I found a perfect candidate — do I need to interview others?

A reader writes:

I recently posted a position that’s a bit above entry-level. People from various backgrounds could do well in the role, but I had a pretty specific profile in mind when I wrote the job description. I was thinking I’ll never find someone who checks all these boxes, but I did! This person has the right education, the right work experience, lives in the right place, and comes with a glowing recommendation from a former colleague who I couldn’t respect more. Our first phone conversation was the professional equivalent of a great first date. We’re even on the same page about salary (I took your advice and gave our range up-front).

I haven’t interviewed anyone else yet. I know best practice is to talk to several candidates, but I just can’t get excited about any of the other resumes in my inbox. Do I need to keep looking even though I think I’ve found “the one”?

I answer this question — and three others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

  • Client’s employee talks all day long outside my office
  • Can I ask job candidates if they’ve ever disparaged an employer online?
  • My coworker can’t remember my name

{ 153 comments… read them below }

  1. Beth*

    Re: finding a perfect candidate–another reason to keep interviewing other people is that you don’t know if your “the one” will accept the role yet! Even if everything seems very promising, any number of things could happen–they may get a stronger offer somewhere else, they may ultimately decide to stay where they are, they may hear something in the interview process that makes them not so excited about your open role, etc. It doesn’t make sense to cut other good applicants loose until you’re at the point where you’ve made an offer and your perfect candidate has accepted it.

    1. Ama*

      Yeah, I have on multiple occasions lost my top candidate either to another employer who paid more or because they realized they couldn’t make our salary offer work (my nonprofit employer doesn’t pay as well as they think they do — I always offer salary info up front before I even start interviewing but some people don’t really look at the reality of the financials until the offer stage). I always keep looking for at least one other candidate I’d be happy to hire until my top choice accepts the offer.

    2. Wintermute*

      this right here! not only is it possible, it’s likely because if someone is far and away your best candidate they’re probably a strong overall candidate who will not lack for options. You are going to be competing.

      As a totally unrelated aside in case the LW ever reads this: your success rate on those competitive roles in in-demand fields is a good glimpse into your reputation, even as far down as the team level: if you find you almost always get your first or second pick even for hot fields like data science and IT security it’s probably because you have a good reputation If you can’t get them to return your calls then chances are somehow you got a “not for love or money” reputation from how you treated former (or current) employees.

    3. learnedthehardway*

      Worst recruitment nightmare – hiring manager falls in love with an early candidate, and nobody else ever matches up (because the amazing candidate usually ends up being too expensive or so well qualified that they are looking for the next level up and gets snapped up by another company.)

      I would have the candidate meet with someone else – having a second interview is a good way to a) check your own impressions, b) continue the process while you interview other people, and c) SELL the candidate on your company.

      Don’t forget that the candidate is also interviewing your company!! They want to get to know the team, the stakeholders, the company – and they need to have at least a couple of interviews to do that. You want this amazing candidate to feel like there is more than just you who is invested in their hire.

      1. Awkwardness*

        I had this once. Went to interview a candidate – and hired them after the first interview. He was completely excited! I do not know what happened in that interview or what was said that his was head over heels for them, because I found them unqualified for the work we did (and was proven right as time went by).
        Managers: not only you should fall in love with the candidate, but the team too!

        1. Overit*

          That happened to my team too. interviewed several and one stood out. Seemed a perfect fit for the big boss role after 1 interview. The guy who interviewed did not show up for work. Totally different. Terrible fit, pitched toddler tantrums, etc. Sadly, the interview guy always showed up in any interaction with higher ups, so we could not rid of him.

    4. Alternative Person*


      I was the first candidate interviewed for a job and well, I had a feeling, you know?

      But I was glad the company stuck to their schedule and interviewed the other candidates because for all they knew, I was interviewing and could have gotten another offer elsewhere (and in fact, I did) or they could have found someone better. Interviewing other candidates can give a better understanding of what the current market is like and perhaps give a different perspective on what is a good rate for the skills on offer.

      I was offered the job at a higher rate than posted and I start next week.

  2. Will Work for Chocolate*

    It’s probably wise to keep interviewing others. This candidate may not ultimately accept the offer, which would put you behind in hiring. If you keep looking at other candidates, you might have a back-up at the ready if the first candidate declines your offer for some reason.

    1. Attractive Nuisance*

      Absolutely this. My organization has a strict policy where if a candidate fails to complete pre-employment drug screening in an allotted time, they are disqualified from the position. Excellent candidates have been foiled by things like car trouble (it is a short window of time and yes, we tried for an exception).

      1. AngryOctopus*

        Funnily enough, when I was trying to schedule a preemployment drug screen for my current job, I had to pick a place first, and then I found out the place closest to me was full for the next two weeks. I reached out to make sure that any location was OK because the paperwork made it seem like I was locked into that first location, and the HR person never got back to me. I eventually just called another place further away for an appointment and it was fine, but I was getting really nervous about the time deadline and worried that the first place I chose would be reporting that I hadn’t showed up in the allotted time.

    2. AngryOctopus*

      Yep. Like this AM, the candidate who had the interview cancelled was likely a very acceptable 2/3 person to take the job. But the first candidate said yes, so they didn’t need to proceed. But that person was also doing all their interviews while the accepting candidate was as well–most places will want to have a backup just in case their preferred/strongest candidate says no! This person might be your first choice and best for the job, but if you make an offer and they say “actually I just won the lottery so I’m going to move to Colorado and climb the Rockies”, you don’t want to have been relying on that one person.

    3. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      On the other side: Unless you are 100% sure that you are 100% in control of hiring, do not start this person’s interview process indicating that the interview is a formality, you know s/he’s perfect and let’s make this happen. ANYTHING can happen. You can keep this person at pole position in your head, even your notes, but (again if) you are in any hierarchy, don’t set either of you up for disappointment.

  3. Msd*

    For LW4 – why not just ask Jane why she can’t remember your name? Don’t ask in a confrontational way but more in a puzzled or slightly humorous way. Of course now I can’t think of a humorous way to ask. “Uhmmm Martha we’ve met a bunch of times. I’m starting to get a complex that you can’t remember my name.”

    1. Facial Recognition Blindness stinks*

      I am a Jane. I have facial recognition blindness, which is a real thing. I can meet someone ten times, and not remember who they are. At work with new people, I have to make a huge effort with other clues, like – There’s a person with Tom. Tom just got a new assistant. Tom’s new assistant is…a color? Yes! Lavendar! Lavendar Singh! . I have to do this for WEEKS. Please don’t embarrass Jane by asking her why she doesn’t remember you. Help her out. “Just this morning, my spouse said Martha! Did you feed the dog?” Give her some clues, please.

      1. Kendall^2*

        However, if it’s *just* Jane she’s forgetting, even after a larger personal favor, it seems odd that face blindness would be the sole driver here.

