Thursday, April 20, 2006

Adventures in Nametagging: Motor City Style

Just got back from The Motor City. Cool town. Never been to Detroit before. Home of the RedWings (grrr...they stole Brett Hull from the Blues) and birthplace of Motown.

I stayed at the Inn on Ferry Street (pictured). Very historic. Each property was a real-life mansion! And much like the entire city of Detroit, the architecture was amazing.

I checked out yesterday morning before speaking to the students and alumni @ WSU. The women at the counter said, "Scott, you must be checkin' out..."

"Yep, time to go to work."

"Do they make you wear a nametag?"

"Oh, no. I always wear a nametag to make people friendlier."

"Really?" she laughed.

"Yep. Going on 6 years now."

"You know, that's a good point. Whenever I wear my nametag, people are always a lot nicer. Probably because my name is unusual."

"What is your name?"

"Levintres." (not sure on the spelling, sorry)

"That's beautiful. Where did it come from?"

"Well, it's actually rooted in the French word for 'adventure.' And you know Scott, I hated my name for so long. Probably till I was about 22. But then I grew up and realized that I was my name."

Nice.

I noticed a billboard on the way to campus for Shady Records, Eminem's label. It was appropriate since I planned to use Eminem as an example of commitment and dedication in my speech.

About halfway through my presentation I said, "This example of commitment reminds me of the city of Detroit. I've never been here before, but yesterday the first thing I saw on the highway was a bullet..."

BULLET!?

"Billboard! Billboard! I meant to say..."

Shit. It was too late. I said "bullet." Everybody died laughing. Nice one Ginsberg. Fortunately the audience was very forgiving and didn't hold it against me.

Guess you had to be there.

Anyway, on the way out of the student center back to the car, I passed by a guy in his early 40's wearing workout clothes who turned around and said, "Hey, are you Scott, The Nametag Guy?"

I stopped dead in my tracks. What the heck?!

"Yeah, that would be me."

The man walked over and said, "My name's Mike. I'm a highschool teacher right up the road. I actually used you as an example in one of my classes a few years ago. I saw your interview on CNN, showed it to my kids and then I made them all wear nametags for the entire day! They loved it!"

"Get the heck outta here! That's crazy!" I replied.

I gave him both of my books and encouraged his kids to check me out on myspace.

All in all, it was an awesome trip. (See all my pictures here.) I'd go back to Detroit any day. But maybe next time I'll check out a RedWings/Blues game.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Ever been to The Motor City?

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