This morning, on my way to work, I stopped at the corner store to buy a Snapple Diet Half and Half (a/k/a an Arnold Palmer). When I came to the counter to pay, the clerk said “Good morning, Lori! How are you today?” I smiled, and said “I’m great, how about you, Amir?” You see, we were both wearing name tags. Each morning, as I leave for work, I clip my work identity badge to my collar and then leave it on all day as I go about my business.
Amir and I laughed a little at the fact that although we’d never met each other, we now knew each other’s names and had made a personal connection. I suggested to him that the world might be a kinder place and we might all get along better if all of us wore name tags every day. If neither Amir nor I were wearing name tags, we may have had more of an impersonal, casual exchange and frankly, I wouldn’t have remembered him or what he looked like a few days from now. However, because we personalized our encounter by knowing each other’s names, it changed our dynamic.
The next time I go to this corner store, I will look for Amir and his wonderful, sunny smile.