithful, The Little Drummer Boy, Silent Night, etcetra.

For some reason, we also did Battle Hymn of the Republic. Don’t know why, but damn if I don’t love that song.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I love some traditional, religious, Christmas music, and my favorite Christmas song of forever, is Good King Wenceslas. So I picked up this book that caught my eye, flipped it open to page 19 and read the lyrics to Good King Wenceslas Tastes Great, the first stanza of which is presented below (just hum along):

Good King Wenceslas tastes great;
We might as well eat Stephen,
When the brains lay round about,
Toasted crisp and bleedin’.
Brightly shown the moon that night,
Thought the virus cruel.
When a poor man came in sight,
He made fine undead fuel.

It might amuse you to picture me singing this song — out loud — at work. A few customers applauded my efforts. Most of my coworkers told me to knock it off. But me?

I want to find some people who are willing to conduct a social experiment.

If a group of us were to go about the town, singing Christmas Zombie carols, how many people would pay enough attention to the lyrics to realize we were singing Have Yourself a Medulla Oblongata, not Have a Merry Little Christmas?

The moral of the story is, if you see Sarah Palin coming towards you with a knife and a fork, you’d better run.

After the British Army burned the Congressional Library in 1814, Thomas Jefferson donated his library — 6,700 volumes — to the U.S. government to start a new one. Not only is that an impressive number of books for one person to own today, but especially for not quite two hundred years ago.

In her book The Man Who Loved Books Too Much (more on that in a future posting), author Allison Hoover Bartlett writes, “Jefferson proposed a classification scheme … in which books were organized within the broad categories of Memory, Reason, and Imagination, poetic divisions I’d like to see bookstores adopt today. It might take longer to find what you’re looking for, but in browsing, who knows what you’d find.”

That’s all good in theory, but as a bookseller, I have a hard enough time finding books when they’re supposed to be categorized in our rather extensive series of sections, sub-sections, and sub-sub-sections. Part of this is because sometimes management hires people who don’t know their alphabet, and hence, cannot properly shelve. Part of this is because certain individuals will grab a book from one section, wander through the store until they’re not interested in it anymore, and put it in the first section they come to. This might explain why I found a copy of the Photographically-illustrated Kama Sutra in our Children’s Picture Books sub-section the other day.*

Also, and just as likely, is that a Bookseller, at the end of a very long day — and most of us who work evenings work full-time day jobs, or are full-time students, so at 9pm when we’re ushering people out the doors, we’ve been awake and working since pretty damn early** — has a stack of books to put back before he or she can head out the front door, is just as likely not to care if the Einstein biography gets shelved after the Eisenhower biography or before. I mean, as long as the “Ei”s are together, how the fuck hard can it be to find the book?

Once, my least favorite customer to beat over the head with an oversized coffee book once screamed at me that I asked me “display a basic level of competence with the English alphabet when reshelving” to reshelve a book that was off by, like, seriously, one letter. Urgh. Murderdeathkill. This really has nothing to do with this post, I’m just still of murderdeathkill about it, y’know? Anyway:

With allofthat said, sometimes, our categorization sucks. Have you ever read Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon? If you’re a fan of The Wire, this is a must read. But are you aware that the book is categorized in two completely different sections, depending on which edition you’re looking for? The Mass Market is in True Crime, the photo-illustrated QP is in Law & Labor. I don’t understand it either, all I’ll say is that whoever is in charge of categorizing books smokes crack. We also have an alternate history of the Battle of Gettysburg in our history section. An alternate history, in our real history section. Crazy.***

I’m getting completely off point, and the point is this: sometimes, for a good cause (well, for a funny cause), I am willing to deliberately mis-shelve a book into an appropriate section. Hence:


Yes, I shelved two copies of Sarah Palin’s autobiography into our Fiction/Literature section. Some may claim this is too highbrow for the likes of Palin, some may claim this is denigrating, so I will just say this: the book defends the act of cannibalism. Don’t believe me? How about this quote from her book: “If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?” Well, Sarah, how about this: “If God had not intended for us to eat people, how come He made us out of meat?” Now, go re-read this post’s title again.

