That you so richly deserve

At the office, my work email account gets a message with the subject heading “Congratulations! You reached a milestone!”  It's from an organization that tracks how many people have read work-related papers that you’ve published online.  

“Your research is in the spotlight,” the headline says inside.  Well, this is flattering to hear.  Under the title of my article is the message “Your article reached 20 reads.” This is for an article published ten years ago. 

Twenty reads in ten years.  That is some kind of milestone, technically.  I’d forgotten about it and frankly, I wasn’t lying awake nights wondering about the readership of what was truly a trivial piece.  It’s OK if no one else remembers it.  

Oh wait, there’s more to the email.  “Your achievement is shown on the home feeds of your colleagues and co-authors.”  Fantastic.  

The email won’t drop it: “Go to your home feed now to see your peers’ recent achievements.”  Yes, I need to see how popular everyone else is.

The parting comment is choice.  “Add a profile photo so they can instantly recognize you.”  No doubt so I can live through my own personal version of Beatlemania.  I should play along by sending them an image of Gollum just to see how long it stays up under my name.