When I came to Florida, I was Larry. I went to work part-time for a professional engineer and construction inspection job-shop. Soon I was full-time and had charge of inspection teams in Florida, Kentucky and Wisconsin, where I am also a licensed civil engineer. They already had 2 Larry, a Terry, Gary, Barry and Eric. And a low-fi intercom. Nobody knew who was being paged.
The boss called a meeting to resolve the issue. The business manager, Larry McF—-, set the pattern for the solution, “You (the boss) can be Larry. I’ve been called Mac most of my life. How about you, Larry?” I silently pondered, ‘Never had a nickname, except ‘weird’. Hmm, that won’t work. So, Dr. Larry? Possible. Hmm, Mac/Mo. Moe? 3 Stooges!’ “Just call me Moe.” Then the others decided. After work I bought a 3 Stooges mouse pad.
But next morning, my guys had already slapped a red Sesame Street mouse pad on my desk. (The one pictured is available at Zazzle.com) And ‘they’, including my out-of-state guys, had already slapped my first initial to Mo. My teams were really tickled red (that’s an intense pink) to call their over-6-foot, post-grad leader by the name of a short, pre-school Muppet.
It took me a month to realized the affection (and the foolishness) behind their nickname and embrace it fully. From Melbourne to Ocala and from Sarasota to Ormond Beach and a dozen out-of-state cities, I became known as “L.Mo” to all. It was so pervasive that when I was hired as Sr. Land Development Engineer for another city, HR came to complete the forms, “So, Elmo, what’s your last name?”
It can happen, with His help.
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