My name is James Lawther. I have been called James by my mother from the day I was born.
The name on my birth certificate is Kenneth James Lawther. This makes me a bit odd, I use my middle name as my first name (so to speak).
Most databases are structured:
- First Name
- Middle Initial
- Last Name
As far as the databases are concerned I am Kenneth J Lawther
As far as I am concerned I am K James Lawther, or as I like to put it James Lawther.
But then it is only my name, what would I know?
Whenever I go to my gym they insist on calling me Ken. (Who the hell is he?)
If I phone the IT “help desk” at work and tell them my name is James, they have a hissy fit, tell me I don’t work there and shut down all my systems access (no joking)
Try applying for a credit card if Experian and Equifax (the credit rating agencies) don’t know who you are.
As any good bouncer will tell you “If your name’s not down, then you aren’t coming in.”
We rely on the data, but it is wrong. Most of the time it is not a big issue, but I don’t relish the idea of being admitted unconscious into a hospital
Of course this is all my own fault, If I am stupid enough to call myself by my middle name what can I expect? But I am hardly an exception, have you ever heard of:
- Thomas S. Connery
- Paul J. Goebbels
- Joseph R. Kipling
- James P. McCartney
- Terrence S. McQueen
- Keith R. Murdoch
- James D. Nivin
- Olive M. Osmond
- Charles R. Redford
- Marie D. Warwick
I am in (mostly) good company.
Wouldn’t it be polite to change your database to First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, and let your customers tell you which one they prefer?
Then you could call them by their correct name and avoid all the rework, lost business and angst.
A bigger question though is
“if you can’t be bothered to get my name right what does the rest of your database say?”
Read another opinion
Image by Anuj Biyani