Levity aside, I yanked the books from section after taking that photo. There’s having fun, and then there’s deliberately shelving books where they don’t belong. I can bend my book selling ethics (I do every time I say something nice about a James Patterson novel), but I just can’t break them.

*A much more likely explanation is that someone was pleasuring himself in our Children’s Section, which is relatively isolated, and a pretty good reason why, even in a bookstore like ours, you should keep an eye on your offspring. Also be wary of the men’s restroom, people strip naked and use the sink to bathe. Wish I was kidding.

**My alarm goes off at 5:15am and I am usually at my day job from 6:30am until 3pm. I don’t drink coffee, and when I smile and ask, “Can I help you find anything today?” yes, I am more than happy to assist you and I am cheery. But at closing time? Get the fuck out. I’m tired and I want bed.

***And, no, we can’t just reshelve it in sci-fi, because we’ve got category stickers on each book and we can’t change categories at a store level. So even if we did take it down to sci-fi, it would only stay there until someone browsed through it and left it lying around, and then when someone grabs it off the reshelve cart, they’ll look at the category sticker and put it back in history. So the only thing to do, when people ask for it, is to take them back to history. Then they look at me like I’m an idiot, “This is not a real history book.” “Yes, I’m aware of that, however the moron in Ann Arbor who categorizes our book is not.”

****Just as a total aside, if you’re wondering why our elevator is broken, it’s not: after a long standing dispute of about a year between the DC fire marshal and the Bookstore’s HQ, regarding not unreasonable (but expensive) upgrades to the elevator, the marshal shut the elevator down. With a key. This has been a tremendous pain in the ass and I hope HQ shells out cash, because it’s really no fun carrying stacks of books up a flight of stairs.


And this is sort of why, every time I think I should start looking for a new job, I’m glad to have the two I’ve got:

From federal government clerk positions to grocery store cashiers, the competition for jobs is phenomenal. Applications for all types of positions are flooding in.

“We are pretty much overwhelmed with the number of applications that we are receiving for every job posting,” says Deputy Associate Director of the Center for Talent and Capacity Policy at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Angela Bailey.

Federal positions that usually would garner 25 resumes now sometimes receive up to 400, Bailey says. Two office positions at the Board of Immigration Appeals recently received 300 applications.

“It’s no longer one of those things where people are honing in on specific salary levels. Right now, it just if I can get a job, that’s good enough,” she says.

Applicants with lots of experience are applying for entry-level positions, says Bailey at OPM.

This is especially true at the Bookstore, where two of the recent hires are, respectively, a former Major League Baseball player, and a former reporter for a television network (I’m not sure if he was with the cable network, or the local affiliate).

Maker’s Mark

Last year at the Office, we received neither Christmas Eve nor New Year’s Eve off. However, because both holidays proper fell on a Thursday, we were given Friday off.

Alas, with the holidays themselves falling on Fridays this year, the result is two less days of vacation. Seeking to amend this, I e-mailed our Chief Financial Officer to ask if a bribe of a bag of skittles might be enough to persuade him to give us the day off. He replied that as he was diabetic, he would consider a bag of skittles an attempted murder. However, for a bottle of Maker’s Mark, he might consider my request.


So this is going to be on his desk when he comes in tomorrow morning.


I decided to go ahead and bring it in, and I planted it on his desk. He totally didn’t see it, but I did e-mail him with information from some of this post’s commenters regarding alcohol and diabetes. He replied to me, “Some things are worth dying for – but don’t actually get me any alcohol.” At which point I informed him that, as a gag, I had in fact gotten him some alcohol, and it would disappear from his office the following morning.

Need Help: Xbox 360, or a Playstation 3?

Yesterday after working at the Office, I went over to the apartment of one of my department’s team leader for a Xbox 360 LAN party. We hooked three of the machines together, and a varying group of from four to nine of us played Halo-3, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 into the wee hours of the night.

When I say “wee hours”, please understand I mean 10pm, because, shit, I got up at 5:15am and I was tiiiired.

