This is more a general business/social tip of the day, then legal, but it came up in the context of a legal lunch I was at the other day, so I’m counting it.

Anywho, the other day I went to this luncheon with about a half dozen ladies – we are all part of a mentoring group put together by this lawyer’s group I’m in.   This was our first meeting as a group.  I knew about half the people there when I got there, including one person that I knew of (she’s a judge) but who I knew would not know who I was, so I put out my hand and offered my name and the judge offered hers, which of course I already knew, but I said polite things and moved down the table, saying hello to a person I knew, introducing myself to another.

Anyway, I got to the last person that was there and not knowing who she was, again offered my hand and name, to which she said “Oh we’ve met.”

To which I stared at her for a moment thinking, ‘nice way to (a) make me feel guilty that I don’t remember you and (b) deny me the opportunity to know who the fuck you are because you haven’t simply said “hi, I’m X, you may remember me from such and such,” to which I would have said, had she said that, “oh yes of course, blah, blah.”‘

No, instead she simply said, “Oh, we’ve met.”  So after giving her a moment to add something, i.e., her NAME, I said, “I’m so sorry, I’m terrible with names, could you tell me your name.”  Which she did, but since I was so irritated I promptly forgot it.

What made the whole situation even more amusing is that later the judge, who was running the lunch meeting, was running through the list of attendees to figure out who was/wasn’t there to see if we should wait before ordering lunch.  Well, each person was id’d on her list by first initial and last name, and the judge paused because she had forgotten this woman’s first name and she looked at me and I had to give her a “sorry” look because I couldn’t remember even though it had been given to me not ten minutes earlier.  Fortunately, the judge then suggested we all go round the table, introduce ourselves, talk about where we worked, etc.  So we both now know this young woman’s name.

The woman who left me hanging on the introduction is young, one year out of law school so maybe she hasn’t dealt with a lot of business-y situations where you are seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, but the tip of the day is, if someone offers their name to you, offer yours, because they may have just saved your ass because you’d forgotten theirs so do them the courtesy of the return.

Oh, and it turned out that the place we had met was at a big party the legal group had thrown nine months earlier – she was someone’s date and apparently we had briefly sat at the same table.  Is she effing kidding me?  I mean, I know I’m charismatic as hell when I’ve had a few drinks in me (hence her apparently vivid memory of me, hahaha) but did she honestly expect me to remember her from a 15 minute conversation at a party where I’d probably already had 3 glasses of wine.  Oy.

While typing this, I’m wondering if this is yet another example of the weird insularness of the locals in this area.  mr. jolt and I have noticed, and our fellow expats have too, that too many times to mention we’ve met someone and said, “hi I’m jolt” or “hi I’m mr. jolt” and the local person says “nice to meet you.”  And they stop speaking and don’t offer their name.  And this is when you have just seen them for the first time.   Seriously, it is the weirdest thing, like they are part of some untouched tribe who thinks that if they simply offer their name they’ve given you power over them or something.  So all the time, we have to ask, “I’m sorry, what’s your name,” which is silly enough when you’ve met them and forgotten their name, but REALLY stupid if you’ve never met them before and thus have no reason to know who the hell they are.  Which half makes me wonder if this chickadee had ever in fact told me her name in the first  place.