We all have different names that we don’t like others to call us. For some reason, they don’t sound right, or they make us feel uncomfortable. I guess it’s similar to calling someone by their middle name, even though they’ve made it clear that they don’t like it. We do just to make life harder on them.
I would like to mention that I have officiated men’s college basketball for many years, which means that I’ve been called many things that are far from nice. However, that is a different setting. These hecklers don’t know me, and I don’t know them. In other words, they don’t care about me, and I could care less about them.
I’m writing here about names I’m called in a “friendly” setting, such as when I’m attending a meeting, buying groceries at the supermarket, or attending a WNBA game.
Here are the 3 names that I’d rather not be called:
I actually don’t like “buddy” used in any way when trying to get my attention, such as …
• “Hey, Buddy!”
• “How can I help you, buddy?”
• “Are you doing ok, buddy?”
• “What’s on your mind, buddy?”
For some reason, I despise “buddy.” I would rather the person not speak to me. I guess it seems like the person is trying to get into my personal space too quickly. If the person knows me, I prefer they call me by my name, and not by a made-up name that refers to just anyone.
In some cases, people who don’t know me call me “boss.” How can I be their boss when I never hired them? How do they know I have the qualifications to be a real boss?
Since I’m a business owner, I know that the title of “boss” shouldn’t be used lightly. Why … we have so many responsibilities, including making tough decisions, and ensuring payroll is done timely. Does the person referring to me as “boss” expect me to pay him every two weeks, too?
Guy is an interesting name to be called. Does one have to be man to be called “guy”? If I were a woman, would the person call me “gal”? Regardless, I know that the name “guy” turns me off, and I cringe when someone tries to gain my attention in this way.
• “Hi, Guy!”
• “Let me tell you, guy, this is a good car for you.”
• “Guy, can you get the door for me”?
• “Ok, guy. Just know that I’m here to help you.”
“Guy” has little meaning to me. I guess “buddy” would be better, but I don’t like either one.
I suppose some of you are wondering what my point is with this discussion. In truth, I’m not sure. Actually, I do have a point to make … it’s far better to call someone by their preferred name, and not by a weak name that has little meaning. If we don’t know their given name, we can refer to them as “Mr.” or “Miss.” It’s better to keep it professional.
I’m unsure how I would react if I had this dialogue with someone:
Other Person: “How are you doing, buddy?”
Me: “I’m doing fine. Thank you.”
Other Person: “C’mon, Guy! I’m sure you are doing far better than just fine!”
Me: “I guess you are right. The day is going super!”
Other Person: “Right on, Boss!”
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Dr. Jimmie Flores,PhD,PMP,ITIL,SSBB,SPHR,GPHR is a seasoned organizational development and continuous improvement professional with 20 years of experience. In 2006, he founded the Flores Consulting Group, a company based in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Flores is also an expert in project management, ITIL, Six Sigma, Entrepreneurship, and Sports Officiating. Please visit our website at www.jmbok.com
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