Or too many Jasons…
It’s been a weird week, full of awkward conversations.
Not the least of which was one at work. Some of the guys doing a security project needed name badges to work in the building after regular hours. Our receptionist was out sick, the person who usually made them. Time to call in reinforcements.
“Oh, Larry can do those name badges. I’ll give him a call.”
My co-worker, Lisa, dialed Larry up and left a message.
I thought I had met everyone. I didn’t know a Larry in our department. We have IT, admin and Maintenance and Operations staff housed in the basement with us.
“Who’s Larry?” I asked.
“You know, he’s about so tall and has dark hair. Real nice.”
“Clean-shaven, or bearded?” Most of the maintenance workers are bearded.
“He’s clean-shaven. Just a sweetheart of a guy. Wait, I emailed him too.”
“He says he knows you. You’ve been walking back and forth to the parking lot a few times. Says you’re super nice.”
“You mean Jason*?”
She looked at me, blinking her blue eyes. We sit right next to each other, so it wasn’t a big stretch.
“No, his name is Larry. We worked on that big project sorting all the drawings. I told you about that. We started dating other people again at the same time when our marriages busted up, so we had all kinds of stories to share. He’s pretty cool.”
“I’ve been calling him Jason,” I said. “To his face. He never corrected me.”
I shook my head. Why???
“He’s very kind. He would never say anything.”
This didn’t help me.
“So how many times did I call him that? I even did it front of his buddy Kevin. Neither one corrected me. Seriously?!”
I saw Larry-who-is-not-Jason later that day. I punched him in the arm (not hard).
“Why didn’t you tell me your name was Larry?” I asked,laughing.
“Ow!” he said, pretending to stagger back from my mighty blow.
“I’ll answer to anything you want to call me. If it’s bad, Jason is fine. If it’s a pat on the back, I’ll take Larry.”
“I feel like a moron!” I replied. “Were you ever going to tell me?”
“It’s not a big deal,” he shrugged as he walked away.
I don’t know. I think names matter. Otherwise, why don’t we just call each other Thing 1 or Thing 2?
Well, folks. Now you have it. Proof positive that I don’t know everything. You’re welcome.
*Full disclosure: There is a Jason who works in M&O. For real. I have never called him Larry.