Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who's JIM?

Warning: this post will likely be neither edifying nor an example of virtue, but if you would like to hear some of my candid thoughts, this is the place.

Pet peeves are sometimes funny.

I recently discovered a pet peeve of mine. I realized i was having this discovery while i was nearly yelling at a professional/customer service type person on the phone.

My husband, James, and i recently applied for the services of a particular company. The service details don't matter; what does matter is that the personnel associated with said company had in front of him all of my and my husband's vital information, including full name and so forth.

The other evening, the phone rang, and i answered.

me: Hello

other person: Hello, this is so-n-so with such-n-such company, calling about blah blah blah. It seem there was a misunderstanding in regard to Jim's whatever.

me: his name is James. there was no misunderstanding; i spoke with so-n-so and also with so-n-so, and we're going to do such-n-such.

other person: oh, so you want to blah blah for Jim's whatever?

me: (demanding tone) who's JIM?

other person: PAUSE, then (with confidence) your husband.

me: (with authority) his name is JAMES.

other person: oh. well, i'll talk with so-n-so about such-n-such and we'll take care of whatever, and i'll be sure to put a note in your husband's file that he prefers to be called James.

me: (with giant incredulous look on my face that other person, of course, could not see) THANK YOU!

The following commentary is a rant that i chose to share with whoever's reading. It is not directed to any particular individual or meant to offend any person or group of persons.

Let me be clear. If you do not know my name, and you are provided my name on a piece of paper, it is recommended that you avoid calling me by some other name or by some name loosely associated with that name or by some name that other people with my name also enjoy being called until you are given clear instruction by owner of said name or associate of said name owner to do so.

This is really very simple.

It is blatantly rude to do otherwise.

The ironic thing to me is this.

Personal example:

My given name is Lisbeth.

I like my name very much; however Americans will inevitably mispronounce those two little syllables. I don't blame them. I can see how hard it must be to not add invisible syllables to my name, but the habit is, nonetheless, annoying. (And something about answering to names that aren't actually my name gives me the willies like i'm impersonating someone or something.) Therefore i, as my parents did before me, (and still do) call myself Beth.

I also like the name Beth, and it is almost never, if ever, mispronounced. And if (which has actually been the case once or twice) you are physically unable to pronounce Beth correctly, i'm o.k. with it. Just don't call me Breath or something.

But when i'm on the phone with some official type person who has privy to my written full name, and they call me Luspith or Lizabith, or Elizabith or Elsbeth or is-this-spelled-right?, i am happy to have mercy on said telephone person by saying, "you can call me Beth." I will also, if space is provided, have written the name, "Beth," on whatever writing material has been provided to me for the purpose of giving my valuable personal information to said official person.

Will said official person call me Beth? no, if history repeats itself, probably not.

But they'll call James, Jim - sure as you're sittin' there reading this rant.

(end rant)


  1. How dare they assume James goes by JIM..... I know two men named James and both go by James.... they don't even look like Jims...

    It used to bother me a great deal when people called me EVE or Ava...... I now go by Bedste so I don't care anymore..... I totally understand.

    I have a Danish cousin named Lisbeth.... she goes by Lisbeth...

  2. Hey Beth..... long time no talk to.........


    Where is your chicken blog on your blog list...?


What do you think about that?