Tuesday, June 26, 2007

And you are...?

I've discovered a minor annoyance recently that, in the grand scheme of things, is so relatively low on the list of things to be pissy about that I question whether I should even address it here.

And yet, I will.

Probably becuase I have nothing better to write about. Which is sad, and perhaps worthy of a blog post of its own some day.

So here's the issue. I'm of the old school of the belief in having proper nametags. I firmly believe that a key component of having a successful event is having great nametags. They should be designed so that they coordinate with the other event collaterals. They should have your first name big and bold, so people don't strain to see it, but also include your last name (smaller and below), and your company name if it's a networking event. Which, let's face it, almost all events are these days.

As a side, and just because I learned this a few years ago and still think it's interesting, nametag etiquette says you're to wear your nametag on your right side, so when you're shaking hands with someone they naturally look right up your arm to your nametag and it isn't so obvious that they've forgotten your name (or vice versa). That's my little tip of the day to you.

Anyway, back in my grunt days at The Not-For-Profit, one of my most dreaded tasks was creating nametags for muckety mucks to attend our events (and hopefully donate tons of money because they are so suitably impressed with their awesome nametags). I can't tell you how many nights I was there late, typing in names and printing sheets of tags, then stuffing them into their plastic sleeves and filing them in alpha order so as to make event set-up easier. And there was one board member who absolutely refused to RSVP for events, but had a complete shitfit if she arrived and there wasn't a nametag waiting for her (which meant, more often than not, I made a nametag for her "just in case," and she didn't show up).

So I've done my time with the nametags. They looked so great that I still have all mine as keepsakes from all those events, clipped to a lanyard and in one of my keepsake storage bins downstairs.

But the last two events I've gone to, where I've taken the time to RSVP, I've been handed a sticker and a Sharpie. What? I have to write my own nametag? And, of course, it's at a crowded table with 40 other people all trying to write theirs. Which means you end up at a table with Beth and Laura and Mitzy and you don't have a clue as to where they work and therefore if they're worth talking to. Which sounds bad, but really, at networking events you have a limited amount of time to meet people and it should be set up so that time is maximized. This is how you avoid getting caught in a conversation with someone who has worked for Dial Soap for 20 years and doesn't know the difference between bar soap and a facial cleanser that minimizes Rosacea. Which is exactly what happened to me recently. Damn nametags!

The most recent event involved a charity, the Circle of Women lunch that benefits victims/survivors of Sexual Abuse. This was an invitation-only event that required a donation, which I was happy to give. I'm hoping to become involved in this organization and have expressed interest to that end. Upon check-in, I walked up to the table to find my nametag only to discover that only the board members and table captains had pre-printed nametags. Once again, a sticker and a Magic Marker was shoved at me, "Here." &*(%$

Now, the lack of proper nametags will not prevent me from volunteering for this cause, but dang it, it'd be nice to not be "Hello, my name is..." for a change.


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