        1. Vio*

          It can vary. I have facial blindness but can usually recognise people that I know well if I encounter them somewhere I would expect. When it’s someone I don’t see often, or who doesn’t have something distinct to remember them by, it gets tricky. I usually own it and admit to people that I have facial blindness (I’ve even got a helpful little card about it from Face Blind UK) but I still feel bad when I don’t recognise somebody or forget their name.
          Of course that’s not to say that this IS an instance of face blindness. There’s all kinds of possibilities, but unless there’s more to the behaviour that suggests otherwise, I’d say it’s best to assume it’s not personal.

      2. Bast*

        I am awful with faces and connecting names and faces, and even more so if someone changes their hair color, loses or gains a lot of weight, etc. If I see you multiple times a week, I will remember you, but once a month? Once every couple of months? I’ve had issues with clients coming in unexpectedly and not recognizing them. Like yes, I know you’re a client and there’s something familiar about you, but are you John? Simon? Garfunkel? I can’t remember, and sometimes they get offended.

      3. JustAnotherCommenter*

        Except LW isn’t new, Jane knows who LW is and remembers the names of all their colleagues, LW literally drove this person home after surgery, she just doesn’t remember LWs name for some reason.

        Even if it is a total face blindness thing and a completely unintentional slight, it’s overdue for Jane to proactively try to remember LWs name just like you work to remember people’s names. Someone asking her directly might be what she needs to realize this is something she should put effort into.

        1. ThereCanBeReasons*

          There’s a big difference between remembering the names of coworkers you see daily and those you don’t see very often. Or the OP could look similar to other folks Jane knows. At one of my early jobs we had the Sales triplets – three sales guys that looked similar enough that if you encountered one solo it was incredibly difficult to figure out which one it was. If they were next to each other you could eventually figure it out after a while, but I worked with them in a “see them once every few weeks or few months” basis and never got to the point where I could tell which one it was if they weren’t together. My best friend – who in general us a lot better with putting names to faces than I am – never figured it out in the 4.5 years she worked there. We went out of our way not to let on that we (and a couple of others we were comfortable asking about it) couldn’t tell them apart, and I know most of the time I was very creative about avoiding use of any name, but I’m sure they got called the wrong names all the time.

      4. AnReAr*

        I’ve also got some facial recognition blindness and I wanna chime in that I don’t mind being asked why I don’t remember someone, as long as it’s not combative. When people ask I’m happy to explain that face blindness exists (most I interact with don’t know), and it tends to make interactions more pleasant. I see it the same way I see talking about any other neurodiversity; the more people know the more we can accommodate and the better everyone’s lives are.

        So I guess it boils down to how the LW thinks Jane will react. If she’s generally kind about things she’ll probably respond well.

        Weirdly I actually have been on LW’s side of the interaction more, I’ve somehow got a face that people easily forget. Maybe that’s why I’m okay with it being asked about my own forgetfulness. It only really got to me emotionally once as an adult, with a prestigious colleague who was making a big effort to have good relationships with my team (his team usually didn’t interact with ours). It hurt more than I was expecting to hear them all gushing about how kind he was to them and learning I was literally the only hourly employee he’d never interacted with.

    2. T.N.H*

      I actually disagree with Alison on the last bit. I think people absolutely “forget” names as a power move. People with names that aren’t traditional in Western cultures experience this supposed forgetfulness quite a bit more as well.

      1. FitPRO not FitSPO*

        T.N.H. is correct. AND, while there are a number of reasons people struggle with names, I think part of the reason LW reacts to this person so badly is because she seems to be making it LW’s problem to manage instead of coming up with strategies.

        Jane knows she is going to LW’s department and is likely to talk to the people who work there- she could figure out a system for reminding herself of their names, including LW, but instead she just walks in and announces that she can’t remember. Repeatedly.

        I’m petty so I would probably keep a name card in my desk and put it out when I saw Jane coming. That’s not advice, FYI.

        1. Caliente Papillon*

          I’m petty too so I think I’d just forget Jane completely. And if she asked my name again I may even be like Does it matter with an lol.
          This kind of reminds me of new people who move to my neighborhood – I’ll say hi and get ignored. I usually give it a couple times, then I just walk on by and ignore them. As soon as I stop with the greetings they start up. At that point if I feel like saying hi I do but if I don’t I don’t bother.

      2. CommanderBanana*

        I have absolutely noticed that it is almost exclusively white men who can never remember how to pronounce my name correctly (I have an unusual pronunciation of a not super uncommon name, like Andrea-pronounced-AHN-dree-ah).

          1. Snarl Trolley*

            I’ve been saying every possible iteration of CommanderBanana now, out loud, for about 5 minutes straight, and laughing like a loon. Thank you to both of you for the lols.

            (My favorite so far is a vaguely German-accented CommanDERBANana said with increasing volume and rigor. Highly recommend.)

      3. Frodo*

        I actually worked with a woman who used forgetting a name as a power play. When I asked her why she did that, she explained “I don’t want Forgotten Name to think she’s on my radar.” Total bitch.

        1. Yours sincerely, Raymond Holt*

          I bet that woman had other behaviours which indicated that she was wildly unreasonable. (!).

          I’d be interested to know about Jane’s behaviour more generally. But LW doesn’t say that’s the case with Jane.

        2. Anonomite*

          I once had a person ask me four different times within about an hour of us meeting what my names was. Okay, but you’re not forgetting anyone else here, just me, and when she asked me the 4th time, I was over it and told her my name was Fred, just call me Fred. I get there are myriad reasons someone might not remember a name or a face, but at some point, I don’t have to pretend it doesn’t bother me, or that’s it’s only my responsibility to negotiate that.

        3. Maglev to Crazytown*

          I struggle with names for a good long while, and I swear for me “power move” is nowhere. I can clearly remember our conversations… details like favorite fruit, their dogs’ and childrens’ names, important dates to them. But it takes me forever for a name to stick. My best friend in school introduced herself to someone by a nickname, and I surprisedly asked her when she started going by that. She answered ” A while now… but didn’t tell you because it took you two years to learn my name the first time around, years ago.”

          I genuinely feel awful about this, but learned a few years ago that I have a harmless brain lesson in an area associated with memory, so maybe that is it? I can remember events from 30 years ago with photographic recall . but not names.

          1. SaraK*

            Are you me? I do this too. Names are my kryptonite. Sometimes my brain will also confuse me by second guessing me on pronunciation. So I will think “Oh I’m pretty sure that’s David. Wait, is it David or Daveed?” And then I will melt into embarrassed confusion and not say their name at all.

      4. Plate of Wings*

        I’m in the United States and have a foreign first and last name, both easy for English speakers to pronounce (like “Patel” is easy to pronounce, but unlike “Patel”, probably no one has met someone with my names).

        This power play idea has literally never occurred to me before… but it would explain a few things hahaha!

      5. Polka dot door*

        If I were positive this person was forgetting my name as a power move (and it was not due to some sort of disability) I would probably match their level of pettiness by telling them my name is different each time they “asked”. Last month I was Sarah, this month I am Natasha, next month I will be Emily!

