Author Topic: Is This Disrespectful?  (Read 4282 times)

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Truluv86

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Is This Disrespectful?
« on: January 24, 2013, 12:32:49 AM »
This has been bugging me for awhile now. I'm wondering if I'm reading too much into this small thing. I'd appreciate some objective input.

 I've worked at this company for going on three years. There are only about 8-10 employees. Several of the employees work in other departments and our work doesn't overlap too much. We all know each other by name and know a little about each person's backstory/have even met a few other employees' close relatives.

There are three employees that I see every day and work in the same office with. We spend a couple days a week working closely on simultaneous projects and the rest of the week working on our own separate pieces of the projects.

Our bosses/the owners don't really oversee us directly. They occasionally give us new assignments or lay different rules in place but pretty much leave us to do our work after that, as long as everything seems to be going well. We communicate with them fairly frequently each week through email or over the phone, but they work from their homes.

Two of the people I work closely with know how to spell my name. Let's say my name is Annabeth and Anny is my nickname. It is pronounced just like Annie but spelled slightly differently. I sign much of my personal correspondence with all of my co-workers with my nickname. They all call me by my nickname too when speaking to me in person.

I have noticed for quite a while now that only 2 of my closer co-workers spell my name right. I can understand how the other co-workers that I do not work with daily do not know how to spell my name. But I find it rather disrespectful that my 2 employers and my 1 close co-worker can't spell it/don't care to spell it the way I prefer.

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist in everything I do. I'm always careful to spell other people's names the way they prefer and call them by what they prefer. It only seems courteous/respectful to do so. I feel these people should know me well enough by now that it should be very simple to know my name and how I prefer it spelled. Even our cleaning lady who comes in when we leave for the day knows how to spell it right at least half the time and makes the effort. As far as I have noticed, my 1 direct co-worker and bosses really haven't tried.

This name thing has been particularly bothering me lately because I'm feeling rather under-appreciated by my co-workers, and my bosses in particular. They don't seem to realize just how much I do. So their seeming refusal to bother knowing how to spell my name/not caring how to spell my name just seems like a symptom of a larger issue to me.

I may be making a mountain out of a molehill though. How many of you, in a company this small, would know how to spell all of your co-workers' names the way they prefer? Is continuing to spell someone's name the way you prefer/usually see it, and not the way the person prefers to have their name spelled rude or disrespectful? What say you, Ehellions?

guihong

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 01:21:13 AM »
I've had a similar issue, but not at work, just on a message board.

I admit to having a terrible time remembering names, but once I have it, I make a point of spelling it right and pronouncing it correctly.  Your name is a deep part of who you are, and it's basic courtesy in my opinion to get it right.  Unfortunately, I don't have great advice, but maybe politely say to the person, "Oh, it's T-R-U-L-U-V, not L-O-V-E".  Maybe that will work.

You're right that the name thing might be a sign of festering dissatisfaction with the job as a whole.





MariaE

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 02:37:28 AM »
This happens to me all the time. My name is Maria (obviously ;) ) yet people keep calling me Marie. People's minds (my own included) are great at reading what they think has been written rather than what actually has been written, so expecting them to catch on to the fact that my name is Maria simply because it says so in my email signature gets me nowhere. My experience is that it's got nothing to do with disrespect, but just that they've managed to convince themselves that my name is Marie. Usually I just say, "Actually, my name's Maria, not Marie" and that'll fix it.
 
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Sharnita

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 07:26:05 AM »
I think there has been a lot of debate here and some prople think it os a big deal and others don't. In a case like Anny, I would say that I have always seen it Annie. That spelling would also make sense to me because there is an e later on in the formal  name. ,However, if they were mispelling the name in some nontraditional way I would wonder why.

jmarvellous

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 08:02:54 AM »
This has come up here countless times, and I am pretty sure the consensus, if it can be called that, is that you are entitled to feel however you want about it, but their reaction to being called out (more than once) could vary widely -- as will ehell's opinion on the way to do it.

It really gets my goat that people who have to type in my email address regularly still can't be. bothered to spell my name right in the next line, but proper spelling just isn't a priority for many.

Yvaine

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 08:13:15 AM »
I was a spelling bee champion and I'm obsessed with spelling--I hate spelling things wrong; it drives me nuts. (Now that I've said that, I will invariably make a typo in this post, because such is the way of things.) And I have a name that is one letter off from the most familiar spelling. I've had to just let go of it over the years and realize that some people just can't spell, it's not connected to whatever part of their brain processes "respect" at all, and they don't mean anything by it. It's just like how I stink at doing math in my head. Some people just aren't good at remembering quirky spellings and their brain defaults to whatever is more familiar. All I can say is thank goodness for autofill, because it means all they have to do is start my first name and it'll fill in my correct email address even if they would have botched up my last name.

One of the more memorable cases I can remember is that when I was in college, my RA misspelled my name on the big name sign on my door. She was almost certainly looking at a sheet of paper with my correctly-spelled name on it when she lettered the sign.  ;D

All that said, you may well have some real grievances about the job and your irritation at this could be a symptom.

