Name tags 20100910
I flew KLM from Helsinki to Amsterdam yesterday. Onboard these days, the pursers and cabin attendants are just that. Purser and Cabin Attendant. That’s what reads on their name tags. No first name. No last name. No initials. A few years ago, KLM used to have a first name with a last initial or perhaps an initial or two then a last name. But no longer. What a pity. Now I have to make up names for the ladies in their late 30s with baby bottom smooth crow’s feet near their eyes. They are still attractive, friendly, attentive, accurate, efficient and a pleasure to be around. But the name. I miss the name. I can’t say even Thank you Suzanne anymore after I witness a good balancing act of small tray with small coffee mugs sugar and creamer in one hand and a hot pot in the other. A real pity and a real lost opportunity to make a real human connection.

Now if I see name tags in a store, in general, I use it. I make it a point to say Kiitos Elina if I receive good service. The cashier isn’t a machine. She’s human or at least appears to be. Nothing wrong with reminding the cashier of her birth given name or made up name tag name. That’s the way every human interaction should be. We need reminders on occasion. I will continue to use the goods and services associated with a real nametag.
KLM, I still have high respect for you, but bring back the names. Even if they are good fake ones.

Seen from the Schiphol to Centraal train window, graffiti on a building:
Purge Yourself
Start From Zero

Seen at the IBC Fair:
Miranda Technologies
Rethink what’s possible

I take this kind of stuff seriously. Signs are simple messages.

Food & Service Ugh 20100911
Gordon Ramsay would have a field day schooling one of the sports cafes near Leidseplein. No comment.

The Cat
Franciela, the Friday evening and Saturday morning desk clerk, informed me this afternoon that the black and white cat has no name. He is supposed to be homeless. He’s been sleeping in the lobby since Thursday evening. I suggested the name Tarantino.

The 30-second Rule
Hopped on Tram #5 on near Albert Hijn behind the Palace after photographing two bags of Lay’s Barbeque Ham Potato Chips. In front of me in the first three seats in a row on the left hand side behind the driver. Indian man. Then his wife. Israeli girl #1 sitting on the lap of Israeli girl #2. Indian woman went up to speak with the driver. Girl #1 stands up and tells her friend she’s gonna take that lady’s seat. They don’t speak. Eyes back and forth. After 30-seconds girl #1 states her case to girl #2 with eye contact alone and hand gestures. Indian woman still hasn’t returned. At about 45-seconds girl #1 sits in the Indian woman’s evacuated seat. After 15-seconds, Indian woman returned and her husband got up to give her his seat. Social etiquette has a 30-second rule I imagine. Observed social dynamics in a crowded tram. I wonder if anyone has written a book about it.