I am not a big gamer. Every now and then I get sucked in by something, but with the exception of the addictive MMORGs I play (AstroEmpires & OGames), I haven’t really gotten into any games in a very long time. I do own some game systems — a PlayStation 2 (bought very used), and a Nintendo-64. Hey, don’t laugh: I own at The Facility level.

I loved playing Counter-Strike, a cooperative, team-based first-person shooter where teams were divided into “terrorists” and “counter-terrorists”, and missions were based on planting and defusing a bomb, or rescuing hostages, or escorting a VIP player to a safe zone without being assassinated.

I stumbled one lucky day onto the [EGBT] Counter-Strike server, and forged friendships that last to this day. As a matter of fact, the folks who maintain this blog I met on [EGBT].

Anyway, I’m getting off-track. The point is, I love cooperative game play. I would play Counter-Strike almost every few minute I had, and it didn’t matter that, honestly? I was pretty awful. But every now and then someone would text out (because this was when voice-communication was just starting up) “Great job, Snay!” after I’d run headlong into the opposing team carrying a live grenade.

Because that’s how I play.

And Call of Duty? It was my first time playing the game, but it’s like Counter-Strike on crack.

Which is to say, it’s sort of like if you took the cinematography of BlackHawk Down, and coupled it with game play, it’s sort of like that. Only more intense. Also, the blood splatter on the TV when you get wounded is crazy spooky. That said, pretty sure I’m in love with the game.

So, now the question is (and this I ask you), should I look into purchasing an Xbox 360? Or a Playstation 3?

and then there’s the wi-fi

I was at the registers and it was kind of hopping. A woman came over to the counter to pick up a hold — a set of Star Wars DVDs. I found it on the shelf and began ringing it up, when she interrupted me.

“This says movies IV, V, and VI,” she pointed at the packaging.

“Yep,” I said. “The Star Wars Trilogy.”

“But, when I called, I said that I wanted the original trilogy.”

“This is the original trilogy.”

“But how come it’s numbered four, five, and six?”

“It’s just the way they made them.”*

“I want the first three films.”

“You want the first three films? Or the original trilogy?”

“I want the original trilogy: the first three films, that’s what my boyfriend said.”

“He said he wanted the first three films, or he said he wanted the original trilogy?”

“Is there a difference?”

And at this point (instead of, say, repeatedly pounding my head onto the register counter), I just play the geek card: “I need you to take something on faith. And that something is that, me? I’m a geek. And if your boyfriend said he wanted the original trilogy, this is what he wants,” and I tap the DVD set. “Trust me on this. If he said he wants the original trilogy, this is what he wants, the late 70s and early 80s, Boba Fett, Slave Leia, Han shoots first**, trust me — this is the set.”

She gives me this look. Sort of a “WTF shouldn’t you be wearing a Yoda costume or something?” type. “Okay … but I want a receipt. Just in case.”


And then there’s the Wi-Fi.

Recently, like, beginning of October, we began offering free Wi-Fi. I’m sure the concept is that people will come in, sit down, surf the net, and then buy lots and lots of stuff. This may even be true in some cases, but usually what it means is that five minutes after we’ve closed, there’s some dingleberry so intent on the internet that he gets into a screaming match with employees when he’s told for the fifth time “Hey, pal, we’re closed — pack it up and get the fuck out of here.” And of course, once he’s finally been persuaded to pack his laptop up, he wants to use the restroom.

“Pal, we’ve been closed for ten minutes. We were making announcements that we were closing fifteen minutes before that. Restrooms are locked.”

They don’t actually lock. And most of the time, we say, “WTF. But hurry up or we’re locking you in and calling the police.”

Because — look, most of the people who work the evening shifts at the Bookstore? Like me, we’ve got day jobs. Two of my coworkers are staffers at the National Geographic (one has been there so long, he’s on the magazine’s masthead). Others work or intern at the Smithsonian, or for think tanks, or are full time students — we’ve got a woman who is earning her PhD in 15th Century literature. And those who aren’t? Most have families.

