Once upon a time, when I worked at a marketing agency, my boss, who always referred to me as amanda, starting calling me AL in his email correspondence.
At first I thought it was just a simple error. A brain bubble, if you will. Because it was quite clear that my name was not Albert, or Alfred, or Aldo, or Alonzo, or Al Borland, or Alchemy (although I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to that last one).
But the mistake continued. And it got to the point where not only was I AL in email correspondence, but I became AL when he wanted to visit my desk to ask a question and AL when he greeted me upon entering the conference room.
I laughed it off, of course, because I am nothing if not a good sport (and highly aware of when I may be missing the big picture), but this activity continued for the better part of a month or so until it dawned on me...
The dawning occurred after a mass email went out, in which my boss not only referred to me as AL, but my coworkers Dennis B. and Erin A. as DB and EA.
So AL wasn’t a short form of Aldous or Alma. AL were my new initials. (Without the periods, of course. Because we know how tiresome periods can be when sending off quick emails). I just hadn’t realized it yet.
All of my assumptions of him being funny or mischievous or cryptic couldn’t have been farther from the truth. He was merely being accurate.
While I was left with the sudden realization that I’d be suck with a man’s name for my initials for the rest of my life.