Is Your Name Important? - page 2

by TheCommuter 15,071 Views | 84 Comments Senior Moderator

For starters, I will reveal that I am an African-American female with a very common anglicized first and last name. I am also friendly with a small handful of nurse managers, staff development personnel, and others who have at... Read More


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    Very interesting! My name is not a very common name and it is one that has many different spellings, but the one I have is the most rare. My last name is Syrian, I changed it back about a year and a half ago after my divorce, but when starting my nursing career, I had a very Italian last name.I can tell you in my short stint as a manager, I worked in a newer LTACH and the CEO was black and honestly , wanted to hire mostly black people. I know this because HR told me. So, the specially picked resumes for me to review had African American sounding names.I live in the real world, I wouldn't be surprised if my Syrian last name caused someone to throw my resume aside.
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    Great read.

    First impressions last. Our names are the first thing any hiring manager sees, interests or disinterest starts from there. A hiring manager needs only one reason to disqualify a candidate for a whatever reason and it could easily be a person's name.
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    Many years ago, I was given the following bit of advice - Before you actually name your child, go to you back door, and shout out that name as loud as you can, at least 3 or 4 times. Because that's what you'll be doing for the next 20 years! If it still sounds good, then okay!

    And names do account for more than we realize. I worked in the nursery when 'Roots' came out, and many people started using African and Muslim names without knowing their meanings. Many girls were given masculine names, because the long 'e' sound sounds feminine to the American ear, such as Kareem, or Shareef.

    I have a name that can be either masculine or feminine, and was given reminders to sign up for the draft!

    And my older son has a Hebrew name that is totally masculine, but was usurped by Disney to use in "The Little Mermaid"!

    He has done very well for himself, so far!

    I make few assumptions based on names!
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    I like to joke around with my patient's a lot so sometimes I will say "My name is "Julie " but if you don't like me it's Mary ".

    Sometimes I will do the same thing if I'm standing with my manager who is name 'Carol" . In front of her I will say "My name is 'Julie' but if you don't like me it's Carol .Just remember ,I love to sing at Christmas "

    Seriously though I work in a hospital that has 104 languages spoken in a 10 mile radius. (which can be exhausting ) It usually takes me about 2 weeks to get the new co-workers name down pat. I long to work alongside a Tom, Joe, Michelle or Pat.
    Thankfully pt are forgiving and it is a continual source of amusement to them when I try to pronounce their names. Then after they have a laugh at me I usually follow it up with "Ah...there ya go...another grand Irish name "

    I got a call the other day from a pt who said her name was "Rdasha". I had never heard of it so I asked 'Is that spelled like it sounds?". "No" she replied "It is the letter R followed by a dash ('Like the dash key ' ) then an A . Spelled " R- A"
    Okay, I officially give up ! I have only just mastered that Xiang is pronounced 'Sho " . I'm either too old or rigid but "7", "apple""Tuesday" or "R-A " are probably not names that to me scream "Hire " .
    Nola009, phaniea69, monkeybug, and 2 others like this.
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    I like my name, because it's a name that I've seen used by multiple ethnic groups. My name is Indian, with Sanskrit origins, but I've met Israeli, Chinese, German, and Mexican women with my name.
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    My son has an Irish first name followed by an Italian last name. For the sake of discussion make it Brian D'Angelo. He came home from kindergarten graduation rehearsal and said "They are saying my name wrong". I thought he meant the pronunciation and as I was used to that I didn't pay much more attention to it.That is until Graduation came and they called out "Brian O 'Connolly "with that our Brian got up marched over and collected his certs So, It seems no matter what your name is people take one look at you and make their own conclusions.
    Last edit by echoRNC711 on Oct 27, '12 : Reason: spelling
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    I am Italian and my first name is definitely uncommon, Nella, but it's easy to pronounce. My last name, however, is not! People are always calling my chinchilla since it sounds that way
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    "If the name on your resume looks hard to pronounce and/or isn't gender-specific, it's quite plausible that a hiring manager might (consciously or not) reject it for that reason, alone (Pongo Blog, 2012). It does not stop there. Evidently, those with easy-to-pronounce names benefit from their name’s pronounce-ability at work with more positive performance evaluations and higher status in the hierarchy (Paggi, n.d.)."

    Well, my daughter is doomed. However, I did give her a very common, pronounceable MIDDLE
    name and have even told her that she is welcome to start going by it, if she ever wants to.
    Not that *I'm* going to call her that. =)

    I myself have a boring first name; wish I had something more interesting.
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    I have never had an issue with my name (Allison) but my husband has an unusual name. Many years ago, I had just started a job and after a few weeks brought some pictures of my daughter in to put on my desk. I kept seeing my coworkers going over to look at them and I thought they were just admiring my gorgeous daughter. Nope, later one of them told me "Hey, your daughter is white". And my reply, "Well, duh" The coworkers had wrongly assumed that my husband was black because his name is Durel. I guess that there are more African American men with that name than 40+ balding, white guys..... Who knew???

    With today's melting pot we will continue to have people of various races and ethnicity's that will borrow names from other cultures. Using a person's name to make assumptions is fast becoming a way to make oneself look foolish.
    pnkgirl25 and Good Morning, Gil like this.
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    I , also, am somewhat of a name nerd, too. My own name is very common for my generation (baby boomers) and is the same as one of the Kings of Israel. It means "beloved". The crux of my annoyance with some names is that some parents choose them for the "sound" and not the meaning. I am (allegedly) a caucasian male, but have been fortunate enough to have friends and acquaintances of all sorts of ethnic backgrounds, and some have unusual names. I feel concern for some of the children who are given names because the parent likes the phonetic sounds of the name (e.g. one child I knew named VaShae), but with no built-in clues of how to pronounce it. I also note the use of unnecessary and improperly used accents, apostrophes, and diacritical marks of all sorts: I once knew a young girl who was upset that the teacher couldn't pronounce her daughter's name at first sight--"Anybody knows that Roc(apostrophe)(capital K)iya spells "rockKEEya" " I'm sorry, but no, everybody doesn't know that. On the other hand, another friend named her daughter "Jamilah", which is of Arabic origin, and a very pretty name, meaning "beautiful". And then there are the names that are the result of miss-reading or miss-spelling, e.g. "Oprah" instead of "Orpah", and a football players name spelled "Laveranues" but pronounced "la-VERN-ee-us". I am concerned for the development of children who must always be defending their names, and who wonder why they can't find their name on a little license plate at the dollar store. But, as the Romans said, "De gustibus non disputandem est."
    echoRNC711 likes this.


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