There was a time, long forgotten now, when calling cards were a mandatory accessory for the well-appointed gentleman or lady. Serving a different purpose from the dreary business card, the calling card was a social statement; you thought highly enough of yourself to presume strangers would share your self-interest. Calling cards gave us your name, a byline, possibly your contact information – much like our blogs are set up today. When you arrived at a party or social function, you handed the white-gloved butler or doorman your card, who would then grandly announce your arrival to the gathered crowd.
Making a breathtaking entrance was an art form in itself, though altogether different, a matter which will be handled in a subsequent post.
I have a sneaking suspicion that not all calling cards made truthful statements about the announcee. For example, when a pedophile moved into a new neighborhood, do you think he went calling door-to-door on his new neighbors, handing out these:
And sure, Priests and Pastors came a’calling on new parishioners with a little white card that gave you their name and church address, but that didn’t necessarily include all of the information you’d maybe like to have about the religious organization vying for your worship. We know at least a few of those altar boys came home from church practice a little worse for wear. When the post office’s machinery damages my mail, they put it in a sealed plastic envelope, and send it to me along with their apology. I think the honest men of the clergy would have scored high points if they’d sent little Johnny home with one of these courtesy cards:
And let’s not ignore the coaches and camp counselors who got busy with other people’s kids:
And poor intentions toward the virtue of others is not restricted to innocent children. Wouldn’t you be better prepared to handle office politics if on your first day at the new job, the Human Resources manager handed you this card:
Integrity goes a long way toward garnering other’s respect. Who wouldn’t appreciate the mugger who showed the class to properly introduce himself:
We’ve all heard of hospitals making the most horrendous medical mistakes. Why not avoid the legal run-around, and just present the patients concerned family with a courtesy card which outlined the nature of their latest botch-up?
Custom calling cards for all occasions would be a must-have for professional victims:
And before that heartbroken family next door goes paying for Lost ads and posting “Missing” flyers all over town, those new foreigners might earn admiration by being direct:
Presenting a well-crafted calling card would also ease the awkwardness when printed with those off-handed comments we’d rather not risk actually making and embarrassing questions we’d feel safer not asking aloud:
Calling Cards written with integrity would likely be appreciated by men when hunting for a suitable life mate:
I, for one, am all for bringing back the lost art of presenting calling cards when introducing ourselves. Think of all of the potential confusion that will be avoided when we dispense with false or premature good impressions. If you know you are a douche bag and we receive your calling card announcing you as such, why, there’s just no good reason to waste our time trying to figure you out. Your calling card has done the work for us.
What would your calling card byline be, if you actually told the truth?