Look, I’m Not SAYING She’s an Airhead…

Look, I'm Not SAYING She's an Airhead

So then…I hear our office manager clip-clopping down the hallway with the newest receptionist to introduce her around to the staff.

I roll my eyes because history has proven that the revolving door of receptionists at this particular company are hired more for beauty than brains. Whoever’s selecting them seems less focused on a 60 WPM typing number and more interested in a 36-24-36 number.

And sure enough, as they round the corner and pop into my office, I see a young lady in her mid-20’s with sky-high heels, push-up bra, tight skirt, and enough cosmetics to paint the Sistine Chapel.

(I admonish myself not to be so judgy! Stop judging this book by its skimpy cover!)

I smile cheerfully as the office manager says, “Darcy Perdu, I’d like you to meet our new receptionist.”

“Nice to meet you. Welcome aboard,” I say.

She smiles and introduces herself.

Since we’ll be adding her to the email network and phone directory, I say, “So how do you spell your name? Is it J-a-c-k-i-e? Or J-a-c-q-u-e?”

She giggles and says, “Oh, whichever.”

Um…what?

I furrow my brow. Maybe she didn’t understand the question, so I repeat it. “No, I mean, how do YOU spell your name? Is it “k-i-e” or “q-u-e” at the end?”

She giggles again and says, “Oh, whatever you want.”

WHAT!? Whatever I want? It’s her name!

What if I want it to be spelled “B-o-o-b-i-e-H-e-a-d-e-d-D-i-n-g-B-a-t?” Is she OK with THAT?

Now look, I totally understand when people are indifferent about what they’re CALLED:

As in, “Do you prefer to be called Kathy or Kathleen?
Dave or David?
Jim or Jimmy?”

And the person says, “Oh, whichever is fine.” That’s cool.

And I’ve certainly seen people behave completely nonchalant when asked questions like:
“Do you prefer butter or cream cheese on your bagel?”
“Do you want to sit near the window or the aisle?”
“Do you strangle or stab your victims?”

“Oh, whichever” is a perfectly fine response to ANY of THOSE questions.

But when someone asks you how you SPELL YOUR NAME, isn’t that something you should have an opinion about?

Isn’t she signing her name fairly frequently – on forms, notes, checks, tax returns? Does she spell it DIFFERENTLY each time, whatever the mood strikes her that day?

Or does she have a system?

Maybe it’s “Jacque” for resumes –
“Jackie” for restraining orders –
“Jakkeee” for love notes –
And “Pjackey” for her computer password (the “p” is silent).

I’m cracking up because it’s just mind-boggling to me that after 20-some-odd years on this planet, she hasn’t yet made a definitive decision about HOW TO SPELL HER NAME.

I can just imagine how decisive she’ll be in her new job here.

Caller: “Hello, can you please connect me to your billing department?”
Jackie/Jacque: “Sure.” (presses “whichever” combination of buttons strike her fancy)

Warehouse Employee: “Does the boss want this shipment to go to our Dallas office or the New York office?”
Jackie/Jacque: (giggling) “Whichever is fine.”

Delivery Person: “Here’s the lunch order for the meeting. Looks delicious. Should I put it in the conference room or (chuckle) just gobble it up myself?”
Jackie/Jacque: (giggling) “Whichever is fine.”

Boss: “Your work performance is very poor. Should I try to re-train you to be more decisive – or just terminate you?”
Jackie/Jacque: (giggling) “Whichever is fine.”

And then she’ll giggle her way to the nearest Hooters (or is it “Huuturz?”)

Now before you think I’m being too hard on the poor girl – she’s 24! Not 2! Giggling and uncertainty might be acceptable at 2 – but at 24? Nope.

And it’s not like I asked her to explain the Quantum Entanglement Theory of Electrons – or the highest-grossing agricultural export of Paraguay! I asked her how she SPELLS HER NAME!

“Um…okay,” I say. “Just let us know whatever you decide and we’ll add your name to the roster.”

She ultimately chooses “Jackie” but I shall forever think of her as “Pjackey” (the “p” is silent, of course).

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any of your coworkers (past or present) who seem a bit challenged in the common sense department? Any examples of odd answers to simple questions? Any funny name stories to share?)