I had worked with a woman for nearly two years. Granted, we didn’t always work side by side, but we certainly completed many projects together. One day, while working at a parade, she asked me my name. I took an obvious glance at the glaring nametag on my chest and told her ‘Amelia.’ Half an hour later, she was trying to get my attention and had again forgotten my name. After giving her the you-should-remember-my-name-so-I’m-just-going-to-stand-here-and-stare-at-you look for a few seconds, I told her my name. Again. You would have thought that after working with me for two years, and being explicitly told twice, she might remember my name. Or at least have the smarts to check out the pearly silver nametag that displayed it proudly. But no. That entire day was filled with her being unable to remember my name. I was annoyed and a little insulted (that would have been a good day to apply rule #6). And I cannot, to this day, see her without remembering the way she could not remember my name.
In contrast, I worked at a cafeteria last week. It was a temp job; I was just filling in for a few days. A man recognized that I was new and asked me my name on the first day. From then on, each time that he saw me he said, ‘Hey Amelia!’ and asked how I was. That man, Jason, was only a part of my life for a week, but he put a smile on my face each time I saw him, simply because he took the time to remember my name.
Challenge #5, January 5, 2011: Make a very conscious effort to remember the name of anyone you meet today. Is it respectful and thoughtful to remember someone’s name, and certainly creates a good start to any new professional or personal relationship.
If you need some help, here’s an ehow article on remembering names: