WHAT'S IN A NAME
That caught my ear because she pronounced my name exactly RIGHT! That's VERY rare and so I exclaimed, "You said my name correctly! How in the heck did you do that?"
"I'm from Ukraine." she replied with a smile and slight accent.
Growing up on the East Side of Saginaw, Michigan names such as mine were like "Jones" they were so common. Yet, out in the real world I found that many people have a real tongue-twister with names that are not actually Jones... especially flight attendants, or "FAs" as they are often called.
At one of my airlines, in the days prior to 9/11 when civilization actually existed in air travel, the company required that the FA making the pre-takeoff announcements had to greet the occupants of the fart thrones in the back of the aircraft by saying the cockpit crew's full names. This led to a lot of comedy in the cockpit as we listened in on the PA waiting to hear how they scrambled my last name. For the poor FA's, however, it was a frustrating and somewhat embarrassing way to start a flight. One FA actually had me spell it phonetically and then she sat in ops. and practiced it, yet still got it wrong as we taxied out, much to our giggles in the cockpit.
In order to help fix the problem I did a bit of research in the company manuals and found that nowhere did it state that the FAs had to give the passengers your ACTUAL name. So, from then on when the crew card that they read from was handed to us in the cockpit before the flight, I'd give them easier and more fun names in the "First Officer" blank:
and so on.
Often the FAs would come back into the cockpit with the card and say, "This isn't your real name."
To which I'd reply, "No, but you can pronounce it."
They'd just sigh, or snicker, shake their head and return to their duties.
Then one day after a perfectly smooth and uneventful flight into MSP, the passengers were de-plane-ifying and I had my head down in paperwork when one of them stuck his head into to the cockpit, looked right at me and said,
"Please tell me that your name is NOT really Ted Striker,"
Posted by Wes Oleszewski at 10:11 AM