The other day while cleaning out my junk drawer I came across something that I was both proud of and embarrassed by. My old name-tag 'Tinkerbell Brent'. Please let me explain.

My first job was working at a toy store at Apache Mall called 'Tinkerbell'. It was around in the late 70s and early 80s and was located in the spot now occupied by Radio Shack. Tinkerbell was a cool store. The front of the store had all kinds of toys...games, dolls, stuffed animals, Legos. I worked in the back of the store with all the trains, planes, rockets, race cars and early video games like Atari and Pong.

It was a blast selling, stocking, repairing and even sometimes playing with the toys. As a 16-year-old, I couldn't have asked for a better job. I loved going to work everyday. But there was just one problem...my name-tag. I was required to wear it at all times inside the store, so that people knew that I worked there. That was understandable and no big deal. It became a big deal however when I forgot to take it off in public.

Sometimes after work I'd meet up with my friends to hang out at the movies, bowling alley, park, pizza place, etc. If by chance I forgot to take off my 'Tinkerbell Brent' name-tag, my buddies would tease me and call me 'Tinkerbell' the rest of the night. It wasn't the greatest nickname coming from guys who had normal nicknames like Moose, Timmo, Animal Ed and Huff.

I found that the best way to get through it was to just laugh right along with them. In my experience, the more you protested about something like a bad nickname, the more it stuck. (Just ask my friend we called Gilligan). Fortunately 'Tinkerbell' never stuck. It probably helped that I occasionally gave my pals my employee discount on cool toys at the store. Deep down they were all 'Tinkerbell' fans too.