No, this is not a post about being overburdened at work. (Although it may be.)
It’s just that lately, a bunch of people have been referring to me in emails as Max.
Now to be clear, my name is Martin (in case you hadn’t noticed). So why is this happening? Why, in the last six months, has Max has become the alternate me?
It doesn’t seem to matter that I append my name to the bottom of virtually every email; that my name is in the from line; that it’s prominently featured in my signature. It’s as if some people just aren’t able to comprehend what they see.
Instead, they smush the first syllables of given and last names together in a bizarre form of familiarity: Max.
Perhaps they’re too time-challenged to read my full name. Possibly they’re being over-bombarded by communications, so they have no choice but to skim and gloss. Or maybe they’re so used to reading text message-style abbreviations, that this is what comes naturally to them. I can imagine the etymology. It almost makes sense.
Yet I wonder what other details they may be missing.
Truth is, I like the name. It always reminds me of the scenes in Annie Hall when Woody Allen and Tony Roberts, kibitzing or kvetching as they walk down the street, address each other as Max. As if that were their collective identity. I guess can relate to that.