This is exactly why I’m so glad Hasan Minhaj told everybody we were saying his name incorrectly. You damn right. Tell ‘em! I cannot stand it when people hear me pronounce my name and go “Do you have a nickname?” My response is always “yes.” And then a look like “Don’t even bother with the follow-up question.” I wrote a post about why I love my kickboxing instructor so much for being so determined to pronounce my name correctly and immediately. My WERQ instructor too. By default, it sets them apart from everybody else in that gym. The front-desk attendant was scared he’d say it wrong, and I finally just asked him did he know it after he’d told me a whole LOT of his business. There is a certain level of respect one shows you by taking the time to learn your name. I don’t care if you like my name. It’s mine. It’s not meant for you to like it. I just need you to know what it is if we have to interact. I remember working for a temp agency and telling one guy how to say my name. His response: “I have to get the normal names first.” I was pissed! And his last name was more of a mouthful than mine. I never said a word to him for the entire remainder of that temp job.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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