The Name Game

I met a lot of new people this week.  In fact, just yesterday, I met exactly 18 new people.  I know because I counted them.  There were staring at me with utter En..Thu..Zee..As..Em.. while I gave a presentation at work.  My co-worker was taking notes while I was yammering on and facilitating conversation.  Beside each note, she wrote in parenthesis who was talking….    

  1. Let’s consider a new funding strategy. (Stan)
  2. We need more public outreach. (Marybeth)
  3. What about improving public safety? (Julie)

What?!!?!!  How could she possibly remember all of those names?  Without stickers on their left breasts that read Hello My Name is_______ or names written with Sharpie pen on their foreheads, knowing the names of 18 people I’ve never met before is not going to happen in a fast 10 minutes.  Not in my world.  I know there are ways to do it (like associating something about their appearance with their name) but this never works for me.  It usually goes something like this…   

New Person Enters Room   

Him:  Hi Tracy.  My name is Robert, but you can call me Bob…Bob Anderson.   

Me:  Hi Bob, nice to meet you.  Please have a seat and make sure you grab an agenda.  We’ll be starting shortly.    

Convo #1…Inside My Head  
  • Do the name association game thingy – hurry!!
  • Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob…B is for Bob.
  • Think of an association….quick!
  • Okay, Bob’s head is shaped like an apple.
  • Bobbing for apples is funny.
  • The man with the apple-shaped head is Bob.

New Person Enters Room   

Her:  Hi.  Sorry I’m late.  I got caught in traffic.  I’m Dierdra Williamstien.   

Me:  Glad you could make it and don’t worry about the traffic.  Happens to me all the time.  Please take a seat…and make suuuure you grab an agenda.   

Convo # 2….Inside My Head  
  • Again, do the name association game thing-er-ma-gig.
  • Dierdra, Dierdra… 
  • Her name sounds like deer, she was in her car, maybe Deer in Headlights.  
  • Yes, that will work, her eyes are a little wide.
  • The lady with the wide eyes – her name is Deer. 
  • No!  Deer-DRA!  Don’t forget the Dra.  Like DRAcula.  I’d get wide eyes if I saw Dracula.
  • Yes, that will definitely work.  Got it.
  • The lady with the wide eyes – her name is Deer-Dra.

Problem is, once the meeting starts, I look around the room and see people with apple shaped heads, wide eyes, yellow shirts, spiky hair, cute jeans, and pointy noses.  In a professional meeting, I can’t possibly point to someone and say “yes, you, Ms. Wide Eyed Applehead”…which is usually all I can remember….  

© Andres Rodriguez

Do you have a good short-term memory?  Can you remember names?

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Renee on September 10, 2010 at 10:53 am

    NO – gets worse every year … er … day!


  2. Haha you’re too funny! I’m the same way; I can’t remember names for the life of me!


  3. haha this cracked me up! You know I’ve never really had problems with remembering names. I suppose I do my own version of the name game and don’t really realize it, however I can guarantee that my name game is no where near as funny as yours. 😉


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