The reason I don’t know your names after all this time isn’t because I don’t really give a shit what your names are, it’s because I … well, no, actually, that is the reason

In my mind, you all look like this

In my mind, you all look like this

Dear Co-workers Whose Names I Still Do Not Know,

Allow me to apologize. After almost three years of working here, you would think I would know what to call at least half of you … and the fact that I don’t makes me feel bad. Sort of.

OK, perhaps “bad” is too strong a word … but I do, at the very least, feel mildly uncomfortable when one of you greets me by name and I, in return, can only do that “Hey, how’s it going [mumbly sound that may or may not share some phonetic resemblance to your actual name]?” thing.

I do not have a socially acceptable excuse for my behavior, so I shall instead be brutally honest with you: I didn’t plan on being here this long … and since I wasn’t planning on staying, I sure as hell didn’t care to clutter my brain with a bunch of names that would be obsolete in what I was sure would be no time at all. (I know that makes me sound like a delusional, self-centered dick, but in my defense, I only said it because I’m a delusional, self-centered dick. It’s not my fault, is what I’m saying; I can’t help it.)

And, yeah, I suppose I could finally confess to you that I don’t know what your name is and ask you to share it with me again … but, in addition to being excruciatingly awkward, it also would be a waste of time … because I’m not going to be here much longer. At least, that’s what I’m still telling myself.

If it makes you feel any better, I also have not committed to memory the names of the random parents who, simply because my children participate in the same sports leagues as their children, have become semi-regular fixtures in my life. Don’t believe me? Here’s an email I recently sent to one of the other dads after attending my son’s basketball game:

SUBJECT: Hey, you know what’s really embarrassing?

BODY: Calling your friend’s wife “Barbara” even though you’ve met her several times and have repeatedly been told her name is “Paulette” (to include roughly two minutes prior to calling her “Barbara” … loudly … more than once … in front of people).

It sucks being senile at 43. Thanks for making the save, but I’ve been having such massive and sustained douche chills since that moment that I just had to say something. I’m assuming she noticed, in which case: Please pass along my apology. Inexcusable.

So you see? It’s not just you. It’s everyone. (And, yes, I know the apology I wrote to him seems far more heartfelt and meaningful than the one I’ve offered you here … but that’s only because I’m going to have to see Barbara Paulette repeatedly over the course of the next decade … whereas you all soon will be completely erased from my mind, much like this job itself. I hope.)

(Please, God, make it stop.)

Sincerely Callously Yours,


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  1. Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Don’t feel bad, and think that knowing the name of your coworkes doesn’t mean you care about them either, or that you plan to be in the job much longer… take me as an example.
    Mexmom´s most recent blog post: Week in review…My Profile

  2. Posted July 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I am so bad with names – at least you have the excuse of “not planning to be there much longer” – I have been at this company for at least twelve years and I STILL don’t know a lot of the names. Maybe I need to re-think this – maybe it’s not that I’m bad with names…maybe the truth is I just don’t give a damn.
    Gigi´s most recent blog post: I swear, it’s one thing after another around hereMy Profile

  3. Posted July 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m terrible with names myself and always have been. I need to interact with somebody on a regular basis to get their name to stick otherwise my memory is iffy at best. I like to think that I’m just forgetful and not a self-absorbed twit.
    Kat´s most recent blog post: Currently……My Profile

  4. Posted July 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Funny … I can’t remember names, but I can remember what everybody drinks. Hmmm ….

  5. Posted July 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    oh my god
    a front row seat to a nervous breakdown
    i do not feel so all alone now!
    you are fucking hilarious.
    putting your thingee in my feedly thingee or something…
    vanillasugarblog´s most recent blog post: mini peach cheesecake tartsMy Profile

  6. Cheryl
    Posted July 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    OMG, Hilarious. I feel the exact same way only in reverse because I always feel like they aren’t going to make it so it isn’t work the effort. I have been here for 22 years and don’t know over half of the people here. I also used to have the exact same experience with my daughters sports teams. One time at a team dinner at a pizza place there was a Mom that had been on the team all year sitting down the table. After we yelled out about 20 different names trying to get her attention I finally just asked what her name was. When she told us Debbie, one of the other mom’s just looked at her and said, you don’t look like a Debbie, we’re just going to call you Celia. So I always just stick with “Hey, how’s it going?” and avoid the embarassment of saying the wrong name. Lol.

  7. JanetNZ
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Feeling so much better now, because I always assumed this was JUST ME!!!
    Also going now to check out Vanilla Wotsername, cos she sounds fun too

  8. Posted July 31, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    For the “It’s not my fault, I can’t help it stuff,” I’ve started telling people that “it’s my natural frequency.” When they ask for clarification, I suggest that they Google it.

    I just happen to vibrate that way . . .
    Robyn´s most recent blog post: Kindness covers all of my political beliefs . . .My Profile

  9. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    See, after reading this I thought I’d feel a lot better about not remembering the name of classmates and band members who I spent years with. I just feel more like an asshole….BUT at least I can say “What?….I didn’t plan on being there that long!” Hilarious!
    Jay´s most recent blog post: 10 Thoughts For Hump DayMy Profile

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