        Also, a possible reason for this person’s power-move-pettiness might stem from her feeling embarrassed or vulnerable as LW mentioned the discharge instructions from the doctor was super awkward. I’m betting LW was told some very confidential medical info that Jane would have preferred kept private and this is her way of acting out, seeing how only LW is being targeted (or so it seems).

    3. JubJubtheIguana*

      It’s possible she’s being rude, but some people do just have a mental block sometimes. There are two very very famous industry leaders in my industry named Rupert and Rufus, and although I know both are (like, the one who runs Company A has long hair, is married to that actress, and did X Y and Z projects, the one who runs Company B has short grey hair, is married to the writer, and did U T and S projects), I can’t for the life of me remember which one is Rufus and which one is Rupert.

  4. Pastor Petty Labelle*

    For only one interview, I would interview others. Just like a dream job, a dream candidate may not actually be. You likened it to a first date. How many great first dates did you have only to find out it didn’t really work out later?

    This is different than this morning where they were further in the process and so had some comparison to see if the person they wanted really was the best candidate. You have no comparison at this point.

    1. Antilles*

      I agree, especially since it’s only one phone conversation. For all you know, the follow-up in-person or Zoom interview goes much more poorly and makes you re-think things. Or you do a reference check and it turns out that the former colleague with a glowing reference wasn’t aware of major red flags. Or any other similar thing where the excellent “first date” is followed up by a much more mediocre “second date”.

      1. Smithy*

        Absolutely all of this.

        I know that interview processes that include multiple interviews/panels aren’t loved – but I will say that times like this may be the best for having someone else in the process or on the team interview this person. During a recent round of hiring, I was part of someone’s second stage panel interview and it was wildly poor. The panel interview comes with an assignment that they didn’t do, it was Zoom interview and their camera angle/settings/lighting were odd bad and a few other things. It was clear this person had a ton of experience and when talking to the hiring manager, said that he’d been really impressive in the first interview. But the overall impression with the rest of the team was that he was unprepared, didn’t care, and had lower professional standards than we would expect. So while the hiring manager had a really good first impression, they were concerned that when meeting with the rest of the team – those positive qualities didn’t shine.

        In my situation, there was a more competitive field – so I’m not sure if there was ever a follow up with that candidate to explore the difference between the strong one on one interview and weak panel interview. But knowing those of us on the panel were either less senior than the candidate would be or at the same position level, the overall assumption was some level of taking the interview with the hiring manager seriously and not doing so with future coworkers.

        1. Bast*

          “…it was Zoom interview and their camera angle/settings/lighting were odd bad.”

          I’m not sure if this was a recent interview, but it seems like an odd thing to hold against someone. Unless the job involves regularly using Zoom (in which case, doing so in an office setting may be more conducive than trying to set up something at home/in your car on your lunch break) I’m not sure how it’s relevant as you mention this person had great experience and otherwise seemed impressive. If you haven’t searched for a job since before the pandemic, you might not be used to Zoom interviews, one way interviews where you record yourself giving answers, etc. It just seems oddly punitive for something so miniscule.

          1. Smithy*

            This job would have required being 100% remote and was an externally facing role with extensive use of Zoom – not just internally but with external partners and donors. The position also would have required the person working from their home and using Zoom.

            The “odd bad” parts in this case included the angle of the camera being such that it cut off their chin/neck and appeared to be slanted to heavily point to the ceiling. Likely due to this angle, it also resulted in the light of the room making the image appear very washed out. As noted above, this position would require someone doing a lot of external calls via Zoom – so while internet wonkiness or difficulty joining a video conferencing tool you’re less familiar with is a factor of life – being able to use video conference tools to present a professional impression was relevant.

            Big picture was that the Zoom issues were just one more yellow flag among others. And for this role, being able to use Zoom was very relevant, and in combination with the other factors did contribute to an overall negative impression.

            1. Analyst*

              I still don’t think you should judge on that, as you’re judging the quality of the equipment/setup they have personally. If this matters, your organization should be providing equipment and such

              1. Smithy*

                This may ultimately just be an agree to disagree point between us and again, this was not the only negative.

                Where we work provides laptops with an embedded camera as the primary piece of equipment for video calls. So our video set ups inevitably won’t be the same every time and do require the individual to set up their camera angle on a regular basis (i.e. you take your laptop on business travel, take a Zoom call from a hotel room, travel back to your home set laptop back up etc.) So assessing someone’s ability to set up video conferencing to a minimum standard is reasonable for our industry. Certainly not for every job, but this is part of our industry’s basic computer skills.

        2. MigraineMonth*

          I really struggled with the panel interview for my current job because I couldn’t figure out why the hiring manager had invited cat herders to my interview for alpaca grooming. The closest I got to an explanation was that some people in the grooming department groomed cats, but I wasn’t going to be one of them.

    2. Artemesia*

      I think Alison’s point about similarities in ethnicity, gender etc also matter here. It is common to ‘fall in love’ with a candidate who just clicks — and often those are people similar to your friends or someone you would date. And lots of people interview better than they turn out to work. It is prudent to interview a couple more of the best candidates and to be very careful as always on vetting with references and using behavioral interviewing techniques so you are confident in your infatuation.

  5. Pyanfar*

    RE: LW#4 (Can’t remember my name…) The one thing I would consider is whether this has any sort of discriminatory context. I had this happen between a new hire and one of the trainers. The new hire remembered everyone’s name, except the one POC, who she mis-named every single time for several days. (spoiler alert – She lasted exactly one week, at which point I terminated her. So not putting up with THAT!)

    1. L-squared*

      While that is possible, I like to assume ignorance before malice.

      Nothing in the letter alluded to any kind of discrimination. Some people are just bad with names. Hell, some people are just bad with specific people’s names. I’m somewhat new at my job, and there are still people who I can’t remember their name for the life of me, while others I got right away and it stuck. Making that leap is a good way to have things go sideways.

    2. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Was this something as egregious as calling Lujira “Lucy” because it was easier? Or shortening a name against expressed wishes?

      I just hope it wasn’t my problem – I conflate similar names like Brennan and Brendan. I can’t really blame it on my (slight) hearing loss because I do it in writing too. I need a memory aid –my friend Diana joked about Diana Prince and Princess Diana when we met
      ….and now I invert people named Diane.

      I do know my hearing issues have hindered me learning non-English names because those I learn once I’ve seen them written.

      Just hoping that future readers in similar situations will have a direct conversation first before deciding it’s intentional.

      1. Artemesia*

        In the LW case though, the person has named ‘oh I can’t remember your name’ so it is on some level intentional. IN that case would you not write it down and figure out a way to remember and prepare before meeting the person?

