I had a doctor’s appointment this morning and when I got there, the receptionist had me fill out a sheet since this was my first time visiting this doctor. Then she had to enter the information into the computer system.
I handed her my health card and she asked me which of the names was my surname. I pointed it out and as she looked at it, she exclaimed “Wow!” and asked how to pronounce it. We repeated this with my first name, and she asked if people refer to me by the first part, Ola. I said no, that they actually use the last part of my name and she said ok.
Then she said that she didn’t call me to remind me of my appointment because my name was too hard to pronounce, and she didn’t want to try saying it, so she had hoped that I would remember to show up, and she was glad that I did.
I was a bit appalled that she wouldn’t even try. I mean those of you who have complicated (by North American or UK standards) names are used to having your name butchered by non-Nigerians who try to pronounce it, and that’s not a big deal because to a non-Nigerian our names are complicated. I appreciate anybody who tries, and have no problem correcting them if needed. As you know I’ve even North Americanized the pronunciation of my name so chances are good she would have said it exactly as I would expect her to.
So, I was a bit annoyed that if I had forgotten about the appointment which was made a few months ago, I would have had to pay the fee for missing an appointment because she didn’t call to remind me (to their credit it’s not their obligation to call, but all doctor’s offices do).
I should have said something like “You could have at least tried!” or “It’s no big deal; I would have known who you were referring to.” but I didn’t. Maybe next time she’ll try, now that she knows how to say it.