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I am a teenager looking for a Summer job. My real name is very long. It is a Celtic spelling of a common Welsh name. I'm worried that the length might be part of why nobody is even contacting me back. (I have even developed a term for how people with longer names are treated in the world. I dubbed it "The Chrysanthemum Effect", after the title character in one of my favorite books as a small child, Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes, in which Chrysanthemum, the main character, dealt with students in her Kindergarten class making fun of her name.)

There is a company nearby that is hiring, but I have a disability that has a lot of misconceptions behind it. There is even an organization that is bent on tricking so-called "normal people" into not liking people like me. The company is a known supporter of said organization. And I have posted about my disability on my FaceBook and Twitter more times than I care to delete.

Should I assume an alias for the company's application form? If so, should I use said alias on other applications? I am really desperate for a job, and I would literally take a job cleaning up turds at the zoo if that was all I could get. Would an alias help me?

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    "Also, there is a company nearby that is hiring, but I have a disability that has a lot of misconceptions behind it..." - what does this have to do with the length of your name? Your question would be easier to answer if you just focus on one thing (e.g. the alias for your long name).
    – Brandin
    Jun 11, 2016 at 12:34
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    Why would you even want to work for a company that supports an organization they does not like you? You think people are not contacting you because your name is too long?
    – paparazzo
    Jun 11, 2016 at 12:48
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    Which country is this? In the UK, I have never heard of not contacting someone because of a Celtic spelling of their name - Celtic spellings are not unusual there. Similarly, in the US, there are so many names from so many cultures nobody bats an eyelid at Polish, Indian, Irish (or Welsh), Spanish, Ukranian (or whatever) spellings. Jun 11, 2016 at 13:25
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    "There is even an organization that is bent on tricking so-called "normal people" into not liking people like me." Could you explain?
    – gnasher729
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:52
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    You're obviously avoiding saying just what your disability is. This makes it hard to respond to that part of your post. When you say there's an organization trying to trick people into disliking you ... that sounds so bizarre, I have to wonder what the whole story is. I have a hard time imagining an organization saying, "Deaf people are plotting to take over the world". Maybe if you gave more detail this part would make sense. Or, frankly, maybe you're misrepresenting them. Maybe they're trying to say "here are real issues you'll face if you hire people with this disability", etc.
    – Jay
    Jun 13, 2016 at 22:33

6 Answers 6

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And I have posted about my disability on my FaceBook and Twitter more times than I care to delete.

Clean up your Facebook/LiknedIn/Twitter/Instagram/Younameit public profiles. This means don't make public that you're part of groups that share common points of interest (e.g. your disability), your comments or posts about it, and if it's visible on your profile picture, change it so that it's not visible (you could go to the extent of posting a picture of your cat instead).

Employers will look at it and will judge you on that.

Applying for a job with a name that is not exactly yours can cause trouble down the line (for instance: an employer might frown and start to be suspicious "Why didn't you write your real name on the job application?").

Exceptions such as if your real name is Robert-Henry-George-Albert Smith, and you just write Robert Smith because that's how others call you, are legitimate.

For the disability, you don't have to mention it at all if it's not to hinder your ability to perform the job you're applying for.

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  • The thing is, the disability is what's on my profiles that is what I'm concerned about. If they know my real name, they'll look me up on FaceBook and Twitter. They'll see that I have this disability, and wrongly think that I'm some broken, damaged, puzzling, confusing, missing, ugly, diseased, horrible burden, and that hiring me would be an accident waiting to happen, and that I am evil, and it would be better to die than spend every day with me, and that I can never take care of myself. None of which is true, of course, but that's what they're brainwashed into believing. Jun 11, 2016 at 14:17
  • @JobSeakernumber1000 - Stop complaining about your social media profile even after it has been suggested that you clean them up. Sounds to me that you are largely digging your own hole here. Jun 11, 2016 at 14:48
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    @JobSeakernumber1000 See my edit. Remove any trace of your disability. If you don't care about doing what it requires (cleaning up your profile), you don't care enough to have a job.
    – user48138
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:00
  • Okay, I'll do it. Jun 11, 2016 at 15:02
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If, as you say you would take any job, then just look for something where they couldn't care less what your name is.

My people have names which Europeans can't pronounce properly and can be very long, so they tend to end up with nicknames or abbreviations at work even here. But they get employed overseas because they'll work at labouring, cleaning and basically anything they'll get paid for. It's very rare for them to be called by their proper names, although those are what they apply under. So there's no need to give a false name.

