Saturday, 13 September 2008


Oh come on now, you love the updates on the endless variations of my name, they make your day almost as much as they make mine. Last week at the magazine I got not one, not two, but three variations on my surname within the space of a day. It was immense - imagine my excitement! If there's one thing that receptionists will always struggle with, it's a double barrelled surname. So onto first names, AGAIN. The other day, when I posted about the whole not knowing how to remember peoples name thing, Robbie said (of the HR admin woman who has my name):

"Perhaps she will understand the difference between a JoannE and a JoannA."

In response, may I bring to your attention Exhibit 'E', the post-it note stuck on my induction pack.

Annnnd Exhibit, err, E...the phone call I just received.

HR Woman: Hey, this is whoever in HR. Would you prefer your ID and email account to be set up as Jo, Joanne or Mowgli Sue? (I may have made up the last one)
Me: Well, my name's Joanna, so I think I'll probably have it as that.
HR Woman: Ok, no problems. Bye!

See? See how it doesn't matter to other people? Then I'm thinking that perhaps I didn't put enough emphasis on the 'a', and I might have just agreed to have my email address for the next few months as

And for those thinking that my other choice,, would have been an infinitely better choice, you're wrong. That pesky little 'e' gets everywhere, even onto the end of 'Jo' so that I become a boy. And on the phone, 'Jo' magically morphs like a defunct power ranger into Jane, or Jay, or, worse still, JOAN...which automatically makes me 65 years old.

Ahh, the troubles I face every day. You have noooo idea.


Anonymous said...

On the phone, no one ever gets my name: "Sam"... "pardon"..."SAM".."Can you spell that please?" ...."S.A.M it's not hard!"

Anonymous said...

People often spell my name wrongly - I've got used to it but it is pretty dim cos it is not that uncommon a name.

It's when they ask how to spell my sons' surname (Bond) that I am staggered. I say "as in James" and they say "oh with a J?" Bond with a J? Heaven help us. People can be very stupid.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I think you should develop a different personality for each name. Some people would call that a disorder, but I think it would be fun.

weenie said...

My name isn't pronounced how it's spelt and although I don't think it's half as difficult as say Siobhan, people still get it wrong.

Old-Tartlet said...

I sympathise greatly. Although, conversely, my problem is not that they take an `a' away, but always ... grrr ... add one. It's not even as though my name is exotic. Or rare. And, I mean, let's face it, with all these Heavenly Hirani's and Moonface Tiger Chic Le Freak Lily's wandering around, if ever there was a time to be much more careful with people's names it is now.

Semaphore said...

Oh, I do know, I know it well. My surname is French, and has a silent g. Tres difficile. We tend to use my mum's name (Ford) for bookings etc, much easier.

jo said...

as a fellow jo, i totally understand. you would think jo is easy right? but i too always get people writing "joe" and over the phone i become "joel". oh which my response is always i'm not a guy! and yes there's the "joan" as well. it's joan or arc, not joanne of arc. and to make matters worst, even if they do get it, my full first name gets constantly mutated as well all thanks to my parents who decided that they had to shake things up a lil with the spelling and add a hyphen which btw is so not good for some online forms. apparently they don't think i have a valid name.

katesaltfleet said...

Did you know that Kate is short for Katherine? A lot of people don't, apparently...

As for my surname, don't even go there!

Anonymous said...

As I always say
"Don't Jo me if you don't know me!"

(ps - those who still can't spell your name correctly despite your name being in your email signoff = lazy)

LadyJo said...

I just found your blog by googling "Annoying Joanna not Joanne" after yet another person replied to an email signed off Joanna, with "Thanks Joanne".
I'm so happy others feel my pain; this makes my blood boil and it's not as though Joanna is an unusual name. People are just so lazy that they don't even read it when it's there in my email address AND the text of the mail!

Joey said...

I too feel your pain. I am OVER being called JoannE.

I have started signing of as JoAnnA

Anonymous said...

My god I hear that. I'm Joanna and get Joanne at least once a day. I wish I could have fun with it but honestly I'm a hair away from changing my name.


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