Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Name Memorization Game

I mentioned I'm becoming a networking junki--- um maven.

Well, the problem is that to win the game, you have to remember the name.

Oy, vey!

I have this somewhat eerie fascination with names. Names rarely if ever fit the character of the person in question. Most names are given to people for political reasons, rather than to fit the spirit or personality of the child, and many people have no clue what the personality of said child will be. So they pull a name off the family tree, or their favorite character in a book, or their favorite actor/singer/whoever.

I have a heck of a time memorizing given names for some reason. Aside from my memory being ephemeral on the best of days, I believe that the vacuum when trying to call up a name results from the name being discordant with the person's energy, personality, or spirit. I won't go into it on my work blog, but suffice to say that I'm psychically sensitive.

I've belonged to several organizations where people choose their own names, not to mention online "Handles" or AIM Screen-names, or whatever you want to call these aliases people hide behind (or come out from under!) on the web. What I find fascinating in that I rarely remember a person's given name when given to me at an introduction. But if the person says "I'm Thistle" I'll remember it. Not ONLY will I remember that they're Thistle, but when I DO get their "real-life name" -- I'll remember Thistle AKA John Smith. If I were introduced to John Smith, I'd forget his name in 2 seconds. For some reason the discordance is what helps me remember Thistle vs John Smith.

I wonder why this is. I've been through the MSR (Medieval Studies & Re-creation) and the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), and I could rattle off the fictitious names and often titles of a hundred individuals AND their legal given names. Send me to a business networking event and suddenly I'm at a loss. I also have the same skill from Compuserve/BBS and the current Internet chat and email social circles.

I think I'll have to come up with mental trickery for this one. I don't have as much trouble remembering a business name. Maybe I can trick my mind into thinking of someone as Smith Loan Corp aka John Smith. That would be piggybacking the odd skill I have for remembering aliases and fictional names. Then once I have the name down, I have to "Flip" them around in my head -- as if I'm introducing a medieval recreation pal to my mother -- or embarrass myself by introducing John as "Smith Loan Corp". I still find it better to "Smith Loan -- I mean John Smith" than to not introduce someone because I can't remember their name for the life of me.

It's also amazing that the moment I'm writing down the person's name doing job intake, typing it into a contract, and adding it to my accounting program to print out the first invoice, that seems to be enough writings for me to memorize the person's name. Maybe I just need to write the person's name 3 times :)

[tags]clients, networking, personal, rant,[/tags]

1 comment:

  1. I'm actually finding that I can memorize name->business name associations with a little work. I'm working on 2-4 names a week. I write the name & business name, sometimes several times, on a post-it. Then leave it on my computer monitor until I'm sure I remember their name.

    Next I'll have to rant about faces. I don't have a good visual memory at all. Pinning the name/business name to the face is ANOTHER issue. *sigh*