So we get a lot of clients from overseas, and many of them have unusual names. Which is only to be expected – we all come from somewhere. Sometimes the names are downright comical to my ears, and yet I’m normally able respectfully to rein in my urge to snicker.
Today I got a call from a client whose name sounded…well, rather like the titular vocal statement of this world-renown musical masterpiece.
(Despite my egregious use of the word “titular”, the link is SFW)
Totally immature though it may be, I’ll be laughing my ass off for the rest of the day.
I don’t think I could properly contain myself in a professional manner if someone introduced themselves as “Menahmunna.” I’d be way too tempted to use the obvious follow-up and then giggle myself into a coma.
Same here. A name that sounds dirty or sounds like body parts? No problem. I can keep my professional composure. But a name that triggers an automatic deep-brain response like “Menahmunna” would just kill me, because it would be out before my conscious brain could stop it.
Years ago I had a friend whose last name was Ho. Her sister was coming into town from Sydney, and I was going to meet up with them. Somehow we missed each other and I decided to just go home. While I was at the bus stop, I saw a beautiful girl who looked just like my friend. I started to wonder if that was, in fact, her sister. So I almost asked “Excuse me, are you a Ho?”
Several years ago I worked in the passport section of a large, busy embassy where I had to call the applicants to the counter over a loudspeaker. One day someone named Mycock applied for a passport. You can imagine the [sub]penis[/sub] hilarity that ensued when I announced, “Mycock to the front desk, please.” Unfortunately Mrs. Mycock was not amused and huffily announced that it was pronounced “mee-co.” How was I supposed to know? Then the very next day someone named Jakass came in. Apparently* that * was pronounced Yah-Kahz. After that, I didn’t get to use the microphone so much…
We use a note taking system at work that requires a login based on your surname and first name smooshed together in some weird fashion. And your login is appended to all notes so the next people can see how bad you screwed up.
So you end up with things like mannd and ann.ellis as the logins. Not so bad.
Until they started getting Indian reps into the system. There’s some great ones in there, but the two best I’ve ever seen are “poojars” and “manmeet”
Sometimes it’s very tempting to turn around and say to a customer “I see you’ve been speaking to poojars today”
I remember as a kid walking through a graveyard (during the day, of course) and noting with childish delight and an utter lack of respect for the dead the tombstone of one named “Lipschitz.” I giggled. A lot.
I also giggled the first time I heard the name “Dick Butkus,” too.