A Guaranteed Way to Annoy Me
I’m at work first thing this morning, a little disgruntled about being back there after a nice, relaxing Memorial Day, and I see it. An envelope on the little foot of shelf space where I keep my recipe binders and cookbooks and inventory sheets; an envelope addressed to "Bridget." And I fucking lose it.
I’ve worked at this restaurant for a year. Granted, the person who left this note for me started in February, but four months seems long enough to learn someone’s name, no? Their correct name? Especially when that name is all over the kitchen schedules and prep lists and timecards that are ALL OVER the place. I don’t have a problem w/ the man who left me the envelope, and this rant isn’t necessarily directed at him, but it set something off inside of me that I’ve dealt w/ my whole life and I’m so fucking sick of it.
At its core, it’s a problem I have w/ laziness and inattention to detail. Attention to detail is what everyone touts on their resume, and it’s nothing more than a tired, overused phrase. It’s like multitasking; everyone thinks they’re rocking it, when research proves we’re not. So stop lying to yourself and thinking you’re getting five things done at once and paying attention to all of them, when you’re actually doing a half-assed job and things are slipping through the cracks.
Maybe it’s b/c of my name that I pay extra extra EXTRA attention to this detail, but I never address something -a note, a card, an email- w/out triple checking the spelling of the recipient. Not only b/c I know how frustrating it is to be on the receiving end of that wrongly spelled name, but b/c of how it makes me as the sender appear. If we work together, or are on the same rec team, or you are more than just an acquaintance to me, and you spell my name wrong? I remember that. I’m not holding a grudge or secretly seething every time I see you, but I’m absolutely judging the fact that you’re lazy and/or inconsiderate and/or maybe illiterate? Because seriously, it’s not that hard.
I’ve long ago stopped getting angry every time I make a reservation and I see the host scribble down “Bridget,” or when I see it spelled like that on my receipt at Panera. No matter how hard I emphasize “it’s BrigID,” people hear Bridget and that’s what they write. It’s the more common name, I absolutely understand, and I really have no problem w/ the cashier at Dairy Queen thinking that’s my name.
What I do have a problem w/ is when people decide to totally ignore Brigid. I can’t even w/ the number of emails I’ve sent that come back to me “Hi Bridget/Bridgette/Brigit” that make me want to pour hot sugar syrup all over the sender. How hard is it to check the signature of the person you’re responding to? What, did that take an extra two seconds out of your day? My name is written on the prep list at work several times throughout the week, and months into this job one of the other cooks finally looked at it closely enough to realize, “wait, your name is BrigID? I’ve been calling your BridgET this whole time!” Of course I answer to Bridget and I really don’t have the time or energy to confirm that “yes, that’s been my name this whole time!”
Someone calling me Bridget or assuming that’s how it’s spelled isn’t the problem; it’s the situation like this morning, when someone who could have taken ten seconds to check that, huh, her name doesn’t end in a “T,” that really, really, really bothers me. Because I try to like people, but then they prove they’re fucking dumb and lazy and I just can’t.
I know I should just blame my parents and accept the inevitable, but I love my name. I love that it’s one of those names you’ve probably heard of, but maybe never actually seen in real life. I love that St. Brigid is the female patron saint of Ireland and that she liked beer. I love that St. Brigid’s is the church down the street from my parents’ house and I grew up attending the parish of my namesake and it’s where I married Brent.
Writing that last paragraph actually put a smile on my face, which seems like a great place to end this post. And just some helpful, unsolicited advice: the next time you’re responding to an email, or leaving a post-it on someone’s desk, take the extra second to confirm the spelling of their name. Unless you want to know there’s someone out there who justifiably thinks you’re an asshat.