Today I had one of those days at work that really brought me down, try as I might to be my own self-appointed holiday cheer captain.
There was no coffee this morning.
The atmosphere at work, given we are all laid off after the holidays (See “Here’s a Toast for the Douchebags), has been dismal. People are cracking. The woman who sat behind me said something “bad”, I’m unsure exactly to what degree, but within thirty minutes supervisors were walking down our aisle to fire her and she was packed up and gone. It was unnerving how quickly that happened! The other side of our floor looks like it got looted, computers are missing… paper is floating around… they took our template off the doors. Gray cloud central hanging over that place.
Anywho, then the name thing started. This has been an issue since day one but today was just really over the top. My name is Natasha. It’s slavic. It means Christmas Eve. I am regularly called Tasha, Latasha, Latosha, Tash, Tosh, Masha… there is just rampant butchering of my name. Depending on my mood I sometimes ignore it. Sometimes I spell it out. Sometimes it becomes a conversation topic like with “Fred Jones” today…
“Latasha? What kind of name is that?”
“No sir, Natasha, with an N-A. NA-tasha.”
“Aint that a colored girl name? Are you colored?”
“What? Ummm, no. No sir, it’s Russian. I’m white.”
“If you say so.”
“Yeah, I do. How can I help you today?”
Now, I found this totally rude. I imagine if I had been a black girl named Natasha I would have been even more irritated. What was fictional black Natasha supposed to say? “Yes, I’m a colored girl and this is my colored girl name.”?????? Then I had to talk to “Claire Spencer”,
“Hello, this is Natasha, how may I help you?”
“Hi Latasha. This is Claire Spencer and I need a payment arrangement on this bill, yadda yadda”
“Sure I can set that up for you, yadda yadda” (this is me, letting it slide.)
“Now Tash, what if I don’t pay it by my extension?”
“If you didn’t pay the past due amount by that date you would be subject to disconnection, yadda yadda.” (still, not acknowledging the issue while I have to continue calling her Ms. Spencer).
“Alright, thanks Quasha!”
“You’re welcome Ms. Spencer. My name is NAtasha and I hope you have a great holiday season!” (For the record, I have to say my name at the end of the call.)
“Wait, what’s your name?”
“No ma’am, N-A-tasha. Natasha.”
“Alright, whatever, bye!”
Now the reason this pisses me off is because I talk to you with total respect and answer your asinine questions without having any kind of tone to help you realize how utterly stupid you are and when you realize you’ve been butchering my name for fifteen minutes you just say “whatever”!!!!! Rude!
It doesn’t help that people have been mispronouncing my name my entire life and it’s a huge pet peeve of mine. Then I had a caller who began the call SCREAMING at the top of her lungs. First she was angry that her last name hadn’t been changed to her married name. Nothing to do with me. Then she was angry that making a payment with me had a fee. She had other options. Then she was screaming because I had to tell her how much the reconnection fees are. She was screaming not because of how much they were, but because I wouldn’t “hurry the fuck up”. I asked her multiple times to tone it down, in so many words, before finally losing my patience and saying “I will not ask you again to stop screaming. I will NOT be spoken to like this.” and sending her to a supervisor. She screamed some more.
While Screams McGee and I waited for a supervisor I took this valuable breather to imagine how I could kill myself with the objects in my cubicle. I have water and lots of wires. Electrocution would be fairly straight-forward. I could also use those wires to hang myself over the edge of my cube walls. Any blunt force trauma would require too much determination. So I decided to go on, and take the next call….
A customer named Latashia. Can you imagine what she said to me?
“We have the same name!”
“Hmmm. Not exactly. How can I help you today?”