Am I wrong for not wanting my ENTIRE name on my nametag?

I had enough problems at McD’s when they forced me to wear a nametag…it creeped me out when people called me by name, because i could never figure out if I knew them or if they were just reading my shirt.

I got my nametag for Sbarros the other day…“Pamela ________, Assistant Manager”. For one thing, I never go by Pamela anymore…I switched to Pam when I was in middle school. Also, I don’t have one of those common last names, like Jones, or Smith, or anything popular like that. We’re talking a weird German name, whereas my family is the only one in Massachusetts, and I’d venture to guess that any in America are pretty closely related to me. Anyone who copied down my name could very easily track down my address and phone number from just about anywhere.

Am I wrong to consider this an invasion of privacy? I mentioned it to my supervisor, and he kind of brushed it off. Can I insist that they change my nametag?

Am I wrong to consider this an invasion of privacy? I mentioned it to my supervisor, and he kind of brushed it off. Can I insist that they change my nametag?>>

Heck yes. I work on the phones and I still won’t give out my last name to the people who call in. Yes, most of them are probably wonderful people, but I’m just worried about having to cross the parking lot to get home.

Yeah, ideally, all that would ever happen is (a) nothing, or (b) someone calling you at home to complain that they got too much mayonnaise on their sandwich. However, ask your sup exactly what the plan would be if someone were stalking you; ask if someone called, would they tell them what hours you worked and when you left every night?

That would wack me out, bad.


Nobody checks 'em anyway. Slap a sticker on it saying 10011 or something like that. Plenty of examples over at Robot Stories

I think you’re right to be concerned. I was lucky with the last job I had that required a name tag. There was a limit to the number of letters that could be on there, and with 5 letters in my first name and 10 in my last, I exceeded it and had to just use my first name. Which is good, since I am usually the only person with my last name in a town(it was true in Maine, in Murfreesboro, in Nashville and Jackson. Chattanooga had 2 others, both close relatives and Atlanta has 2 others, both related, but that I’ve never met.)

Yeah, I’d be concerned with having my first and last name listed on a name tag if I worked with the public. There are nuts out there.

I protested this at a fortune 500 company and had my last name removed. I told them it was a violation of my privacy and a risk to my personal security to have complete strangers know my first and last name. The security department agreed surprisingly fast, and my first name only was put on my badge.

(It did, perhaps, help that I had a sexual harrassment complaint against them already).

I wouldn’t want my last name on a nametag unless it was really necessary, such as for security purposes. What is the point of letting customers in a restaurant know an employee’s first and last name? Is it supposed to look more professional?

Well, there are still people in the world who think it’s inappropriate to address complete strangers by their first names. I am inclined to agree with them, although I’m not sure why you’d need to call a fast-food employee by name anyway.

For professional purposes, you could list your last name as Madingdong. That way your name tag would read:

“Pamela Madingdong, Asst. Mgr.”

Get it… pamelamadingdong

Get it…

OK, I’ll be over in the corner if you need me.

Like the others have mentioned, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting your entire name on your name tag. I also have a rather ‘unique’ last name (German also… hm. Is there a theme going on here?), and except for two areas in the US, the only other people in the area with my last name are my parents. :stuck_out_tongue: It is definately a security issue. Anyone can pick up a phone book, or do an internet search on your name, and boom. Information of where you live, right in front of them.

Then there’s the issue of is it appropriate for strangers to call you by your first name. Personally, I’d rather hear someone call me by my first name than my last: it’s too easy for people to butcher my last name so much that I can’t tell who in the heck they’re talking about.

As to why have name tags… makes it easier to tell the store manager exactly which employee was extremely helpful and should get a raise, or was the PsychoEmployeeFromHecksup[/sup]. Rather dehumanizing, IMO, to say: “Employee #560 was quite helpful in finding the right foozit for my floopze.” Also, if the tag also has your picture on it, makes it easier to verify that you’re legit. (ie- haven’t taken someone else’s card to use for whatever reason.)