        I worked in a university where each person graduated by name and was handed their actual degree by a dean. (unlike my big state U where we herded across and receive a rolled not diploma which said ‘if you actually graduated, you will get your diploma in the mail’). One of the tasks to prepare was that the Dean involved spent time learning to pronounce every name and those that were hard e.g. we had Thai students, and African students, and French students — and so names not easy in English were written out phonetically. A family doesn’t want to hear their name butchered as their pride and joy walks across the stage and so effort was taken.

        Working with someone is an occasion in which effort should be made.

        1. JM60*

          In the LW case though, the person has named ‘oh I can’t remember your name’ so it is on some level intentional. IN that case would you not write it down and figure out a way to remember and prepare before meeting the person?

          Just because someone realizes that they’re not remembering someone name doesn’t mean that there’s any intentionality behind it. Taking a proactive approach such as writing their name down before you know you’re going to meet them can reduce the odds that you won’t be able to recall their name the moment you see them, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee it. Most of us had had times in which we’ve tried desperately to remember item X, but no matter how hard we try to remember X, we still forget.

          The OP says, “We don’t work closely together and maybe see each other once a month or so”. The fact that they don’t work closely might mean that these infrequent occasions aren’t usually an obvious, “Oh, I’m going to meet and interact closely with this person” occasion. So there might be other items on their mind for most of these occasions.

  6. I edit everything*

    I have found that there are some people whose names just don’t stick in my brain. I don’t know why, and it’s embarrassing. I develop tricks to eventually get around to the right answer, but it has nothing to do with the person, just a weird trick of my brain. Sometimes they are people who look like other people, so maybe a minor form of face blindness? I’m not good at recognizing people.

    Anyway, I’ll take a minute to run through my trick silently in my head: “That’s Wakeen’s wife. Wakeen’s last name is Thomas, so her name is ___ Thomas. Right–It’s Rosamund Thomas.”
    “Yes, Rosamund. I can get you that information later today.”

      1. Lil Bee*

        Had a Craig and a Greg in y youth group. Their peers called them C-reg and G-reg. Helped a lot.

      2. Anonynon*

        I have a colleague that I worked with closely for YEARS and I 100% could never remember in the moment if he was Brent or Brett. (It’s Brent.) I also did the same thing with the local news meteorologist. (It’s Brett.)

        1. Anon this time*

          I had a colleague who’s husband and son were Brent and Brett. I’m still not sure which one is which.

    1. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

      Ditto. Worked with two guys who looked somewhat alike, took me a year to use the correct name 95% of the time.

    2. wordswords*

      Yes! At my old job, there were three people hired at the same time, and for some reason, for two of them, I could NOT keep their names straight. They didn’t look anything alike! I had no trouble with the names of the other 60-odd people in the office! And yet every time, I muddled these two people’s names up.

      I felt absolutely awful about it, especially because they were of a different ethnicity than I am. (To be clear, so were a large number of the other 60-odd people I didn’t have trouble with, so I don’t think that was the reason even subconsciously, but I always guiltily wondered if they thought it was.) And yet I never did figure out how to trick my brain into stopping it, or at least hadn’t by the time I left that job.

      1. Bast*

        I think it can be hard to “un-remember” wrong information. I have occasionally gotten names wrong, and the wrong name stuck in my brain forever; it takes real effort to recall the real name. One person in particular this happened with is a “Holly” but when I first looked at her name quickly my brain apparently did an autofill with the “lly” and I remembered her as “Kelly.” I have to constantly think to myself — “I have to tell Kelly — wait– NOT Kelly, NOT Kelly, what is it? It ends in -lly –right– Holly!” This isn’t someone I see or interact with often, but I’m still annoyed that my brain thinks of her as Kelly.

        1. Green great dragon*

          I can definitely get to a place where I’ve started out getting something wrong and I start to doubt myself. First I call Tim “Sam”. Then I start thinking “That’s Sam – no, I always get his name wrong, it’s actually Tim.” Then I start thinking “That’s Tim – no, I always get his name wrong, it must be Sam”. Finally I know it’s either Tim or Sam, but it’s basically 50% chance each way by then.

          I have strategies now, but it’s been a journey.

            1. Just Another Cog in the Machine*

              I have that same problem because I have heard it wrong too many times I can’t remember what is correct. (Well, I finally can now.) And my husband thinks I am being still every time I mistakenly call it Helsinki Syndrome instead of Stockholm Syndrome. I heard someone say it wrong on TV once and now I legitimately have trouble remember which is the correct one.

        2. Avery*

          I do that too. Sometimes it’s names, sometimes it’s other things. I know one friend of mine is from Kansas City, Kansas, but for a while my brain insisted he was from St. Louis. I think the brain logic went “Kansas City -> Missouri -> St. Louis” and stuck there…

        3. Artemesia*

          I had a colleague named Nina who pronounced it Nye Nah. Most people pronounce it Nee Nah. I would get it right and then remember ‘it is pronounced unconventionally’ and switch back to Nee Nah because that he now become the unconventional way. Struggled weirdly with that and then it was disastrous when I met a new Nina who pronounced it the regular way and I would look like a goober if I got it wrong.

          1. Bast*

            I know 2 Sonyas but one is “sawn-ya” and the other is “sown-ya.” My mind constantly flip flops between the 2 ways to say it whenever I read the name, and sometimes I have to remind myself which one I am talking to/about.

    3. Falling Diphthong*

      My brain has decided that it should remember the names of dogs and children, and then their caretakers get stuck as “Spot’s mom.”

      Walking my dog this morning we ran into “Spot and Spot’s Mom” who a decade ago were “Moose and Moose’s Mom” and I could not tell you her name. Brains can be weird.

      1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        I was thinking that I bet Jane would remember if OP told her, “Just call me Jeeves,” or something tying together the chauffeur favor.

        1. Its Suzy Now*

          This idea has made me wonder if maybe Jane’s block on the OP’s name has to do with the anesthesia? Like if the most significant memory she has of her is from that ride home from surgery, it may be that her brain sees the OP’s face and the fog from the anesthesia gets in the way of retrieving the name.

      2. Goldenrod*

        “My brain has decided that it should remember the names of dogs and children, and then their caretakers get stuck as “Spot’s mom.””

        Oh, I totally do this too! I know all the dogs who live in my building by name…and I’m even worse, I don’t even recognize those neighbors at all if they don’t happen to have their dogs with them. ;D

    4. Hannah*

      I found myself once really struggling with this particular person. I could not figure out why! Then one day I found myself talking to another colleague and it hit me, they both had the same first and last name! So my brain would say “Oh, that’s Stephanie Pumpernickel” and then would immediately reject that, “No, Stephanie is in accounting, not sales” and I just couldn’t get past that until I realized that there were two of them and BINGO! Never forgot it again :)

    5. Too Many Tabs Open*

      I know a man named Joe who my brain really really really wants to call Paul. No clue why. I’ve managed not to call him by the wrong name, though occasionally when talking to a mutual friend I’ve said “the guy I really want to call Paul but I know that’s not his name oh yeah Joe”.

