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On Being Exceptional

I was recently named as Redgate’s Exceptional DBA for 2012 and let me be the first to tell you that winning that award floored me.  Seriously, completely, absolutely floored me. 

Let me tell you a little secret here:  I don’t think I’m really all that exceptional. 

I think I do my best, and I try very, very hard to meet all of the needs put on my plate, and I go out of my way to try to anticipate needs, but I don’t think that makes me exceptional….

and that’s okay. 

Time for another secret:  Since being named as the 2012 Exceptional DBA I’ve received tons of congratulations, a few cards and even a money tree.  The attention has been a bit overwhelming at times, and every time I think it’s fading another round of emails and phone calls come in.  This is a strange place for me to be.  It really is.  Don’t get me wrong – I like to hear the occasional ‘Good job!’ as much as the next girl, but I’ve discovered that I have no desire to be a super star.  I’ve found myself averting my eyes, and mumbling a thank you when folks stop me in the hall at work to congratulate me, blushing when the award is mentioned in meetings, and down right uncomfortable when I am introduced as an award winning DBA.

My comfort zone is off in the wings, offering support to those I can, and solving problems in my own quiet way.

So, you might ask:  “Meredith, if you know you don’t like the full glare of the flood lights why did you enter the Exceptional DBA contest in the first place?”  – great question! 

I entered for one simple reason.  I’m not very good at singing my own praises.  I am one of those people that deflects praise quickly and deftly.  If I solve a problem I will quickly include everyone that helped in any way.  I try very hard to include my coworkers in any small victory.   I have also come to realize that not everyone operates in the same way, and if I am not ready to tell the world what I do, have done, know, or can find out no one else will – at least not all the time.  I entered the Exceptional DBA contest as a way to practice answering questions about me and my work in an honest and flattering way.  I had no expectation that I would be named a finalist, let alone win.

So, this is my long and rambling way of saying thank you to the community members that voted for me, and to the judges that felt I deserved to be elevated into the final five in the first place, and also a way to remind everyone else out there that just because you don’t feel like you are exceptional all the time, chances are good that you are exceptional to the people that need you to be.





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