07 November 2006

When Nicknames Stick

I think I did a bad thing during the handover. Ya see, the new guy bears a striking resemblance to me - same haircut, same glasses, same general features though my face is a bit thinner. The main difference between us is that I'm about 10 inches taller than he is.

I was introducing the new guy to a couple of the people I work with who still have some time here and one of them (we'll call him Bill) commented on how similar we looked. I responded by chuckling and saying, "Yeah, he's my very own 'Mini-Me', haha."

A couple days later my replacement was sitting at my desk (as he should be) so I decided to go for a walk. I ran into a group of people I work with and started chatting with them when Bill walked up and asked, "Hey, where's the new guy?" Before I could answer, someone else who hadn't been introduced to the new guy yet asks, "Who? You mean LT's Mini-Me?" I looked over at Bill who was cringing because the other person had made such a blunder as to call the new guy by his nickname in front of me.

I stood there for a moment trying to comprehend what I had done. People who had never even seen him already knew him as a smaller version of me, as my 'Mini-Me'. With one simple reference to a popular comedy linking my replacement with a bald, pale, pinky-nibbling dwarf, I had set the new guy up for failure. I looked down to aviod making eye contact with anyone and shook my head in disgust at what I had done while doing my best to stifle my laugh which only made matters worse. I fear that I have branded him before he had the chance to brand himself.


Anonymous Solo said...

Unless he has some kind of chip on his shoulder, he'll be alright with it. If he's sharp, he'll come up with a good comeback. A sense of humor is pretty important in helping you folks get through your tours, and I'm sure he'll fit himself in pretty quick.

Blogger Rob said...

Solo kinda took the words outta my mouth. If the dude is cool and isn't bothered by it (outwardly), I bet "Mini-Me" will die when you leave. Don't worry bout it bro.

Blogger The Griper said...

i agree with both solo and rob, bandit. in fact i'll go even farther by saying that this will be a good test of his leadership by how he handles it.

Blogger R2K said...

Kill the trolls.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On behalf of a grateful nation....thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God bless you and keep you safe so you may return healthy and happy to your beautiful wife and son.

We cannot thank you enough for your service and I for one, hope we will "hear" from you every once in a while...maybe for a "Family Day" here and there?!

Anna - A Rose By Any Other Name

Blogger dcat said...

Thank you Bandit! I will never forget you! :)

I will keep your blog untill it is gone!

Enjoy your new life with wife and son! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it, B. If his nickname is his biggest problem, then his life is pretty cop-acetic. Bad nick names are actually kind of endearing, imo, and should be worn as a badge of honor (unless the nick name is something like "sh*t-for-brains").

What is important is that a person is squared away and an asset to those around him. If "mini" is able to fill your shoes (with his tiny little feet! -yuk yuk) and do his job with integrity, he'll have real respect from those around him, respect that is not diminished by a nick name.

If he's half the man you are (hee hee), I'm confident he'll do an outstanding job and be a credit to us all as an American.

So don't worry that "mini" got the short end of the stick. (guffaw!)

Peace Out,



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