Anybody with an unconventional name can tell you that when your name is “different,” some degree of inconvenience is inevitable.
You’re unlikely to find your name pre-printed on a souvenir. Nobody will pronounce or spell it correctly on the first try. It will be consistently (and awkwardly) butchered by teachers, acquaintances and co-workers, and you’ll probably have to repeat it multiple times.
But you know what you should never have to deal with? Straight-up, in-your-face mockery.
Just ask 5-year-old Abcde Redford (pronounced ab-city), who was boarding a Southwest Airlines flight with her mom when the gate agent started openly making fun of her unique name.
“The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees,” mom Traci Redford told Los Angeles TV station KABC. “So I turned around and said, ‘Hey if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I’d appreciate if you’d just stop.'”
Abcde’s mom didn’t even realize the full extent of the incident until someone brought it to her attention that the Southwest agent had taken a photograph of her daughter’s boarding pass and posted it on social media. So that the twatwaffles of the Internet could join in the assholery.
Southwest Airlines released a statement following the incident that read, in part: “The post is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect from all of our Employees. We have followed up with the Employee involved.”
How’s this for a follow-up? DON’T BE A DICK.
It isn’t a hard concept, people. Just don’t make fun of anyone. Especially about things they can’t control, like the name they were given by their parents.
Secretly and silently judge all you want, be as snarky as you need to be inside the private, unreachable confines of your brain — but don’t let it spew out of your mouth like a fountain of feces. Especially when no one fucking asked you.
Whether it’s a person’s name, outfit of choice, or personal appearance, no one has the right to comment on how horrible it is. Tearing down another human being’s self-esteem for something they cannot (or may not want to) change does nothing but damage. And if you do this, you are a garbage person.
When the question is, “Should I point out XYZ about someone?” the answer — unless it’s regarding spinach in their teeth or toilet paper on their shoe — is always a firm, unequivocal “no.” But if for some reason you’re still in doubt, follow this gem of advice:
My friend just used the phrase, "if they can't fix it in 10 seconds (acne, weight, hair color) don't point it out" and I LOVE that
— vogues (@avogues) June 30, 2018
This includes a person’s name, no matter how bizarre or funny you think it is. Repeat after me: MOCKING. ANOTHER. PERSON. IS. NEVER. OKAY.
Because the Abcdes of the world have to deal with enough without unsolicited douchery from an asshole who doesn’t think before they open their mouths.