Picking your own nick name, and the dangers involved
I tried a nickname once. I took a job as a pizza delivery man while serving in the military. The manager, a gentle mannered man with a southern drawl, asked me what name I would like on the name tag.
“This is my shot!” I thought. As a man with a gender neutral name, not “Sue”, or “Stacy”, but starts with “S”, I thought the time had come to pick a name that didn’t draw questioning looks, or crude comments in the locker room, or supermarket check out lines, where I had to verify my name with a picture I.D.
After making my choice, “Shawn” was punched out on the name tape and stuck upon the recyclable tag, which I proudly pinned to my shirt. Then, as is my nature with such things, I promptly forgot even having the conversation with the manager.
As the shift went by, the manger proved himself to be not very nice at all! He began to rant and rave about folks day-dreaming, and not paying attention! He even went into this screaming fit very nearby, (and very loudly) where I was trying to act like I was wringing a mop out in a dry mop bucket, while he practiced chewing an employee out.
I say practiced, because at that time, in my late teens/early twenties, I was very innocent about the techniques a manager might use to motivate and encourage their employees, and had assumed that my manager was practicing his speech delivery over by the corner where I had worked my entire shift, wringing out dry mops.
I must say that for a practice run, he did a fine job. For a solid half an hour spit was flying about and he was very animated. I mostly tried to ignore him, but the volume became overwelming in the small area where we stood, that sometimes I would become distracted from my work and would politely watch and smile while I leaned against the mop handle. Then he began to repeat himself continuously.
It was sad, but after screaming the employees name, Sean, fifteen times at a ridiculus pitch for a man I felt the time had come to critique his performance, and offer some advise.
“Listen.” I said, as professionally, and directly as I thought a pizza delivery man should be. “Your doing a fine job on your practice delivery, but what are you screaming Sean’s name over and over like that for? When you finally see him; it’s a guy, right? Because I know some girls named Shaun, and you need to be careful that you don’t offend anyone.” I said this while giving him the appropriate level of serious stink-eye, just to emphasize my point.
“Anyway, just address him in a caring way.” I then smiled at him with a sideways glance and continued. “Besides, you can attract more bee’s with honey, than you can vinegar, right?
It was at this point one of his eyes began to blink rapidly. Thinking that he was winking his acknowlegment of my advise. I continued my assessment of what I saw around me; not only his performance, but his unsanitary habit of spitting around the cutomers food. I was surprised and a bit disappointed that such an inexperienced employee could be so empowered. And felt that I needed to terminate my position of delivery man if I was going to do my job, and the managers, also.
And so ended my pizza delivery career. After that one shift of pizza delivery, I took off my name tag, and left it on the counter as I walked out the door.