Savoring the mystery of Best Places to Work
As journalists, we generally want to know, know, know, know. Everything. Preferably before everyone else.
But there’s one thing I don’t want to know: where companies ranked in our Best Places to Work inNew Jerseycontest. About 850 people will attend the NJBIZ event tonight at the Hilton inEast Brunswick. Companies know they have made the cut to be on the list but they don’t know where they rank. This is one of the louder NJBIZ events—as our publisher Tom Curtin and owner Dave Schankweiler announce the rankings, suspense builds in the room and attendees get more and more excited that their company has not been named yet, meaning they are ranked higher. One year, I was seated—randomly—with a company that was in the top 5. The employees’ insistence that I must know—HAD to know—only increased as their company reached each ranking landmark: top 20, top 15, top 10, top 5, becoming almost a farce as I insisted that, truly, I didn’t know where they ranked.
But before the roll call of companies begins, we have the networking cocktails part of the event, when I am always asked if I know the rankings. Multiple times. In fact, event attendees have already asked me over the past several days if I know where their company ranks.
I don’t want to know because I’m not good at the poker face. If I knew, my face would clearly telegraph “Yowzers, you guys are flipping No. 2 this year!!!” or “Yeah, uh, better luck next year,” all while my voice was trying to deflect the question. Plus, I like surprises—I was one of the kids who never tried to find my presents.
Of course, the main thing is just being on the list at all, but these companies are on the Best Places to Work list because they are high-achieving and…and always strive to be number one.
I will be live tweeting from tonight’s event @SharonAnnWaters. It would be so much easier to have the Twitter handles of the top 10 companies in advance. But then I would have to know.