Excuse me, can you tell me your name?

Tyler Crane was a presence in our Saturday morning life for years and years: behind the counter (or out in front) at Riverview Country Market, he was universally helpful, funny, kind, generous, a case study in how to be a gentle, present human being.

Tyler died on October 21.

And the thing about that is that until I read the announcement of his death, I didn’t know his name.

Scores and scores of interactions, and I’d never thought to ask.

I should have: it would have only been right to be able to say “thanks Tyler!” when he offered a bag, made a particularly good cappuccino, told me about the night market, filled my laundry soap container for me, gave me the inside scoop on the Ritter Sport chocolate deliveries.

I can’t change that. But I can change the future, and how I behave in it.

And so, in Tyler’s memory, I’m going to start asking people their name.

This morning at The Shed I asked the barista who’s made me some excellent iced lattes this week for his (it’s Adrian—he’s the fellow with the hat).

And, even (or especially) if it’s awkward, I’ll keep at it.

It’s a little thing, but it’s a human thing, and it seems like a helpful way to allow Tyler’s spirit to carry forward.

Excuse me, can you tell me your name?


Devon's picture
Devon on October 27, 2022 - 11:03 Permalink

Thank you for this reminder, Peter, in memory of Tyler. It's like Dale Carnegie emphasizes above all: there's no sweeter sound than someone uttering our name. Say Their Names!

Oliver's picture
Oliver on October 27, 2022 - 17:54 Permalink

Nice. I think why I don't do this as a rule is that it feels so offensive to forget a name, and I tend to forget a lot. When I know I'll never meet a person again, I'm much more like to ask reflexively. Anyway, I don't think Dale Carnegie's appoint applies to every customer service employee on-the-job irrespective of the day and time. You definitely want to heed the vibe

Jarek's picture
Jarek on October 27, 2022 - 22:11 Permalink

As an introvert with a name most Canadians are unlikely to repeat correctly, strangers asking for my name is stuff of nightmares