I have no future in Public Relations

There are several reasons I will never work in PR or marketing.  First and foremost, I have not had a soul-ectomy.  My soul is still intact and so I am obviously precluded from working in this field, favoured as it is by Satan’s most devious minions.  Another reason is that I’m no good with names and so could never master the dark art of “schmoozing.” 

You know those people who can walk around a room full of people they’ve met may once, shaking hands and calling everyone by name?  That isn’t me.  I need to talk to someone day after day for weeks until I remember their name.  I’m far worse than average at this and this makes life as a contractor a little difficult.  Usually I end up in new workplaces two or three times a year which means I have to learn a whole bunch of new names each time.  And it’s horribly unfair – they only have to learn one new name (mine) while I have to learn all of theirs.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time walking around saying “Hey, how are you going?” without using a name then walking off in horror thinking “Oh god, they know my name, who the hell was that?”  People usually end up thinking I’m very security conscious because I always suggest that everyone should wear prominently displayed name tags at all times.  The building manager thinks “Fine idea, it will be easier to spot unauthorised people.”  I think “at least I’ll have a slightly better chance of getting people’s names right.”

I know I’m not unique in suffering from this social disability.  Some friends of mine had a band called The Sweets of Sin and they summed up the feeling of groping for a name you feel you should know very well in one of their songs, “What’s In A Name?”:

Like running underwater, stumbling in the darkness/

Fumbling from the bedroom to the bathroom in the night/

Like feeling for that mousetrap you placed behind the fridge/

Searching for those names only getting them half right.

This affliction is playing on my mind for two reasons at the moment.  First, I’ve had to move desks for the fifth time this year in my current job.  All the team surrounding me remain the same but there are always new people just over the cubicle wall.  A disturbing number of them already know my name so I’m spending a lot of time nodding and smiling but refusing to actually speak.  Second, this contract is almost over so I’ll be going somewhere new and starting the whole horrible process all over again.

Even the interview process sucks for me.  Five minutes after being told someone’s name in an interview I’ve forgotten it.  So I spend the whole interview trying to act friendly and personable while avoiding saying names in an attempt to avoid admitting I’ve already forgotten.  Then, straight after the stress of an interview, the agency always wants to know how it went.  That’s OK but they always end up asking “Who did you talk to?”  I don’t fucking know, some people.  You’re supposed to organise these things, don’t you know who I spoke to?

I’m sure I have a reputation as a total flake.  Even with people who don’t know about this blog.  I wish I had a drug habit I could blame it on.



Filed under General Angriness, Work

17 responses to “I have no future in Public Relations

  1. ‘I wish I had a drug habit I could blame it on.’

    No you really don’t! lmao

    The good thing about being from Texas is that I can get by with calling everyone, male and female, honey or sugar (pronounced suga). They know they are extremely important to me if I call them by name. Important cause I can fucking remember it. 😀

  2. hellboy

    dont worry man, you can say you have alzheimer or you used some part of your brain during a fatal crash (that i believe you did)
    better take some notes then 🙂

    sandra, i wonder how you can remember names in sucha hot weather!!!

  3. Salamaat,
    meh, don’t stress….i think we all run on such short fuses it’s hard to remember who is who.

    those song lyrics are really awesome:)

  4. I thought ACRS (Advanced Cant Remember Shit) was isolated to myself. But I see its spreading globally….

    I can remember the most mundane factoids but, a face and a name, I’m toasted like Forest Gump at a speed dating meeting.

    Well, the name tag thing is definetely along the lines of Albert Einstein:

    “My dear boy, I have so many things to remember. I never bother to memorize anything that I can easily look up.”

  5. Sandra: you’re right, I don’t want the drug habit – just a convenient excuse

    Hellboy: everyone does think I have Alzheimer’s!

    Maliha: Nobody expects us IT types to have good people skills anyway 🙂

    marrngtn: do you think it’s contagious? Or is it genetic?

  6. ACRS! excellent. i can’t remember names OR faces. of people, that is. i seem to have no problem remembering dogs.

  7. md

    You think your memory for names is bad. I meet weekly as part of a committee with other females, the same half dozen females each week for over a year.
    Last Friday in the course of bringing someone else up to speed on what had been discussed when they were out of the room, I forgot one of my colleagues names. So I am sitting there, totally mortified, that I can’t recall the name of a woman I see every Friday.
    I just said “Sorry but hey I have lived almost a half century, the brain has to dump some things now to make room for new stuff, stupid brain dumped the wrong things.”
    This isnt a new experience, its just that I CAN now use my age as the excuse!

  8. Tom: I’m also wondering if ACRS is progressive… do you start with MCRS (mild) and progress to TCRS (terminal)? If that’s the case, I kniw where I am on the progression scale.

    md: I do similar things all the time. Like forgetting my boss’ name. I end up referring to “You know… guy in the corner office… big bloke always wearing a suit and tie… tells us what to do all the time.”

  9. Will

    Phew…I thought I was the only one with that problem..
    I’m frantically trying to remember faces and names without associating them with their desk location, in time for the christmas party!

  10. “TCRS”… Yeah, I guess that’s me. Compounded (as usual) by being in Japan, where people’s names all seem to fall into two main groups: 1)simple, but they all sound the same (eg. Yoko, Yuko, Yuka, Yumi, Fumi, Kumi, Kimi… you get the picture); these tend to be women’s names. 2) arrangements of sounds that seem to be unique to the person you’re talking to (Toshikazu, Tomonori, Masataka, Hironobu, etc.); these tend to be men’s names. It’s all very confusing and tiring, especially when about 250 of them are your students…

  11. I have the same problem, I don’t know the name of a single person who is sitting in my column of cubicles right now. (Actually I was displaced to the Twilight Zone of cubical columns, and nobody here is on my team, so I don’t really care either…)

    This is one reason I like working at a place that has name badges though. 🙂 I already seem stupid enough as it is with names, without the badges I would look even worse!

  12. Will: oh god, I forgot about the christmas party!

    Kyklops: You’ve set yourself some challenges there. Why is it always women’s names that sound the same? I remember having to cope with a party once that included shona, sheena, shana and shauna. I nearly went mad.

    Devlin: not caring helps 🙂

  13. me 2

    Look up prosopagnosia.

    I bet you can remember that word more easily than anyone’s name.

  14. I looked it up – I can remember faces, it’s names I’m no good with 🙂

  15. I can remember faces also Mr. Angry. My whole family is like that. It’s quite hilarious come reunion time especially on my mother’s side. 16 aunts and uncles. 40+ first cousins. 30+ second counsins then all the twice and thrice removed… and the great great greats. OPh good god.

    I’d run with it. Turn it into a joke somehow. LOL. I was worse than normal at my last place of employment… too many potheads all in a room. It was kind of like being online in that we all had nicknames. 😉

    I’ve got GAD.
    he he

    kind of like

    I’ve got mail.

  16. This is an excellent post!

    It happens to me all the time. Sometimes, I can’t remember my children’s names!

    Try blaming it on lack of sleep. It works for me!

  17. Jessica: I think it’s important to embarce it 🙂 If you try and pretend it isn’t happening you make the situation worse. I usually say as soon as I’m introduced to somebody “I’m going to forget your name in 5 seconds, nothing personal i just never remember names. I have to use a name at least a dozen times to remember it.”

    Suroor: I’m one of ten kids – my mum used to go through three or four names before getting the right one most days 🙂

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