Saturday, September 18, 2004

Wearing a nametag often invites personal space invasions


Like I always tell people, "You probably wouldn't want to wear a nametag all the time because of all the #@$% you'd have to put up with." In fact, the disclaimer I have at the bottom of my website reads the following:

Front Porch Productions does not recommend or encourage all people to wear nametags. Although nametags can be a successful tool for many as a means through which to create a friendlier society, nametags may be potentially dangerous for young children and other individuals whose anonymity is vital to their own personal safety.

The operative word here is "safety."

Now, it is rare that physical harm will result from my wearing a nametag. (Most of the time.) But when I talk about "safety," I talk about personal comfort and security. This story is yet another illustration of certain downsides to wearing this darn nametag all the time.

I was at an Artie Lange concert. My friends and I stood around afterwards in attempts to meet the celebrity. While waiting in line, a young man approached our group and put his arms around all five of us.

Now, this was no problem. This guy obviously had quite a few drinks, but he was having a good time and not being too much of a pest. He began rambling on and on about the show, but eventually I saw his eyes fixate on my nametag.

Oh boy. Here it comes.... (After five years of wearing this nametag, I can just sense these things)

He gave me a big hug and a high five and said, "Scott my boy what's up?!" I continued to smile and replied back.

He then came VERY close to my nametag and began to smooth the paper up and down my jacket. For some reason he was talking in a pretend foreign accent, all the while saying, "Oh no this nametag must be nice....yes nice and smooth and sexy."

And he just kept touching my chest. He kept talking extremely close and tooling around with my nametag constantly. I smiled hesitantly, but eventually it got pretty awkward. I would say I was mildly annoyed, but not really uncomfortable. Eventually my friend Roger told this guy to "go pimp elsewhere" and be on his way. So the touchy-feely stranger made his rounds to others in the bar.

I guess it's the small price to pay for throwing yourself out there!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

When was the last time someone violated your personal space?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com