Friday, January 10, 2014

Rising to a Name

Tis but thy name that is my enemy;

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet;

Peggy Louise is my legally assigned name.  As a child of the 50's, it was probably a very normal name.  But, my catholic friends assumed I was really a Margaret.  After all, there was no Saint Peggy, and I am pretty sure there still isn't!

I always thought Margaret was a much more professional name.  If I were named Margaret, I wouldn't have a baptismal name different from my given name.  More importantly, I thought Margaret sounded sophisticated and Peggy sounded just fun.  Flash forward a few years, okay a few more years, I now realize the name is not what builds your character or your professional image.  Especially in the age where the cultures of the world are in every city and Indian, French, Scot, and Spanish names are all in the same room.

Since I started with an unconventional name, I did not tend toward the usual names for those I love.  I had a dog named Useless and a bird named Stitch.  My son is named Corbett, my daughter  a name that was for a car, a gun, and German, my other son, a middle name controversial in history.  Not as crazy as Moon Unit or Axle, but odd enough for their time.

Years later, when my daughter received a cat that was unsanctioned by the apartment owners, I told her she could not name him.  He would be referred to as 302 (similar to an inmate) till he was re-homed. He still is called 302. And not re-homed.
302 and Pitch Dog

302 attacks the feather toy
Recently, we were involved with a dachshund mix that is adorable and again, needed to be re-homed.  I dubbed her shrimpy and my husband named her stumpy, and we ended up calling her wiener - short for wiener dog.  I am still optimistic about the re-home thing.
Dach sun wants home

Our dog Pitch (perfect pitch or pitch black) is a product of a litter from our first family dog, Dixie.  My daughter named her first batch of Labrador puppies after North Florida counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Leon, etc.......  The second batch was random, but we ended up keeping Pitch - the black male.

So the point is that names do not improve your profession nor can they deter the attraction or affection that one has for pets.  302 was never an inmate, he is just a cat with a number for a name.

Titles are also another expression of names.  It really, truly doesn't matter what your position is, if you don't rise to fill the duties ascribed and do it with conviction.  You can be labeled Queen of First Impressions, but if you are always eating tuna at the reception desk, your title may be an inconsiderate employee.

Many companies reorganize or downsize and change a  person's title. If you are in the situation where your title is changed, (maybe your duties are too, but not always), don't let that affect your contribution and your work efforts.  There were many years in government that I was called "Senior Management Analyst 3" or "Government Operations Consultant Manager II".  What ever do those titles say about what one does?

I choose to use my position and my person-hood to define my job.  Not my title.  For surely, it is obsolete as the work changes and without the redefinition  of my position on a continuous basis, it cannot reflect my efforts.  In lieu of a dynamic working title, I make my pronouncement with certainty and steady embrace of the things that I know I can do; and I try very hard to let go of the things that might be better accomplished by another.  The name isn't what really matters, its your performance and your attitude.

Naming the cat 302 no more made him unloved, than naming me Peggy made me less professional.  Naming Pitch didn't stop the grey from growing into his  black fur.

Security is who you are, what you can do; how you can present that information is all up to you.  Professionally, personally and with your animals.  I wish you a secure and prosperous new year, no matter your name and no matter your title.