Why I can't remember your name


I collected *some* of the business cards I've received over the past 9 months or so that I had stashed in various nooks in my desk at home and came up with over 150 and took a picture of them all. This doesn't count the equal amount I have in the office. Insanity. Hundreds of people I've never met before, from all over the country and industry, many who read my blog and are genuinely interested in becoming my contact and personally hand me their card. I get at least a dozen new cards at every Mobile Monday, and every month at work I get another dozen or so from various outside meetings, and meet new coworkers as well.

And the thing is, I just can't seem to remember who anyone is.

This is one of those things in the transition from daily heads-down programming technology geek to socially business geek that I really wasn't expecting: having to both manage the massive numbers of contacts I'm getting and then remember who people are. And the worst thing is, I have a horrible memory for these things. I'll meet people 4, 5 or 6 times and still have not the slightest idea of their name. And since most people will get someones name down after the second or third introduction, I look like an idiot constantly. Or more accurately, I look like a self-absorbed asshole who doesn't care about people. I'm not really, I just seem to be incapable of commiting you to memory. I have no idea why really... probably because of the sheer numbers. So. Many. New. People!

Every month at Mobile Monday I feel like that guy from Memento who keeps re-introducing himself to people every few minutes. "Yes, Russ... we met last month. Remember?" Actually, no. Maybe something is wrong with my hippocampus? Well, I say that, but it wasn't until I dug out all these business cards that I realized that it's not just me, it's just the fact that I'm being deluged with new contacts. The people who do this for a living thrive on this stuff. Me? I'm just completely, totally, absolutely overwhelmed.

Do me a favor, if you meet me again, 1) Don't be insulted if I can't remember anything about you. 2) Tell me your name again. 3) Please be sure that I'm very interested in knowing you, but it'll probably be another 4 or 5 meetings before it sticks.



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