In my younger years, I was a full-fledged member of a professional group. Now, most professional groups have their share of conferences, workshops, and seminars; some more than others. From where I sit (or sat) it seems to me that the educational field has more than it’s share of conferences, workshops, seminars, and classes. I usually enjoyed going to such gatherings. There was good information to learn, materials to take home, food to eat, and beverages to drink. There was however, one little item that always irritated me – name tags.
Being a shy and anxious introvert, walking into a large room full of strangers isn’t my idea of a good time. I would rather be just a little mouse along the wall, present and observant, but unseen. Name tags take away that anonymity we mice prefer. Name tags put a name to our face and lets other folks in on our private space. Name tags tell folks our names; and they use our name as a hook to get our attention…and…and… then they talk to us! And we are expected to respond in kind.
Today, I am no longer a member of that professional group of Educators. Today I work in the “Service Industry” (which isn’t that far from the Educational Department…but that thought is for another blog). In the service industry we still have to wear name tags. Customers immediately know our name, and call us by name. For some strange reason, wearing a name tag does not seem so bad. For one thing, they are a lot nicer than the conferences’ billboard sized “Hello, my Name is…” . Secondly, I have discovered, to my surprise, that it is rather nice to have customers come into the store and say “Hi Terri!”. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I belong to this community. People know me.
So here is my big idea for the week…why don’t we all wear name tags? Every single person, all day, every day. That way we would all know each others’ name and could greet them by name. I wish my costumers would wear name tags. For as much as I enjoy chatting with them at the store, I don’t know what their names are. I’d ask, ( if I were brave enough), but I know I would never remember after they told me. Just think how much sunshine and cheer we could spread if we were able to greet folks by name!
“Good Day Officer Jones!”
“Good Day to you too Mr. Franklin! Could I see your driver’s license please?”
Goodness, the world would be one step closer to knowing one another, and being friends with one another. And maybe, just maybe, if we all wore name tags, we could remember what we named our kids, and call them by their right names!