The power of names

I used to work the graveyard shift at McDonald’s back in high school…

One night, about 3 AM, a car full of drunken hooligans came up to the drive-through window demanding that I give them free food.

They argued, begged and pleaded with me for about 20 minutes, but I would not budge. I told them I never give away free food!

They drove away disappointed…

BUT, then about an hour later, they returned. And they surprised me with this 👇👇👇


It turns out they had looked up my name in the street directory, found the closest Joel Street, drove there and stole the sign for me.

As the driver reached out and handed me this glorious sign with my name on it, he looked me dead in the eyes and said, “now will you give us some free food please?”

You better believe it!… I stuffed as many Big Macs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries as I could into a four large take away bags. I gave them enough free McDonald’s to feed a small country.


That night I learned a huge secret in human manipulation. People are subconsciously obsessed with their own names. (myself included)

TO DO: Remember peoples names. Say them out loud. Make rhymes out of them. Draw art with them. Name projects after them. Give them public recognition, often. Buy gifts with people’s names printed on them.

In return, people will go out of their way to be nice to you.

(And if they work at a fast food restaurant, they might even give you some free 🍟🍔🌮)

– Joel

ps. I still have the sign. It hung outside my bedroom for years before I moved to the US. Now it’s in my parents basement somewhere in Australia.