Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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More Rick Umali web sites at:

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The World
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Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004
I go by Rick. How hard is it to remember to call me Rick?

Apparently, it's sometimes very hard. I spend a lot of my day on the phone with customers (I work in technical support). When I leave voice-mail messages, or when I write e-mails, I sign off as Rick. Not Ricky. Not Ricardo. Not Rikki Tikki Tavi.

So of course today a customer called me back and said, "How you doing, Ricky?" I grated my teeth, and smiled.

Depending on my mood, or the customer's temperament, I'll nip it off at the bud: "Call me Rick." But more often than not, I'll let it slide, emphasizing the "y-less" Rick in future voice mails and e-mails. Sometimes they get the hint.

I liken my plight to Rick Schroeder. As a child actor, he's most famous for playing Ricky Stratton in the sit-com Silver Spoons. Of course, as he "grew up", his character's named changed, losing the "y", becoming "Ricker". The actor also decided "Ricky" (the name) was best left to childhood, and eventually he made his way back to television (on NYPD Blue) as Rick.

Rick and I have at least this in common: We'd prefer to be called Rick. I think people who instantly start calling me "Ricky" want to "buddy up" by nicknaming me even further. Tacking on the "Y" implies a familiarity. (I was guilty of this practice with a co-worker named Andrew. I spoke with others about "Andy's" work, and someone pointed out: "He's Andrew! Not Andy.")

The customer did call me back later this afternoon, and surprised me by apologizing for calling me "Ricky" in our earlier call. Without too much fanfare, I moved the conversation past this apology. Inside, I was beaming. And Rick's not even my real name!

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
I was worried for nothing! Detroit 100, Los Angeles 86.

Congratulations Michigan!

Monday, June 14, 2004
Tomorrow night, the Detroit Pistons are going for a fourth and decisive victory over the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA Championship.

I'm rooting for the Pistons. I've crossed over and become emotionally attached to this team of hardworking players, and their famed coach, Larry Brown, who has yet to win a championship (compared to Phil Jackson, who's won nine).

They have three chances to win this thing, since the best-of-seven series is 3-1, in favor of the Pistons. But I'm scared for them too. The Lakers may be hobbling, but they have Shaquille O'Neal, as unstoppable a force as there is in the NBA. And while the Lakers have to win at least two to force the Game 7, I wouldn't put it past them (hey, I'm a Red Sox fan).