This is a story about name tags. Consider yourself warned.
It’s a story I heard on a podcast some years ago that concerned a gentleman who wore a name tag everywhere.
Hello, my name is Fred
It’s stuck with me ever since. By wearing the name tag he’s inviting conversation. He’s introducing himself to everyone. And he’s removing that awkward barrier when you can’t quite remember someone’s name.
At conferences, training, and social occasions I’ve been given many name tags. Most are mass printed, slotted into holders and, typically in small officious, anti-social type, say “Rick Measham, Delegate 382122”. Or “Rick Measham Company Name”. Other times I’m provided with a blank mailing label and a biro to write my own name. But my favourite, by far, are the rolls you can get from office supply stores that set the tone. In a bright primary colour they say “Hello! My name is” and give you a nice big space to put your name.
Sadly for some reason, there are some people that cannot handle someone voluntarily wearing a tag outside of a conference. The story goes that the gentleman in the story was at an airport when some antisocial jerks ended up assaulting him and tearing off his name tag. But surprise! He had it printed on the shirt he was wearing underneath. (He hadn’t yet got to the point of a tattoo underneath his shirt.)
In my circles there are many who don’t feel comfortable wearing a name tag. And that’s ok. I can be pretty bad at remembering names but I’ll do my best. So if you see me around, please say Hello. Even if I’m not wearing my name tag.
Hello! My name is Rick