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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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.