12 May 2010
A new group of people I suddenly have to start doing things with, at work. Nothing but eight names on a page, so far: one confusing set of shared initials, two confusingly shared first names that make me wonder which namesakes could have been that famous in the years they were all born. The ones with the initials hardly even overlap with the ones with the first names. Out of the eight of them – if there are eight, that is, and I haven’t revoked somebody’s individuality already – there’s nobody I can’t mistake for someone else.
It happens in other settings too, of course. The students in next year’s tutor group. The members of a jury. A platoon. You can anticipate getting to know their goals and quirks and foibles. Each name will mean a set of stories and habits, some day soon. Each name will mean a nickname (that’s exactly what they’re for). You may depend on them, you may wish to be rid of them, but you’ll know who they all are.
But for now (‘Will one be tall? Big Dave. Is one of them my age? Young Tina. Not that Tina, Tina in the corner office, Tina Tina.”) they mean nothing in the present, just a future getting to know them, and everybody seems to have the same damn name.