Or you can do what my friends and I did when we worked the food-stands at a stadium… we all said our name was ‘Betty’, with a phone number that directed people to the local dial-a-prayer. :smiley: (Given out to the guys who tried to hit on us.)
<< A-yup, I think a witty tag line should go here. >>

I’ve refused outright to wear a name badge at the store where I work. My stance is that, if someone needs my name, they can ask and I shall give. I’m not overly keen on having perfect strangers calling me by my first name. It seems over familiar, and sometimes a little false.

Last time I wore a badge, one guy decided to get a bit too friendly for my liking. He kept asking for me by name, and wouldn’t deal with anyone else. One day, he called and asked the receptionist for my home address, saying he wanted to send me a postcard on holiday. She put the speakerphone on so I could listen in, and I gestured to her not to tell him. That could easily have become something sinister.

Another reason I won’t wear a badge is because my surname is very unusual. To the point where the few people in this country with the same name are all directly related to me. If someone wants to get creepy and track me down, it’s not like they have to search through several hundred Smiths or Joneses in the phone book.


I was just going to suggest that you request having First Name + First Initial of Last Name. That should be sufficient for you to be identified if there is a complaint against you and vague enough you don’t feel violated.

Would your employer agree to having a “username” on your name tag? You could chose a name no one else at that place of business uses so that you can be indentified for reason’s noted above and yet still maintain your privacy.

You are absolutely 100% correct! I work in a call center for a major telco. I used to work for their paging department and sent a customer a pager. In the box the shipping department enclosed an invoice which contained my full name. I was unaware that they EVER disclosed our last names.
About two weeks later I received a call from this customer. We spoke for a while and she was asking me a bunch of personal questions then she said

Customer: Does 813-935-XXXX" sound familiar?
Me: Ummmm no, should it?
Customer: How about 4500 Bruce B Downs Blvd?
Me: That was my old APTand old number! How the hell do you know that?!?!

Turns out that she looked me up online thanks to all of the info my company provided her on the invoice. Thankful it was my old address but it still freaked me out.

You are definetly correct not to want your full name on your tag!

I agree that with an unusual surname, having your full name on your nametag could be a security problem. At my most recent job, we had nametags with our last names on them, but since I am staying with my mother, who has a different last name, I wasn’t too worried about people being able to track me down. Perhaps, if they really really want you to have a name tag with a last name on it, you could use Smith or Jones or make one up.

Having your full first name on the tag is an easy way to sort out whether someone actually knows you or not. ie: If someone calls and asks for Pamela, yet all your friends & co-workers know you go by Pam, then you can be assured that you don’t really know this person.

Whenever I get a call or letter from someone using my full name, I know that it’s either some institution, a telemarketer or my mother. EVERYONE else calls me by my shortened nick-name.


PS: I totally agree that you should lose your last name… perhaps just using your last initial would be enough for a customer to identify you to your employer, yet not enough for them to track you down.

I was just at Best Buy being helped by a guy who was actually helpful. Once I got over my shock, I thought “I gotta get this guy’s name!”

His nametag was papered over with a large sticker reading WONDER MAN and then some tag line underneath it about saving the world from evil. He volunteered that he was really Jim.

I think you know why I’m bringing this up. If you high enough up at Sbarros, I think you ought to be able to rename yourself something fantastic and powerful.

My Rite Aid name tags read either “Alex T” or “Aleksandr.”

I’ve never been comfortable with having my full name, and it still freaks me out when someone calls me by my first name. Seriously, if you’re a customer, don’t ever do that.

Incidentally, my name is Tom.


Call BestBuy and let them know about Jim. Call their corporate headquarters. IIRC, they get neat bonuses for customer kudos.

Yes, call Best Buy and see if they will send Jim to the Best Buy near me, home of the Unhelpful Salespeople.

I’ve never had to wear a tag or badge, but I wouldn’t want my last name appearing, for the same reasons as mentioned above.

Oddly enough, I also have a last name that I’ve only seen one other time, and, while not German, it’s Austrian, so close enough. Hmmmmmmmm. Veddy intehrrrresting.