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Woman Called Out For Getting Even With Coworker Who Purposely Misspells Her ‘Hard’ Name

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Our names are usually given to us by our parents before we have any input. But our name eventually becomes a part of our identity.

If our name falls outside of what people consider the norm, it can cause issues.

People can mispronounce it, misspell it, or mock it.

Hopefully it isn’t a constant occurrence, but when it is, it can become a sore spot.

A woman dealing with a coworker who refuses to respect her name turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Assholethrow93758 asked:

“AITA for ‘bullying’ a coworker who purposefully spells my name wrong?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My (28, female) legal name is Saoirse, which is pronounced as ‘Seer-sha’. I get that it isn’t the easiest name to spell, so I usually don’t give people who do it wrong a hard time or go by my middle name that’s way easier to spell.

“To make it worse, my middle name is Rifle. Yes, I’m not kidding.”

“Basically, my mum picked my first name, and my dad did the middle name. Unfortunately, I have no way of finding out what was the reason for that choice as they’re no longer with us.”

“I have a coworker (33, female) who’s a bitch baby about my name for some reason. Like I’ve been Sirsha, Siersha, and Sasha (wtf woman) for some reason, and it was on paper, so I had to contact the boss and have them redo the papers.”

“And yes according to her Rifle isn’t an actual name, won’t be arguing here, but it’s how it is on my ID and I can’t do nothing about it. For reference her name is Kate, maybe she’s jealous because she has a boring a** name, I don’t know.

“So I got fed up with her bullsh*t and started calling her Kathleen, Catelyn, Kylie, whatever, just not Kate. Of course it made her like super upset and she started whining about how I’m being a bully.”

“I said it’s her who’s being a bully who constantly misspells my name. She said my name is too hard, I told her to use my middle name instead and she started b*tching that it’s ‘trashy’ and ‘not an actual name’.”

“Like I said I didn’t take no sh*t this time and told her that until she starts respecting my name I won’t be respecting hers. She said that I’m a bully and an a**hole.”

“I reckon that maybe my response wasn’t the gentlest, but to be honest, I felt like she should get a taste of her own medicine. Also I reported her to HR and they didn’t do nothing because the company we work for is kinda crappy.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I started calling my coworker by a similar name to hers basically mirroring her behaviour and it got her offended.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors were split in their judgment with some voting the OP was the a**hole (YTA).

“No matter how much people like to go straight to malice, in one case we know someone is intentionally calling another by the wrong name.”

“In the other case we’re just not sure if they’re stupid. YTA.” ~ 459224

“‘For reference her name is Kate, maybe she’s jealous because she has a boring a** name, I don’t know’.”

“YTA. Sincerely, Another Kate.” ~ Kit-on-a-Kat

“YTA. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Do nothing and ignore it next time because she clearly isn’t listening.” ~ Mathalamus1

“YTA. The moment you say ‘coworker’ the answer is ‘go to HR.’ HR does nothing? Go up the chain.”

“‘Taste of their own medicine’ often doesn’t work out in real life; it presupposed somebody is acting out of genuine ignorance, and upon seeing the harm they’re causing, will change their ways.” ~ Cent1234

Others decided everyone sucked (ESH).

“ESH—who gives a f*ck? You both need to grow up. Way to make HR think you are a crybaby.” ~ AngelWithCrookedHalo

“ESH, though her more than you. You didn’t have to stoop to her level, though.”

“I also have a common name in my area of the world, but somehow people keep misspelling it. I just let it go unless it’s on official documents.” ~ Cats-in-the-rain

“You both sound like 5-year-olds…”

“Just ignore and keep correcting her and make her redo documents with misspells.”

“Don’t make a fuss out of it. The extra work alone will lead to her getting disciplined.” ~ PineappleLemur

“Stepping in the same sh*t someone else is will make sh*t be on both of your shoes.” ~ Say_when66642069

But the vast majority felt the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. Your name may be difficult to spell, but it’s not hard to learn a new word.”

“You may have been a little blunt, but when someone tells you YOUR NAME is not a real name, well, that situation calls for blunt.”

“It’s no different than saying someone with the name Kay doesn’t have a real name because it’s a letter.” 

“I hope this woman learns to respect you a little more.” ~ LenoreSkellington

“I can’t believe she’s admitting to being too stupid to spell her name. That’s the part I would have pressed her on just to embarrass her. NTA.” ~ imamakebaddecisions

“Exactly right. The co-worker is not just being stubborn, she’s saying, ‘I’m too stupid to learn anything’.”

“That’s not the kind of thing I’d want to hear as a boss. Of course, OP is NTA because it sounds like their HR department is one of those ‘do nothing’ kinds.”

“Sometimes you have to resort to stronger measures. It’s OP’s name. It’s not that hard to remember.” ~ Wackadoodle-do

“Names and their pronunciation are super important. I have a really easy name, but in my country, there are multiple ways to pronounce it, and some people will just refuse to call me the correct name. It’s awful, and OP is definitely NTA.” ~ Niborus_Rex

“I had a classmate in middle and high school whose name was Saoirse. I’ve always had to say the letters in my head to get the spelling right, but damn if I ever said anything negative about her name to her.”

“It was a gift from her mom and dad who, like OP’s, passed away. Why would I make life more difficult by being a d*ck about her name being hard to spell? This coworker is trash. NTA.” ~ Tinkhasanattitude

“Oh man, I had a boss once named Birdie and a customer wanted to speak to a manager so I brought her to Birdie. She didn’t get whatever entitled thing she was demanding so she started yelling that she was going to report us to corporate and she asked for our names.”

“Both of our names were on our nametags but she goes ‘no one calls their child Birdie, what’s your real name?’ to which Birdie responded ‘Birdie’.”

“This women went on an absolute rage about how my boss was lying to her and she was going to get us in so much trouble, etc… Of course nothing came of it, but I still chuckle remembering this woman lose her mind about someone having a name she didn’t approve of.”

“Obviously NTA, this coworker needs to learn to respect other people, which means affording them the dignity of their own name.” ~ MarvelousPigs

“NTA, I have an unusual name as well (though not as difficult to spell as yours), and it’s important to me that people get it right.”

“You’re matching energy, not bullying.”

“Also you have a bada** name. Saoirse means freedom so your name is basically Freedom Rifle.” ~ Puzzleheaded-End-662

“NTA. Your name contains seven letters. She is doing it on purpose as she can easily remember how to spell a seven-letter word.”

“Report her for bullying because that is exactly what she is doing.” ~ sjw_7

“NTA. She literally called your name trashy. You are not the bully.” ~ IronyHurts

“NTA… I mean, come on. Although it is pretty childish, she needs to learn some way or another.”

“She doesn’t have an excuse; a name being ‘too difficult’ doesn’t explain how she came up with so many variations of your name… in my opinion, she sounds like she either does it spitefully, or she’s just extremely lazy.” ~ killerdramababy

“NTA. I was going to say go to HR, but that did nothing. So yeah, I would change her name every time until she gets mine right.”

“I have a less-than-common name, too, so I get the annoyance. Also Saoirse is a lot more popular now so I’m surprised this is her first time hearing it.” ~ Fun_Milk_4560

“NTA. My name is difficult to spell, too, but it’s only basic respect to make an effort to learn someone’s name correctly.” ~ Gitxsan

“NTA. Beautiful name both pronounced and spelled, but I’d of never guessed the spelling went with how it’s said.”

“I get her INITIAL confusion, but everything else is just childish on her end.” ~ LadyAmemyst

An eye for an eye isn’t always the best advice.

But in this case, a lot of people thought it was the solution.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.