The Name Game – Taryn


I once worked with a girl who was named Taryn, in a call centre.

The last thing you want in a call centre is to have a unique name. You would think having a unique name would be awesome but believe me, it costs you time on the phone. Here is how the average wrap up for a Taryn call would go.. the side fellow call centre operators would hear, anyway.

“You’ve been speaking with Taryn today”

“No, not Karen, Taryn, with a T”

“T.. A.. R.. Y.. N”

“Yes, with a T”

Yes, T.. A.. R.. Y.. N, that is right”

“I’m not sure where the name came from. Now before I let you go, is there anything else I can do for you today?”

(A long, long gap, during which the caller usually tells Taryn an unusual name story for no apparent reason)

“Thank you for sharing that with me. I really have to go now, there are calls in the queue that I need to answer. Thanks for your time today.”

The trouble with this was, every single time the call centre would review her calls, the ending wrap up as described above would be at least 2 minutes long. Sometimes a lot longer when the story the caller told her would be 5-10 minutes long. Plus, that last line did not fit in with the smiley happy warm and fuzzy vibe that operators were meant to portray.

Several times, Taryn was told she should use a pseudonym on the phones. Each and every time, Taryn refused to do this. Her call times were always much longer than everyone elses and a major reason was the above conversation which she was having over and over again, on every single call she took. Even when they moved her to making outgoing calls in the hope of shortening her call times, this exact same conversation would happen.

Eventually, the general manager of the company approached her about it and told her changing her phone name was a requirement for continuing employment with the company. Taryn went back to her desk, wrote her resignation, printed it out, signed it, and went back to give it to the general manager. She was then escorted from the building.

Taryn was an incredible call centre operator. One of the best I have ever worked with. She was also incredibly stubborn about her name and at the time I was totally on board with that, but as time has gone by I have seen how little it really matters.

Callers do not care what your name is. They are unlikely to call back looking for you to speak to, and if they do, 99% of the time they will get your name completely wrong. I got called Shannon all the time, and that is nowhere near my actual real name. My name has 3 syllables, Shannon only has two, plus the letter my name starts with is at the total opposite end of the alphabet.

I’ve had people call me Veronica, Alexandra, Cassandra, Katherine, Karen, Mary, Elizabeth, princess, darling, darl, sweety, dear.. the list of names I have been called is long and there are many names on it, and my actual real name is rarely to be seen on that list.

Taryn was right to quit, though. I only lasted 9 months in that same call centre and that place was awful, caring more about call times and stats than actual people.


I was tagged by Fish of Gold for this name game blog hop.

I’ll tag Kenton Musings as I have not seen them tagged anywhere yet, and their about page says “I am always on the lookout for the next writing topic.” The rules can be found over here.

Here’s who has contributed so far:

Silver Threading
The Chatter Blog
Lucy at the Excessive Gardener
DebraB at Debra Books
Mindful Digressions
Fish of Gold

call centre, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014, pseudonym, work


I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the girl with the one track mind saga. It’s a blog on the internet where a girl has been pretty intimately blogging details of her life. Somehow it got turned into a book and the girl decided to release it under a pseudonym – however, she may have forgotten for a moment that she lives in the UK, and that is the home of tabloid journalism. A newspaper found out her real name, who she really was, and then published those details.

I feel really sorry for her – I can’t imagine blogging that sort of stuff, let alone having everyone from your parents to everyone in your entire country then finding out you wrote it, and reading that kind of personal stuff.

That and another incident which I have been reminded of have led to this blog about baiters and our potential exposure. I personally would feel *safe* if my real information got out on the net, because I live in a country where there’s not too many lads, but I would be plenty not happy all the same. For some of the baiters reading this who live in the US, Canada, UK, Amsterdam and possibly even South Africa, there’s a lot more potential for harm actually finding its way to a baiter who is exposed.

So when any of us tell other people information about ourselves, we *trust* that information won’t be given to others. There’s been a couple of occasions where I have *deliberately* led fellow **baiters** astray about who someone actually is. Once it was for a joke, which the baiter himself came up with, and several of us went along with. I believe there are still some baiters who are completely unaware that it was a joke – I do not believe the baiter involved ever got a chance to dispel the myths about himself. Not because he didn’t want to, but because he got busy. And they *were* brilliant myths.. that was a heck of a lot of fun, that joke.

Once it was because unknown to other baiters, we have an incredible secret in our midst, which myself and only the baiter involved are actually aware of – as far as I know. There’s very good reasons to keep it secret and I certainly do not intend to share the secret here but the reason I mention it is.. underlying everything there has been a fear that it will get found out somehow. Looking at the One Track Mind blog, I cannot imagine the aftermath if it were to be exposed.

Those of you thinking you know what it is, you’re dead wrong. To make sure you realise this, I will now state that the secret is who someone is in real life, not who they are on the internet. Just so you know.

And now to other topics of lesser import.

1. Pride and Prejudice. I read it again. What a surprise, huh? I love this book. I actually have a big book with all Jane Austen‘s books in there – Sense and Sensibility, P&P, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Lady Susan and Persuasion. I bought it for $20 a couple of years ago. The amount of times I have read it, I would hate to think. This is the book I always read in between other books. This is the book I always pick up when I go to bed, want to read a little, but am too tired to start a new book. The language is so soothing. It is almost as good as Shakespeare but my Shakespeare book is way too heavy to hold up in bed. :(

2. Indiana Jones and the temple of doom. I was playing this at work today and a kid who was about 8 years old got scared by it. Hello? What closet has this kid been sheltered in? So his Mother says to me “You should have something a bit more kid friendly on”. I said, this IS kid friendly, it’s PG rated, and most of the other movies I have which “look” kid friendly are packed full of swearing. I can’t play animation because it makes the screens look terrible and we’d never sell any. So while I was doing the invoice, she kept telling this kid not to look but he was mesmerized, and he was starting to get a bit freaked out, so I said to him, hey mate, don’t worry, he’s Indiana Jones and it all turns out fine in the end. It makes me wonder what kind of movies (if any) this kid is allowed to watch at home. It was the bit of the movie where the little kid has the voodoo doll and is stabbing it while Indy is fighting some guy. If something as simple as stabbing a voodoo doll makes this kid freak out.. I fear for his future in this world. BTW I am gonna order this, too.

3. I just watched Girl with a Pearl Earring. There’s never enough Colin Firth. Even the 6 hour Pride and Prejudice did not contain enough of him. The movie was good though.

That’s it for now, off to bed. Night all.. :)

Angry Snoskred, anonymity, books, internet, Internet Safety, movies, pseudonym