Monday, 28 March 2016

Say My Name, The Right Way Please!

If your name is as 'diverse' as mine, i.e. can be pronounced and spelled in one or more ways, then you can definitely relate to what I'm going to say next (unless you boycott Starbucks).

My name is Dutch derived (don't quote me on this) and usually pronounced like 'Sita' but it's written as 'Sieta'. Most people get it right (in the Netherlands).

In the UK when I moved here (and even now until this day), I've gone into this habit of saying it's 'Sieta' when people call me 'Seeyeta' (that's the only real way I can write it so that you understand how they mispronounce it phonetically). So imagine that when people do pronounce my name correctly, I let them know they pronounced it correctly because it's a rare occurrence.

This continued mispronunciation and even misspelling of my name became too much at school and even during my undergrad, so I just allowed people to call me whatever they wanted to call me. To some people I made it quite clear that it's Sieta but some still chose to go with 'Seeyeta' (memory of a gold fish or something?).

The people at Starbucks aren't any better either. They struggle with my name the most. This is the dialogue that usually ensues when I ask them for a caramel macchiato or just a cappuccino;
Starbucks barista: what's your name?
Me: Sieta.
Starbucks barista: *in doubt on how to spell my name on the cup, looks confused as hell*
Me: *waiting awkwardly as it's taking the barista ages to start write my name on the cup*.
Starbucks barista: - two minutes later - Ok thanks, drink will be at the end.
Me: *annoyed as hell and clocks that it is misspelled*.
Sometimes I let it go but other times I get so annoyed when the Starbucks baristas are in doubt on how to spell my name. Their hesitation and the number of question marks they get on their face just infuriates me. I want my coffee and I want it now.

I know people who have quite complex names and use really standard and common names to put on their cups. I guess it works for them but I can't keep going to the same Starbucks and forget that one name and use another one. They'd wonder if I have an identity crisis or a split personality.

Anyway, since then I have changed the spelling of my name to 'Sita' for Starbucks purposes. It causes no issues, but that is not how my name is spelled. And no, I am not the Indian goddess Sita.