Sunday, April 8, 2007

I wanna go where everybody knows my name

Or can at least pronounce it.

Let's see if I can describe my minor but annoying predicament without revealing my identity. Here's the deal: Pixie is a shortened version of my name, as if my full first name was Pixieanna, or something like that. Historically, even if I introduce myself as Pixieanna, within a few weeks or even days folks start calling me Pixie, or even Pix. So, when I moved to Denver almost seven years ago, I had Pixie put on my business cards and would introduce myself as such.

In the past several months, so it seems, no one who doesn't know me personally can pronounce the name "Pixie". Case in point: I went to a bagel/coffee shop recently, and gave the gal my order and my name, Pixie. A few minutes later, a young man who appeared to very much speak English as a first language comes to the pick-up section of the counter and called out the order for "Mikey". None of the three other customers nor I stepped forward to take the bagel. But then I thought....I got the attention of another coffee shop employee: "Did he call for 'Pixie'?" I asked. The woman went to the order that had been laid down on the counter, a toasted-and-peanut-butter-smeared orphan. She conferred with the young man who'd called out "Mikey." Then, just as I'd suspected, the young man picked up the order and brought it right to me.

"Pixie," he said, "My bad." Then he gave me the wrong size coffee cup (but that's a different bitch session).

What the fuck, Chuck? I understand that my (actual) name is pronounced differently in Latin American Spanish, so when I order a pick-up food order from someone with a strong Latino accent, I pronounce my name such that the person spells it correctly and can get it to me. I've had problems in the recent past with prouncing my name on the phone, say, to get a restaurant or hotel reservation. My name ends up as 'Bixie' or, God forbid, 'Dixie'. When at a crowded restaurant and needing to put a name on the waiting list, I use Guy's first name, since it always gets understood as 'Guy' in a crowded, loud lobby. However, when they need a last name, I use my last name. It's a nice, simple British last name. However, Guy's last name is decidedly German: it has seven syllables and requires the person pronouncing it to clear their throat, crack their neck, and bang a steel pot with a wooden spoon twice to say it correctly. So, we use my last name for reservations. When we got married, most folks (except for his family) asked if I was taking his name. No, I replied. Why? they'd ask. Because his last name is ________, I'd reply. What?! they'd say. And I'd say, exactly. What. If you have to ask, I'm not repeating it, and I'm sure not jumping through a bunch of legal hoops to take on one more struggle needlessly. Besides, my own dad, God rest his soul, gave me a perfectly good last name to use.

Anyway, the name pronunciation thing has been bugging me this weekend. And if that's the biggest thing annoying me at the immediate present, then I really dont' have a reason to bitch too much, huh?

Off to Wheatlands tomorrow morning to do a punchlist of a couple of departments.

1 comment:

ms. kitty said...

I feel your pain, Pixie. You wouldn't believe how many ways there are to spell my last name, all but one of them wrong, and, unfortunately, the right one is the least likely to be chosen first by the person who is trying to do it. What's a girl to do? Smile and move on, I guess.