A 27-year-old woman in France lost her job for a reason that many will term strange. There were no disciplinary issues nor was it dereliction of duty, nor any cost cutting measure. The boss decided to show the woman the door as she refused to change her first name.
Marion, a Frenchwoman from the south western city of Toulouse, joined a firm that manufactured medical equipment about three weeks back as a temporary employee. She was placed at the firm through France's state job agency Pôle Emploi.
She was recently promoted as a trainee commercial assistant and could have been assigned on in a full-time role. However, a row over her first name cut short her stay at the her workplace, The Local reported.
The firm had another employee with the same name, hence her boss wanted Marion to change hers to avoid confusion between the two. "[The boss] wanted me to change my name from Marion to Marie, because clients could confuse with another Marion that worked in the same department," she reportedly told French daily La Dépêche du Midi.
Marion's boss reportedly sent her an email asking her to use an alternative name in the office. She was later called in for an interview where she was asked to adhere to the suggestion else lose the job. Defending the decision, Marion's boss told the French newspaper that "changing names or taking on pseudonyms is a common practice in the commercial sector.
"We are a small company and the two Marions had already led to confusion. Clients needed to be able to distinguish between them," the boss was quoted as saying.
Marion, who chose to quit than change her name, argued, "Either the boss takes his customers for fools or it's just a pretext because he never wanted to offer me a contract." She added that surnames are meant to distinguish between people with same names and the company could have resorted to that rather than asking her to quit.