Why Can't Anybody Get My Name Right?
I don't know why this is, but people seem to have the hardest time picking up my name when I say it. I generally speak clearly, and I don't have problems with people not understanding other things I say, just my name.
I stopped in at a restaurant this afternoon to get some takeout lunch, and it was a place where the food takes a little bit of time to prepare, so they asked for my name. "Doug," I replied. The cashier squinted a bit and asked again. "Doug," I repeated, and spelled it--D-O-U-G--just for good measure. Something happened behind him and he was distracted for about ten seconds, but then he turned back to me. "Ted, was it?" I almost just left it at that--there weren't that many people in the restaurant, and I figured that if there was another Ted, it was highly unlikely he was ordering the same food as me, so I'd be able to get my order. But for whatever reason, I corrected him. "No, it's Doug." "Oh, Don," he nodded. I nodded back and went to sit down.
At least he didn't think my name was Todd. That's the most common wrong name I get. Don't ask me why, because the beginning and ending consonant sounds are different than in Doug, and te vowel in the middle is different, as well, but that's what people hear. It used to particularly rankle me because my girlfriend in grad school used to flit between me and a guy named Todd (maybe she heard the names wrong and thought we were the same guy), and for a few years after that, I'd always see his face when my name was misheard. That hasn't bothered me for years, but come on, I still want to use my own name.