I am doing some recruitment in my new job, which I’m enjoying because I haven’t hired people in a long time. It’s always an interesting process – especially when you put the ad on an online job board yourself, rather than using a recruiter. You craft the ad, then with all the hope of a lovestruck teen you click on ‘publish’ and 30 minutes later, your new job is up in lights, being looked over by prospective suitors. And within about 1.25 minutes, the applications start arriving – especially if the job is in IT or administration. The quality of those applications and general tips for candidates is another rant altogether. (In which I would suggest little things, like: get the job title right, get the company name right, get your own name right. Stuff like that.)
Anyways, this recent batch of recruitment has got me thinking about names and what is in them. I have decided that the answer is: a lot. Although I do accept that I’m a bit odd in this regard. When I hear the name (or prospective name) of a new baby, I always run three very quick scenarios – not to cover the whole spectrum of options, you understand, but to get an idea of how the name fits. So, if you tell me that your baby’s name is Pixie McGee, I will automatically do this (usually in my head, sometimes out loud): “Good morning, Pixie McGee’s office”; “Pixie McGee reporting for National Nine News”; and “Hello, I’m your doctor, Pixie McGee”. I don’t judge (out loud), I don’t try to persuade a name change, I just play it back to see how it sounds in a few different scenarios. Although if you tell me that you’ve chosen a name that spells something backwards (as Nevaeh), then I may say that is a little bit yzarc.
But back to recruitment. I am not sure who the prankster is that suggests names for incoming students or employees to adopt so they can ‘fit in’ when they arrive. When I was younger, there were a lot of old-school English type names chosen: Daisy, Eugene, Harold, Violet. Now, it seems as though anything goes – I have recently come across real-life students named: Magic, Sexy, Chicken, Thunder, George Washington and Tennis. Now, I don’t mean to be superficial, but I don’t think those names are going to help you blend in to your new community. Sure, you’re out of the primary school days of sticks & stones breaking your bones…but really? I don’t know that we’ll see Sexy as a company CEO. Or Chicken as a leading investment banker. Or Magic, the school principal. Sure, Thunder and Tennis might have more obvious career paths mapped out for them in fields relevant to their names, but if they wanted to become, say, barristers or office managers, I’m not sure how that would pan out.
Then I think, maybe it doesn’t matter to most people – a rose by any other name and all that. And maybe we should have more names that are fun and bring a smile to people’s faces.
So I’m going to sign off all my recruitment correspondence as Mermaid O’Krypton. Just because I can.
2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?”
Dear Mermaid, it is with interest that I read your post. When I arrived from my home country of Neverneverland, to assimilate I opted for the name Glitter Shootingstar. Namely as I felt it represented me as a person and also intrigues new friends to want to get to know me and refer me for jobs. Sadly I keep getting called in for interviews but never get the job, do you know why? Your new friend, Glitter Shootingstar.
Hi Glitter, thanks for your comment – glad to know that you are reading my blog. As I am fairly sure I have met you in a work context, I do think I can guess why you might not be getting the jobs you apply for, in two words: jazz hands. A little less pizazz and a little more corporate blandness will see you go a long way in your career. You can keep your fabulous personality in a jar on your desk and take it home with you to use in the outside world. But for the office, a little Glitter Shootingstar goes a long way.
However, since we both know you belong on the stage anyway, my best advice is ditch the 9 to 5 and take your act on the road. Onwards and upwards, Shootingstar.