I’d Be Grim, Too, With A Name Like That

, , , , , | Right | October 12, 2018

(At our store, you can look up a customer’s account using their name and some other details to save their purchase or receipt. A woman storms into the shop and up to the counter — I guess already not satisfied by something outside the store — with a grim look on her face, and buys a pack of batteries.)

Customer: “Kneel down!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: *even louder* “KNEEL DOWN!”

(My coworkers and I look all confused, as we have no idea what to do.)

Customer: *loud and slowly* “MY NAME! KNEEEEEL DOOOOOOWN!”

(Her name… I looked it up for her purchase. Her name was Ms. Kneeldown.)

Ihely The Eighth

, , , , , , , | Learning | September 30, 2018

(I live in Australia. My ninth-grade history class is doing a task involving presenting a replica artifact to a seventh-grader, who fills out a sheet with a couple of questions about it. A pair of girls — both white, so I’d assume they’d be familiar with Western name structure — come up to me and my friend. While he’s stuck with a girl who doesn’t know the meaning of law, I get this one. The first thing to fill out on the sheet is the name of the ninth-grader they’re talking to.)

Girl: “What’s your name?”

Me: “Henry.”

Girl: “Can you spell that?”

Me: “Uh… H-E-N-R-Y.”

(She wrote, “I-H-E-L-Y.”)

Name Shame

, , , , , | Working | September 28, 2018

(The library where I work has a high turnover of pages, as it’s a pretty thankless job. It’s not unusual for them to work a few shifts and then quit. We have recently hired a new page, a young man. I see him pushing a cart by the desk.)

Me: “Hi, Brandon!”

Page: “Hi!”

(A few days later…)

Me: “Hi, Brandon!”

Page: “Hi!”

(A few more days later…)

Me: “Hi, Brandon!”

Page: “Hi!”

(A week or so later I’m at the desk with a colleague.)

Coworker: “Oh, did you hear? David quit.”

Me: “Who is David?”

Coworker: “The new page. He just started like two weeks ago.”

Me: “Huh, I don’t think I even met him.”

Coworker: “Are you sure?”

(She starts describing him, and to my horror I realize she’s describing the page I’ve been calling “Brandon.”)

Me: “Oh, my God, I thought his name was Brandon! I called him Brandon like six times to his face and he never corrected me!”

Coworker: *laughing*

Me: “I feel terrible! Oh, my God.”

(I really did feel awful. I wish he would have told me his name was David! The worst part is that we all wear name tags, so if I’d taken two seconds to look at his name tag I would have realized my mistake. I’m more careful now about learning the new pages’ names.)

The Bells Of Destiny

, , , , , | Romantic | September 27, 2018

(My cousin is Chinese-American and a single child, and has recently announced his engagement to a divorced white American with three girls. She kept her ex’s name to match her kids. My aunt and uncle aren’t very pleased that my cousin will have three step-daughters right off the bat, because that could deter them from more children, especially a boy.)

Fiancée: *hands my aunt and uncle an item that includes her maiden name*

Aunt: “‘Bell’ is your name?”

Fiancée: “Yes, it’s my maiden name.”

Aunt: *drags uncle aside for a bit then they smile and return*

Uncle: “Your name is Bell! I think our son chose you on his first birthday!”

(My aunt and uncle then proceeded to explain that in Chinese tradition there is a fortune-telling ceremony where objects are placed down for the baby to pick. They didn’t use the traditional set of items, and one of them was a bell. It was supposed to represent growing up to become a shop owner, because that was the bell my aunt and uncle used in theirs. Apparently it decided to come true in another way.)

Pronunciation Renunciation

, , , , | Right | September 19, 2018

(I work at a company that has an unusual name, from the company founder’s last name. All the phone lines for all five of our locations ring to my desk. I have a man call and ask how to pronounce the company name, which I have just given him as I answered the phone, but whatever.)

Me: *pronounces name*

Caller: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yep, pretty sure. I have worked here for many years.”

Caller: “I don’t think that’s right.” *hangs up*

(A few minutes later, the phone rings again. Same guy.)

Caller: “I am calling all your locations to see if they all pronounce the name the same way.”

(Now, keep in mind, all five locations are in the same state, in the USA.)

Me: “Oops, yes… I just talked to you, but I can send you to another location if you would like?”

Caller: “Oh, it probably wouldn’t do any good, huh?”

Me: “Probably not, but you have a good day!”

(He wasn’t even a customer, just curious. Lots of time on his hands, I guess.)

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