I’m Not Perky, But She IsPosted: December 20, 2012
A long time ago, in a town far from here, a young couple had a son.
I wrote that first sentence, then realized I’m writing this during the Christmas season. It wasn’t that long ago, not that far from here, not that kid. The couple was my parents and I was the kid. So, I’m off to a good start because you already know this is far from the greatest story ever told.
Anyhow, the young couple named their son Leonard. Yes, that’s my real name. My blog says I’m Omawarisan, but my birth certificate, my driver’s license and my voter registration card say that I’m Leonard.
No one calls me Leonard. I was Lenny until I got to college and decided that Len was more mature sounding. To my folks and a certain group of my closest friends, I’m still Lenny. To most of the world, my name is Len. Len is the problem. When you say Len, with a southeastern US accent, it ends up sounding like Lynn.
I’ve worked for the same organization since 1985. There people there who I’ve known for decades. They’ve known me in good times and bad. But they don’t seem to know that my name is not Lynn. Lynn sounds like someone who is perky and loves a cute pair of shoes. I don’t perk and love a beat up pair of tennis shoes.
These people see my name in writing. In the old days, I’d leave people a note and sign it Len. They’d write back to Lynn. Today, I send e-mails with my name in the signature on the bottom: L – E – N. They don’t respond to that guy, Len. They write to that perky Lynn.
Once, I transferred to a new assignment. My co-workers wanted to express their appreciation for my contribution to the old office. They had a plaque made for Lynn.
I’ll point out to people that I spell my name differently than they do. They always apologize and promise not to make that mistake again. I’m sure they mean well. They soon slip back to writing notes to…her.
I’m retiring next year. Lynn hasn’t told me what her plans are. My bet is they’ll miss her, and wonder where that old guy went.