That’s A Big No-Noel From Me  

, , , , | Right | December 8, 2019

(I work for a call centre in Dublin and, after a long call, the customer and I are finished speaking.)

Me: “Would you like a reference number just in case you need to call back?”

Customer: “Yes, please.”

Me: “[Reference Number].”

Customer: “Can I get your name, as well?”

Me: “My name is Noel.”

Customer: “What do you mean, I cannot have your name? This is a disgrace!”

Me: “Sorry, sir, I said my name is Noel.”

Customer: “I do not understand why you cannot give me your name!”

Me: “Sir, my name is Noel, as in Christmas. Noooooeeeeeeel.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you.”

(So much gets lost in conversations over the telephone.)

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Wobby

, , , , , | Right | December 6, 2019

(My husband immigrated to the US as a child from a non-European nation. In order to fit in a little better, his cousins suggested that he go by an English name instead of his more difficult to pronounce legal one. Thus, I’ve gotten accustomed to having to spell his name whenever dealing with official matters at the bank, doctor’s offices, etc. Once in a while, I get to have the following exchange.)

Employee: “And what’s your husband’s name?”

Me: “I’m just going to spell it. It’s—” *spells distinctly non-English name starting with a W*

Employee: “Oh, what an interesting name! How do you say it?”

Me: “Bobby.”

Employee: *laughs*

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Something Fishy About That Name

, , , | Learning | November 27, 2019

(I am an American teaching English in China. Sometimes there are extra one-off classes that parents can sign their children up for outside of their regular classes. I am teaching one of those this morning. For regular classes, I have a roll sheet with all the students’ names. This is very helpful when I cover a class for another teacher. Unfortunately, the one-off classes do not come with roll sheets, so I have to ask the students for their names, which I write on the board. This one-off class has a range of kids from different classes in the lower to middle levels for the seven- to ten-year-old classes. One of the students has recently started the first-level class for that age group, so he only knows some of the basics and his pronunciation is not always very clear.)

Me: “What’s your name?”

Student: “Salmon.”

Me: “Salmon? Your name is Salmon?”

Student: “Yes.”

(A lot of parents pick strange names for their kids. I’ve met Run-Baby, Dinosaur, Lemon, the list goes on. So, I write Salmon on the board and continue on. During the class, I ask the students about his name.)

Me: “You know salmon is a kind of fish?”

Student: *doesn’t seem to understand me*

Me: *brings up a picture of some salmon on my phone* “It’s a salmon.”

Student: *looks surprised* “No fish! No fish!”

(I chuckle and move on with class, but for the remaining of the hour, when I call on him, before he answers, he always first says, “No fish!”)

Me: “I know. You are not a fish, but your name is a fish.”

Student: “No fish!”

(The class ends and I gather my materials for my next class, which is a first-level class for the same age group which I am covering for another teacher, so this time I have a roll sheet. I walk into class, and to my surprise, who do I see there? Salmon! I realize something is not right, because I would have remembered seeing a name like Salmon on a roll sheet of ten students. I look down at my roll sheet and see a single S name: Simon.)

Me: “Oh! Your name is Simon!

Student: “Yes!”

Me: “Not Salmon.”

Student: “No!”

Me: *face descending into my open hand* “That’s why you kept saying, ‘No fish.'”

Student: “No fish!”

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Right Bad Back At Ya

, , , , , | Healthy | November 23, 2019

(I am in the waiting room of a hospital waiting for a scan to check out my back injury. For the purposes of this story, let’s just say that my name is John Smith. The nurse calls me in for my scan.)

Nurse: “All right, just jump up onto the table.”

Me: “Umm… sorry, I can’t do that.”

Nurse: “We can’t do the scan if you don’t get on the table.”

Me: “But… I can barely move. How do you expect me to jump onto a table?”

Nurse: “Sure, you can.”

Me: “I don’t think you understand. I am physically unable to get up onto the table due to a back injury.”

Nurse: “You don’t have a back injury.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure I would know why I’m at the hospital.”

Nurse: “Your name is John Smith, right?”

Me: “Yes.”

Nurse: “And your date of birth is [date]?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

(A patient in the waiting room speaks up.)

Patient: “Sorry to interrupt, but I think you might have us confused.”

Nurse: “Your name is John Smith?”

Patient: “Yep.”

Nurse: “And I suppose your date of birth is also [date].”

Patient: “Yes.”

Nurse: “And you’re here for a scan?”

Patient: “Yes, I am.”

Nurse: “Well, this is an interesting coincidence.”

(She looks down at her computer.)

Nurse: “Ah, I see the problem. There are two different people named John Smith with the same birthday, who just happened to both have appointments for a scan within the same hour. I was looking for John M. Smith.”

Patient: “That’s me!”

(The nurse apologized and I got my scan not long after. It was a confusing few minutes, but at least I got a good story out of it!)

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It’s Not Kerry Obvious

, , , | Right | November 16, 2019

(I work in a new call centre as customer service for a mobile phone network. Because the center is new, the teams are all fairly small, with only about five or six people in each. We already have a male member of staff called Ceri. After Ceri has been with us for a couple of months, we have a new team member called Kerry, but with the same surname as Ceri.)

Customer: “Can I speak to Ceri/Kerry, please?”

Staff: “Which one?”

Customer: “Ceri/Kerry on [team]?”

Staff: “Which one?”

Customer: “Ceri/Kerry [Surname].”

Staff: “Which one?”

Customer: “I don’t know. She asked me to—”

Staff: “Ah, female Kerry! I’ll transfer you now.”

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