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A Todd In The Hand Is Worth Four Johns In The Bush

, , , , | Working | January 28, 2022

I ended up working in a team with three Johns for a while: John Jones, John Wang, and John Patel. To avoid confusion, each of them went by their surname. This worked out perfectly fine until we hired a fourth John: John Todd. At this point, the great debate over what to call an existing team member, Todd Black, began.

For some reason, Human Resources got wind of this and worried about potential hurt feelings and bullying. They continued to worry until they came down and demanded that John Todd be addressed as “John.”

This was a completely logical solution, which was why no one agreed with it.

And so, the response came back from the team that they couldn’t possibly call Toddy-J “John,” as that was what everyone called me.

Yes, the solution to having a team of eight where half the team members’ first names were John was to give the name to the only woman on the team.

When I left a few years later, all the other Johns had already moved on. And yet, my farewell gift was a mug with the name “John” on it, and all my farewell card messages were addressed to “John” — except for Todd Black, who remembered the history and addressed it to “Johnita”.

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