  7. Garblesnark*

    Lw3, I just want to chime in and agree with Alison here. Candidates are looking at the questions you ask to find flags about your company and the job as well. I would absolutely find two things in that question: one, that your company probably slighted employees in a way that led to a lot of negative talk online, and two, that your company would look negatively on very reasonable warnings about companies, like the content of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle or legitimate whistleblowers.

    1. WantonSeedStitch*

      Not only that, if a savvy candidate will scrub or hide any badmouthing of their employers on social media, they’re also savvy enough to answer a direct question about it with “no.”

      1. A Girl Named Fred*

        Agreed. Only the boldest or most clueless folks will answer that question with an honest yes. Everyone else will be either a confused or untrue no, while wondering why the heck you’re asking in the first place.

    2. Falling Diphthong*

      Monday and Tuesday both had letters from people who were promised promotions in return for taking on more work, and the promotions still hadn’t materialized. That seems fair to complain about, even if their grandbosses would huff about how obviously the promotion and raise and stuff were intended and intentions are all that count here.

    3. Heart&Vine*

      Came here to say exactly this. That question is like shooting yourself in the foot. Twice. You’d be suggesting that a notable number of employees have had grievances about this company AND you’re now looking for new employees that will keep their mouths shut and put up with whatever bad behavior the former employees were complaining about. There’s also a lot of complaints that don’t reach the level of “whistleblower” but are still very legitimate and important information for potential candidates to know about. The answer is to look inward about why these complaints keep happening and how to fix it, not how to stop people from making them.

      1. Cedrus Libani*

        Also came here to say this. It’s the business world equivalent of going on a first date and complaining about your exes – ugh, they were all so uptight, nagging me about labor laws and raises and such. I understand wanting to screen out unstable personalities who thrive on manufactured drama, whether you’re hiring or dating, but this approach just isn’t going to work and will in fact scare off the stable professionals you want.

    4. Snarl Trolley*

      100% agreed. Asking that in an interview would almost certainly be enough reason to withdraw my application and possibly end the interview entirely right then. Someone who doesn’t grasp that systemic exploitation is the rule for most employers is not someone who can or will actively work to not play into it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  8. lost academic*

    You don’t know if they will accept the role and I’ve found time and again that candidates on paper don’t perfectly match up with how they interview. Going through process matters to your team and you as much as it seems like picking the best candidate quickly. Hiring is expensive in terms of time and onboarding – set yourself up for success or you’ll be setting yourself up to end up back at square one when for any number of reasons outside your control or knowledge, the candidate doesn’t start with your team.

  9. Goldenrod*

    About the employee who never stops talking…that is real! I’ve worked in a few offices with a co-worker who narrates everything they are doing all…day…long.

    It’s really difficult to solve because (from what I’ve witnessed), they keep doing it even after being asked to stop. I think their brains are just hard-wired that way. And often, it’s a person I really like, but it still drives me crazy!

    This is yet another problem that is handily solved by remote work.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      I see you work with my mother. Her excuse is, “Well, it’s not directed at you!” It doesn’t matter! You’re still filling the air with noise!

      I mostly let it go but a few times when we were traveling together I had to ask her to rein it in because I could not be in the car with her and her constant narration of nothing.

      1. Artemesia*

        My Mom was like this — I think largely it was the loneliness and then when we visited she wanted every ounce of contact. I become semi-catatonic after a few hours of this. things got better when I just started making plans with local friends or to take my kids somewhere when we visited so I got the firehose of noise in smaller doses.

      2. AnonORama*

        OMG are we siblings? My mom narrates everything and/or talks to the dog, and then says “sorry, just talking to the dog” or “just blithering.” I guess the first step is admitting it…

    2. EngineeringFun*

      I have a singing office mate. He doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. Luckily is sorta quiet and sorta on key. Head phones!

    3. Mrs. Pommeroy*

      I see you are working with my child! (Who is not quite old enough to have a job, yet, so please tell me how this came about ;D )
      It’s a constant stream of unneccessary information that takes away brain power from something that I have to concentrate on. And it’s a really hard balance to strike between tuning out the constant chatter and still picking up on the important bits that come up every once in a while.
      With my child, that’s a labour of love – because I want them to feel heard and valued. With a coworker, I am not sure I could or would put in that labour…

    4. Walkie Talkie*

      Maybe the company sending her over wanted to get rid of her/her talking and your location was the solution. They sent a few others so it wasn’t so obvious.

  10. Jenga*

    Yup, you need a back up plan. And you never know which of your current employees are on the verge of giving their two weeks. Consider it networking.

  11. Awkwardness*

    LW1: Maybe I am a cynic, but I am very critical if something seems to be too perfect. I would always continue the process out of fear I overlooked a major problem.
    Maybe OP was only projecting because of the former colleague’s recommendation?

    1. Brain the Brian*

      Yep — 100%. In my experience, candidates who seem “perfect” are usually hiding something disqualifying — and not always intentionally.

  12. Ann*

    Regarding the “not disparaging your employer online” letter: do you, the LW, have a clear idea of what disparaging your employer looks like? You set the bar at “whistling blowing for illegal actions is ok.” I would hope most people had a higher bar for even a decent employer than they are not outright committing a crime. Are you saying that it is disparaging for someone to share their work experience (short staffed, unclear goals, unstable management structure, toxic behavior tolerated etc.)? I think that is actually helpful information for job seekers and the employer itself. Sure, you will get the occasional malcontent who will gripe about anything and everything, but I *want* to know if people are feeling workloads are too high, or management is unresponsive/unclear, or if other employees/customers/clients/vendors are making daily life unpleasant or even harmful (I’m thinking having a lot of gossip, a homogenous environment making people feel “othered” if they don’t conform, or the proverbial “missing stair” employee impacting everyone’s work/morale). I would not probe for this in an interview. You CAN however be really clear and realistic about your working environment, and ask the candidate what kind of environment they thrive in, what kind of tasks they like/dislike, and how they feel they can be most successful (i.e. they do not like ambiguousness, they want clear assignments and expectations). I agree that this will come across strangely at best, adversarial at worst, as though you are already expecting that they will hate it there and bolt at the first opportunity.

    1. Anon in Canada*

      I came to say something similar. As someone who has worked in a truly toxic work environment (I had anxiety for months after I left). I would have been so happy to have seen some feedback online about that place. If a potential employer asked me if I had ever disparaged a previous employer online I would nope right out of that interview process for fear that it would be exactly like the toxic place I left.

  13. Brain the Brian*

    I sympathize with LW4. I work mostly with people in other locations, and the number of times my name is misspelled in emails is just… maddening. Some weeks, I find it amusing — but others, I just want to pick up my phone and scream at the culprits (obviously, I would never actually do that). I’ve been working with some of them for over a decade, and they still can’t get it right.

    That said, the DMV got my name wrong on my license once, so I really should care less. It’s such an easy typo to make.