The point is: consider us, please. It might not seem like a big deal to you when you’re still in the store fifteen minutes after close, but my alarm goes off at 5:15 am every day, and every additional minute we have to stay in the store because you’re so stuck in your own world where everything caves to your demands means that I’m losing sleep for tomorrow.

And I keep some long ass days.

So when you hear the “Attention, Bookstore customers — the time is 8:55 and in five short minutes, the store and all areas of the store will be closing” announcement, turn off your laptop, pack it away, and get the fuck out of the store.

Someday, I’ll tell you about the well dressed businessman who came in and began screaming and spitting in a manager’s face when he learned we only offered a wi-fi connection, and did not actually have computers available for consumer use. That guy is the reason why kicking customers in the crotch should be company policy.


*No it isn’t, that’s such a myth. Lucas didn’t tag Star Wars as Episode IV until it had already been released into theaters.

**I’m actually pretty sure that box set contains the special editions of the films, where Han in fact shoots second. Alas, because we have the individual film discs with the original film, where Han shoots, as he should, first. But I didn’t want to try to explain what a Greedo is. “Picture Gordon Gecko with scales, lady. And a blaster.”

A Talent For War


As not only a bookseller, but a voracious reader, I tend to develop a passion for little known authors. Every now and then folks who are familiar only with John Grisham, Stephen King, or James Patterson want something new in their fiction, and I like to be able to point them to less well known authors, folks who tell good — great, even — stories, even though they’re not best-sellers, even though every other book isn’t being turned into a TV series or a movie.

For Sci-Fi, those authors are Jack McDevitt, and Alastair Reynolds. Yesterday, a customer was looking for a good read, so I pointed him to McDevitt’s A Talent For War, the first of his Alex Benedict series. I always have a hard time describing this book: “It’s very good,” seems barely adequate. McDevitt has a way of making the distant future connect with the present, so that it doesn’t seem alien. Futuristic technology is described simply: there’s no entire chapter devoted to how Armstrong engines work, or what an A.I. does, he communicates these imagined techs so that they’re easily understood. But science does come into play, again, described easily enough one doesn’t need to have mastered a physics class to understand them.

Alex Benedict is sort of like the Indiana Jones of the distant future, and McDevitt’s books are equal parts Philip K. Dick and Josephine Tey: a compelling mystery story told in a science-fiction setting (and if you don’t know who Josephine Tey is, check out Daughter of Time) about events in that future world’s past similar as to what the Lost Ark, and Atlantis, and Amelia Earhart mean to the people who live in this time.

A Talent for War, first of a so-far four book series (hopefully there will be a fifth), focuses on Benedict’s quest to discover the truth about Christopher Sim, a renowned war hero who two centuries earlier fought a guerrilla war against the Ashiyyur and in death rallied the independent worlds of man into one Confederation.

So I was trying to describe A Talent for War to a customer, and I told him, “Imagine that everything you knew about George Washington was false, and that the foundations of our society were based on lies. See, Sim is a Washington-like character in Benedict’s time, so…”

“So, McDevitt is saying Washington didn’t really exist?”

“Well, no, what I’m saying is Sim, in this book, is sort of a Washington-like character…”

“He chopped down a cherry tree but wouldn’t lie about it?”

“Um, they don’t go into that much detail, but I’m pretty sure Washington didn’t actually chop down a cherry tree.”

“My father told me that story, and my father’s not a liar.”

“Um, I didn’t mean to imply he was, but that story’s in a lot of the mythos about Washington, lots of people believe it even though it didn’t happen.”

“Are you calling me a liar?”

At this point I just apologized, confessed that McDevitt was an evil liberal trying to rewrite history and we should burn his books and refuse to carry them (meanwhile, I’m re-reading Polaris, and just bought his new hardback), handed him a copy of Phillip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, and hid in the back room for about ten minutes.

But let me just real quick plug the rest of McDevitt’s Benedict series, which, awesomely enough, he began in 1989 with A Talent for War, and then left alone for fifteen years, returning with the second book, Polaris, in 2004. Follow ups include Seeker in 2006, and The Devil’s Eye in 2009. Hopefully, there will soon be a fifth.

