Don’t You Know Who I Am?

Recently the general manager of a Boston TV station was arrested at Logan Airport for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and assault and battery on a police officer. (Here’s the article.) According to the poorly spelled police report, officers were called to the airport to handle a “disorderly female” aboard Delta Flight number 4944.

Randi Goldklank, general manager of WHDH, who appeared drunk and smelled strongly of alcohol, had to be assisted off the plane by two members of the flight crew. Even though Goldklank was staggering and too unsteady to walk on her own, she still tried to break free from those who were helping her to get through the terminal building. When confronted by the four officers who responded to the call, she began screaming obscenities. When the officers tried to communicate with her, and ultimately quiet her and bring her under control, she “swung her arms” and “flailed” at them, striking an officer at least once and breaking the officer’s eyeglasses. The report states that she called herself a Boston big shot, and said, “Don’t you know who [deleted expletive] I am?”

Ah, yes. The old “Don’t you know who I am?” gambit. (Known by the arrogance cognoscenti as the DYKWIAG.) The parlor trick used by those who are more important than you and me.

How do people become so arrogant that they conclude that whatever worth someone else has, they have more? Central to their conceitedness is the perception that they are so important and so well-known, that they possess awesome, redoubtable power which will be used against those who stand in their way. And, let’s face it, as far as these characters are concerned, everybody is in their way. Goldklank, during one of her eloquent rants at the police officers, said, “…you think your (sic) a [deleted expletive] tough guy, you just watch and see what [deleted expletive] happens to you when I get [deleted expletive] out of here. I’ll have your [deleted expletive] jobs…”

She was outraged at the loss of power, seen by her attempt to break free from those flight crew members — no doubt glad to be free of her — who were helping her with bipedal locomotion. She screamed obscenities at all the police officers as they tried to control the situation, and she continued to scream as the officers handcuffed her.

It’s interesting how handcuffs symbolize a self-important person’s worst fear and greatest insult: the loss of power, and secondarily, prestige. Maybe Ms Goldklank would benefit from hearing the metallic clank of handcuffs on her for a while; it might teach her some humility.

If you are one of those people who has used the DYKWIAG, or who has even thought of using it, grab the nearest two-by-four or 9-iron and whack yourself on the head until the urge passes. This may take a while.

My favorite “Don’t you know who I am?” story is also set in an airport. The check-in desk is crowded with people traveling. One gentleman feels too important to wait in line; conceited people hate to wait in line. He pushes past lesser mortals to confront the harried lady at the airline desk, who tells him he will have to wait in line like everybody else. This infuriates him, which leads to him bellowing, “Don’t you know who I am!?!”

The lady behind the desk has obviously heard the DYKWIAG before, and so turns on her public address system microphone and asks, “Does anybody know who this gentleman is? He seems to have contracted amnesia and has forgotten who he is.” This provokes wild laughter from the crowd, but as if on cue, the self-important person yells, “F*CK YOU!”

The self-controlled lady replies, “I’m sorry sir. You’ll have to get in line for that too.”

One article noted that Ms Goldklank referred to herself as a “1,000 mph” person. Maybe this will teach her to slow down enough to think about others.

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