Blog: Business card
Dave Leggett | 22 December 2004
I seem to have some rather large piles of business cards accumulated from various meetings, conferences, trips and so on. You know how it is. Every now and then you are looking for someone's card and it is nowhere to be found. But you come across other cards and you are suddenly transported back to a place and time. Sometimes the cards make you smile. I've just come across one that has me smiling big time - it is nothing to do with the auto industry, but is a minor rock band's calling card. Hey, it's the end of the year and getting kind of quiet around here. Here's the story...
I was in Detroit - the metropolitan area - last summer staying in a Best Western just off an Interstate highway (I75) in Allen Fields, close to Dearborn. Not a great area to be frank (huge truck depot over the road). After my long flight and picking up a car, finding the hotel, checking in and dumping my gear, it was late afternoon, sunny and warm. I was thirsty and I needed a cool beer or two. No minibar in my room, but I wanted to get out of my fairly depressing hotel room anyways (cheap and functional, yes, but also dark and dingy, a place to crash but not linger unnecessarily).
There was apparently a bar of some sort in the hotel grounds - I'd passed an awning when driving in to the hotel car park. I headed there and was about to be massively disappointed. The friendly girl waiting the tables said they were open if I wanted to eat, but a cursory look around revealed that the place was completely devoid of punters. I said, 'where are all the people?' She looked blank. I wasn't hungry anyway.
'Can you direct me to a bar nearby?' She gave me directions and I set off. It was a 'couple of blocks away, turn right at the intersection...it's on your left.' Sounded nearby so I thought I'd walk. Also, I was feeling in the mood for more than a few beers, wanted some fresh air and exercise - so I really didn't want to drive. I soon found myself walking across an intersection that was obviously not designed with pedestrians in mind. I was the sole pedestrian and there was no pavement/sidewalk which meant that I was walking on the carriageway with the road traffic.
Clearly I was some kind of nut to the locals in their air-conditioned SUVs. I was also wearing open-toed sandals and managed to walk through some mud while negotiating crash barriers. That was nice. But I was determined, and I eventually made it to the none-too-swish looking establishment. Inside there were TV screens showing basketball and a few people sat on stools at the bar. One of the staff was hoovering.
I found a stool and a few ice cold bottles of Rolling Rock immediately hit the spot. And I had nowhere else to go, so I stayed into the evening, engaging in various conversations with others at the bar - 'Hey, what's your accent? Australian right?' No, let me give you a little history lesson...
I was joined at one point by a slightly fierce looking young man with heavily tatooed arms, a shaven head, bits of metal embedded in his face and a ZZ Top-style goatie beard. But he was actually a friendly chap and told me he was lead singer with a Detroit-based rock band called 'Indignation'. We had quite a long and interesting chat and after he'd eaten (the club sandwich was particularly excellent I seem to remember) we shook hands, wished each other well and he was off.
Anyway, it was a simple but strangely enjoyable evening. And amongst all the business cards from execs at car companies, Tier 1 suppliers, consulting companies etc, I've come across the card that Mr Thrash-Metal Goatie gave me. It's his band's calling card. They do 'Agressive [sic] metal' apparently. He was a very nice chap though.
Simple and spontaneous evenings like that one tend to be the ones that you really remember in my experience. Hope his band is doing okay. They have a website too (see below link). One thing I didn't quite get to the bottom of though, is what 'Indignation' are all het-up and angry about.
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