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AIBU to get annoyed they use my married name at work?

(17 Posts)
cogitosum Wed 10-Feb-16 13:01:22

Sorry it's an AIBU but I wanted a feminist perspective.

My DH and I work for the same company. We both have long unusual surnames.

When we married I chose to adopt his name for personal life and keep my maiden name for work. My reasons for this are that I wanted our DCs to have the same name as both of us (double barrelling not an option). We are closer to his heritage than mine so it made sense to take his name. However, I have a name in my industry and also wanted to retain part of my identity so kept my name for work. I also didn't like the idea of clients noticing we're married. Obviously work are aware I use his name in my personal life as when I have trips abroad they need to use what's on my passport and also my payslip has to have my married name as it's what's on my bank account.

They are also aware I wanted to keep my maiden name for work. All articles are published in my maiden name and it's used in my email address. But when they send round internal emails or refer to me they always use my married name and I find it infuriating. It's confusing for people who don't know me well (it's a largish company) and I also think it's somewhat disrespectful to disregard my choice. For example say my maiden name was smith and my married name brown, they'll send an email saying - "if you have any questions speak to Jane Brown" but my email address and anything outward facing would be Jane.smith@company

I'm contemplating saying something about this - I've made it clear on more than one occasion.

What do you think?

ultimus Wed 10-Feb-16 13:04:11

Of course I would say something about this. YANBU at all.

I would raise it with them. It is disrespectful of them to ignore your wishes on how you wish to be addressed, and how you wish your name to appear in your professional life.

ajandjjmum Wed 10-Feb-16 13:07:34

DH and I started our own business, and I tried to do the same as you - for very similar reasons. It got VERY confusing, and in the end our bank manager asked me to just use my maiden name, which I have happily done since.

Having said that, I've never been precious about teachers/friends etc. calling me by DH's surname, although I get grumpy if people do it at work.

There are then the occasions when DH gets called Mr. 'mysurname'. grin

I would send an email to everyone saying 'For the purpose of clarity, please ensure that I am referred to as in all business communications'.

Good luck in trying to separate the two.

cogitosum Wed 10-Feb-16 13:11:35

Thanks. Glad to see I'm not being completely U.

I think one of the reasons I find it infuriating is that many of them would not actually know that I use my married name in my personal life so despite evidence to the contrary they are just assuming I do!

MyBigFatGreekYoghurt Wed 10-Feb-16 13:12:03

I would say you've confused the issue by using both. I was going to come on this thread all guns blazing and point out that it isn't your "married name" any more than your surname is his "married name"

However just don't be too harsh on them as you HAVE told them to use it for travel and payment etc...

I say this as someone who still uses her maiden name and is a rabid dog with a bone when stuff like this happens to me and should probably stop and breathe sometimes before attacking people blush

But no, YANBU definitely

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 10-Feb-16 13:14:37

I get it occasionally and I don't use DH's surname in any capacity at all (I do a bit of work for his company). It's easier for me as I can just say "my name is Smith not Brown", or "there's no such person". I would definitely say something, and do it by email so it's on record in case itcrops up again.

Believeitornot Wed 10-Feb-16 13:18:09

I think you're being a bit U

I tried to keep my maiden name at work for identity reasons(worked in the same company as dh) but after a while realised that my name is only part of my identify and actually clients etc got pretty used to the new "me" and several years later it is not an issue.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 10-Feb-16 13:38:49

I have to say, nearly everyone I know who has tried to do this has eventually ended up going with one or the other name for everything (usually the married name as by then it's on the passport etc). It is one reason why I kept my own name for all purposes.

WomanWithAltitude Wed 10-Feb-16 14:55:01

It's totally rude and disrespectful (and impractical). Essentially they are communicating that they disapprove of your choice and putting you under pressure to change names at work. Not on at all.

PalmerViolet Thu 11-Feb-16 07:45:54

This does feel disrespectful especially as you have a published presence as your previous surname, it's almost as if they are trying, I'm sure inadvertently, to separate you from that presence. Even though it's unintentional, it could look, especially to outside clients, as if you didn't exist before X date, it distances you from your achievements, IYSWIM?

Everyone else I know who has done what you've done has managed to get their employers to respect their wishes, most companies want to showcase their high achievers, not pretend they have no connection with them.

pacificlass Thu 11-Feb-16 07:59:55

I'm trying to deal with something similar, so you have my sympathy. Just about to start in a different office of the same firm and they're struggling to understand how it can work having an email address that doesn't match the name on my passport. I've used my maiden name at work for almost ten years with more than one employer and I've never had any problems with it. To me, it's my personal brand professionally and I object to being told "computer says no".

sashh Fri 12-Feb-16 06:22:58

Ignore every email which refers to your married name.

If there is something important then send a 'reply all' asking who 'Jane Smith' is and should you ask her for advice?

Soooosie Fri 12-Feb-16 06:29:23

When you get those emails - reply to all receivers/senders with just 'if there are any problems speak to me, Jane Smith at

MackerelOfFact Fri 12-Feb-16 07:12:31

I'm on the fence a bit with this one. I can totally see why you'd want to do it, and know plenty of people who have done the same. But I think YABU to read too much into their reasons for using the wrong name - in a work scenario I don't think people think or care too much about your personal reasons for having seperate names, they just want to try and remember your name and get the job done.

It once took me ages to work out that the Ann Brown I was emailing and the Ann Green I'd met in meetings were one and the same person. It was only when I was hunting for Ann Green's email address that I realised. I just don't give this kind of thing headspace at work - it's not a value judgement.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Fri 12-Feb-16 07:24:43

I think that's tricky, because your DH is there and obviously they know his surname. Because I'm a big wimp I'd frame it in terms of your email address. Whenever you see someone using your married name I'd push back immediately with "Thanks Fred. By the way I go by Jane Smith at work, and if you don't stick to that then nobody will ever be able to find me on email! Not that that would be a bad thing in some cases! smile" like I said, big old wimp.

MackerelOfFact Fri 12-Feb-16 07:54:17

Actually, rereading your post, that's exactly the type of confusion you want to avoid isn't it? Regardless of anything else, it's just confusing to refer to someone as a different name to the one in their correspondence. I'd bring it up with them and just tell them they're confusing people and to just to refer to you as the name in your email address.

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