Ever since the 1980s, business in the western cultures has started to take on aspects that have no regard or respect for one another. In the rush to become part of the corporate elite, businessmen now follow paths that treat other businessmen without respect, something that in the past was not known as any businessman would always show another respect, even if it happened to be a rival. It was as if this mutual respect in itself that brought them all a respect from the remainder of the country. Today though, a businessman can openly disrespect another yet seemingly expect that he should be respected for that. This is a sorry state of affairs that could eventually lead the businessman to becoming a profession held in disdain by the rest of the populace.
In Japan a businessman is still shown respect by another and this is perhaps displayed in the way in which they present and receive each other’s business cards and in the way they treat those cards. There is a certain way in which one businessman will present his business card to another and that is by holding each of the top two corners and thrusting it forward so that it can be read. The person receiving the card will then grasp the bottom two corners with both hands to receive the card, at which point both the businessmen will bow towards each other in respect. The business card is not just then stuffed into a pocket or randomly thrown in a draw, it is carefully placed in a leather wallet where it will remain free of any kind of damage as, to mistreat a businessman’s card, is a sign of disrespect to them and their business. In Japan, the business cards are still made in the traditional way and are not too fancy in any way, just stating the relevant information needed and doing so in a set format, one that affords other businessmen ease to quickly take in the information they may want. Although in the west, this set format for a business card was once the normal, it now seems to be rapidly disappearing, being replaced with somewhat gaudy designs and bright colours that distract from the basic information the card is supposed to be displaying clearly.
As these business cards today in the west at least, are treated more as tools for advertising than they are as a visiting card, often they can take on two different appearances. One, they can be cheap cards that are dispersed indiscriminately to one and all or, they have becomes colourful distractions from the business essentials but whichever card is wanted, you can find cheap business cards or lavish, colourful ones are made by the same printers. As it is the same printers that make all the cards, perhaps the modern businessman should ask them what the old, traditional cards looked like and requested them to make those for them. Bright and colourful business cards may impress the ladies but do little to impress the serious businessman.