Monday, June 4, 2012

So apparently I have a new name

Several weeks ago, I made the mistake of answering a telemarketing call. I knew it was a telemarketer, but he said the magic words and I got suckered in.

For the record, the magic words are "free vacation," not "free porn," though admittedly I might have stayed on the line for the latter.

I answered a few survey questions about my laundry detergent preferences, and spelled my name so they could properly process my free Caribbean cruise. Moments later, I received an email confirming my fantasy vacation.

"Dear Thomas Wanski," the message began.

Thomas Wanski? 

I can understand how someone with hearing loss and a good tequila buzz might think that sounds remarkably similar to Tawna Fenske. But I spelled my name several times, including for my email address, which they obviously got right.

I replied with a correction, and assumed that would be the end of it. I didn't really expect to get that Caribbean cruise, but I also didn't expect to get an onslaught of phone calls for my new alter-ego.

"Is Thomas Wanski there?" chirped the cheerful telemarketer who called several days later.

"There's no such person as Thomas Wanski," I explained. "You've got my name spelled wrong in your database. I'm Tawna Fenske."

There was a long pause. "I see. So do you know when Mr. Wanski will be available?"

I corrected the first 15 or 20 people who called asking for Thomas Wanski and asked to be removed from the calling list. Now I just ignore any calls from 800 numbers. Still, part of me likes the idea of having Thomas Wanski as my alter ego. It might even make a nice psedonym if I decide to branch out and write crime thrillers or become a male porn star.

This isn't the first time I've been renamed as a result of poor transcription. Once a month, I receive a lovely cooking magazine adorned with the following label:




I've actually grown rather fond of that one, and like to imagine Tauina Fenski as the star of her own risque cooking show. She wears nothing but a smile and a checkered apron, and has two dozen creative uses for truffle oil.

What's the weirdest name change you've been given as a result of someone misspelling your real name? Please share!

I'll be busy writing a new romantic comedy starring Thomas Wanski and Tauina Fenski. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a bestseller.

11 comments :

Patty Blount said...

Oh, you'll love this one.

Patricia BLONUT

Karla Nellenbach said...

I've gotten so many off the wall ones, I stopped trying to correct people long ago. Cori Noltzvack. Paula Nelson. Karen Mellon.

but my fave has to be Milli Corleone. makes me feel all gangsta :)

Gracielou said...

When I was married to my first husband my last name was Yarbrough. Annoying name to pronounce for people by the way. Anyway one day in the mail I get a subscription for a magazine with the name Toby (not my first name) Yardbro. I must say I stared at it for at least two minutes before ending up rolling in the floor laughing for the next 30 minutes.

Skye said...

Last name Hughes and it's a common enough name in the US, but I still have gotten tons of Huges and Hughers to fill up the bowl of Wrong Names. And when my first name was Cindy, they even mispelled and got it wrong tons of times (Cindi, Cyndi, Cindee, Candy, Sandy, to name a few.)


I think that some folks enjoy being creatively wrong.

cam.robbins said...

Telemarketers just think I'm male. My first name is Cam(eron), so I understand the mix up.

However, once when I was babysitting, I introduced myself to the mom and she was horrified that my name was Dam. When I clarified she responded, "Oh, like camcorder." Yes. Just like that.

Rhonda Hopkins said...

Too funny! Mine's not that far off but still...

I call in an order to a local burger place often enough that they know my car and my name. Well sort of.

I've been a customer for years and for the first few years, I would say and spell "Rhonda". No matter how many times I spelled it for them though, I'd get there and they'd have an order for "Wanda". Was I sure I called in an order for Rhonda? Ummm....yeah.

I finally stopped spelling and just placed the order under my now burger place pseudonym of "Wanda". They're happy they can call me by name and I'm happy to just get my order. Win-Win. :-)

Malin said...

The national university service uses my last name as both my names - Larsson Larsson. When I called them to get a correct student card, I got one which said "Lars Malin" (a male name). So, should we let out male alter egos out to play?

Rich Amooi said...

Great story Thomas. I've been called a lot of things over the years. But I think the best one was: Dick Moo. I guess that's better than Moo Dick.

Anonymous said...

Hi, your blog really touches me, have been reading it for awhile... Just wanted you to know about a website i started ReadYourBiblesChurch.com... It's a place for Bible study guides.. I also put a forum in that can be viewed from a mobile device.. I couldn't find where to contact you privately so I'm commenting, hope that is okay. :) God Bless!
Jenn.

Anonymous said...

Hi, your blog really touches me, have been reading it for awhile... Just wanted you to know about a website i started ReadYourBiblesChurch.com... It's a place for Bible study guides.. I also put a forum in that can be viewed from a mobile device.. I couldn't find where to contact you privately so I'm commenting, hope that is okay. :) God Bless!
Jenn.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Even though Sierra is a very commonly used name in the west, especially for businesses, I almost always get people asking me how to spell it. So I've had the gamut of misspellings. Now, when people ask me my name like at Starbucks or the crepe stand at the farmer's market, which draws me in like a tractor beam every time, I just say Jane. Only one person has ever asked me how to spell that misspellings I just stared at her until she took the initiative.

Also, I'm totally snickering at the double spam comments above that your blog really "touches" the bible person. Hee hee hee! I bet it does!