Business Card EtiquetteErin Brown

Recently at a Hollywood event, I was introduced to a male comedy performer.  I call him this because that is the title on his business card that he eagerly handed me as soon as we met.  The immediate sharing of one’s card upon introduction in most situations is a turn off for several reasons. Number one: there is an assumption that I want your card. We met two seconds ago. How is it even possible to decipher that either of us want to have future contact? Or are you mixing me up with someone on Facebook whose hobby includes collecting random business cards? I hope so, because otherwise, this interaction is horrible.

The scenario might be slightly different if you are someone at a conference who I’m approaching for a business meeting or if your name is Bono.  Neither is the case. You are a wiry ‘comic’, who – even if you are wildly talented – I will never know because you are presenting yourself as someone desperate for an audience or trying to get inside my pants. On top of it, my recent quick judgments of you make me feel like I’m being a mean girl hence guilty which does not strengthen your case.

Number two: premature sharing of one’s business card smells like bragging. Nobody likes a bragger, but the worst bragger of all is the one who has nothing to brag about! “I’m an artist but I carry business cards” is not an impressive line no matter how sexy your voice is, especially when handing over a card you printed for free using Vistaprint. A card doesn’t give you status no matter what your profession. Actually, if you really are that important, you probably don’t even need a business card – like if your name is Bono.

Number three: shoving the card into my palm is uncomfortable. It’s worse than my babysitter wiping off my four year old face with the kitchen rag that smelled like bleach. Ugh. It’s as bad as that large man taking advantage of a jam-packed NYC subway grinding up against my back. Puke city. You just made me sick to my stomach. It’s a shame because maybe you really are talented and we could help each other or be friends, but your non-consensual exchange leaves me with a bad first impression and now I can’t wait to run to the nearest any place so I don’t have to deal with you.

Trust me, I wanted this to work as much as you did.  I’m not saying that to be nice, just logical.  If there truly is a connection with someone you meet for the first time it will become apparent very quickly. (Like when I meet Bono.)  Just give it two minutes, instead of two seconds. Those one hundred and eighteen seconds will make all the difference.  If we don’t end up exchanging cards, be thankful that you saved a free Vistaprint for someone who won’t throw it in the trash. And while you’re at it, invest in some real cards. Be like me and spend thirty bucks at Staples.

Please know that even though your behavior was less than desirable, it hasn’t stopped me from looking forward to meeting new and interesting people with the hopes that we can better each others lives if only for a brief moment.  So Mister male comedy performer, safe to say we won’t ever hang out, but you did inspire me to write this column and for that I thank you.

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  1. OOPS… *WHY*

  2. Hysterical! But it is the truth! I feel so violated when people attempt to engage in premature business card sharing with me! Whey so agressive! Slow down! Give me a minute! UGH! You speak the truth Erin Brown!! :D

  3. May I have your card?