What About Bob?
When I was 20, I got a job at a call center doing directory assistance. That's right - I'd get to say "What city, please?" and "Thank you! Your listing?" literally hundreds of times a day. SO MUCH FUN. My best friend at the time worked there, and if you were pretty fast on the computer the pay was pretty decent. You got your hourly wage, plus something called a Pay Per Call Bonus. Anything over 80 calls an hour earned you a nickel a call. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it was usually an extra hundred bucks or so on your paycheck. When you're 20, and it's 1997, that's pretty dang cool.
So anyway, there was this girl there that my friend Cathy knew. When she was on her way to find a seat she'd always stop and say hi to Cathy and to me if I was nearby. One day, after weeks of this, she stopped, looked at me, and said, "I'm sorry, I don't think I ever caught your name!" I looked her dead in the eye, with a completely straight face, and told her, "My name is Bob."
I watched as her smile faltered a bit, and could see her trying to decide if I was serious or not. "Really?" she asked.
"Really. My name is Bob." I responded, never breaking from my straight face.
She looked really confused now (I am evil) and finally turned to my friend Cathy for help. "Seriously - what is her name?" she pleaded.
A smile slowly spread across my friend Cathy's face as she said very evenly, "Her name is Bob."
The other girl finally laughed and said, "Okay Bob, nice to meet you!" and wandered off to her desk. Cathy and I had a good giggle over it, and then it was quickly forgotten. Every day when the other girl would see me she'd say "HI BOB!" and wave, and I'd say hi back. Of course, this went on for months and none of up really thought a lot about it.
Well, that is, until one day when we were having lunch and the other girl came and sat with Cathy and me. "You know," she said, "it occurred to me the other day that I never really found out what your name actually is. I've just been calling you Bob!" It never occurred to us that we never told her my real name either! Whoops!
And that is how I was called Bob for almost a year.
Labels: about me