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Inadequate introductions August 22, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in feminism, societal commentary.
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I have sometimes worried about being in my husband’s shadow.  However, over the past couple years, I’ve been feeling like a lot of people are starting to recognize me as having my own talents.

But sometimes, I see it happening.

Today, my husband and I went out for lunch and ran into someone we both know.  He works for a different group but is in our building.  In fact, he’s two offices down from mine, and we were working on our MS at about the same time.  He was having lunch with some colleagues.  When he saw us, he introduced my husband and then me…with my husband’s last name.

I’m feeling a bit irritated, but I try to blow it off since a lot of people make that assumption and don’t realize we don’t have the same last name.  I go by a hyphenated last name, but I prefer that if they’re going to shorten it, they use my maiden name.  (I don’t mind if they introduce us as “Mike and Cherish” with just his last name, such as on mail.)

However, the next bit got me very irritated.  He then said that my husband worked in our building…and failed to mention that I work there, also.  In fact, he failed to mention anything at all about my employment.

The funny thing is that this doesn’t usually happen if it’s me alone.  It happens more frequently than I’d like when I’m with my husband, though.

My husband is considering emailing this person to rectify the misunderstanding about my last name but is as surprised as I am by the second…and equally unsure if anything can or should be done about it.

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Comments»

1. Chris Lindsay (@ChrisLindsay9) - August 22, 2011

Is it possible that this guy only mentioned your husband’s work because it was related to the work of the people he was eating lunch with? I know it’s a stretch, but I’m wondering if he may have made this quick connection in his head upon seeing you and your husband – “I have to introduce him to these people because they have the same type of job/expertise”

I had a couple other reasons in my head, but they are all lame. Not to say the one that I provided is a good one, but it’s somewhat realistic.

I probably wouldn’t say anything to him, despite having the close proximity to your office. But if he were to do it again, then mention it to him. I usually don’t offer corrections for one-time offenses, but I do for multiple ones.

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mareserinitatis - August 22, 2011

That’s a good point…except that my husband and I work in approximately the same field. Of course, maybe this guy doesn’t know that, but he also mentioned the place where we work, not our field.

So yeah…I’m at a loss. I would rather find a good explanation, but nothing’s coming.

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2. The Little Woman | FCIWYPSC - July 23, 2013

[…] post this, I noticed I’d already tagged another post ‘introductions’.  Wow…deja vu.  I think I need to stop letting people introduce me and start doing it […]

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3. Cop Car - July 25, 2013

Married women have it tougher than single women in the workplace, when it comes to being taken seriously.

At one time, my husband and I (and another guy with the same last name as my husband an me) sat within 15 feet of one another at work; although, I was junior to my husband by about 13 years. So, I hear you. However, when Hunky Husband and I divorced a few years later (we were divorced for 11 years and have been re-married for 25) I made up a new last name for myself – which I still use.

Now, I try to be as unflappable as Hunky Husband is when someone calls him by my last name. He just lets people think that it is also his!
(Unfortunately, I don’t succeed.)

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mareserinitatis - July 28, 2013

Yeah, it’s tough. I expect more out of people who knew me before or in separate situations from my husband, but the assumption is still that I have his last name.

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