    1. Elspeth McGillicuddy*

      I did some data entry at my last job and, as far as my fingers are concerned, ‘Brian’ is spelled ‘Brain(backspace)(backspace)(backspace)ian’.

      I think I caught them, but that just means I caught all the ones I noticed.

      1. Annika Hansen*

        I used to work for a Brian. You would think after working for him for several years that I would have gotten better at it, but I still kept typing Brain. I also type Chris as Christ. I used to work with 3 Chrises.

        1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

          I can’t reliably type MY OWN NAME. If my name was really Klink, I’d be typing Klnik(backspace)(backspace)(backspace)ink every single flipping time.

          I have made peace with it.

        2. Cathering*

          My own name is Catherine, and most of my emails are signed “Cathering(backspace)e”. Muscle memory is hard to shake!

      2. Brain the Brian*

        Heh, yes! I misspell my own name, the name of my alma mater, my town, and on and on, before I catch any of it. I tend to be most annoyed when I call someone and they pronounce my name “Brain” instead of “Brian” — which indicates to me that they actually thought my name was the wrong thing, not just that their fingers were slipping — but I do try not to let it get to me.

    2. Ніколи*

      My name is unusual so it doesn’t usually bother me too much when people make spelling mistakes – but it bothers me a bit more when they address an email to a misspelling, given they had to get it right in the email address.

  14. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

    If you’ve located the ideal candidate, AND you haven’t scheduled others for interviews – MAKE THE OFFER. Companies that dilly-dally and adopt a “gee whiz , let’s keep interviewing” stance tend to lose their candidates of choice.

    Because = your ideal candidate is looking at other places, too. Don’t get the idea that your firm is the ONLY one on the planet. When people are looking to upgrade or escape from a current situation, they are almost certainly looking at more than one job.

    1. Goldie*

      Agreed and why encourage others to buy a suit and lie to their boss to go an interview that they don’t have a shot at.

  15. Ex-prof*

    With regard to Jane who can’t remember her co-worker’s name: Hi, I have prosopagnosia. I’m not saying Jane has it. But I know I’ve left a wake of hurt and angry people all my life because, like Jane, I can’t put a name to faces I see every day.

    When I was younger I thought I couldn’t remember their names. Now I understand that it’s their faces I can’t remember. Again, even faces I see literally every day.

    And, here’s the thing: Not all faces are created equal. Some faces I recognize after seeing them only a dozen times or so. Others I can see every day, all day long, for a year, and still not be able to distinguish them from other faces I see every day.

    When I was in high school one girl who caught on to this would come up to me every day and demand that I tell her her name. And I couldn’t.

    Good times.

    Anyway, I’d bet a dollar that’s what’s going on with Jane.

    1. CommanderBanana*

      I read Heather Sellers’ memoir about having face blindness, You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know a few years ago and it’s a really wonderful book.

      1. Ex-prof*

        Yup. My experience as well. There are certain faces that are much, much harder than others, and the girl that constantly demanded I tell her her name had one of those faces.

        1. Ex-prof*

          (If you don’t understand how this can be so, feel free to read my original comment all the way through.)

      2. I have this problem too*

        This might not be Jane’s isue at all, but I could myself in this story. I can’t explain it, but there are some people I should know and have trouble recognizing, always. It often happen when something is different, such as, their haircut, they grew or shaved off a beard, they’re wearing a hat, or I see them out of context. I once ran into someone I worked with (not every day- kind of like Jane in this story) at a restaurant in a resort location far from home. It took me a minute to figure where I knew him from, and then I called him the wrong name. I wanted to crawl under the table.

    2. Garblesnark*

      Yeah, I honestly quit teaching because I couldn’t remember my students’ names, even with significant studying. One too many people I couldn’t recognize at all thanked me in a grocery store for changing their life and I couldn’t take it anymore.

      My spouse really likes this movie, The Prestige, which is about a number of men who look identical to me, and it’s very important that one of them has a dramatic/angsty superpower that only makes sense if you can tell the men apart. Like, to me, the men look similar enough that I am not sure how many white, dark haired, strong jawed men were cast in the movie. I have been advised that the men look nothing alike.

      1. Artemesia*

        my husband is visually impaired and this is a challenge for him even with a giant movie screen. We saw and opera in Paris last year that was so dark that even though we were fairly close to the stage so he could see something, he could only tell the three main male characters apart by the length of their coats.

      2. Bast*

        I find many Hollywood actors and actresses have a very similar look, and they are always cast together. It causes me a great deal of confusion, because I’ll ask my husband “Wait, isn’t he the one who just died?” “Nope, that’s the other guy.” But the characters all look the same and sound the same to me. :/

        1. Merrie*

          My ex used to make fun of me when I couldn’t tell actors apart in a movie. (One of many reasons I’m glad he’s an ex.) I don’t remember a whole lot from The Godfather III because I spent most of the movie trying to figure out if the guy the character was hooking up with was her cousin or just someone who looked a lot like him, and not wanting to ask this guy and have him act like I was stupid.

          1. Garblesnark*

            And for most of these movies, they could just cast someone who actually looks different, and it would have no downsides.

            I will say my local Shakespeare company takes this all the way in the other direction and will cast identical twins as a 6’10” Black man and a 5’0″ white woman, which is funny in its own way.

    3. Goldenrod*

      I have face blindness too, and I have on occasion approached the wrong person mistaking him for my husband! My husband has a sort of medium build and coloring that is fairly common…it happens if we’re browsing in a store or something, and are temporarily separated.

      One time I lurched right up behind some random guy in a store (mistaking him for my husband), and asked, in a very familiar, chipper voice, “Whatchu lookin’ at?” and the guy whirled around at me and looked terrified. ;D

      1. Might Be Spam*

        I can not describe my own children and can’t always recognize them. When I pick up my son at the airport, I have to wait for him to wave at me and a couple of times I still wasn’t sure.

  16. BlondeSpiders*

    Re: #4, I’m not sure I agree with this advice.

    I am a former “remember every name and every face” person. In high school, I could name every single person in my graduating class of 200. I say former, because I’m now 51 and my memory isn’t so great. So I have the disadvantage of forgetting names, but also beating myself up for it because I used to be SO GOOD at remembering names. But the difference is, I have the decency to be apologetic about it when it happens.

    Jane announces every single time that she can’t remember the LW’s name, which is hella rude. I can absolutely sympathize with facial blindness. But to announce it every time is…something else.

    I would have used that car ride as a teaching moment. “Hey Jane, I hope this time together will help you remember my name a little better. You know, “LW,” the one who gave you a ride home from the clinic.

  17. BlondeSpiders*

    I have a co-worker who sits a few desks away from me, Evan. I’ve worked with him for about 4 years now. He is the spitting image of a former co-worker from about 15 years ago named Jamie. Every time I see Evan, the name Jamie bubbles up in my mind. So far I’ve been able to pause before greeting and I have not yet called him by the wrong name.

