diamond geezer

 Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Business cards

When I started my current job, way back in 2001, one of the first things I was told to do was to order some business cards. I couldn't quite see why I was going to need them, but I was told it was absolutely essential that I had some. So I filled in the official form with my job title and contact details, and waited. A few weeks later a little package arrived containing 200 business cards. It was inefficient to print fewer than 200, apparently, so 200 I received. I was quite excited because I'd never had any business cards before. I gave one to my mum, and then I stuck three in my wallet just in case they were ever useful. They weren't.

And then the company I was working for changed its logo. They chucked away all their existing stocks of headed notepaper, shredded hundreds of boxes of compliments slips, and told us all to order some new business cards. I couldn't quite see why I was going to need them, but I was told it was absolutely essential that I had some new ones with the correct branding and an updated mission statement. So I filled in the official form with my job title and contact details, and waited. A few weeks later a little package arrived containing 200 new business cards. I gave one to my mum, and swapped the three cards in my wallet for three new ones. And then I threw 190-something old cards away.

And then the company I was working for restructured itself. They shifted my team into a different division where everybody had subtly different job titles, and told us all to order some new business cards. I couldn't quite see why I was going to need them, especially based on past experience, but I was told it was absolutely essential that I had some new ones. So I filled in the official form with my new job title and contact details, and waited. A few weeks later a little package arrived containing 200 new business cards. I didn't give one to my mum this time because the novelty had worn off, but I still swapped the three cards in my wallet. And then I threw 190-something old cards away.

And then my team got sold off to a completely different company. I kept the same job and job title, but I now had a new address, new telephone number and new email. I was immediately told to order some new business cards, so I filled in a different official form with my job title and updated contact details, and waited. A few weeks later a little package arrived containing 200 new business cards. They were lovely posh business cards, in full colour, as befitted a private company with an image to maintain. I gave one to my mum just in case she ever had to ring me at work, and again I swapped the three cards in my wallet. And then I threw 190-something old cards from the old company away.

And then the new company I was working for restructured itself. They removed one word from the title of my team, because this fitted better with revised core values, and then they told us all to order some new business cards. So I etc etc here we go again etc threw 199 old cards away.

Just recently my team has been sold on again, to yet another new company. I have the same job, same job title, same work address and same telephone number, but a brand new email address. So, obviously, I've been told that it's absolutely essential that I order some new business cards. I've filled in yet another official form with my identical job title and slightly new contact details, and now I'm waiting for 200 new business cards to arrive. I'm sure they'll be miniature works of art, even if I still have nobody to give them to. But the previous batch are already obsolete, so yesterday morning I reluctantly threw two completely unopened boxes of old business cards away. That's a total of 1000 business cards I've had over the last seven years, and I've ended up binning 990-something of them.

And now I have a sneaking suspicion that my job title is going to be changing, very soon, in a slightly-too-late attempt to make it more comprehensible to an international audience. So when my next batch of 200 business cards arrives I reckon I'll be able to chuck them straight into the bin. Just to save all that annoying hanging around inbetween. I hope they get recycled into something useful.


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