The Name Of The Game

I’m sure you’ve heard someone at some point say, “You wouldn’t believe the week I’ve had!” Well for me this shit seems to be standard procedure. Seriously, I sometimes wonder if I’m being tested, and if so, what the hell for? What prize do I win at the end, because it had better be a bloody doozie!

It’s part of the reason why I wrote Friend Or Foe, Let Them Go!. I get enough BFD from supposed family and trying to make it through the day in general – I don’t need it from those who I choose to have in my life. I should point out that there are different strains and various degrees of BFD – I’m allergic to all. I’ll leave this weeks shenanigans for another day, but I will share with you something that happened a few weeks ago.

There’s a perception that most Black people tend to give their children ‘funny’ names. That wasn’t so in my case. In fact if you saw mine or my siblings names on paper you’d be forgiven for thinking we were of Caucasian persuasion.

Hailing from Caribbean descendants there’s no surprise about our surnames though – I think we can safely decipher where they came from, but again that’s another story for another day…

I knew I really wanted to have children. Boy or girl I was good as long as she or he were healthy, I was happy. I couldn’t wait to have my babies and was one of those who found out what I was going to have. It gave certain people time to get their head around it not being their first choice, and for me to compile a list of names for my impending bundle of girly joy.

I don’t know about you other parents out there, but I thought long and hard about what I was going to name my kids. My own name isn’t the most exciting or exotic, but it has meaning and I love it. I wanted to give my girls a name they could love too, and I had succeeded…until a few years ago.

My eldest, who will be 19 in October, has recently finished her A levels but decided against going to university. That was absolutely fine with me, but she wasn’t going to be sitting her backside on the sofa watching Netflix and YouTube videos all day.

It was made clear she would have to do something, so she chose to look for a job and was eventually successful in finding one. It isn’t her first job, but it’s her first full time office job, and for someone her age it’s good money.

My daughters name is Isis, and before anyone asks the question (again!) of didn’t I think about what I was calling her, I’d ask you to check the above paragraph at her age. She’s 19 next month. She was around before all of the Islamic State debacle kicked off. There could be no further comparison between the two.

She was named after a Goddess, and a badass one at that! She was called “The One Who Is All” and “Isis The All Goddess”. Her name literally means Queen of the Throne. She was the model on which future generations of female deities in other cultures were to be based. She was the goddess of the moon, motherhood, fertility, magic, death, healing and rebirth and the first to walk amongst her people and teach them many skills….and you wanna question if I thought about her name? Did YOU think before you opened your mouth?

As I mentioned, Isis recently started a new job. It’s in customer service and she had to have a months training before starting on the floor. A couple of weeks in she was politely pulled to one side for a chat. She was told that she had done nothing wrong, but it was a heads up that when she eventually gets on the floor they would prefer it if she used her middle name so as not to offend any of the customers.

Do what now!?!

Those who know me know this piece of information did not go down well with me AT ALL!! When she said it, it took a second to register and then the vexation took hold! Who did they think they were? You gave her the job knowing full well what her name was and at no point during the interview did you say it would be an issue.

Why should she have to change her name to pander to those who are obviously lacking in intelligence and cannot differentiate between the name and the terrorists? Which of y’all sat there and decided that it even needed to be discussed?

Believe I was ready to go OFF! READY!! When I asked her what did she tell them I was praying she’d told them to (ever so politely) stick your job and look forward to hearing from my solicitor!

But she didn’t. She said that it was ok with her and she didn’t mind. At this point I’m watching her with mouth open and side eye in full lock. I asked her how can she not be offended and disgusted, and then she broke it down…

As upset as it makes me that her name causes the reaction that it does, I’m not the one who actually bears the name and has to live with it. It’s not that she doesn’t like or feels ashamed of her name, but imagine how it feels to have the jokes and jibes throughout school, college and work.

She’s sick of the attention and sniggers at her name badge and people outright telling her she shouldn’t be allowed to work with the name. She’s even had to ask her friends to not bawl out her name in airports.

It gets beyond tedious and she’s had enough. Her work colleagues call her by her name and she only uses her middle name for phone calls. When she was eventually officially told before starting on the floor, the manager was apologetic, told her it has absolutely nothing to do with her personally and explained exactly why they’d asked her to do it, which made sense to her and she was cool with it.

Me personally, I wouldn’t be having it. Despite how nicely you want to put it or how much time it saves or financial sense it makes to your company your ass would be going down – but that’s me, and it’s not my decision to make.

Had she been a few years younger and it happened she’d have had no choice in the matter. But she’s nearly 19 years old and I need to allow her to make her own choices and decisions, especially when it comes to something as personal as her name and her feelings.

I can only hope that she’ll feel a different way about it but I doubt it, and I fully understand that it’s her choice. Her employers, on the other hand, I don’t understand. They really don’t know how lucky they are trust me! It’s as if they were blessed by a Goddess!



Sincerest condolences to Errol Fenton and family on the loss of your beautiful, multitalented daughter Taymah. Way too young to be taken but she left her mark whilst she was here. R.I.P Queen.

R.I.P to all those who have lost their lives this week.

No Shame In My Game, Stay Blessed & #CelebrateLife

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