    But I only grow older every day, so it’s bound to happen. lol

    1. Aspiring Chicken Lady*

      There are so many people I know that I start off by calling (in my head) NOT-Jamie. And then I get all confused about my memory device that I reject the RIGHT name!

    2. Anon for This*

      This. I had a coworker call me by the wrong name literally for a year because I looked just like the person she knew. I apparently have one of those faces that is a bit too common, as this happens to me all the time. I am often mistaken for someone else – to the point that I am no longer surprised and almost expect it.

    3. Generic Name*

      I work with two gentlemen who look very similar (middle-aged white guys with dark hair and short beards), and I am constantly mixing their names up. Even worse, if you swap the first letter of their names (spoonerism), you come up with yet another man’s name for one of the names and a word that is an actual word but isn’t a name. It’s so embarrassing when I stumble to say their name and out comes the word that is not a name.

      1. Merrie*

        I’ve been known to apologize in advance to people when I keep confusing their name in my head and I know it’s just a matter of time until I say the wrong one.

    4. Christine*

      This actually happened to me at an old internship about ten years ago. Apparently in one of my supervisor’s eyes I looked just enough like one of the previous interns that she slipped and called me Christine. And she was very supremely apologetic, but then it kept happening. …Continually. Until it became half running joke and half so expected that everyone else in the office just…kinda picked it up and started accidentally calling me Christine too.

      By the time that internship ended, I just automatically answered to Christine.

  18. Chirpy*

    #4 – I have actually had people deliberately not learn my name, no matter how many times I corrected them. Some of them did do it on purpose to disrespect me (including one who did know my name, because he occasionally slipped up and said it right, but usually said it wrong on purpose). Some just seem to not be able to comprehend the existence of names that aren’t super common English ones and aren’t willing to try.

    Most often though, if it’s a situation like the LW where it’s someone who I don’t see often, they probably just don’t retain my name simply because they don’t see me often, and just don’t practice it.

  19. Marzipan Shepherdess*

    OP3: No, No, NO do NOT ask an interviewee if they’ve ever disparaged a former employer! Alison is 100% right in her answer: it makes your company look like a vipers’ nest chock-full of people and situations that have prompted a boatload of departing employees to post furious screeds about how terrible you all are! That’s not just a red flag, OP3 – that’s a screaming siren with scarlet flashing lights!

    Okay, so your company probably ISN’T like that – so why give your job candidates the impression that you are? By the way, a question like that also signals that your firm wants to clamp down on normal, Constitutionally-protected free speech – which doesn’t exactly l0ok great either. TLDR: Don’t try to winkle out your job applicants’ criticisms of their former companies. Instead, concentrate on doing everything in your power to ensure that YOUR company is NOT one that prompts former (or current) employees to complain about how badly they’re treated. In both the long and the short run, doing that will serve your company far better than trying to stifle your employees’ exercise of their First Amendment rights.

  20. Kristin*

    Only one interview is risky, but I’ve (sort of) done it – I hired someone for a position where I only interviewed 2 people, the 1st was fantastic and it became clear a few minutes into the 2nd interview that it wasn’t going to work. The person we hired did end up being fantastic in the role, so no regrets, but if they had turned down the role or it hadn’t worked out, I can see it being good to have a deeper bench, so to speak.

  21. Margaret Cavendish*

    #3, I don’t think you’ll get any useful answers to that question! If a candidate is savvy enough to scrub their social media profile, they’re also prepared to lie if it comes up. Even if they haven’t planned ahead, there’s so clearly a “right” answer to this question in an interview context. I can’t imagine you’d ever hear someone say “Oh yeah, I trashed my last employer all over TikTok, it was awesome!”

    If you want to probe for something like this, your best bet is the standard “how have you handled conflict in the past.” Candidates will often plan for this as well if course, and you’re likely to get a carefully thought-out interview answer, rather than the unvarnished truth. But that’s true of all interview questions, assuming your candidates generally plan for these things.

  22. Synaptically Unique*

    I have this problem occasionally and for no consistent reason that I can discover. At the same time, there was a colleague many years ago who met me multiple times while I was in a lower level support role and always acted like it was the first time she’d ever met me. Since I had butt-length hair at the time, it felt even more “pointed” in my opinion. Even if she didn’t remember my name, who the hell forgets hair that long in an environment when shoulder-length or shorter styles are the vast majority?

    At any rate, once I was in management she was able to identify me consistently.

  23. Ginger Cat Lady*

    #3 – the way to get employees to stop talking bad about you online is to stop giving them bad experiences to talk about!

    If you’re underpaying then, if you have bad management, if you overload them with an amount of work impossible to do in the normal work week, if you make promises you don’t keep, if you mess with scheduling, etc etc then people get to talk about what it’s really like to work there. Even if it is not positive.

    If you want to have employees saying good things about your company online, the way to do that is to make your company a good place to work. (Protip: It can also help reduce turnover!)

    You say you’ve been burned before. Have you considered how you may have contributed to the situation? Because it’s almost certain you weren’t completely innocent in that employee’s unhappiness.

    1. Random manager*

      This is an absolutely perfect comment. Bravo, Ginger Cat Lady!

      Additionally, I’d advise OP3 to not look at candidates’ social media profiles. It’s none of your business.

  24. Jane*

    LW3: “Why are all of these employees disparaging us online? Am I out of touch? No, it’s the children who are wrong.”

  25. Yours sincerely, Raymond Holt*

    With Jane, there could be so many reasons!

    I did wonder if you have a non-Anglicised name and that could be a factor. Or if something else marks your name out as different/harder to remember/tricky to pronounce. You’d probably have mentioned if that was the case… but that’s the only “less generous” interpretation that I believe can actually be… not exactly common, but not unusual either.

    But yes otherwise it seems most likely that there’s a forgetfulness issue.

    I’m personally quite bad at remembering names and for some reason I do find it harder to remember some names than others. I don’t see a pattern or reason. I do understand that it can come across rudely so I make a real effort to find ways to remember the name… but if someone hasn’t done that, it really, really is likely to not be about you.

    Unless she’s otherwise rude, passive aggressive, dismissive… which you also probably would have mentioned if that was the case.

  26. Yours sincerely, Raymond Holt*

    I vote for “keep interviewing.”

    The fact that the first candidate was out of step with expectations (in a good way) could be an indication that your expectations are off. You may have more pleasant surprises to come.

    Even if you’ve hired for the role before, things could have changed in the market, especially if it was a while ago.

    Interviewing even just a couple of others would help you get more data to make the decision.

  27. Yours sincerely, Raymond Holt*

    Noise in my office drives me MAD now. I’m sure it wasn’t this distracting pre Covid. It genuinely prevents me working now.

    And it isn’t even obnoxious and constant. Just normal office chit chat, coughing, calls, laughter.

    I use headphones at work. Even if you have white noise or silence, it helps dull the noise. But I find certain music, usually classical (no bass, no lyrics) really allows me to focus.

