Life With Ferris: Introductions Without Embarrassment

Sunday, March 16, 2014 - by Ferris Robinson
Ferris Robinson
Ferris Robinson

Dear Mindy Maners, 

I'm in a crisis. I don't know what to do when I see someone I know, but they don't remember my name. It's embarrassing!  Let's just say I've met them before, been properly introduced and even had a conversation with the person, but the next time I see them, they don't remember me!   

I might say, "Hello Mr. Doe! How are you doing?" when I run into him at the grocery store, or, worse, at a cocktail party with dressed-up people witnessing my mortification. And Mr. Doe just looks blankly at me with a broad smile and says nothing. He actually feigns a weak "So good to see you!" without ever calling me by name, which is worse than him saying nothing! It's humiliating.  

The last time this happened I had just told my entire table how much I loved the "Does" and how much fun I'd had with this particular family over the years. And when Mr. Doe couldn't even call me by name, I felt snubbed. Embarrassed. Disgraced!

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't spoken at all. Maybe just waved across the restaurant. Or maybe not even looked his way. Let Mr. Doe wonder if I even remember who he is. 

Best,

Not Even Worth Remembering My Name 


Dear Not-Even,

I'm not sure how old you are, but chances are, I'm older. And wiser. Which is why you're asking me advice in the first place.  

I've never been all that good with names, and I have several thousand in my database up in the old noggin. The point is, that file is at tad on the corrupt side, and certain items take a bit of time to access. But that actually has no bearing on this situation, which is completely avoidable.

This particular rule is easy to follow. This one rule is golden, and not just because Ms. Mindy Meaners says so. This one applies all over the world. In every cafe or market or street you may find yourself in. And it has been in effect for centuries.  No, millenniums. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say that that one son from the bible, the prodigal one, remembered this basic etiquette rule when he returned home. "Hello, Father. Prodigal Son here." And of course the father said, "Of course, I know who you are! Don't be ridiculous!" and welcomed him back with open arms, whereas without that little tip-off, I doubt the father would have had any idea of who the scoundrel even was. And that one mannerly tidbit on the part of the son probably factored in as to why the father accepted him back in the first place. My apologies; I digress.

The correct thing to do, always and everywhere, is to introduce yourself! That's right. Don't think you are so celebrated and important that your name is on the tip of every tongue at all times. Just say, "Hello Ms. Maners! I'm Not-Even!"

Chances are the person you're addressing will shooosh you away like you are ridiculous for introducing yourself, (even if she/he doesn't know who the heck you are) and say of course you are, and give you a hug. Soooo much better for the addressee than floundering around trying futilely to both place the person and come up with a name at the same time.  

You can't go wrong on this one, I promise. I greet my own mother the same way as a rule. "Hello Mother. It's Mindy. Meaners." And most of the time she shoooshes me like I'm ridiculous, but it's never awkward. Ever.

Most Sincerely,
Ms. Maners


ferris@waldenloghomes.com


Priceless Pets Continues Saturday at the Walker County Animal Shelter

The Walker County Animal Shelter had 124 people visit the shelter and adopt 12 dogs and 14 cats on their first day of the free adoption promotion "Priceless Pets." "Among those adopted was the longest resident in the shelter, a dog that had been with us since December.  We still have plenty of dogs for the second day of our event, but will only have a few kittens," ... (click for more)

YMCA Mobile Fit: Food And Fun Meal Program Feeds Kids, Fuels Potential Throughout Southeast Tennessee And Northwest Georgia

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga is offering the Summer Food and Fun Program with support from the Walmart Foundation to "help kids stay healthy, succeed in school, and reach their full potential."   "Combining educational and physical activity, the program keeps kids’ minds and bodies active, while also serving a healthy breakfast and lunch to kids who may otherwise ... (click for more)

Reworked Miller Park, Connections To Cost Up To $8.4 Million

A reworked Miller Park with improved connections to Patten Parkway and MLK Boulevard will cost $7.6 million. With contingencies, the price tag is tabbed at $8.4 million. The city only had two bidders on the major downtown project. Thomas Brothers Construction had the low bid of $7,637,413. Dillard Construction was just behind at $7,768,113. The city lists the "total project ... (click for more)

Dionne Upton Named New Principal At Woodmore Elementary School

Hamilton County Department of Education Interim Superintendent Dr. Kirk Kelly announced Friday the appointment of Dionne Upton to serve as principal at Woodmore Elementary School. Ms. Upton has 21 years of experience as a teacher, instructional coach, and assistant principal.  Along with her various educational experiences, she has also participated in the Leadership Fellows ... (click for more)

Scrutinizing Defense And Other Public Spending Is Right Thing To Do

I saw in the news today where U.S. senators were investigating and scrutinizing an Army "debacle," which has already spent $6 billion on a communications system developed by a defense contractor (WIN-T) that is virtually ineffective in use.   This is on top of a recent Navy scandal (Fat Leonard Scandal) where several current and former Navy admirals were sentenced to prison ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Suicide Letter

Two weeks ago there were five suicides and a fatal drug overdose in the same Chattanooga community. That absolutely tears me up inside because I am assured almost every day there is a better answer. I make no secret I struggle with depression and it is real. I want others to see if I can get through the valleys to climb the mountain, they can too. I take medicine every day that ... (click for more)