{First Name} Shelters

Having an older brother, I’ve grown used to being called by the wrong name over the years.

Teachers, who had Steve in class just two years before I came through, would often call me by his name. Sadly, I didn’t bother correcting them most of the time.

When I graduated high school, I figured I wouldn’t be called “Steve” again for the rest of my life. He had never stepped foot on the St. Bonaventure University campus, so no one there had any idea who he was.

But, apparently “Scott” and “Steve” go hand in hand because, on occasion, someone would slip up and call me by the name of my brother, a guy whom they had never met.

Even now, at work, I get occasional calls for Steve Shelters, Sean Shelters, Scott Sheldon, Mr. Shelley or anything you can imagine that starts with an “S.” When I get those, at least I can say, “He’s not in the office right now.” This, of course, is because most of those people do not exist, and those who do don’t work here.

Most of the time, I don’t really care if I get called by the wrong name. Typically, I don’t know the person calling me, they don’t know me and I take no offense to any of it. I call people by the wrong names on occasion. It’s embarrassing, but it happens.

However, I’ve never done what one reader did last week when she sent me an email that started with: “Dear (first name).” She thought she would look up my name before pressing “send” but never got around to it, apparently. That’s OK. She gave me the best laugh I’ve had at work in a long time. Besides, I’ve been called a lot worse.