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Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Memory collection
(Photo courtesy of Daniel Sancho )

My memory isn’t what it used to be. Maybe it’s the old age. You know, me being the geriatric 40 year old that I am. Maybe it is the 5 pregnancies that destroyed some grey matter. Or maybe my memory was never all that good. Whatever the cause, the fact is that my memory these days, especially when it comes to names, just stinks.

I am assuming that this memory issue is the reason I have an unhealthy love for lists. I make lists, and then more lists. Although these days, it seems that my lists are not getting completed or used that much. Yet another thing to blame on my blogging.

So as you can just imagine, with my sieve like memory, I have a horrible time trying to remember people’s names. I am lucky that I can just barely remember the names of the doctors and nurses I have worked with for 15 years. That’s how bad it is.

It’s bad because I know how important it is to remember people’s names. Not just so you don’t feel like an idiot, but because it makes the person feel good. It means you are listening to them, it means you cared enough and they are important enough for you to have learned their name. When you remember someone’s name you have created a bond with them that they will remember.

I don’t know if it is just that other people are better at the name game or whether it’s my American sounding name in Israel combined with my big mouth that contributes to the fact that a lot of people remember my name. Especially the loads of constantly changing interns and residents at work. That has often left me in the awkward state of trying to sound like I remember someone when I honestly have no freaking idea who they are. Or sometimes if I am lucky I have a vague idea of who they are.

I was recently mortified when I went to a friend’s house for a party of sorts. There was a guy there who I knew I recognized and I kept trying to figure out who he was. At some point he came over and asked me if I worked in a particular hospital in a particular ward. I said yes and replied I know that I know you. His answer muttered in disbelief was, you darn well should because we have been working together for 15 years. I am an ER nurse and he is in charge of the radiology technicians with whom we work closely. The minute he said that I knew exactly who he was. I even knew that somewhere in my memory was a recollection of his name. Sadly my memory chose that particular moment to betray me yet again.

I can make my excuses about seeing him out of context and pacify myself that it’s okay that I couldn’t place him. Even if I gave myself that latitude, once I did place him I really should have remembered his name. It would have been a lot easier to smooth over the whole incident had I, at that moment, used him name and said something like of course M, how silly of me. I don’t know what I was thinking. But no such gracefulness was in the cards for me that night. I just saw him the other day and I got ribbed yet again about the whole incident. Not pleasant.

There are a lot of tips on the internet about how to learn and remember people’s names. If you are interested, this article was pretty good. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but it is important to make the effort to learn, remember and use people’s names. It is a gesture that is appreciated greatly. I know how good it makes me feel to have someone who I have met only casually remember and use my name.

So do you find yourself drawing a blank on people’s names when you meet someone you should know? Do you have any embarrassing stories you want to share to make me feel better? Go on. You know you want to tell me. Hopefully I will even remember you name.

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