Do unemployed people need business cards?

Back in the spring of 2001, I was working at a camera store in Scottsdale, Arizona when I decided it was time to buy a new wallet. At the time, I was still using the wallet I bought in grad school, and its leather was worn so thin in spots that it occasionally turned itself inside out when I opened it. That was getting a little embarassing -- being a fund-challenged slob is one thing, but having your wallet announce it everytime you spend money is another. Women just don't go for guys with wallets that look poor.

So, anyway, I was at K-Mart, Target, or some other discount department store that isn't Wal-Mart, staring at the display of cheap wallets. I found a wallet that had an extra pocket for business cards, and realized that I had to buy that one, because I was a salesman, I had business cards with my name on them, and if I was going to live the salesman-with-business-cards lifestyle, By God, I was going to commit to it.

So I bought the wallet with the business card pocket, put my business cards in it, and made a great show of handing out business cards to friends and acquaintances whenever I could. (I even handed them out while in a county jury pool.) Then I got fired a few months later, and the wallet seemed kind of pointless....

Now, three years and five jobs later, I've graduated from underemployed to unemployed, and looking for cheap and stupid things to keep me amused, like ordering stupid free stuff online (like the road maps). That's where MaxCards.com enters this story.

MaxCards use the lure of free business-card-sized "address cards" to suck people into viral marketing schemes. Pick an advertisment to go on the back of your card, give them your contact information, and they'll send you twenty free cards. Sure, you could just print some cards on your computer's printer, but where's the fun in that? (Besides, I really am too cheap to do frivolous things like paying for useless business cards while I'm unemployed.)

I got the cards with a Chiclets advertisement on them. (Everybody loves Chiclets, right?) They accidentally gave me twenty-one cards, and even threw in a sample pack of Chiclets. (Free candy is always good!) Now, at least I've got something to keep in that useless business card pocket, in case I run into any old friends who need my new address.

I'm still waiting for my free MoveOn.org bumper sticker, though.

Posted at 11:33:51 PM EDT on 08 June 2004 from Trenton, MI