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Knowing your colleagues


I'm serious
I've always had this horrible trait where I don't get to know my colleagues names when I just join a company. I of course know my immediate colleagues in my office and direct working area, but often deal with extended colleagues that work on the same floor as me and that technically work for the same greater department as I do.

If I didn't get to know their names when I joined, I find it really difficult to ask them their names a year down the line. The funny thing is, I know they don't necessarily know my name either, but it's awkward that we have had long conversations and I know a lot about them, but I never learned their names.

Do any of you guys do this as well? Do you think it's rude to ask someone you've talked to regularly over a year for their name? Do you made an effort when you join a new company to learn the people in your offices names?


Well-Known Member
I used to have a similar problem with people stopping by from another store or from corporate. What made it really awkward is that a lot of them knew my name. Now, I'm usually pretty good with names but when you have 3 or 4 bosses that all look similar it's easy to get then mixed up.

Is it awkward to ask someone their name? Uh. Yes. I think it might be more awkward if they were to discover that you don't know their name if you don't bring it up. What I usually do is ask someone else to get the name or I will work some kind of strategy to figure it out! :lol:


Registered Member
That's my strategy too - ask somebody else. Or, in my business I often don't see somebody for a year or so and in that case I just come out ans say "Um, I don't remember your name?" I don't think that's rude, as quite often they will then say "I don't remember your name either".
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Registered Member
It is highly awkward, especially when you suck at even remembering names in the first place. I literally have to repeat someone's name to myself a few times to have a hope of remembering it. Honestly, my mind is a sieve.

These days, I just ask for their names, and point out that I have an awful time trying to remember them. Most people seem to understand, and funnily enough it seems to break the ice. Not always, but usually.


Free Spirit
Staff member
I can never remember someone's name that I don't work directly with especially if there are a lot of employees to remember. I don't see anything wrong with asking. I think most people are understanding when it comes to that because they most likely can't remember yours.

The only time I would consider it bad if you can't remember a name is if its your boss's name.


I'm serious
It is that much worse when they actually know my name. Every time I pass them they make a point of greeting me by name, as if they know how it's going to embarrass me, and I just reply with "hey". Awkward.

I find it equally embarrassing to ask others what that persons name is though. I just know that person will go tell them "she asked your name, after working with you for a year". :(

I usually try to listen in on conversations to see if I can catch a name, but I find even if I manage that, I will still forget the persons name for another few times.


needs practice
I feel like it's pretty normal. You see them because you occupy the same vicinity, but what requirement is it to remember someone's name if you don't work with them frequently?

That's unreasonable, plus in work mode you are focused on achieving excellence in quality and quantity of work. The people relationships you make will likely ONLY be with people you interact with or sit very close to you that you can chit chat with. I find myself forgetting my coworkers' names from my old job because I don't interact with them anymore.

not a bad thing, just normal.


Registered Member
I am quite lucky that I have mostly worked for small places. I tend to remember names quite well for some reason, but my trick if I need to know their name is apologise and say I meet so many people I have forgotten their name. It normally works and if I end up looking silly I am not too bothered :lol: at least I know who they are.

My main issue at the moment isn't names, but faces. I know the names of most people at head office, but if I met them I wouldn't have a clue who they were, if I need to contact IT for example, I usually do it through email or the administrator. Luckily I know the CEO to look at, and the Head of Finance, and one of the Directors, but everyone else is just a name.


Trust me, I'm The Doctor.
It takes me quite a long time to get to know names. If it is someone that I work closely with I'll ask "what was your name again?" When they give me their first name and look confused I say "Oh, sorry, I meant your first name!" I found that one online years ago and it works spectacularly.

I'm not very social when I work. I also try my best to compartmentalize work and normal life to avoid cross-dramafication.


Better Call Saul
Staff member
The best part about working in a cubey office environment is that their name plates are posted on their cubes. So if I forgot someone's name I could just cheat ;)

I hate asking people their names though especially if they know mine. Usually I am good with names but it happens sometimes where I'll forget.