Strategies To Learn Someone’s Name Once You’ve Exceeded The Socially-Acceptable Amount Of Times To Ask For Their Name

Unfortunately, stealing their mail is illegal, but you can befriend their mail-carrier. Try things like, “My friend lives in B5! Do you know…” and trail off to see if you can get the mail carrier to finish the sentence for you. 

Corner their neighbor and make casual conversation, “My friend lives in B5! Do you know the person who lives in B5?” Understand that it is strange you know their address but not their name and leave before their neighbor calls the police.

Ask the person in question “What’s the funniest word you can think of that rhymes with your name?”

Declare loudly that you love having a name that starts with a consonant. Note if the person whose name you’re trying to find out agrees or disagrees. 

Start a casual conversation with a few folks around the office about name origins. Get so wrapped up in Mark from accounting’s family history because his Mom was married six times and he never found out which husband was his Father and his maternal great-great-grandfather was an orphan who later ended up marrying into the royal family that you forget to listen to the person whose name you’re trying to figure out.

Complain loudly about having such a common name and end with, “…anyone else have that problem?” Curse being in a room with so many vocal Jessicas and Sarahs.

Knock on their door and tell them you found some wet cement and see if they want to write their name in it. 

Play a game with everyone in the room: “What’s your name backwards?” Spend so much time trying to figure out how to say your own name backwards that you miss the person whose name you were trying to figure out. 

Play a game with everyone in the room: “What’s the spoonerism of your name?!” Then realize you’ve forgotten what a spoonerism is so you have to Google it and miss the person’s turn of whose name you were trying to figure out. 

Play a game with everyone in the room: “What’s your name?” Realize this one is too thinly veiled and go home sick for the rest of the day.

Fuck it, just steal their mail.

Realize all the mail you stole is addressed to “resident.”

Pray on it. 

Find Kathy, from HR’s White Elephant gift exchange list from December, knowing that Kathy never throws anything away. Realize Kathy retired two months ago and explain to Cheryl, the new HR manager why you’re rifling through her desk.

Ask the person whose name you’re trying to figure out if they’re going to order lunch today. If they say yes, intercept their lunch delivery in the lobby and bring it to them yourself, proudly figuring out that her name is Pete until you realize that you intercepted Pete’s lunch from marketing by mistake. Make Pete’s day by hand-delivering his lunch.

Dust off the Ouija board and have a friend over to figure this out. 

Summon a demon to tell you. 

Call every phone number graffitied in the bathroom of the bar you both frequent to see if any of them belong to the person whose name you’re trying to figure out. Give up when you reach your boyfriend and temporarily shift your focus to reevaluating your relationship. 

Make a deal with the Devil. 

Hand over your firstborn with the peace of mind that you now know Shelly’s name, who just left the company for a new opportunity. 

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