I used to have some very serious opinions about what I wanted to be called. Mostly that involved me getting as far away from my full given first name of Katherine and sticking to Kati. (No, that’s not a typo, in 6th grade I asserted some independence by changing the way that I spelled my commonly used name, I’m such a bad-ass!) Until just a few years ago, going by anything other than Kati was totally not okay by me. The change and slight acceptance of Katherine happened about the same time that I noticed just how popular the name Katie had become for parents to use just a few years after I was born.
Since I’ve always looked young, and I was now trying to be more professional for desk jobs and such, I figured that embracing Katherine could be a way to separate myself from this mass of girls and maybe making me seem more sophisticated? I don’t think that it necessarily worked from an outside perspective, but I do think that it got me acting more professional because for a long time I was used to only hearing Katherine when I was in trouble or when my second grandmother (as in not technically my grandmother) was around because we shared a name and it was the first time it seemed like a cool name. (Wow, that was a long way to not even really say that when she was around I would try to act more grown up to impress her.) I guess I didn’t really have to seem more polished with the use of the name, I actually was that way, which I guess is nice. The facade would have faded.
I’ve been Katherine at work almost everywhere that I have worked for about 7 years now, starting with the oh-so-sophisticated Virgin Megastore. Working at Barnes & Noble though, I have been Kati so far because the lovely Megan who recommended me knows me only as such (or maybe better as “Kati with no e”) and has for the past 5 years. There’s a slight problem with that though. There’s already a Kaity there. Again, no typo. It’s short for Kaitland. I’m not going to comment further on that.
I’m sure you’re now thinking that Megan should just get over it and start calling me Katherine, but the reason that I didn’t just start there as Katherine is the previous Store Manager. She was on a leave of absence when I started and officially left just a couple weeks ago. I guess she wasn’t the most popular person in the store, and there are a few people who have mentioned that they don’t want to associate me with that name because of it.
I personally think that we should just change the thinking of Katherine because it’s getting complicated to have two Kati/Kaity employees.
It’s such a big deal though, that I was somewhat accosted in the break room yesterday after my shift was over. I believe there were six or seven people in the room besides me all trying to figure out what to call me. All of these people were female, though there are some guys who work in the store who do care about the issue. The guys just seem to call me Katherine if they know that I’m okay with it and that’s that.
After 3-4 minutes of things like “Kitty” or just my last name being used (and then adding a cutesy nickname to it) as suggestions, they realized that Megan was the only thing standing between us and the simplicity of calling me Katherine in the store.
I’m not completely sure, but I think that I’m now Katherine at work.
Wow, how could I have not included this!? One of the things that’s awesome about going by Katherine now, is finding more of them! Like my awesome name doppelganger in Seattle, and this awesome book by an awesome author!