[NWR] This is super minor but annoying… WWYD?

posted 6 months ago in Career
Post # 31
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2025 - City, State




Or Debbie – if you’ve only known her to go by Deb and Debra, I bet she hates Debbie.


But don’t really do that!  Be the professional and continue to treat her respectfully even though she doesn’t reciprocate.  I think your options are to either ignore or to respond to her next email with “My name is actually spelled Leesa, not Lisa.  To answer your question, …”.  You can then lather, rinse, repeat if necessary.

Post # 32
2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

tulipdazey :  I would go with “Debbie” from now on 

Post # 33
1505 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

tulipdazey :  “Dab”

Post # 34
890 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

I’m all for the Deborah idea!

I feel your pain, I’m a teacher so I’m frequently addressed in email by my last name obviously. My maiden name was O’Connor…. and every dang email from parents or kids said Oconner and it made me CRAZY! The same parents/kids lose their mind if I misspell their “unique” spelling (seriously why does Bryan need to be spelled Brayan??) my FAVORITE, was when they’d email me and misspell my name for the email address… so I didn’t actually receive an email and they’d launch into me about my poor communication and act insulted when I’d ask if they spelled my name wrong, they always did.

needless to say I’m much happy with my easier married name now. 

Post # 35
851 posts
Busy bee

tulipdazey :  I think I would sign my next email to her with my correct name, then add AKA with the incorrect spelling she likes to use. If she doesn’t get the hint, she may just be dense. 

Post # 36
1580 posts
Bumble bee

Is it possible it’s being autocorrected?  I have an unusual name, and I often get addressed in emails and texts with the more common spelling of my name.  It’s not actually the same name.  BUT, I have also signed my own name incorrectly because of autocorrect.  Meh.

Post # 37
325 posts
Helper bee

You’re on the executive team – you’ve clearly earned this, now please don’t demean yourself by being petty or passive aggressive.

I would speak to her directly – which is something that should have been done the second time it happened. (Chalk the first instance up to ‘Everyone makes a mistake now and again’, but you’ve said that it’s intentional.)

The good news: iis highly unlikely that no one else has noticed this behaviour; your colleagues know how to spell your name, and she is conducting herself poorly. In my career I’ve seen that sometimes long term employees are given leniency when they act in appropriately, as your colleague has been doing. You don’t have to stand for it, but you do have to work with her, and it is in your best interested to keep it professional and above board.

Becaus this has gone on for quite some time, it may be best broached as a conversation. Next time you get an email from her while you are in the office, ask directly, in a friendly tone:  

“[coworker name] you always spell my name. As ‘_abcd_’ – why is that?” 

She may hesitate, pet tend not to know what you mean, or give you some excuse. Listen to her answer and then reply with “I’ve always wondered, because my name is actually spelled ‘__thisway__’ [if you were names after anyone special, or it’s a regional spelling, mention that too]

Your goal is to remain professional, kind, but assertive. Once she has this information and no excuse to misspell your name again, her behaviour is likely to change. If it doesn’t, mention it each time. 

Now, the reason this behaviour bother you so much is due to the power struggle you are experiencing. You mentioned that she treats you disrespectfully in other ways – you need to deal with this head on in order to get past it.

Without knowing the full history of your employment and this relationship, it is difficult to give concrete advice. Different situations warrant different approaches. It could be useful for you to spend some time uncovering why she behaves the way she does. Does she feel threatened, slighted, scared that she may become redundant? Was your relationship always difficult, or can you pinpoint something that happened? Can you build a stronger relationship with her by partnering on a task, or asking for her input on something?

Remember: it is possible to be direct and professional without being perceived as a weak or a complainer. Regardless of your age, you deserve respect.

Last, do you have a mentor? It may be helpful for you to find one who can help you navigate these types of situations. They are not unique, and it can help to talk to someone who has been there, or seen similar before.

Good luck & feel free to reply if you have any questions ๐Ÿ™‚


Post # 38
1260 posts
Bumble bee

Have you actually corrected her in the past? Or are you relying on her reading your email signature?

I’ve had people make up my name even though I continuously spell my name the way it’s meant to be spelt. And like, I use the short version of my name that could also be short for other names, this person continuously email me the full spelling of a different name that’s not mine lol.. Not at work, so I just shake my head and move on. If I really cared I guess I could’ve said, hey my name is not X it’s Y. 

People tend to remember if you actually correct them rather than relying on them recognising your signsture. If they still do it after that it’s obviously deliberate then.

Post # 39
860 posts
Busy bee

I feel like it’s a sign of disrespect. I go by a shortened form of my full name. Similar to Michelle think Shell. There’s always someone who has to address me by my full name and they misspell it every damn time! 

Post # 40
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2021 - British Columbia, Canada

tulipdazey :  OMG THE NAME. No offense to the nice people of the world with a variation of the name Deborah/Debra/Deb/Debbie etc… But it’s been totally ruined for me after I had a very similar situation a year ago with an older woman and almost the exact same circumstances as yours (older lady who was completely untrainable for my line of work, but marketed herself as a tech literate genius {LOL} and despised me for having seniority/authority) who, for the year I kept her for a mat leave coverage contract, pronounced my name as “Aleena”… Here’s the kicker, she knew perfectly well how to pronounce it after hearing me confirm it multiple times to new clients and our CEO addressing me in front of her multiple times.

She is now cemented in my memory forevermore as Dumbra.

Post # 42
96 posts
Worker bee

j3n12345 :  This is really good advice. I particularly like the “I’ve always wondered” or “I’ve noticed” framing because it says “I’m not oblivious to the fact that you’ve been doing this and I’ve been observing it without it affecting me or provoking whatever reaction you wanted”. 

tulipdazey :  You’re not wrong to be bothered by this. It’s not the same, of course, but I work with a lot of immigrant/migrant families and families whose primary langauge isn’t English, and I wish it was a more widely accepted standard that staff learn people’s names and learn to pronounce/spell them correctly. It just feels like a basic sign of respect for others as human beings. I think we totally discount the amount of emotional effort that goes into being called the wrong name or having your name mispronounced over and over and over again and just letting it go. 

Post # 43
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2018 - Fremont, CA

All is fun and games in an online forum, but if you start writing e-mails to her with her name spelled wrong, it may hurt your image within the company. Don’t do that.

Post # 45
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2018 - Fremont, CA

tulipdazey :  Good! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s no surprise you are where you are professionally, and she is where she is, really. ๐Ÿ™‚

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