Thursday, August 13, 2020

Wrong Name

While plotting out my blog posts for this week, I flashed on this particular incident for #ThrowbackThursday. I didn't write about it at the time as it was a bit too complex, especially when I had other stories that were easier to write. But I might as well tackle it today as classes haven't started up for us just yet. 

Setup: I have worked for and with Ms. K many times. She's a special ed teacher, but she co-teaches much of her day. 

It was spring. I was covering the general ed English teacher that works with Ms. K for two or three periods. So, between classes, during lunch, and while the kiddos are working, we'd talk about various things. 

I don't know how or why the topic came up, but Ms. K told me that her name change had finally come through with the district. She and her husband, Mr. K, were now divorced, and she had gone back to her maiden name. 

Her maiden name was (not actually, but for blog purposes) Ms. James. Simple enough, right? But for some reason, everyone mistook it for Ms. Jones. Telemarketers. Her bank. Any time she made an appointment. Grocery clerks. Basically anyone who saw her name said "Jones" instead of "James". 

The school year ended. A new one began. I figured she had introduced herself to the new classes as Ms. James, especially as she was listed as Ms. James on the teacher phone list.

The incident: I had had a couple periods on my own, but for 3rd period, I was co-teaching with Ms. James. It was passing period. She hadn't arrived yet, but I knew she'd get there in good time. 

But seeing just me, the kiddos asked the usual question. 

Because of sub shortages and both teachers being out on the same days sometimes, there were a couple possible configurations to class coverage. It was clear that Ms. B was out because I was there. Would Ms. James be there, too? Did she have a sub? Were both teachers out, and I was the only sub there? 

By "usual question", I mean they asked something along those lines. 

And I said, "No, Ms. Jones is here today." 

Ms. Jones. Uh huh. I went and said it. 

And what's worse? Ms. James was walking in the room just as I said it. 

I just. . . I don't. . . Yeah, as soon as the name was out of my mouth, I knew I had gone and done it. Sigh. 

Luckily, I think there was so much noise in the room Ms. James missed my faux pas. I mean, I hope she missed it. 

17 comments:

  1. Too funny, hope she really didn't hear you lol.

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  2. Oh man. Sometimes something gets in your head slips out at the most inopportune time. Although this is a relatively tame version of that trope.

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  3. with so many teachers to sub for, I am surprised that you can remember that.

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    1. Some teachers I work for a lot. Some teachers I see a lot. Ms. James is one of those.

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  4. For once not having quiet students paid off! I wonder if people used to confuse her maiden name the first time around? And if so, why she chose to go back to that name?

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  5. Oh no! Happens to the best of us though.

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    1. I know, but she went and warned me and everything.

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  6. Oh well! Look at the rally Biden and Harris had the other day. He couldn't get Kamala's name pronounced correctly consistently :)

    betty

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  7. It happens. Just don't do it again! :-)

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  8. Mouth slips is part of the human experience

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  9. Good morning, how are you? I am Brazilian and I am looking for new followers for my blogspot and I will also follow you for sure. New friends are also welcome.

    https://viagenspelobrasilerio.blogspot.com/?m=1

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  10. OH MY GOSH! I empathize with this. With Ms. James, that is.

    My maiden name isn't complex, but it's a less-common spelling of a common surname. My whole life, I knew that if I married, it had to be to someone whose surname was either 100% simple or so complicated that people would ask the spelling. (I have a very simple surname now. 'Would I take his name' wasn't even a question.)
    I used to toss mail addressed to the wrong name. One time something came addressed to some name with EVERY VOWEL WRONG! It almost went in the trash, until I happened to notice my insurance company as the return address. WTH?

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    1. That's pretty much her actual name, fairly simple, but not terribly common. As someone with a simple enough name that no one's ever heard of, I don't understand how people can get it wrong. And then I did. . .

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  11. I hope (and imagine) she's forgiving if she did hear your slip. And what a mess dealing with name changes, not to mention divorce. Ugh...

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    1. Yeah, apparently the ex is a piece of work. But she's with a new guy now, and she seems much happier.

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