Jason bemoans the ignorance of many persons in misspelling his name. While I certainly cannot say I have experienced the same issues given that I have a single last name, I have experienced many issues with my name.
My full name is Kim Jason Joseph Benoit Siever.
By far the most common misspelling of my name is people calling me Tim, Jim, Cam or Ken when speaking with me over the phone.
Another complaint I have is when correspondence I get has only my second name as my middle initial. The other two are rarely included. If you’re not going to include the other two initials, don’t include any. I’d rather be known as Kim Siever than Kim J. Siever. In fact, when I graduated from college, they had me down as Kim Jason Siever. When I arrived at the rostrum to walk across and shake the college president’s had, I requested that the announcer repeat my first and last names only.
I abhor filling out application forms that have a very tiny space for a single middle initial. I usually just leave it blank unless I can fill it all in.
Speaking of my last time. I once worked for a company in Vancouver that needed to set up a username and password for the call taking software. They already had a Kim working there, so my boss put me in the system as Jason. It wasn’t long before everyone—call takers, dispathcers, couriers, everyone—was calling me Jason. I got tired of it, and asked my boss to change it. I told him that if I was going to be called by something other than my first name, I would rather be known as Bubba.
My third most common issue is being referred to as Ms. Kim Siever. It has become so bad, that I have changed my email signature to read Mr. Kim Siever and to have my email headers to read Mr. Kim Siever. Now I come off as pretentious. So be labeled as pretentious or be referred to as female. I have to pick.
What’s very funny is when someone phones who has both me and my wife as account holders—like the bank, for example. If my wife is talking to them, occasionally she is asked, “Is this Kim”. If they think my wife is Kim, who do they think Mary is? Actually, I get customer service and account reps always confirming “Is this Kim” when I phone them, as if they are thinking “he doesn’t sound like a girl”.
For what it’s worth, “Kim” is actually a boy’s name. Always has been. It became attached to girls when Kimberly became popular. When Kimberly was shortened, it overshadowed the less used boy’s version.
Finally, I am frequently dealing with my last name being misspelled. It has been spelled in many different ways, including the following: seaver, seiver, sievre, sevier, fiever, liever, sieber and severe. My favourite was “sykes”. Not sure where that came from.
I feel sorry for my daughter, Sinéad Aurora Fève Siever. She has many of the issues I do but with the accents. At six years old, she is already correcting people: “With a D”, “Sheh-nay-DUH”, “There’s an accent on the E”.