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  • Well, I'm worried they won't even call me back if I tell them my real name. I'm worried that my real name is part of why I still don't have a real job at a real company. All the other kids who go to my school, all the Autumns and Taylors and Joes and Angels and Megans and Sams and A.J.'s and Johns and Roberts, they all have jobs, even the 9th graders, and I'm the only one left out. I can't help but wonder if it's because their names are normal and mine is not. After all, why hire someone whose name, like little Chrysanthemum's, would "scarcely fit on a nametag?" Jun 11, 2016 at 14:48
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    @JobSeakernumber1000 You're inventing hurdles. A normal employer does not care about the name: it's just a name. Are you sure that you are less employable than your school colleagues, or is it just a feeling? Try to see if there is something else about yourself that makes you less employable and fix it. Generally, if you go ahead and show confidence in yourself, you'll increase your chances of getting a job.
    – user48138
    Jun 11, 2016 at 15:05
  • @JobSeakernumber1000 put a note under the firstname categorie: preferred to be called Chris instead of Chrysanthemum. Jun 13, 2016 at 10:00
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It sounds like you are misinterpreting the company's stance. The fact that an organization does not like your disability does not usually mean that it is against people who have that disability. It very likely sees itself as acting in your favor, even if it's misguided and doing more harm than good. A person's support of such an organization does not necessarily mean they hate or fear people with your disability, and a company's support of such an organization does not mean that it is trying to avoid hiring people with your disability.

You mentioned people making fun of your name. People will make fun of others for all kinds of reasons. If it's not one thing, it's another. Having a long, or different, name isn't actually a terrible thing. It's probably not why you weren't called back. Lots of people are not called back, for lots of jobs they've applied to.

I don't mean to minimize the problems you've experienced. But I want you to understand that you can still try to get a job anyway. The worst that can happen is that they don't hire you. But that's true for anyone who applies, not just you. Sometimes you have to try a lot of times before you succeed. Sometimes other people might succeed at something before you do. These things doesn't need to be seen as problems.

From what you've said in your question and comments, it sounds to me like you should keep applying to jobs, and just use the name you normally use. Good luck!

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Instead of using a alias you mighty consider spelling your name differently.

Instead of using a Celtic spelling you could try to Anglicise name and use that instead.

This might also stop prospective employers finding your social media profiles (especially if the Celtic spelling is obscure).

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From gathering all the information (from the 2 questions you posted), I can say it has nothing to do with your name.

My wild guess is that you have put alot of weight and emphasis on your disability (posted all of social media and so on). Having a unique name employers will have a bigger chance of looking you up and ending up on your Facebook where you have emphasized about said disability. Remove all of it (or make it so that it isn't the main point about your life). As Stephan Branczyk mentioned in the comments, post other life interests to out weigh the other stuff.

If that company in the area is convinced that people with said disability is a bad thing, don't work for them. You maybe a teenager looking for work but you still have rights and shouldn't be treated that way.

In short

  1. Clean up your social media. Post other interests and hobbies.
  2. Choose the right places where they mostly would hire a teenager (fast food restaurants, supermarkets, newspaper delivery, storage worker, etc).
  3. Don't give up
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Use your mother's maiden name. It will be on some of your official documents if these are requested by an employer. Say you are estranged from your father and no one will question it. When I first read this question I thought of the Jackie Mason comedy routine, "Too Jewish." You can use another name without filing a formal application in court, though filing a court application is quick and will make it very easy to change government forms. Elliot Gould never bothered to change his name; Woody Allen's parents didn't name him "Woody," they named him Allan Stewart Konigsberg. Tom Cruise is Tom Mathorpe IRL. But the MMN is the easiest solution. Celtic names don't travel well.

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  • This is terrible advice. You should NEVER denigrate a parent like that, especially for convenience. Jun 12, 2016 at 22:13
  • It is unlikely that anyone would question why you would use your mother's maiden name, especially if your father's surname is long or unpronounceable; Laoghaire instead of Leary, for example.
    – user26732
    Jun 14, 2016 at 15:40
  • @Wesley: says who? The employer (a) doesn't care one way or another; and (b) it's none of the employer's business.
    – user26732
    Jun 28, 2016 at 20:22
  • Says me, for starters. If you would speak negatively about your family, especially falsely, in order to lie about your motives for using a different name is reprehensible. I honestly can't fathom as how you as a human being that you can't see that. Jun 28, 2016 at 20:25
  • @Wesley Long: Saying you are estranged from your family isn't speaking negatively about them. That's your conclusion. Here OP has a problem with his unpronounceable name. He doesn't mind using another name. He's not sticking to the flag of his surname's ethnicity. Using the MMN is a simple solution.
    – user26732
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:37

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