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Friday, March 21, 2014


The other day I read a post from…somebody.  The post was about remembering names.  I can’t remember names worth a hoot.  I never could.  It is just one more reason why I never broke through the glass ceiling in the corporate world…I never even got close enough to wash the glass ceiling.  I don’t really know if the offices of big wigs have glass ceilings.  Suffice it to say not remembering your bosses name when he says good morning to you is not a ticket to the top.
Much of my problem is that I never pay attention when I am introduced to someone.   I know you should repeat a name when you are introduced,
“Joe this is Harry Smithwelder.”
“Harry Smithwelder, so nice to meet you.”  

Then you should picture a way to remember the name (Think to yourself, a Hairy welder named smith.)
That is how you should learn to remember names.  I’ve read this; I’ve heard it on TV shows.  I can’t seem to do it.  Instead my introductions usually go like this:
“Joe this is Harry Smithwelder.”
“It’s nice to meet you.” (Wow, this guy has scrawny arms, and look at the size of those ears…are those donuts on the table?)
The result is I never remember anyone’s name.  The next time I meet I resort to the always embarrassing “Hey, how ya doing?”
“Joe…its Joe isn’t it?  Remember we met at the conference last week.”
“Hey, how ya doing?”
It does not make a good impression when you don’t remember a person’s name.   It makes people think you just don’t care enough to remember their name.  It probably wouldn’t do any good if I answered,
“Yeah, scrawny arms, big ears, the name just slipped my mind.”
It is not just introductions where I forget a name; I forget names of people I interact with every day.  When I was working, half the people in my office were named “Hey, how ya doing.”
It was really bad when I was in school.  Coming to school after summer vacation I would have to relearn the names of people who the previous year were in half of my classes.  Kids I played ball with, the girl who was my lab partner,  the kid whose locker was next to mine…all these kids were “Hey, how ya doing” for the first week of school.
Maybe the only benefit of getting older is I can now use age as an excuse for forgetting a name.
Mrs. C sometimes gets exasperated with me.  Like when we are going someplace and I ask,
“Is what’s her name going to be there?”
“What’s her name?”
“You know, the short one, with the nice…you know.”
“My sister?”
“Yeah, Dina.”
“It’s Donna!”
“Yeah, Donna.”


  1. I seem to have this affliction as well. Once in a while I surprise myself, but it's not too often.
    They *say* that it's some sort of anxiety that one experiences at that moment of introduction, causing the name to slip out the other ear.
    Either that or maybe it is the donuts over there on the table.

  2. Ha ha, me TOO Joe - I take it one step further and forget how I know them too. anyone who is out of context, ie in the street instead of at work etc and I haven't got a clue even if I know them really well. I also spent several months saying hello to a guy I passed every day on the way to work before suddenly realising one day that I didn't know him, he just looked like an actor in a soap!

  3. Ha! Now THAT you'd remember. I'm the same. Sometimes I can remember someones name, but then when I try to introduce them to someone else, I forget their name a split second before I'm to say it. DOH!


  4. Love Sarah's comment!
    It's taken time, but I have learnt to repeat people's names, as in, "Hi Sam, great to meet you. Sam have you been introduced to so and so yet?" or something like that.
    The biggest thing that helped my dodgy memory was deciding people are more likely to think well if I ask someone their name, than if I try to cover that I have forgotten. In most cases, it makes them feel important. :-)

  5. I'm just as bad. I can forget the name 30 seconds after hearing it. That's how bad I am.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  6. I know exactly what you mean, Jerry.

  7. I try to repeat their name when introduced and then at the end of the conversation I try to say -- it was nice to meet you, and then repeat the name again. It works quite well, but not always!

  8. I had something clever to add to your ways of remembering names and how to get close enough to the glass ceiling to stick spit wads on it--but I was distracted by the donuts.

  9. Names never did work for me. Sadly, of late, neither do faces.

  10. There are people at the local pool who I've swam and chatted with for years, and I don't know their names. The Defense rests!

  11. It is so nice to know you are not alone. You remind me of my best friend's husband. We were at a party when he leaned in and asked my friend who that lady was by the door.
    "Don't you remember her? She was in our memory class."
    Then you know you are around the bend.
    You are in good company joeh.

  12. It's not just you. It's horrible. I can still use the fact that I can't see. Most people come up to me and say hi Melynda it's... That's awesome

  13. wait, folks have names too?

    no wonder everyone acts like i'm a creep.

  14. My ability to remember names seems to be getting worse with age, Fred.

  15. I just make up names for people.

    Maybe some of you've noticed?

    The kid next door has been Urkel since like forever.

    Well, he's not a kid any more.
    He has his own kids and moved out of his parents home long ago.
    I sure wish I could remember what his name really is.

    I'm pretty sure I'm screwed if I ever have to introduce him to someone.

  16. So glad to know I'm not the only one!

  17. I used to feel guilty when I couldn't remember the names of former students when I ran into them on the Walmart parking lot. Then I considered how I have 100 students per year, and after 25 years, that's 2500 students, and they have, perhaps, 20 teachers to remember.

  18. I skimmed down the comments and have to ask: Where are your blog friends who DON'T have memory problems? Are we all saying, "Hey, how's it going?" :)

    Actually, I'm in the category of having an anxiety attack as soon as the person gets close and the name goes - as Bob mentioned.

  19. All this time I thought I was the only one!

  20. I have conversions with people were I know the person's face but can not remember their name. I continue talking with them and hope someone involved in the conversion says their name. I feel bad when it is someone I used to hung out with a lot.