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Monday, May 27, 2019

A Reader Question for the Community: What to do with awards, diplomas, trophies, and magazine articles?


Dear Muffy,  
What do readers do with their diplomas, industry awards, magazine profiles, and trophies?  I feel vulgar is I put them out prominently, and worse, humble bragging, if I put them somewhere like my office's bathroom.  It feels even more awkward to put them in my home office, even though I will be using that more over the years to come.  I do think they are interesting, and I like seeing accolades my colleagues have amassed.  Any advice would be appreciated. 

14 comments:

  1. My response to having these things would depend in part on what they are and what the context is.

    Occupational diplomas at the office? Sure. Industry awards? Possibly, if it's a meaningful award (a lot are just ego-buffing). Magazine profiles? Nah.

    At home, all of the above should be kept out of sight of any visitors to the house, unless your house does double-duty as a function facility for your business. But even then, less is more, so to speak.

    Basic principle: if in doubt, hide it (and the trash can is a perfectly suitable hiding place, so long as the item in question goes out with the fishwrap on collection day).

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  2. Diplomas and industry awards and certifications always at the office. Now that we’re retired, they’re in a closet gathering dust.

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  3. My former and beloved boss had his bachelor's diploma on the wall in his office and come to think of it, he was the only one who displayed a diploma. But it was entirely in Latin and nobody knew what it said anyway. But the diploma for his master's, now that was in English.

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  4. We recently dismantled and removed a bookcase in our den do to having reclaimed pine flooring installed. I kept a number of things that were personally important to me on the case. A diploma, acceptance letter to UPENN, awards, etc. After we put the case back I may keep the diploma and acceptance letter, but see some of the other things as just stroking my ego and not put them back.

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  5. All of those things are kept stowed away in my lower left desk drawer. Once in awhile, I take them out and look at them, but back they go almost immediately.

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  6. My undergrad and grad degrees are framed and hanging on the wall in my home office. I have never once felt awkward about it.

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    1. (That is, once I decided to hang them after hiding them.)

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  7. Robert ReichardtMay 28, 2019 at 8:02 PM

    One is caught between flagrant hubris on one hand, and “not hiding your light under a basket” on the other. I believe the quote was in the Bible somewhere? Meaning: if you got it, then by all means flaunt it.

    The worst case of show-boating your accomplishments I ever saw was in Woody Allen’s comedy “Play it again, Sam.” A couple has fixed Woody up on a blind date, and when they bring the girl over to his apartment he tries to impress her with a beautiful First Place Track and Field Medal and ribbon. Woody had placed the Medal (which he bought!) out on a coffee table in plain view before they arrived, and then casually dangles it in front of his face after his date sits opposite him in the living room.

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    1. Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

      Love the Woody Allen reference. I was once in a relationship with a fellow like his character. At the time I had my degrees hidden in my filing cabinet. I thought that as ludicrous as his showboating was, my reticence to simply display in an appropriate place that which I worked hard to earn was equally absurd. It was then that I had them framed and have displayed them since.

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    2. Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 So light your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
      When you want to understand the meaning of a bible verse it is a good idea to read what comes before and after it. And in this case you can see it doesn't translate to "if you've got it flaunt it".
      My husband is a christian, a genius, has a degree in economics and holds multiple scientific patents, his diploma is in a box in the basement. One time he asked God why every time he gets a new job the workplace is so toxic, and the answer he got was because you are the light and you change the people around you.

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    3. Robert ReichardtMay 31, 2019 at 11:50 PM

      Anonymous @ 1:03 PM

      You just shattered my reputation as a highly respected Biblical scholar. Perhaps I shouldn't have slept through Sunday School as a kid.

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    4. To Anonymous May 31, 2019 at 1:03 PM: Great comment! And you are so very blessed having such a husband.

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