What if everybody DID wear nametags?

After 2,807 days, I (still) don’t think EVERYONE should wear nametags.


Sometimes, it IS kind of fun to reminisce about all my experiences (positive AND negative) and wonder, “Well, what if everybody DID wear nametags?”

So, here’s what I think.

I guess I’m the most qualified person in the world to answer this question…

If everybody in the world wore nametags:

1. People would be nicer to each other. Because it’s easier to make fun of someone when you don’t know anything about them.

2. People would hold each other accountable. For example, “Excuse me, Steve, but were you going to pay for those jump drives you just stuffed in your jacket pocket?”

3. People would hold themselves accountable. “Dang it, I better not go into that strip club. One of my employees might recognize me,” the CEO thinks.

4. People wouldn’t litter as much. “Hey honey! Today I saw your boss, Ted, dump his ashtray in the river!”

5. People would be more willing to give to the homeless. Because they wouldn’t be “the homeless” anymore. They would be human beings. With names. Just like us.

6. People wouldn’t commit as many crimes. Ever tried to rob a 7-11 with a nametag on? (I actually had a dream about that one time. And Tommy Lee Jones totally arrested me. Weird. )

7. The Police would solve crimes a lot quicker. Because victims, bystanders and security cameras would be able to remember and identify their perpetrators. “Sir, do you recall what the gunman looked like?” asks the detective. “Um, not really, but I DO know his name was Randy Harrison.” “Oh. Well, thanks! Case closed!”

8. People would have less anonymity and privacy. Which could lead to boundary violations and stalkers. (Both of which I’ve had. Not fun.)

9. People would stop cutting in lines. Imagine 100 people yelling, “Stacy is a cutter! Stacy is a cutter!” Awk-ward.

10. People wouldn’t start as many fights. I only say this because, in my experience, it’s a lot harder to beat the crap out of a stranger if he’s wearing a nametag – even though people have still beat me up for doing so 😉

11. People wouldn’t have to feel embarrassed about forgetting names. And EVERYBODY, no matter how old they are, forgets names.

12. People would feel more comfortable around each other. Because (now) they don’t have to worry about remembering names.

13. People wouldn’t avoid approaching someone they “sort of” know. Because they could just say, “Oh yeah, that’s Margie! I remember her. Thank God for that nametag, huh? I’m gonna go say hi.” Conflict creates avoidance.

14. People with Alzheimer’s wouldn’t feel so bad. Take THAT, memory loss!

15. People could honorably address each other by their names. As opposed to snapping their fingers, waving their hands, poking their shoulder or use any other form of rude, demeaning come-here gesture.

16. People wouldn’t have to fake friendliness. No need to call each other by those annoying name-substitutes like dude, buddy, partner, sport, feller, sweetheart, baby, hot stuff or HEY, DUMBASS!

17. People would be more honest. I just think it’s harder to lie to someone when you’re wearing a nametag. Just my experience.

18. People would be more likely to start conversations with strangers. I know I’ve met about 150,000 of them!

19. People would have more self-esteem. Because they would be addressed, approached and recognized more often and in a more personal way. And people create their identities based on how people respond to them.

20. People wouldn’t be able to give fake names. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on which person is hitting on you.

21. People would DELIVER better service. Because it’s easier to offer bad service to someone you don’t know. And conversely, it’s easier to offer good service to someone you DO know. Not to mention the familiarity factor, since wearing a nametag expedites your familiarity in the eyes of the service provider, turning you into an instant regular in their minds. And we all know what happens to regulars when they walk in the room: “Hey Norm!”

22. People would tip better. Because service would be better.

23. People would make more money. Because people would tip better.

24. People would feel closer to each other in general. See, the greatest power of knowing someone’s name is that it reduces the social distance between you and that person. Physically AND emotionally. When you know someone’s name, you’re immediately closer to that person.

25. People wouldn’t have to depend on alcohol or smoking as their (only) methods of socialization. Instead of saying, “Can I buy you a drink?” “Shots?” or “You got a light you sexy mama?” people could just use each other’s names. Gosh, imagine that.

26. People wouldn’t have to use cheesy pick up lines. Instead of saying, “So, are you waiting for anyone in particular or just me?” single people could get more creative with their approaches by saying something like, “So, is Sven a Norwegian name?”

What do you think would happen if everybody wore nametags?

For the list called, “101 Life Lessons Learned from Wearing a Nametag 24-7,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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