The “S” is Silent Interview


I’m not really good with interviews. The questions make me nervous, and sometimes frustrated, because I never know what to ask.. I try to avoid broad topics like tell me your life story or something offensive like does your acne get worse than that? . After much deliberation I decided to go with something simple and follow wherever that takes me. Thus, I asked her to state her full name which is only given in the case of legal matters and sometimes upon request.

“S. Simone Ivey”, she replied.

The next question was seemingly obvious even though the first questions implied the explanation of possible initials.

“And does the ‘S’ stand for super?”, I asked half jokingly.

“No. It’s the initial for my first name”

NO DUH! I thought to myself. The “S” should probably stand for sarcastic with a remark such as that one. I could tell by the look on her face that this was going to be a complicated process. She didn’t seem thrilled by the topic, but I had chosen such an easy, simple starting question. How could that have gone wrong?  I reminded myself that I am in control and attempted to squeeze the name out of her which was like picking at a pimple before it’s ready; a lot of pain and trouble with little results.

“Do you know what I say when people ask: ‘how do you pronounce your first name?’ I don’t. Despite the obvious hint that I don’t want to tell them, they still feel the need to know. I go by Simone and everything else name-wise is unnecessary information. But people these days don’t know when to let something go so, oblivious to my emotions, they attempt to pronounce the thirteen letter, five syllable name anyway. Each attempt is a reminder that the school system is failing at the lower levels of education where you learn how to sound out a word.”

I wanted so badly to ask how does that make you feel? But this was definitely not the moment for such humor. I went on to inquire about why it was such a big deal. Apparently, when Simone was younger, she was confused between people who were genuinely trying to learn her first name and those who were making fun of it. I guess scars made at such a young age never really go away.

“So what does it take to get you to say your first name?”, I questioned in a sneaky manner.

“It depends on how well I know and trust you”, she responded.

“Well you know and trust me, don’t you?”, emphasizing the statement more than the question.


“Great, then you’ll share it with me?”

“You can’t possibly believe I will tell you, when I know other people are going to read this”, she said with a smirk on her face.