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Woman refuses to change her 'unusual' first name to work for FIL's company. AITA?

Woman refuses to change her 'unusual' first name to work for FIL's company. AITA?


"AITA for refusing to change my first name to work for my FIL's company?"

I (20sF) have an unusual name. It's one of those hated names that people think are the parents being a try hard or making their kids lives harder instead of "picking a real name." Think Princess, Ocean, Naveah, Moon.

Now I love my name and was never bullied for my name in school and I have a very good job so it never held me back there. I married my husband while we were still in college. That's when I met his parents. They were nice. Kinda taken aback by my name when we first met. But still nice. No issues back then.

Recently FIL has mentioned how much he would love to have me work for him. I thought it was a very sweet thing to say but he started getting more serious about it after a few weeks. He ended up asking me if I would actually be interested and I said it would depend on certain factors but it would be nice to work for the family business.

He didn't say anything else right away but then a couple of days later he told me he was serious about wanting me to work there but I would need to change my name to something less "embarrassing" because the negative impact on his business was not something he was willing to risk and a ridiculous name is a sure way to harm your relationship with important business contacts.

I told him I understood if he felt my name could not fit in with his business but I would not change my name so we should just forget the offer. For the second time when talking to him he was taken aback.

Another couple of days passed and my husband told his dad he was crappy for offering me a job with conditions, like my name, attached to it. Then MIL told me it was a little hasty to refuse without thinking it over. I told her the thing is I love my name and don't want to change it for a job.

FIL is offended that I wasn't willing to consider it. He told me it was an amazing place to work, which I do know, I heard great things from his employees and I should be willing to make a small adjustment so I can be more professional presenting in the business world. I told him I wasn't and his attitude about my refusal to change my name made me glad I hadn't agreed to work for him.

Now both he and MIL feel I should have been more willing to compromise on my name. I think this is crazy and my husband agrees with me and told his parents they were crazy. But they're not happy and now I need to ask AITA?

Here's what the top commenters had to say about this one:

LowBalance4404 said:

NTA. I know someone this actually happened to, but it was a nickname. Think Billy for William. His boss thought he sounded like a kid and actually started calling him Will. Dude even changed the org chart to Will. It was so weird.

Aggressive-Bed3269 said:

Changing your name isn't a "small adjustment", and this feels WAY TOO MUCH like a manipulative way to get you to change your name, simply because they don't like it and are embarassed by it.

I'd be digging my heels in hard, personally, unless it was a completely insane (in a good way) job offer that would have me living more comfortably than I ever have. Your in-laws be scheming. Be careful! NTA.

Temporary_Tiger_7196 said:

NTA. I think that an unusual name would be GOOD for business as everyone would REMEMBER you. It's stupid that he wants you to be another: Jane/John Doe name.

AdOne8433 said:

NTA. Your in-laws did you a favor. If this is how far they'll go just to "allow" you to work for their wonderful company, then it would get much worse once you were under their control.

They think asking you to change your name is a minor thing, like asking you to stop dyeing your hair purple or cover up a vulgar tattoo. They would never consider changing their own names, but they are important, and you are just an accessory.

I'd be worried about how they will be around any kids you might have. IMHO, they are delusional, and I wouldn't trust them alone with a child.

This issue gives you a window into who they really are. The specifics of the incident are almost insignificant. It's what it tells you about how they think. This level of entitlement and disregard is staggering.

lmmontes said:

Your name is your identity and it is concerning to think how many others have a problem with unique names. NTA. I wouldn't want to work with employers and/or clients who have issues with names for lame reasons.

KronkLaSworda said:

NTA. It sounds more like your FIL and MIL just want you to change your name so they aren't embarrassed to tell their peer group than it is about joining his company.

forgetregret1day said:

It’s your NAME. They think you’re wrong for not wanting to change who you are just because they think a name is “bad for business”? Pretty sure you dodged a bullet by saying no. What else about you might they expect you change if you joined the company? Mixing business and family can be a minefield. NTA.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this in-law situation?

Sources: Reddit
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