Thursday, August 3
I have a not-close colleague that I call a name that is structurally similar to but not actually "Allen." I call him "Allen" because all his other colleagues call him "Allen." Plus, when we first met, he introduced himself to me as "Allen."

However, there are two people I know who I've heard refer to him in conversations as "Al." Both these people happen to hold important positions in funding agencies from which Allen gets money. I wonder if it's that "Allen" says "Call me Al" to these people, or, if funding people spontaneously decide to start calling you by the nickname form of your name, you don't correct them.

Next time I meet somebody who could be financially helpful for my projects, I'm walking straight up and introducing myself as "Scar."


kodachrome said...

Go for it, heroine! I'm betting it's the other way around. (Powerful people don't bother to remember names properly.)

My favorite game (and I'm only saying this, in confidence, to my closest a.secret friends) is to bait obnoxious people into calling powerful people inappropriate nicnames. "Oh, I don't need any textbooks this semester, but if you camp outside Al's door, I'm sure he'll order some for that lecture class of 500." It's more fun if the powerful person is also obnoxious.

Mahogany said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mahogany said...

Now I hear music! ...but I guess I won't call a shrink just yet.

fraud, in denim said...

I have a name that has a nickname, a nickname reserved for the people who are close to me. Well, at some point I started signing emails to my dissertation advisor with that nickname and she picked it up and started using it exclusively.

That's how I knew that she'd been talking to the chair about me (and subsequently others chimed in, so I guess she talked to more than the chair), because he started calling me by my nickname too.

Now, of course, everyone in my graduate program calls me by my nickname. I'm trying to start fresh at my job, though, and use the same tactic to watch how it spreads and to figure out who my "friends" talk to about mt

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