Nana has tales to tell, and thoughts to share.

Name Tags

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!

“Hello, Jim!’

“Hello, Terri!”

“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!


Comments on: "Name Tags" (3)

  1. I am discovering that you and I are more and more alike with every blog. What is worse is a name tag and the “lets go around the room and tell a little bit about yourself” That is my nightmare.Literally makes me sick with fear.
    I too think the customers should wear nametags. I was out in Manitowoc and some guy stopped me and said “I know you” and for the next 20 minutes we stood there trying to figure out how. And I still didn’t know until he came in the gas station a week later. Uncomfortable. Love ya.

  2. Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode about this? Funny!

    Ilise Benun has a book out called “Stop Pushing Me Around.” The first chapters are all about overcoming such networking fears. Turns out most people have the same problem (and we all thought we were the only ones).

    Her most interesting point is that instead of focusing on how we ourselves fear talking, we should focus on easing the other person’s discomfort.

  3. I say just avoid any situation where the possibility may arise! It was horrifying for me to join the Jaycee’s. That 1st meeting was very uncomfortable for me. You know how welcoming the women are in Brillion. Especially ones 24 to 40. Glad I made that sacrifice for my job! Hahaha.

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