What to Do When a Colleague Keeps Spelling Your Name Incorrectly

Everyday Work Lawyer Problems Office Hacks Unsolicited Advice

Okay, so your parents/guardians gave you a name that has several common spellings.  Or maybe your name is uncommon or spelled in a way that is not reflective of its pronunciation...  Whatever the case may be, there are generally at least 10 places that your colleagues can check if they are unsure of how to spell your name, so typing the letters in your name in any other order than the correct order is simply inexcusable.

Introverted Attorney colleague misspelling name

Introverted Attorney colleague misspelling name 2

Therefore, I am equipping you with a few ways to subtly but aggressively remind your colleagues that they need to hone their attention to detail.


1. Spell Your Colleague's Name Incorrectly In Turn

Yes.  Turn the tables.  Spell your colleague's name wrong, ideally in the same way that your colleague spelled your name wrong.

For example, if your name is Lydia and your colleague's name is Matt and Matt spells your name "Lyda" in an email, then you should also omit a vowel from his name and refer to him as "Mtt."  Or if Matt addresses you as "Lidia," then you should call him "Mett."

Introverted Attorney colleague misspelling name 3

If you're one of the lucky ones with a surname that presents as a given name, like William Mark and you get an email from Sandy Smith addressing you as "Mark," you should certainly return the favor and refer to her as "Smith."


2. Provide a Helpful Redline of Your Name

What better way to provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly arrange the letters in your name than a redline?

Introverted Attorney colleague misspelling name 4


3. Include a Phonetic Guideline of Your Name

We can't rule out the possibility that your colleague may be getting led astray by an incorrect presumption of the pronunciation of your name, so it's best to make sure he or she has this information handy.

This method is the most effective if supplemented with an audio file attachment with you stating your name slowly and clearly.

Introverted Attorney colleague misspelling name 5


If everything works out as planned, the colleagues in question will probably never spell your name wrong ever again (and, as an added bonus, they may also limit their interactions with you and then you can finally take an undisturbed nap in the office).

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