The Naming Dilemma

I was just about to write about an experience I had at Coffee Bean today. I was going to write on how the person who took my order made a funny comment on my name. After I told him my name was “Don”, he said something along the lines of “Don? The Godfather?” I was going to write on how customer service, through such small little gestures from front-line staff, could be improved. The joke made me feel like there was some hope for customer service in Singapore. It is a pity I didn’t take down his name.

But this article is not about that.

It is about the etiquette of publishing real-life stories on a website. You see, I wasn’t alone. I was with someone else. For the sake of this article, let’s call him “Jason”. Now, Jason has visited this site before. He probably reads my entries every once in a while, so if I write about him, chances are, he’ll know.

I shall now present to you some possible write-ups about the Coffee Bean story mentioned above. The first is as follows, which includes Jason‘s name.

Exhibit 1
I went to Coffee Bean with Jason today (the Serangoon Gardens outlet), and guess what? One of the counter staff made a joke of my name! No, I wasn’t offended, but pleasantly surprised. I provided my name as, “Don: D-O-N”, and he replied, “Don? The Godfather?”

I couldn’t help but smile at that reference. I think that small gestures like this from front-line staff are necessary in Singapore, with all that talk about us having one of the worst service staff in Asia, if not the world. It is a pity I didn’t take down his name.

So, for the sake of argument, let’s say he doesn’t want anyone to find out we went out together.

I publish my Coffee Bean account (Exhibit 1), mentioning his name in the process.

He calls me up, and yells through the phone, “hey! don’t go telling everyone we went out you f***er. I’ve got a reputation to keep.”

Shocked by his reaction, I decide to run in circles at a speed quicker than that of light (I’ve been training). Through metaphysical wizardry, I travel back to a time before he had read the article. I cunningly decide to omit his name, and thus come out with Exhibit 2, as follows.

Exhibit 2
I went to Coffee Bean today (the Serangoon Gardens outlet), and guess what? One of the counter staff made a joke of my name! No, I wasn’t offended, but pleasantly surprised. I provided my name as, “Don: D-O-N”, and he replied, “Don? The Godfather?”

I couldn’t help but smile at that reference. I think that small gestures like this from front-line staff are necessary in Singapore, with all that talk about us having one of the worst service staff in Asia, if not the world. It is a pity I didn’t take down his name.

Surely now, Jason couldn’t possibly find anything wrong with it, could he? Well, he could.

The phone rings. “Hello?” I say.

“Hey, Donn? I just read your latest article. That was a fantastic write-up you did on our outing. Our outing. Together. You embarrassed we went out together or what?”

“Huh?”

“What a f***ing prick you are, you know that?”

“Err… huh?”

Yet again, shocked by his reaction, I run in circles at a speed quicker than that of light, and through metaphysical wizardry, I travel back to a time before he had read the article.

This time though, I don’t omit anything. In fact, I publish everything. And it goes like this:

I was just about to write about an experience I had at Coffee Bean today. I was going to write on how the person who took my order made a funny comment on my name. After I told him my name was “Don”, he said something along the lines of “Don? The Godfather?” I was going to write on how customer service, through such small little gestures from front-line staff, could be improved. The joke made me feel like there was some hope for customer service in Singapore. It is a pity I didn’t take down his name…

2 thoughts on “The Naming Dilemma

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