People at work call me Robert. That’s my official name - like on my birth certificate and diploma and license and all. It’s on all the paperwork - applications for employment and so on. Usually though, people eventually ask me, “Do you go by Robert all the time? Or is it Robby? Rob? Bob?”
“Bobby,” I say. Nobody at my current job has asked me about this yet. I’ve been there ten months now. I don’t care enough to bring it up. They don’t care enough to be curious about it. It was awkward anyway - in my previous jobs - it took everybody a while to catch on . . . only the people closest to me would start calling me Bobby. Everybody else wondered who the hell Bobby was and continued to call me Robert.
There isn’t really anybody around to call me Bobby. My sisters and nephews and niece and old friends in other states call me Bobby, and Keri calls me Bobby. My bloggin friends call me Bobby. But I don’t have any friends in fuckin Florida, so there’s nobody but Keri to call me Bobby down here. At the few little poetry readings I was going to here they called me Bobby. At Panera and other restaurants they ask for your first name when you order. I tell them Bobby - only because I miss being called by my cool name. Kind of sad, huh? It’s not just that I’m getting older (Robert sounds more mature than Bobby), it’s that there’s nobody around who cares enough to call me by my cool name - Bobby. Is this what happens to you?