Too Many Daves

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When Dr. Seuss wrote this little ditty in 1961, little did he know that it would prove poignant and relevant for decades to come. For the nextl 20-some-dd years later, Daves would continue to be born and grow and enter the workforce where I would have to keep track of them.


Did I ever tell you that Mrs. McCave
Had twenty-three sons, and she named them all Dave?

Well, she did. And that wasn't a smart thing to do.
You see, when she wants one, and calls out "Yoo-Hoo!
Come into the house, Dave!" she doesn't get one.
All twenty-three Daves of hers come on the run!

This makes things quite difficult at the McCaves'
As you can imagine, with so many Daves.
And often she wishes that, when they were born,
She had named one of them Bodkin Van Horn.
And one of them Hoos-Foos. And one of them Snimm.
And one of them Hot-Shot. And one Sunny Jim.
Another one Putt-Putt. Another one Moon Face.
Another one Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face.
And one of them Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate...

But she didn't do it. And now it's too late.

from The Sneeches and Other Stories, Random House: 1961

I used to work with 4 Daves. The second Dave to work with us was called Dave J. after his last name, which was Johnson, while the veteran Dave became Dave R. Then another Dave R. came to work with us, so Dave R became Dave R-1 and the newcomer was Dave R-2. This was fine until the company another Dave J, this one being Dave Johnston. Now we had Dave Johnston and Dave Johnson, or Dave J-1 and Dave J-2. We started calling every male "Dave" because there was probably at least one Dave in the room. Needless to say, it was confusing. When Dave R-2 left the company, Dave R-1 still called himself "Dave R-1" out of habit, which was always fun to explain to people (no, he doesn't think he's a robot...). Luckily, another Dave R. joined the company a few years later, making Dave R-1's title relevant again!

Now, 10 years later, I work with 2 Daves, 2 Mikes, and 2 Brians and a Ryan. This crop of kids was born in the 80s, unlike the 50's and 60's children at my old job. When will the Dave Madness end?

Some more opinions on common names:

"for 26 years I have labored under the world's most boring name. When will Sweet Oblivion relieve me?"
--Michael in NY

It's an Ok name. I'm afraid there's not much to say about John.
--John in NY