The Involuntary Shuddering


Have you ever been around someone and every time they said a specific thing, you shuddered involuntarily?

So, I have this one coworker (Incompetent, if you are a follower of my workplace woes). And she’s the only Sharon in the office (obvs pseudonym). And for the professional people we speak with, I always leave my first name as a professional courtesy. And for regular people, I don’t really leave a name at all. But if anyone calls in, any one of us should be able to assist. This was the original goal for folks answering calls instead of having to transfer people all over the place. But if it’s a professional person, who I’m expecting a call from, I always leave my name.

Plus, I don’t want anyone internet stalking me, or real life stalking me.

I kind of look at it like when I worked for DirecTV — I gave my first name, but wasn’t allowed to give my last name. Because if I told them something they didn’t like, they could use my first and last name and stalk me. And I have a pretty unique name.

Or when I worked regular customer service in a brick and mortar store. No one needed to know my last name. I was the person who was finding their shirt or ringing them up. They cared for a full two minutes about our interaction, then forgot all about me.

Even online customer guides caution about reps giving their last name:

Privacy Violations

Some customer service reps agree that providing their first and last names threatens privacy and sets them up for possible trouble. We all know the cranky, creepy customers who are having a horrible day and need to take it out on someone else. No matter how good our customer service skills are, there are folks that just try to drag others down with them. We don’t quite know what lengths they’d go to, though. I know I’ve had some of those creepy customers tell me they are trying to find me on Facebook. I kindly let them know that I don’t have one…

Assigning Responsibility

There is also the debate that providing your first and last name automatically assigns responsibility for that customer. You are officially taking ownership, the customer knows it and you know it–your name becomes linked with this situation.

Limiting Information

We’ve heard some companies feel more comfortable by using the first name and first initial of their last name to protect the identity of the representative. Even if you ask them over the phone what their last name is, the rep will not share it with you. Does this then take away from a positive customer experience?

Accomodating Everyone

Some members of the customer service team may not mind, especially if their names are more common, however, others with more unique names, may want to protect their identity. How do you accommodate each member of your team, depending on their privacy preference? Or, do you just let them know going into the job, that their first and last name will be provided and if they have issues with this, to not take the position?

But Sharon not only leaves her first name, but her last name too. With everyone. Even the average Joe that randomly calls in.

She’s the only Sharon in the office. She doesn’t need to leave her last name to distinguish her from any other Sharon in the office… because there’s not one.

And I know that seems silly… but not only does she leave her last name….

She spells it. On every voicemail she leaves, professional people, random people… everybody.

And it’s not like it’s a hard to spell last name.

Every time, “F-L-O-W-E-R-S.”

Sharon is convinced that everyone needs to know who she is.

And, I mean. My first name can be difficult for people — “Caroline”, “Carolyn”, “Cara Anne”, “Coraline”, “Corrine”. So, sometimes I just give my last name, especially to baristas and order takers. And even then, they still don’t spell it right.

And I don’t get my panties in a wad over this.

All she needs to say is “This is Sharon”. She’s the only one in the office. If someone calls and asks for Sharon, we know who that is. If someone calls in and says to a supervisor that Sharon was rude, they know whose door to knock on.

So now, when she says her last name and then spells it, I involuntarily shudder.

It happened yesterday in a meeting with our higher ups, when she introduced herself, then spelled her last name.

Also just the sound of her voice now makes me cringe.

This isn’t just a me thing, right?

Anyone else’s coworkers do anything that makes you involuntarily shudder?



13 thoughts on “The Involuntary Shuddering

  1. Typo in the first line? She’s the only Sharon where?

    If your panties don’t get in a wad do they get twisted?

    I used to have to spell Carolyn all the time because people would want to spell it with an ‘ine’

    It’s just you!

    I hate my co workers and my boss is a jerk too but I have good reason, I’m self employed

    I really should go to bed!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is she older? Because this is def a throw back to older times before we worried about identity theft and before we worried about being stalked. In the eighties and nineties, it was about networking, baby! Networking was getting your name — your whole name — and make sure they spell it correctly! out there to anyone and everyone. Even the guy who sweeps the floor. Get it printed on business cards. Nice ones. Pass them out. To everyone. Now everyone knows your name. That was the only way to work your way up in the world…

    I don’t give my first and last name when I introduce myself, but whenever I leave a voicemail it would be the same, “Hi this is Patience Prescott, that Patience as in “Please give me patience to get through this phone call” and Prescott P-r-e-s as in Sam-c-o-t-t” blah blah blah…”. — give my name again, spell the last name again, and always be sure to drop the name and number at least three times even in a short message and spell the last name twice. It’s just how things were done back then.

    If she’s not older, maybe she just learned it from working with older folks. I dunno.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s in her early 50’s.

      I guess it was just ingrained in me from working in call centers and dealing with crazy people to not give your last name. And my first and last name together are pretty unique, add the state in which I live, and you can probably find my address pretty easily with enough google-fu.

      I’ve also dealt with stalkers in the past…

      Also when I worked customer service in various locations, I always used my first name and with the types of interactions I had with customers, they wanted help finding their stuff, someone to take their money, and be on their way.

      Also my name is pretty unique. I’m definitely the only “Carolanne” within the department. There’s lots of “Caroline’s” and “Carolyn’s”.

      I’ve just never had a real need to use my last name — except for ordering coffee. My last name is five letters and pretty ubiquitous in this area. I have a friend whose name is pretty unique, and when she goes to Starbucks, she just tells them her name is Ashley.

      But that is hilarious — I never thought of it in that way, that there was an actual time before identity theft was a thing. Maybe my “millennial” is showing. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stalking was just becoming a “thing” in the eighties. It wasn’t even recognized until the nineties as a crime. I mean, Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear didn’t even come out until 1997, and even then people didn’t really “believe” in stalkers. Well into the 2000’s I’ve had to convince people that having a stalker is terrifying and life threatening, not trendy.

        But anyway, your co-worker is my age and sounds like we learned the same things. Old habits are hard to break. Though when I worked in retail I didn’t tell anyone my name, they were lucky if they got it off of my name tag. Ha!

        Patience Prescott is not my real name just for the record. ^_^

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It depends really – my work in finance requires me to give my first and last name for security reasons and because we are handling sensitive information – trying to avoid fraud as well. Sometimes, I give the shorter version of my first name which is “Bel”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to try to make up names because I didn’t want anyone to know that my service was bad. So I would say, “This is James Carrey” or this is “Thomas Cruise”, or “Lucas Sky Walker”. Something that was just a little off but enough to make them think it just might be real.

    Liked by 1 person

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