Oh, and by the way? His father? Total fucking liar.

And Then There Were Five

A while back — possibly last fall — I was strolling through the National Zoo near dusk, when I spotted a deer hanging around the Bird House. I asked a Zoo employee, “Is that one of yours?”

“No,” he told me, continuing to inform me that there were six deer who lived wild in the Zoo, which is located in DC’s Rock Creek Park (which is twice as large as New York’s Central Park, suck it, Yankees).

Well, apparently they’re down to five:

I’m not very sad about this at all, except in that it may have traumatized some younger onlookers. Hopefully most older children and adults who saw this recognize that deer are over sized rats who destroy, destroy, destroy, and that while yes, indeed, it is sad that suburban development has encroached on their territory to the degree that they are starving, the simple fact of the matter is that there are so many goddamn deer out there that the loss of one is really no loss at all, except perhaps to the lions, who were unable to have a nice warm meal (I also say this as an individual who has, utilizing his 1998 Jeep Wrangler, and then his 2000 Toyota Celica, killed, maimed, or contributed to the death of at least six deer, thereby earning from his friends the nickname: “Jeffy, The Deer Slayer.”).

So, yeah, fuck Bambi.

Big cats for the win.

Sarah from Alaska

So, Thursday night, at the Bookstore (which, oh fuck it, it’s the Borders by Farragut Square), a couple of authors did a talk and question-and-answer session about their new book: Sarah from Alaska. CSPAN taped it, and when I asked the cameraman, he told me he expected it to air this coming weekend.

And, what do you know, it is: and the next air time is today at 4pm on CSPAN 2 (which is channel 104 for DC Comcast, peeps).

Anyway, so I’m looking on CSPAN’s web info about the program?

Two reporters who were embedded on the McCain/Palin campaign trail present their exclusive look at the first Republican woman nominated to be Vice President. Conroy and Walshe include anecdotes about the former Alaska governor’s return home from the campaign trail, as well as interviews with McCain/Palin campaign staffers, and Palin family members. They discuss their behind-the-scenes view of Sarah Palin at Borders in Washington, D.C.

Irony? They have links to product pages on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound but not a single link to Borders.com, where the event was taped!

Also, since our events area faces into our cooking, health, fitness, and sports sections, there’s a possibility you’ll see me in the background. So make sure to check it out.

Fake LinkedIn People

I didn’t really think a whole lot when I saw a couple of LinkedIn invites in my Gmail box this morning. I just got on with the day’s work. It wasn’t until I was gchatting with our IT Director, and he remarked that he was trying to find out who the two people who’d LinkedIn friended me were that my suspicions were raised, and I went to the website and checked their LinkedIn profiles.

Both claimed to work here.

In my department.

I’ve been here for a year and a half. The company is maybe three years old. These names? Ringing no bells. But on the “Connections” page, I noted they’d connected with several members of our sales department. So I dashed off an e-mail to our head of sales — Do you know these people?

He replied: Who the hell are they? Remove them!

I called our group in India, and spoke to our manager there — I figured it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility that these accounts were created by some of our people over there, and that they’d chosen to anglicize their names for whatever reason. Nope, not us. We use our own names on our LinkedIn pages, I was told.

I sent out an e-mail to the whole company: Don’t add these people.

The CEO wrote back: Ask [Director of My Department] and [Director of Q/A].

Mystery deepened when the IT Director messaged me: They’re listed in Exchange.

In other words, they have company e-mails.

Finally, [Director of Q/A] arrived. I wrote the names down, showed them to him: do you know these people?

Nope. Who are they?

No clue, I told him. At that point he snatched the stickit back from my hand.

Wait! I do! The accounts are generic fakes, for the use of company employees in order to search LinkedIn more efficiently. They’re also business upgraded, since upgrading each employee’s personal LinkedIn for work use would be cost prohibitive.

And of course, once these fake accounts were created, no one bothered to tell anyone about them.


(Well, clearly, someone knows about them if they’re going around sending out connection requests).