Monday, November 15, 2010

Hello! My Name Is....

What's my name?

I haven't suddenly been struck by the classic soap opera disease, amnesia, although this might qualify as an identity crisis.  So, I'll ask you again, what's my name?

There isn't a right or wrong answer, but there are several answers.  

I was baptized Mary Elizabeth Harty way, WAY back in 1960 and for the first twenty years of my life, I would say my name is Mary Harty. (As a child with a speech impediment who couldn't pronounce R's, everyone thought I was from Boston when I introduced myself) 

Once I got to college, I started using my middle name instead of my first. For the past thirty years, when I introduce myself, I'm Elizabeth Harty. My Facebook profile is Elizabeth Harty, not Mary Elizabeth Harty and I know high school friends haven't friended me because they don't know an Elizabeth Harty (seriously people, look at the picture - I haven't changed that much since high school)

I've had several occasions when friends find out that my first name is Mary, they'll tell me "you just don't look like a Mary." (Discuss amongst yourselves what a Mary looks like and get back to me on that)

I started using my middle name for one very good reason - being Mary Harty meant being one of many. There's my aunt Mary Harty, my niece Mary (MJ) Harty, my grandmother was Mary Harty and I have four cousins named Mary Harty - most of whom kept their maiden name when they married.

Don't get me wrong because I like all the other Mary Hartys - heck I'm related to almost all of them, but back then, I wanted to set myself apart. And now, after thirty years, Elizabeth is my identity and I'm comfortable with it.

I'm in the midst of another identity crisis right now at Mayo Clinic that I've never experienced at any of my previous jobs.

Since my Social Security card shows my name as Mary E. Harty,  that is how human resources set-up my email and my company profile. And it is confusing the heck out of everyone. 

Last week, one of my bosses was sending an email to set up a meeting and she referred to me several times as Mary when she knows me as Elizabeth - the email address really threw her.  If you search for Elizabeth Harty on the Mayo Quarterly (it's the Mayo online phone book), you won't find me.

Oddly enough, when people who know me as Mary call me Elizabeth, that too seems a bit strange. There's just no making me happy, is there?

I've asked several times to have it changed, but as long as my SS card has my name as Mary E. Harty, that's how it will appear on EVERYTHING at Mayo Clinic. Some people may see this as a sign to surrender; I see it as time to change my SS card.


Ren said...

Actually, whenever I see your twitter handle I think of pirates. Avast, me hearties!

MollyinMinn said...

So funny, Ren. I think the same thing. If it helps at all, my name is Molly. Always has been. But I can't tell you how often people want to call me Mary. They just assume that Molly cannot possibly be my given name.

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