I get a big kick out of some of the names I come across in business and in life. And, I find it interesting that my mind forms preconceived notions of what these people must be like before I even meet them.
We’ve worked with a couple of women named Sunshine and Snowflake, respectively. Talk about sweet, upbeat names. You’d expect Sunshine to be beaming from ear to ear and Snowflake to be a sweet, delicate creature. Imagine what the water cooler talk might be like, however, if the exact opposite were true. "Do yourself a favor and steer clear of Sunshine today. Man, is she ever pissed off about the quarterly sales numbers. And, Snowflake’s screaming about some screw-up on her travel arrangements." A pissed-off Sunshine? An irate Snowflake? It just doesn’t compute.
On the opposite end of the spectrum there’s University of Cincinnati basketball star Jihad Mohammad. Phew! What was his mom thinking when she picked the name "Holy war" for her son? Could you imagine what life was like for him after 9/11? Or, could you imagine someone saying, "Jihad’s such a caring, sensitive soul?" I guess the name conveys the proper sense of menace on the court but, in life, it has to cause Jihad more than a few double takes when he introduces himself.
Here are a few other neat names:
– Debjani Deb (Do her friends call her Deb Deb? Deb Squared, perhaps?)
– Eric Macadangdang (Is his favorite song "Clang, Clang, Clang went the trolley" from "Meet me in St. Louis"?)
– Staci Sickendick (no comment)
– Michael Archangel (does he sit at the right-hand side of the corporate god in his life?)
– Nadia Leather (does she keep an extra whip in her desk drawer?)
– George W. George (a name so nice his mom took it twice)
And, last, but certainly not least, there’s my very own partner Ed Moed. Ed’s very gracious about his rhyming first and last names and likes to tell people his full name is Edward Moedward.
You have to laugh at some of this stuff. Plus, it’s a great diversion from the far too serious world of business.
Hat tip to Ann Barlow for her contributions.