Judah

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 08:54:56 AM »
Have you addresses this with your coworkers and asked them to spell your name correctly? If not, I'd start there.
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bopper

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 09:19:35 AM »
Some people don't have the spelling gene.  Or they take a name they know and fit in in best to something they do.
I have this issue too...say my name is Tracey but it is often spelled Tracy.
If they are coworkers I let them know it is Tracey.  If it is a client I correct it when I respond in email but do not say anything directly.

Evilbopper says spell their name wrong too and see if they notice.

MariaE

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 09:35:36 AM »
It really gets my goat that people who have to type in my email address regularly still can't be. bothered to spell my name right in the next line, but proper spelling just isn't a priority for many.

They might not be typing in your email address though. Most email programs these days have auto-complete. If I want to email my husband I just type in the first 2-3 letters and he pops up.

Or they might click "Reply" to an email you sent them - no typing required at all.

So I think it's making an interesting assumption to say that they can't be bothered to spell your name right or that proper spelling isn't a priority for them.
 
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jmarvellous

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 10:34:18 AM »
I understand that they use an auto-complete in many cases, but the spelling of my name is then *right there* in front of their faces. All company addresses are firstname.lastname@company.com.

At the very least they're just using a preconceived (and wrong) idea of how to spell my name. My spelling is common (and more common globally), it's just not the American female most common spelling.

I said I don't attribute it to malice, but I certainly can attribute it to not reall caring -- at least not enough to read it elsewhere.

With a name like Anny or any other nickname, I give even more leeway in terms of the thought process behind the error, but that doesn't mean the Annys of the world must forfeit their right to be annoyed.

MariaE

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 11:03:53 AM »
That brings us back to my first argument - that people read what they think it says rather than what it actually says.

I'm not saying that people like the OP or myself forfeit the right to be annoyed, but I do think we ought to actually tell people they're wrong rather than just steam quietly.
 
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bah12

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 11:24:35 AM »
I do think that it's discourteaus to continue to spell your name wrong.  Especially if they work with you closely and send and receive written correspendance to/from you regularly.  However, if you have a common name that you spell in a non-traditional way, then it could be just that they aren't paying attention to the detail of your particular spelling.  I wouldn't automatically assume that the misspelling is some way of communicating any kind of slight against you.   I do think that you are probably right that this is a symptom of a larger issue...not necessarilly that your employees and bosses don't value you, but that in general you do feel underappreciated and this is just adding fuel to that fire.  Is there someone at work that you trust that you can talk to about these feelings and get some perspective from?  That would be my suggestin.

Deetee

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 11:24:53 AM »
Two things.

I think you should separate the spelling of your name from overall appreciation of your work. Those are really two distinct issues and should be treated as such. Misspelling is very easy for some people. For example, I once misread and misspelled someone's name when it was the same as mine. I mean her first name and my middle name are the same and I still got it wrong.

For your name, if this bothers you have three choices.

1) Correct the people who are misspelling your name.
2) Don't correct and stop thinking about it.
3) Don't correct and stew silently.

I think it's pretty clear they aren't about to spontaneously start spelling it correctly so if you want it spelled right you will have to tell them.

And do not pick 3. Then no one is happy.

WillyNilly

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 02:07:29 PM »
I think for me, this issue in part is because its your nickname.  If they were misspelling your actual name, well then that would  be straight up wrong - you no doubt have official, legal, irrefutable proof of how your actual name is spelled.  But your shortened nickname is merely your preferred spelling.  "Anny" and "Annie" are the same nickname, they are simply different spellings, but in either case your name is actually Annabeth. This happens with many names: my friend Jennifer has had plenty of people shorten her name, to Jenn, despite the fact that she shortens it to Jen (or goes by full name).

I think when its not your official name, but rather a nickname, and you approve the nickname (vs always going by Annabeth and never using any variation or shortening) its more of a pet peeve then actual disrespect.  In this case its totally a benign difference so sure it seems reasonable a person should go with your preference, but where's the line?  What if you wanted your nickname to be spelled AnNyeee? Its still the same verbal nickname... but kind of a hassle to type out and remember what with the capital in the middle and 3 "e" in a row. Should all personal preference variations of nicknames be observed, in all cases (such as work email)? And if there is a line about whats reasonable and whats not, who decides where that line is?

In my opinion actual names have concrete correct/incorrect spellings.  But nicknames... I will try my best, but not get too wrapped up; if I mess up, well the person who voluntarily chose that nickname needs to understand they choose the odd variation instead of the common one, and the consequence of that choice is people forget or get lazy.

DavidH

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Re: Is This Disrespectful?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 02:21:24 PM »
I can understand why it bothers you, but with autocomplete and being busy, often times people don't really read the email address.  For example, I might look at something, see it comes from Jon Smith and not really remember if it was Jon or John.  Unusual spellings just make it more likely that the person never really noticed.  I don't think it's a commentary on you or your work.

I think calling it rude and disrespectful, while true, inappropriately inflates the problem if that makes sense. 

If you are feeling underappreciated, it will likely be more productive to address that, rather than get side tracked with this issues, which I think is less important.  Another way of stating it is to ask if you concentrate on this and they correct their spelling, but nothing else changes, will that be the result you wanted?