jeudi 30 octobre 2008

What's in a name?

Apparently, I have a very confusing name (apart from my nom de plume) as evidenced by the following examples. I've always known this to some extent but never has it escalated to the point where numerous incidents keep happening, one right after another.

Incident #1: I attended a symposium a few weeks ago where they told us that they would forward us some contact information. I kept waiting and waiting but didn't receive anything at work or at home. Finally, I asked a coworker if they received this information and they did, so they sent it to me. The problem? The symposium people thought that my last name was something else and so they sent an email to an address that doesn't exist.

Incident #2: One of my coworkers keeps calling me by the wrong first name but I've never had the chance to correct him. It wouldn't be so bad if his father didn't also happen to be my boss. Unfortunately, when he was introducing me to some people a little while ago, he kept using this incorrect name and I had to force myself to smile and pretend that it really was my name to be polite.

Incident #3: For some reason, people tend to assume that my name is not spelt in English even though it is. So they come up with alternate spellings and even when I tell them that it's spelt the conventional way, it's as if they don't believe me. I normally don't mind but sometimes I just want to say, "Yes, I do know my own name. Really." So now I'm forwarding a document to my supervisor with the incorrect name because of another assumption.

Incident #4: The very first piece of mail that I receive at work not only calls me the incorrect name that the person in incident #2 calls me but also gives me the title of "Mister". Wow - my identity has really changed!

Incident #5: It's always fun to see your name on a table setting chart at a banquet and to figure out who you're sitting with, except when your name is wrong and it's the same error as found in incident #1.

Incident #6: Someone I met at said banquet called me something that didn't quite sound right but I let it slide because I could barely hear what she was saying. Finally, I corrected her and she said, "Oh, I have a friend with such and such a name so I thought you had the same one." I'm looking forward to when I can use this reasoning with someone else rather than just hearing it (this wasn't the first time it's been used with me).

And the best thing of all? Incidents #3, 4, 5 and 6 all happened today. Although I've been mistakenly called each of the names in these incidents before in my life (except for Mr.), it's still a bit frustrating to have to correct people or to receive things that aren't correctly addressed. Even my nickname on this blog is the result of a miscommunication. It shouldn't bother me but being called the wrong name four times today makes me wonder if I should change it. Maybe I'll end up marrying someone with the last name that I keep getting rather than my own surname and that'll at least solve one problem, ha!

* That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

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