Look, it's not that hard...

I go by my middle name. My first name is the same as my father’s, so my parents called me by my middle name. Apparently, this confuses people to no end. I try to explain it to them, but they get a look on their face like a chicken watching a card trick. Bah-gawk?

So, my name is Tommy Dante Hilfingerer. I go by Dante. Get it? Understand? Apparently not. I asked my local bank to send me new cheques with my name as “Dante Hilfingerer”.

“But,” says bank drone, “your name is Tommy D. Hilfingerer.”
“Yes, it is,” replies I “but I go by my middle name, Dante.”
“Bah-gawk?” says she.
“That’s right, my middle name” reiterates I.

Cut to 2 weeks later. I get my cheques in the mail. Know what? They’re wrong. My middle name has a long and short form. So, if my middle name was say Daniel, my cheques now read “Dan Daniel Hilfingerer”. Sigh.

Back to the bank goes I, girding myself for battle.

“It appears someone in your organization thinks my parents are cataclysmically stupid” I begin “Have a look and tell me what you think.”
“By golly, that’s not right!” she replies.
Finally, someone with more than a small bulb at the top of her spinal cord.
“Could we just do my initials instead of a name?” I asks.
“Sure, I’ll handle that.”
Off I goes, confident that soon will I bear many cheques that identify me correctly to the masses. You’d think I know better…

My two first initials are L.C. Those of you playing along at home are no doubt ahead of me here. My cheques come two weeks later.

Elsie Hilfingerer.

That’s right. You heard me.

I have to go back tonite and get them changed again. I fear I’m not up for this battle. Surely, I’m no St. George. Please keep me in your prayers and send donations in lieu of flowers to your local Humane Society.

[bad Clinton voice]
Ah fheel yur pay-n
[/bad Clinton voice]

While not precisely the same situation, I also have countless problems with my name(s). Finally I gave up and had my entire name put on checks and my DL. So what if it takes a bit longer to sign (although my sig is completely illegible anyways). Twas easier than arguing with the doofuses (doofii?) at the bank.

My credit card has my names reversed, as in, ‘Hilfiger Cowgirl’. They call and refer to me as ‘Ms Cowgirl’ - even though that is my FIRST name. I have told them this repeatedly, and clearly it is THEIR error, since I would never tell them that my surname is my first name, but they have never changed it. Fortunately I don’t really think it matters, since I rarely use that card, and there aren’t a lot of other Cowgirl Hilfigers out there (and even fewer Hilfiger Cowgirls, I bet). I’m just lucky that it doesn’t matter: if it was the bank, I’d be more pissed off, like you, Dante. Give 'em hell.

I had to get my checks redone four times:

The first time, everything was correct except the font - I should have left it alone.

The second time, the font was correct, but the city had mysteriously been changed from “New York, NY” to “Ny, NY”. This might have been acceptable if they had capitalized it fully to “NY, NY”, but I didn’t want to give the impression I lived in some town named Ny.

The third time, after I had complained about the capitalization, the city came out “new york, NY”, and they had left off the logo I requested (and paid for). By this time I was pissed, and wanted it EXACTLY RIGHT out of sheer spite.

The fourth set of checks did not arrive after a month (they are supposed to ship in 7 days), so I requested them again. The rep insisted that I would have to pay an additional charge. I went ballistic, since I had now been without checks for nearly three months. I got a supervisor, had all check charges on my account reversed, and got them to send out my re-request on rush (charged to them).

Four days later, I got both the fourth and fifth set of checks. One had left off the last letter of my first name, the other was, by some strange chance, correct.

So ha.


I recall reading many, many moons ago the story of R. B. Jones. In World War II, R. B. was having no end of trouble with the U.S. Army. He was sending an allotment home to his family, and the Army could not get the allotment form filled out correctly.

Initially, the Army refused to believe that his name consisted only of initials. He finally had a copy of his birth certificate sent to him, so he could prove to the payroll clerk that his name was, indeed, R. B. He thought his problem was solved.

The next allotment form he got showed his name as Arby Jones. So he goes through another round of red tape, at the end of which the Army assures him that if he writes his name as “R.(only) B.(only) Jones” on the form it will get done correctly.

And of course, the next allotment form he receives shows his name as Ronly Bonly Jones.

My last name is a very common first name for teenage girls. I am not a teenage girl by about 20 years. Whenever someone asks for my last name and I give it, I frequently hear “That’s your last name?” or “No, your [il]last* name.”

It’s the last one I’ve got!

Dante, as someone else who goes by their middle name (my first name also was the same as my father’s), I feel your pain.

I go by, say, “Steve Huffington.” I like the bewildered looks when someone asks me what my middle name is. “Steve.” “Guh? Your name is Steve Steve?” :rolleyes:

my driver license, credit cards, social security cards all have my full name F-M-L. Never had a problem with the checks, though, which is odd because our bank is a bunch of screwups.

Been there, done that. Except in my case the turnaround time was six to eight weeks, not two weeks. So after the bank made the exact same mistake twice[sup]*[/sup], over five months went by before I got my stupid checks.

Chin up Dante, they’ll figure it out. Eventually.

[sup]*[/sup]Clue to the bank: I know how to spell my own last name, thank you very much. Yes, I know it’s uncommon and only one letter different from a very common last name. But that doesn’t mean you get to “correct” my spelling of it, you presumtuous twits. Especially not after I explained the matter to you the first time you pulled this stunt. That just makes you stupid and presumtuous. Thank you.

Yeah, my kids are going to hate me.

They are going to eventually either have to start going by their first names, or deal with this sort o’ mess the rest of their lives.

I will, of course, continue to blame the entire situation on the insurance company to my dying breath, but I doubt they will be impressed.

(Why do both my kids go by their middle names? The full sordid story is told elsewhere. The short version is: If you ever have twins, never, EVER, name them with names with the same first letter if they are born in a hosptial that ID’s newborns on their medical records using their first initial and last name. Unless, of course, you WANT to spend the next decade arguing with your insurance carrier about services being double-billed :smack: ).

Next time, use checks-in-the-mail or some similar printer. Ten to one says that they get it right the first time, and you deprive the bank of their profit from the check fee.

I think the problem is that the idiots at the bank are just smart enough to think they can think.

You know, Snopes isn’t too sure about that one.

I had a job interview at a bank once. Maybe I wasn’t hired because I was too smart for them? :slight_smile:

I’ll second that; Checks in the Mail has given me prompt, accurate service for years at a reasonable price. I have the Marvel Superheroes checks.

I’ll third that.
After a particularly hellicious encounter with trying to order checks through my bank, Checks-in-the-Mail was fabulous. I called and explained the problem and the customer service person told me what to write on the order form to make sure everything was dandy.
And it was.

But I STILL go Full first name, Middle, Last as to confuse as few people as possible. (It’s the first name that causes the problems)

Not that there wouldn’t be a bit of confusion about your father’s name as well.

Oh, I have no idea if the story is true or not; best I can recall, I read it as an anecdote in Reader’s Digest. Regardless, it seems to fit in well with the pain the OP describes.

Sauron, I recall reading that one in a Reader’s Digest collection as well. True or not, it still makes a great story.

You’re not alone. My mom’s name is Lois. Simple right? Anyone who’s seen “Superman” or read the comics, or saw the TV show should be able to figure this one out.

Slightly old-fashioned woman’s name. Semi-famous thanks to Lois Lane.

But NooooOOOOoo, she’s gotten tons of mail all of her life addressed to Mr. Louis Blahblah (sorry, too early in the morning for clever alias names).

Good luck with your battle.

I think MissTake has raised a very important question here, and one well worth serious contemplation. What is the plural?