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Posts Tagged ‘Business Cards’

One of the most rewarding small things about starting my first academic job was getting business cards with things like “Dr.” and “Assistant Professor” on them. My cell phone number also ended up on them somehow. I remember that I had to fill out an online form with the information that I wanted to be included but I don’t remember whether I mindlessly put my cell number into a preexisting field or whether I actually thought that it would be a good idea. I certainly haven’t given anybody my business card at conferences or on campus that I thought needed to have my cell phone number in addition to my office number and e-mail address.

So my cell phone number is on my business cards but I forgot about that fact for two and a half years (thankfully not two and a half thousand years). During most of this time my business cards were stored safely in their box in my desk drawer, making brief appearances at conferences and admissions events. Before the fall semester began, however, I received a business card holder for my desk and I decided to make use of it. A few months ago a student was in my office and picked up one of my cards, asking, “You have your cell number on your business cards?” My response was something like, “I don’t think so, that would be stupid!” Why, after all, would I want every student who came into my office to have access to my cell phone number? I don’t even like it when students call my office number, and I put that one on my syllabi!

So far, no unwelcome students have called or texted me, but the possibility exists as a nagging fear in the back of my mind. Unfortunately, I am over three years away from needing new business cards (handing out less than ten a year makes a pre-tenure reorder extremely unlikely). Of course, I could just put my business cards back in my desk, but if I did that I wouldn’t have anything to blog about! Instead I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that nobody else notices.

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Business CardsDo you need business cards if you are not a businessperson?  Last spring, in anticipation of the upcoming job market, I thought that it might be helpful to have something for others to remember me by.  I imagined giving business cards to prospective employers that I happened to run into in the hallways of the ASA hotels, leaving business cards with those I met for the employment service, and giving business cards to friends and faculty members who would be eager to distribute them on my behalf.  While I would probably have been content with 50, official departmental business cards could only be ordered in quantities of 500.  Nevertheless, it seemed like a worthwhile purchase.

It turns out that I had no business ordering business cards.  I did give one to individuals from a particular school (to which I decided not to apply) at the employment service and another to somebody else I met at the conference.  I still have the rest.  Now that their intended purpose is of no use to me I suppose that I can use them in the place of scraps of paper to jot down notes and grocery lists.  I would have been better served to give people scraps of paper with my name and e-mail address.  Of course, in the fall I will happily accept business cards with my new institutional affiliation.  At least this time I’ll have six years or so before their expiration date.

*The soundtrack for this post is available here.

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