A Name To Remember

, , , , , | Right | January 11, 2018

(I have a name that, while uncommon, is very short and very phonetic. Unfortunately, nearly everyone consistently mispronounces it with a name that’s more complicated to say. For example, if my name was Ann, people always mispronounce it Anya. Generally, when I correct them, customers apologize and move on.)

Me: “Hello! How are you today?”

Customer: “I’m fine, thanks… uh…” *looks at my nametag* “Oh, thanks, [Wrong Name].”

Me: *smiling* “Oh, it’s pronounced [My Name].”

Customer: “Well, I’m just going to call you [Wrong Name], because [My Name] is stupid and hard to pronounce.”

(I immediately see red, because I’ve given him no reason to be rude about my name. Without really thinking, I snap back at him.)

Me: “No, you’ll call me [My Name], because that’s my f****** name!”

(As soon as I finish speaking I slap my hands over my mouth, horrified that I’ve sworn at a customer. Other customers in line gasp and look at the current customer for his reaction. He looks just as shocked as everyone else.)

Customer: “You… I… Well, you…!”

(I start to reach for the button to page my manager, thinking that’s what he’ll ask for. But he throws his head back and laughs!)

Customer: “Okay, okay! Fair enough! That was a really d*** thing to say, wasn’t it? I’m really sorry.”

(The other customers visibly relax and I slowly move my hand from my mouth.)

Me: “Oh… Uh, it’s okay. Thanks.”

Customer: “No, no, it’s not okay! I was really rude! Go on; tell me I was rude.”

Me: “Um… That was rude?”

Customer: “There you go! I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to upset you; I’m just a moron who can’t keep his mouth shut. Thank you!”

(He gathers his bags and leaves without further incident. My manager, having heard the story from a coworker, comes over and sends me on my break while she finishes my line of customers. When I come back, she has an envelope in her hand.)

Me: “So, am I in trouble?”

Manager: “Nah. That was actually pretty funny! Oh, that guy came back and asked me to give you this.”

(When I opened the envelope, there was an apology card and a $10 gift card inside. To this day, my coworkers introduce me to new hires with this story.)

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