One runs into our friend Holmes in the oddest of places.
Sherlock Holmes wouldn't really seem out-of-place as an example in a self-improvement seminar, but when I ran into him at a session run by my place of employ's human resource department, his familiar silhouette was more of as a directional marker.
The particular registered trademarked bit of employee development we were participating in that day was constructed to facilitate communication between different sorts of people, and in order to determine just what sort of people we were, our first act was to look at a series of pictures and pick which we felt best represented our attitude toward life. And there was Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Not James Bond or D'Artagnan or Abraham Lincoln. Sherlock Holmes. In fact, no other identifiable human being showed up among the pictures at all.
And of course, I picked his card as my first choice. What am I, a Twihard? Nope. Sherlockian, and having to go with Mr. Sherlock Holmes, regardless of how it might throw a wooden shoe into the machinery of corporate self-improvement. Fortunately there where other indicators that backed up the picture test, and I scored in the Sherlock Holmes category on those as well. Of course who's to say from the outset that a once I was presented with a certain consulting detective I wasn't placed in a mindset that was going to put me there in any case, biasing the test.
And who's to say that a picture of Derek Flint wouldn't have set me down a different personality course as well. At a certain impressionable age, our man Flint was a strong competitor with Holmes and one or two others for my favorite character of fiction. He certainly didn't have Holmes's issues with women. (I think most of my understanding of ballet came from a combination of the movies The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and In Like Flint, when you come right down to it. Both involved an interview with the prima ballerina after the show, and neither worked out all that well.)
But as Sherlock Holmes would have done, I couldn't help but find fault with the course in the end. It broke humanity down into such a few categories, less than a newspaper horoscope, and as Holmes himself once went to the trouble of categorizing seventy-five types of Victorian perfumes, I think he would have hardly settle on less brackets for the human race.
But approve or not, it was still good to see him there that day, as it is most times we meet.