    If headphones are an option in your workplace, maybe that’s an option. Even if they may usually raise an eyebrow, if people also have to hear the racket this woman makes, maybe they’d understand the reasons!

    1. Seriously?*

      And the reverse? I was a teacher until recently, now in an office, and I can’t work if it’s too quiet. I have to have a fan, an air purifier, jazz, something! I was working at a site and had to put on brown noise from an app on my phone! Silence freaks me out.

      1. Snarl Trolley*

        (Just a drive-by comment celebrating another brown noise fan. brown! the best of the noise colors by far! suck it, white noise! old news!)

  28. Name Forgetter*

    I have a great coworker whose name I’ve been forgetting for two years, especially the first time I see her each morning. Her name starts with J, my brain is convinced it starts with F. I haven’t called her the wrong name yet, but my “good morning” is slow as my brain course-corrects.
    I don’t have this with anyone else, and I feel terribly about it. I practice saying, “Good morning, J” in my head, but it hasn’t helped yet. Brains are weird.

  29. Safely Retired*

    Regarding the perfect candidate. . . If they turn down your offer, and you haven’t kept looking, you are going to be starting over and behind (if there is one) schedule. Make the offer if that feels right, but at least continue to review resumes and keep a list of prospects, even if you don’t schedule interviews.

    1. Rosalleti*

      But wouldn’t you know that pretty much straight away so you don’t really lose time looking for other candidates. How long would you give someone to accept? After verbal acceptance I ask for the contract to be signed within 48hrs maximum.

  30. Buffalo*

    I had to laugh at the last sentence of Alison’s answer to LW1 here. If your feelings about a job candidate are that it was like a date, believe me, the last thing you need to do is “expose yourself” to anyone.

    Seriously, though, Alison’s advice is great. I’m a bit of a Chris Traeger. Sometimes the first person I interview for a role seems lit’rally perfect, a magic unicorn. Then I interview six more people and all of them seem just as good. Even if the first person you’ve interviewed *is* that great, it’s good to interview more just to confirm that feeling.

  31. Seriously?*

    Jane reminds me of my coworker who would spell my name in emails and end it with an i instead of a y, even though it’s a really common name/spelling, it’s right there in my signature, and on my name tag, and her own name ends in a y!! There are other reasons I dislike her, but this drove me crazy. I recently sent an email asking her about an issue with someone whose name DOES end in an i, I spelled it that way, and she responded using a y. Make it make sense!

  32. PDB*

    Name not remembering: That’s me and it’s been that way since I started trying to remember names. Even as a child I couldn’t. Now I just smile an make a small joke at my expense.

  33. Tired and in Pain*

    I have to make a self-deprecating running joke out of my inability to do names and run a reference guide/notebook for people in my life. I still ended up calling someone I’ve known for two and a bit years Abigail instead of Annabelle last night and blanking on someone else’s name entirely. I like both people in question. Their names just came unglued.

    (It’s the PTSD. If your brain’s a library, my librarians all quit because they couldn’t take the trauma, and now finding something is an exercise in masochism.)

    Cross your fingers for me, I got pointed at a scholarship that’ll let me retrain. Hopefully, I’ll be successful.

  34. Rosalleti*

    Grab them! We listed a job last week and the first person we interviewed on Monday was amazing. We got her back for second interview Tuesday and by Wednesday night she’d signed her contract and starts on Monday! If you know what you’re looking for you’ll save so many hours and won’t risk losing them.

    And count your lucky stars, this won’t happen often.

  35. Nik*

    LW 4: Is it possible that the LW has a name that is similar to other names and that Jane just gets those multiple names confused and can’t remember WHICH of those names it is? I have a new person I’m interacting with and I can’t remember if her name is Aliyah, Aniah or something else similar to that.
    Perhaps it would help if LW put her own name in writing a few times. i.e. Before she walks over to Jane’s desk, send her an email that says “I have paperwork for you. I will bring it over to you in about 10 mintes. Thanks, LW4” That way Jane has JUST been reminded of the name right before she sees the LW.

  36. PopVulture*

    Re: Forgetting your name

    I have a friend in my life named Carol. I know that her name is Carol because I paused typing there for a moment, squinted, then came up with ‘Carol.’ My instinct is to tell you that her name is Heather. (It isn’t.) It doesn’t stem from animosity or laziness; it’s just that, to me, she’s Heather. But she’s not. She’s Carol. I have gone snowboarding with Carol. Watched movies with Carol. Lots of restaurant meals with Carol. She’s still Heather. I don’t know.

  37. I'm a Pepper*

    For LW4, I absolutely understand your frustration. I had a teacher in high school who – though I had her for two years in a row – clearly struggled to remember my name, and it started to damage my self confidence a bit. Though your situation is a bit different, it can still feel like being dismissed or unimportant to have someone not remember the most basic piece of information about you so consistently.

    However I am also a name forgetter myself! It’s not face blindness or anything, just being particularly bad with names. It can be very embarrassing for the person doing the forgetting as well, especially when you know you should know this person’s name by now.

    In Jane’s case, another possibility to consider is that you might remind her of someone else she knows with a similar name or that a slightly different name somehow stuck in her head for you. And so now when she sees you, that other name pops into her brain, and Jane’s left thinking, “Shoot, I KNOW it’s not Sandra…but it starts with an S, right? Was it Sarah? Sophie?” And in my experience the more you wrack your brain for someone’s name at that point, the less likely you are to figure it out. Jane calling out how often she forgets your name might actually be her trying to turn her embarrassment that this keeps happening into more of an in-joke between the two of you. I’ve had this kind of experience before and Jane’s consistent forgetfulness made me think could possibly be what she’s experiencing too.

    It certainly doesn’t mean your negative feelings are invalid – it can still be frustrating and even hurtful when people don’t remember our names regardless of the reason. But if she otherwise seems friendly and like she’s not necessarily doing it on purpose, perhaps a friendly chat about it might help. If you wanted to put in some effort (not that you need to), perhaps there’s an interesting rhyme or alliterative phrase or something that can help her remember.

  38. AnReAr*

    I’ve also got some facial recognition blindness and I wanna chime in that I don’t mind being asked why I don’t remember someone, as long as it’s not combative. When people ask I’m happy to explain that face blindness exists (most I interact with don’t know), and it tends to make interactions more pleasant. I see it the same way I see talking about any other neurodiversity; the more people know the more we can accommodate and the better everyone’s lives are.

    Weirdly I actually have been on LW’s side of the interaction more, I’ve somehow got a face that people easily forget. Maybe that’s why I’m okay with being asked about my own forgetfulness. It only really got to me emotionally once as an adult, with a prestigious colleague who apparently was making a big effort to have good relationships with my team (his team usually didn’t interact with ours). It hurt more than I was expecting to hear them all gushing about how kind he was to them and learning I was literally the only hourly employee he’d never interacted with.

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