Let us be frank: your LinkedIn endorsement means nothing to me, you disgusting and withered old sot. I neither solicited nor encouraged your endorsement in any way, and the idea that you think I require your stamp of approval in order to succeed in my chosen field is laughable. I find you to be beneath contempt. You would not know project management skills if project management skills set your house on fire in the middle of the night. Endorse me all you like. Endorse me every day. Endorse me in areas I have yet to conquer, for all it will help you now.
You disgust me.
From the very beginning, our relationship on LinkedIn has been a sham. I have smiled, and bowed, and scraped; I have played the game and observed the niceties, all the while laughing up my sleeve at your transparent antics. You invited me to “connect”: I saw all.
“I’d like to add you to my professional network,” you said. Of course you did. Who now would not? But it was not I who was added to your professional network. It was you who was added to mine, you grasping cur.
You felt yourself beginning to slip, and you panicked, and you sought to ally yourself with me. For months, you have noticed my meteoric rise in the project management industry, as your fair-weather friends and servile hangers-on began to desert you and sought protection under my broad and vital canopy.
In your weakness you committed the fatal error of making the first move. You sought the favor. I carefully considered and I allowed you to become indebted to me. Who are you to me? No one. What are you to me? Nothing. What need have I of your endorsement? None. Are not my project management skills known far and wide? Are not the merits of my spreadsheet spoken of with hushed reverence in the halls of great men? I outgrew you long ago, you old fool, and yet you persist in believing that your transparent, servile attempts at flattery will restore you to an honored place at my side. Where once you led me, you are now led. Where once you mastered, now you are forgotten.
We all laugh at you, you know. Every time one of us receives a new, meaningless endorsement from you, he waves it in front of his fellows in the marketplace and we laugh and laugh and laugh.
There is nothing a strong man abhors more than an old and toothless dog. He can no longer fight, nor make himself useful to the household, nor even feed himself. The best he can do is crawl under a tree and wait for death to claim him. This is the last and best dignity available to him. This is what I offer to you now: embrace your own death, and receive it with honor.
“Congratulations,” the message read, as if I were somehow lucky to receive your promiscuous endorsement. I have watched you carefully these few weeks. You will endorse anyone. You endorse wildly, profligately, without care or concern for whose name you allow to be associated with your own. I have seen you endorse the vilest of men in the most ludicrous of fields, all in the hopes of saving your own neck.
“Your connection ______ has endorsed you for the following skills and expertise.”
I do not need your permission to excel in the following skills. I have excelled without you for a long time now, and I will continue to excel long after you are gone. Take your endorsements and go. Bestow them upon someone who has asked for them. Your endorsement is not welcome here.
Tell me: who do you think you can influence either for or against me, at this late hour? Who do you think will see your endorsement and change their resultant opinion of me by even the slightest hair’s breadth? Whose regard for me do you believe you are still capable of swaying? What phantoms haunt your dreams? What echoes of your former power whisper lies to you, telling you that you are still a leader of men?
I take no leave of you. I will not like your page on Facebook, despite your repeated and pathetic requests that I do so. I will not participate in your upcoming Google hangout. I will not list you as an Influencer. I care not how many times you thumbs-up my latest profile picture. I will delete your messages unread.
The taste of your feeble endorsement is like vomit and ashes in my mouth. I will rinse you away, and be cleansed.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.