Sometimes I’m terrible with names. I mean, really, really bad. I try hard to remember a name, but this brain can only take in so much information before it overloads.
There was a time I had a customer and I couldn’t remember her name. Still can’t.
I work as a sales rep. for a screen-printing company. One day many years back, I had an older woman come in to order t-shirts for her husband’s business. The name of the business was his name, Ralph’s Excavating* so she wanted everything written under his name; the account name, the contact name–everything.
I did as she asked. They also wanted names on the shirts so I gathered those from her and placed the order.
Several months later, maybe even close to a year, she comes back in to place a reorder. She called me by my name but I never repeated hers because I didn’t know it! I figured I could look at the names list for their previous order and figure out who she was. When she left and I pulled the last order, I was lost! They weren’t their regular names, but nicknames! I had no clue who she was!
She came back in a few months after that to place a reorder and still didn’t introduce her name to me. I couldn’t ask now! I was three orders in. I should’ve known by now. How could I possibly ask her what her name was? So for a third time I wrote the order using only her husband’s name. When we called to let them know their order was done, we’d always have to ask for Ralph because I didn’t know her name and was too embarrassed to ask.
She treated me so nice too. I mean, she was like a grandma. Always asking about my family and how things were. Telling me about her grandkids and such. But I didn’t know her name! It was awful.
Then, a few years later, I had a younger guy come in for the account. He was her son and said “mom passed away a year ago and I’m taking over the ordering.” Not, “Hey my mom Jean” or “Hey my mom Barb.” Nothing. No name.
So here I am, years later without a clue as to her name.
Ever have that happen to you? Ever date someone and not know their name? Ever know someone a while and not know who they were? Share with the rest of us! I can’t be the only one, right?
*Names, when remembered, have been changed to protect the innocent.