Remember the TV sitcom “Cheers?” My office is a little like that. Everybody knows my name.
There are advantages to being known. When I am covering an event, it can help to open doors, get a photograph or a quote that might otherwise not be available.
I remember my first days here when everybody didn’t know my name. I have worked with new staff who have telephoned people for a quote only to be told that they should do a little more research and then call back.
So, being known is an advantage.
It is also a disadvantage. No, I am not hounded by autograph seekers or stalking photographers. But I do get a lot of communications that come my way solely because my name seems to be the only thing the other party can think of.
I had a phone call Monday from a fellow who wants to buy the 2008 U.S. Coin Digest. He called me because my name is on the book and he wanted to know if the book had a hard cover. The sales materials said it had a hard cover, but he didn’t want to act on that information. He wanted to be personally assured that it had a hard cover. If it had a soft cover he would buy just one copy. For a hard cover, he would take three.
I could give him the information, but I cannot sell him the books. I am not in sales. I had to send him elsewhere.
Some readers send me their subscription problems. I can be sympathetic, but I cannot fix subscription problems. I can only send them to the subscription department.
None of this would be a particularly big deal except where time matters. I am not always here. Some people have sent their free weekly classified ads to me by name or by title. When I am out of town, they sometimes don’t get noticed or entered.
I have occasionally found checks in my mail when I have returned from a week away. They were mailed to me by name and that’s how the mail room routes it.
If you are in a hurry and want to do business with Numismatic News, contact the department you need the help from. While it is always nice to chat, where speed is essential, I am not the one to contact.