Carolyn J. Rose
Forget trading cards touted by a former president. Forget game cards and those featuring baseball heroes. Forget cards promoting movies and T.V. shows.
Here are a few I’d pay or trade for.
Phone numbers to bypass automated systems. If you’ve ever wasted hours trying to break out of an endless loop, been shuttled to the wrong department, cut off while explaining your problem, or transferred so fast you get whiplash, these are a must. Bypass numbers allow access to actual humans with listening skills, no mandated scripts, and expertise to resolve your issue.
Plumbers, electricians, HVAC repair personnel, and others willing to work evenings and holidays. Even if you never find yourself in desperate need of someone to fix a leak or get your furnace running again, a friend or relative will. The trading value of these cards never diminishes and spikes in cold and hot weather.
Used car lots where you’ll actually get a fair deal. In addition to photos and directions, these cards include translations of used-car-speak terms such as “low mileage” and “pre-loved.” Cards also advise what not to say when shopping. A subset includes photos of salespeople who don’t withhold added charges until your pen touches the contract signature line.
Stylists who should never cut your hair. If you’ve ever paid way too much for a haircut that made you look like a pair of eagles decided your head was prime nest-building territory, you’ll want these cards.
Door-to-door scam artists. You know the ones, the guys who claim they’re with a crew working nearby and have tools and extra time to give you a great deal. Cards also include teams selling magazines you’ve never heard of, folks who claim they install solar panels overnight, and those collecting for refugees in a country that isn’t on any map.
Teen body language. A face-to-face conversation with a teenager may involve more physical expressions than verbal. These cards, with full-color photographs, interpret twitches, eye rolls, shrugs, and more. They also offer translations of some of the latest teen-speak words and phrases.
Bad bosses. Cards would depict the nitpicker, the clock watcher, the insecure and paranoid, the endless-meeting manager, the guy who disappears in a crisis, and the supervisor who expects you to sacrifice weekends and cancel vacations. Cards would also offer tips on how to spot bad bosses during the interview process.
Clothing outlets with true sizes and realistic fashions. These outlets cater to those who aren’t actors or models. Their sizes actually conform to your measurements instead of being too large or too small, and their styles are for those who want jeans with more fabric than holes.
I don’t get it cards. If you’ve ever puzzled over a cartoon, or wondered about a reference on a TV show that set off the laugh track, these cards are for you. Not only would they explain a drawing or an actor’s comment, they would also explain why you might find it amusing or relevant.
As a bonus, cards would be laminated. This would extend their life and allow them to be used for household projects such as leveling tables or loiding locked doors.