Thursday, January 24, 2008

Advice for meeting 日本人

Lately I’ve been involving myself in the local Japanese community as much as they’ll let me and I’ve noticed one way in which I stand out and feel awkward. Actually, there isn’t a single way in which I blend because I’m generally taller and fatter and whiter and I prefer beer and tacos over 酒* and すし and I speak 日本語about as well as a stunned goat on crack, but there is one way in which I don’t blend that I’m actually motivated to address. When we meet, the Japanese always have business cards to dole out whereas I have none. As with most American corporations, I don’t get a business card because my responsibilities do not include working with external customers. So, three things:

  • I can write the information on something to hand out. I’m thinking purple crayon on the back of a strip club cocktail napkin with instructions like “Call 888-382-5633. Ask for General Pooperah. Tell him ‘The speed of fart is slower in winter.’ Then go to the nearest Shell station and wait for the return call.”
  • I can have my own personal cards printed with the above information, although what says I/T professional better than purple crayon?
  • Bullet lists are fun. Wheeee.

So, I’m thinking about getting a proper cardholder and having my own cards printed for future meetings, but I wonder what sort of information I should include. The blog is way out since it definitely includes info they don’t need during an initial invite. My home phone number is useless since it goes to a cell phone I keep turned off except for emergencies, such as when I realize my apartment does not contain pizza. I’m uncomfortable conducting personal business on the phone in my cubicle, plus I generally hate talking on the phone in the first place. That doesn’t leave much beyond my name, home address (which might not be appropriate), and e-mail address. Somehow, グラント – doesn’t seem like it will fill out a regulation sized business card, although maybe I could save money if I order cards the size of Chiclets.

Here is your chance to leave solicited advice, as opposed to all the unsolicited advice you generally give me. What do you think? Card or no card? Include cell phone (and actually check messages) or not? Include business name and title, or forget them because they’re too cheap to pay for the printing? Business address, home address, or no address? And where do I go for all this?

*If you can’t see the Japanese characters, your computer sucks and you should upgrade to an abacus immediately.


Patti said...

I can see the japanese characters Whee! I say just put your name, a phone number they CAN reach you at and what business you are in. That about covers it. I have business cards but I keep them crammed in my desk at work. Waste of paper if you ask me (for me I mean).

Kira said...

Gees, what the hell do I know? I've never messed with business cards. But since they are business cards, putting down your work phone number with the email addy and other work info should be ok, right? I know how useless your cell phone number is, so don't bother unless you want to check your voice mail compulsively.

And thanks for telling me you had your blog back up in such a timely fashion :P

~Deb said...

Wait - new computer - I see no characters!

Where's my card???

And the speed of fart is at a higher rate especially if your spouse gives ya the ol' Dutch oven.


Stacy The Peanut Queen said...'re blogging again. Why you no tell me???

I agree with Kira...if it's business related, put your business info. down there.

(Personally? I try NOT to hand out my business cards. Makes me too easy to find.) ;)

グラント said...

patti - I only need the cards for these Japanese meetings and I'm not offering my work services, so they're just a way to exchange names and numbers. I think I'll include all info and make an effort to check my personal voice mail.

kira - sorry that I've been out of touch. You must feel very deprived of my attention. :p

~deb - no more commenting after drinking for you, young lady. :p If you want to see the J-characters, you can enable the language toolbar (assuming you are using Windows), but if you're not interested in Japanese you might as well see a bunch of dots or question marks.

pq - I tried to check your blog, but it said it was by invitation only and I'm not invited. I think I'll include home and work info. People unable to find me is not my problem - I usually have to deal with them avoiding me.

Joe said...

What about this site. I like the simple one with the signature:

Spider Girl said...

Grant! You're back! *swoons* :)

グラント said...

joe - after researching a few sites, I ordered some personal cards from If they take my $10 and use it to finance terrorism, I'll give the other company a try.

spider girl - relax - it was just a really long bathroom break.

Tai said...

I think my abacus is broked.