From Where I Sit – Make My Life Easier

My collection of business cards irks me. Because I’m a bona fide card picker-upper the pile is getting out of hand. Depending on the day I may have two, three, or four to remove from my purse.

They are then dumped on my desk. If I need to follow up in some way they stay front and centre as a visual reminder. Last week at a fixture store I managed to barter a used female mannequin (without arms) for three dozen pyrohy. The catch is the store manager has to come to Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival in August in order to collect! The transaction was fun and I scored a couple of clearance priced stanchions. Naturally, I wanted to do a shout-out to them on social media. The card gave me the details.

Sometimes I need to make a call or write an email. Often I want to add the details into my computer’s email address book or smart phone contacts. If the card is for my personal use I may need it to make a medical or beauty appointment. Sifting through a two- or three-inch pile of unfiled cards isn’t fun.

So, one afternoon as I half-watched a made-for-TV movie, I gathered the loose cards, two three-ring binders and sheets, and a business card box for those that defy sorting. After separating the work cards from the personal ones, I dealt with the duplicates.

As I looked at the ones in the binders I knew many of them were outdated. I noticed the telltale perforated edges of do-it-yourself cards. I admired the beauty of others. I used this exercise as a memory jogger. Sometimes the name on the card is more important than the business or organization they represent. I hadn’t thought about some of these people in years. On some I had written notes or added context to the card.

Other times, especially with doctor’s cards, I remembered specialist visits. I teared up again as I handled my dermatologist’s card. It was Hilary who told me this thirty-something brand new mother died suddenly in March. She was lovely, caring, competent, and I’ll miss her. I mourn her lost potential. Others reminded me of the nincompoops or arrogant jackasses who managed to open medical practices.

Although there are (of course) apps for scanning business cards into smart phones, for now, I’m a holdout. I like that some cards have maps on them. That some have space for recording appointment details. That some convey additional information on the back.

I have a priest’s card with a scripture verse on it. Other cards with micro messages on handling media interviews, introducing speakers, daily renewal, remembering names, rituals of visionary leaders, and a seven-day challenge. I don’t think there’s an app for that. But I do know it’s very time consuming to manually enter contact info into a phone, so maybe I have to break down and buy some help. Luckily I can use all the tools to make my life easier, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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