I knew it was only a matter of time... I mean, I knew it would eventually happen... Just thought it'd surface as an issue when I was 60 and could pass it off as a result of metal dementia...
Last night, I went out with some friends to Poplar Pub - a hipster bar known to attract an eclectic mix of people. Think of your high school cafeteria and add three bars, pool tables and a secluded patio. While shooting the breeze under the warmth of a heating lamp in this patio, I was totally taken aback when I heard a couple voices calling out for Ray.
Nothing weird, right? Except they're calling out to me. I'm Ray.
In 2008, I interviewed with a manager at an investment bank. She struggled with my first name and asked to use my middle name - Ray. I agreed immediately as I was more concerned with getting the job. At that time, I would have answered to any name if it meant being hired. Almost three years later, Ray has developed a number of great relationships with people in various parts of the world. Only problem is... None of my non-work friends know about Ray. I don't know how it was never brought it up... Alright, that's a lie. haha. I was worried about the perception of me selling out to the Man and the implication that I am embarrassed of my first name.
Back at the Poplar patio, I jumped out of my seat and rushed over to say hi to my coworkers. We chatted and after promising to see them later, I came back to some very confusing looks. I'll skip the incredibly awkward conversation. But it was interesting to find out that it's not really a big deal to find out your friend has a "professional name". If you think about it, I'm now in the same company as Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker and Hannah Montana... (thanks Phil Dumphy)
Yes, my friends were very cool about it. They were much more receptive than my family who used to call my work phone and laugh hysterically after I answered, Hi - this is Ray... But it's one more thing that my friends know about me. I wonder when they'll find out I have a blog... haha.