The best Ego Wall I ever saw

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By Lee Scott

Years ago, when I was working in corporate America, everyone on my floor had an office with their own “Ego Wall.”

This was the wall covered with pictures, plaques, and diplomas displaying all the employee’s accomplishments. The wall was meant to impress clients and other associates.

We had our college degrees framed in cherry to match the cherry furniture. There were plaques and awards from local community organizations and of course, pictures with local dignitaries.

Some people had pictures with the local mayor or even the governor. There would also be plaques for the company’s prestigious “President’s club” which we all aspired.

I was thinking of those ego walls when I was shown into the office of a local professional who my husband and I were considering using. We had been led into his office and told he would be in shortly. The assistant was getting us some coffee while we waited.

As I sat there looking at his ego wall, it looked totally different from any I had seen before. I stood up to study it.

The first thing I noticed was a cute picture dated 1966. It was obviously the office’s occupant and he looked to be about a year old and sporting a Beatle’s haircut. He was a cute pudgy thing with a big smile.

Then there were charcoal drawings of a couple who looked like his parents, along with assorted photos with his siblings and then an engagement picture of him and his wife. Behind various objects there were Bob Dylan and Beatle album covers and Star Wars figures in their original packaging.

He also had symbols of his faith and playbills of musicals from his church. Sitting next to a soccer team picture there were two mugs – one said, “Greatest Grandpa” and the other said “Amazing Dad.”

The last two photographs next to each other were the most moving. There was a picture of him with his wife standing with a young boy. It was labeled “Adoption Day in the Philippines – 2004.” Next to that was a photo of the same child, now a young man in a U.S. Air Force uniform. What a profound difference they had made in that boy’s life.

I was mesmerized by his “ego wall” and the things he treasured.

When he came into his office and apologized for the delay, we replied “No problem.”

Then he sat at his desk and said, “Well, now, let me tell you a little bit about myself, the firm and how I can help you.”

“Don’t bother.” I said. I looked at his ego wall and said, “Your whole life story is right there. That is good enough for us.”

We hired him.

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career. A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Scott now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She lives on St. Helena Island and enjoys boating, traveling and reading.