Friday, August 14, 2009

520. Name Badges

I've never been much for name badges. For whatever reason, they've always made me a little uncomfortable. They are a sort of advertising and, despite my political involvement, advertising is not something I like at all. And I find them ostentatious if nothing else, as if to say "lookee here, see who I am." That's just not something I like to do. As many of you know, at most any given event, I can be found, whether it be a political assembly, a classroom, restaurant, or church, in the back of the room - and fairly close to an escape route - a door.

From such a vantage point, all the intracacies of the social networking of a gathering can be viewed and judged - or not, depending on one's frame of mind. If I want to know who someone is, I have two choices. Ask around or ask the person themself. That is one place name badges make for awkwardness. Let us suppose you are in a room and there is a person of interest to you. It feels kind of odd walking up to them, peering at their name badge, then saying, "oh, so you are Joe So-and-So!" Well, of course they are, that's what their badge says. It just seems silly to me.

Over the years, there have been many occasions where I've been requested to don a name badge, but quite a bit fewer where I've actually done so. Particularly at political events - fundraisers for certain - everyone is asked to put a little badge on, usually trimmed in red or blue, telling everyone who you are. Sometimes you get one color or another to distinguish you as a member of one group from someone with another color who, ergo, belongs to a different group. Only the organizers know that the red-badged people must be talked to while the blue-badged people may be as they are optional - or vice versa.

After avoiding wearing any badges for seven years (when I last ran for public office), this year I've found myself with three. One of those identifies me as Treasurer of the Metro Democratic Club. They [those amazing people who are in every group] want us to wear the badges during the meeting so people will know who we are. Anyone who has attended a Metro Democratic Club meeting for last several years can easily pick me out. I'm the guy off to the side with the checkbook, the receipt book, and the membership forms. It would appear that I am the treasurer, but I should wear my badge to put aside all doubt. I must remember to wear it to our next meeting on August 26th.

Upon my arrival in January as a staff member at the Louisville Metro Council, something I addressed in an entry about that time, to serve as a Legislative Aide to Councilman Brent Ackerson, Democrat of the 26th District, I was presented with a badge telling me and whoever else wished to read it that, indeed, I was the Legislative Aide to Councilman Brent Ackerson. Councilman Ackerson, Brent the Democrat as opposed to Councilman Ackerson, Jon the Republican, has requested that I wear it at events out in the district, a not-too-unreasonable request given that I am fairly new to that area of town. So it is that I can be seen from time-to-time with the Metro Council badge. Incidentally, the Metro Council badge looks remarkably like the Metro Democratic Club badge, the former including my middle initial, the latter without it. Both are gold badges with black lettering and each includes in some form a Fleur De Lis, the official symbol and flower of our government here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606.

Recently, as in a few days ago, I received a badge in the mail from the Kentucky Democratic Party. This one can be used to identify me as a State-At-Large member of the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee, a position I hold by virtue of a series of events last summer which began with my alleged election as a 3rd District Committeeman. This badge I will definitely wear at the next State Central Committee meeting in the hopes that the new chair of the Party, Chairman Moore, will have something more than "hello" to say to me. Certainly his predecessor, Chairwoman Moore, had a lot to say to me. There are reasons I want the Chair to know who I am when I am speaking. Some of you may recall that much of my interest in serving on the Committee was to address some weaknesses in the state Party By-Laws, weaknesses I sought (unsuccessfully) to change in my previous term, and for which I ran again so as to address them again. Maybe if the Chair knows it is me speaking, he will hear me out. Or then again, maybe I'll just leave the badge at home and act like I'm somebody else. I might have a better chance that way.

Thanks for reading. If I were to be wearing a badge right now, it would read "Jeff Noble, Blogger, Louisville, Kentucky."


Carol said...

You are feeling uncomfortable due to political involvement that's true!!
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Anna said...

I think Name badge is a symbol of your social & professional status, that explain itself about you & your responsibility. That's why it is always says "Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge." Window Badges

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.