A while back I was having a conversation with The Civee where she claimed that I don’t use a person’s name while speaking to them. For example, instead of saying “Hey Gustave, these are some kick-ass curly fries,” I’d say “These are some kick-ass curly fries.”
She’s right–I don’t say people’s names that often while talking to them. Unless I’m in a crowded room, chances are the person on the other end of the conversation knows I’m talking to them. But I think there’s a subconscious reason for that too. A lot of times, I tend to blank on people’s names, especially if they’re a casual acquaintance. It’s not that I don’t care about the person to whom I’m talking, it’s just of all the things my memory is good at, names usually aren’t one of them.
Last night, I was at a meeting and decided to greet someone using their name. Except, as I started to say it, I realized that I had their name wrong. So I ever so gracefully, while in the middle of the first syllable of their [incorrect] name, just covered my mouth and coughed. And then proceeded with the rest of the conversation, hoping they didn’t notice.
How do I avoid this in the future? Stop using people’s names. Or become one of those guys who calls everyone “Ace,” “Chief” or “Boss.”