DEAR HARRIETTE: I get so frustrated when I am going to events like conferences, where you get a name card. People misspell my name on place cards or nametags all the time. My name is not that unusual, but you do have to pay attention to the spelling. Because I know it's possible for my name to be misspelled, I take the time to ask the organizer either directly or in writing to please spell my name properly. Nine times out of 10, it doesn't happen. People with really unusual names that are from other countries or just highly unusual often get their names spelled right. I wish this didn't bother me, but it does. It's my identity, and I want it to be documented accurately. What can I do in this situation? -- Misspelled, Detroit
DEAR MISSPELLED: I have this same challenge, because my name is spelled unusually. Even as an author and a person with a public presence, I often find that my name is misspelled on nametags and such. What I do is similar to you. I do write it out plainly beforehand, sometimes pointing out in writing that my name has an unusual spelling. When I arrive, if I notice that the spelling is inaccurate, I point it out and ask for the tag to be reprinted.
As you likely know, this could mean that your nametag becomes handwritten because the computer and printer that generated the tag are not on site. In the end, you are not likely to win 100 percent of the time, but your friendly vigilance should help reduce the number of times that your name improperly represents you. You might also make up a nametag for yourself that states your name accurately and choose to wear that when the one provided is incorrect!