Stop Calling Me Cupcake


Everyone at my firm is calling me “cupcake.” It’s been this way for the past two weeks. And before you jump to conclusions about my appearance, I want to be clear—I’M A MAN.

We’re not a big law firm. We’re 20 lawyers in a smallish city with a close-knit legal community. Word travels fast. Nicknames stick in a place like this.

Two weeks ago, we had a birthday party for one of our paralegals. But instead of the usual cake, the secretary who handles these events bought some of those giant, expensive bakery cupcakes.

We all gathered around to sing happy birthday, and when I got a look at the dessert, I overreacted after a long day by saying something like: “Ooh, cupcakes.”

Our managing partner, who is normally a pretty decent guy, said something like “Have at it, Cupcakes.” Everyone looked at me and busted up. I didn’t think it was that funny, but if everyone is laughing, you either laugh with them or they laugh at you. And I didn’t want to be the humorless guy in the office.

I thought all would be forgotten, but I was wrong. They’ve put “cupcake” on my door or started addressing memos to “cupcake” YET, but at least once a day, someone uses the nickname and anyone who’s around thinks that person is hilarious.

The worst was when another associate called me “Mr. Cupcake” before a deposition—in front of opposing counsel.  The other lawyer didn’t act like he heard it, but it was weird, and it knocked me off my game a little.

Afterward, I pulled the guy aside and told him to act like a professional. He apologized. But back at the office, all of the partners were still calling me cupcake. Telling them to stop is sort of fruitless because it all started with the boss.

The managing partner came to my office at the end of the day.  I was in the process of bringing it p when he told me I could be lead counsel on a small trial case I really wanted.  Then I was so excited that I thought the nickname didn’t matter anymore, but as of the next day, it still did.

I wish I could send some Michael Scott email about professionalism to the whole office.

It’s humiliating. If I even hear it out of a support staff member’s mouth, I’ll go postal.

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4 Comments

  1. Ellen

    February 10, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Fooey! I hear this all the time. Man up dude!

  2. Really Ellen?

    February 10, 2012 at 7:12 am

    “Man up dude”? There are so many things wrong with that statement that I don’t even know where to begin.

  3. Rance Stoddard

    February 11, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I went out bowling with some friends about a year ago. Apparently they thought the way I bowled was funny, so they started calling me “Skippy,” because of my bowling method.

    One of my idiot friends kept doing it for about two weeks. It was really starting to piss me off, and I knew if I didn’t cut the chicken off at the head then we’d be out and he’d say it in front of women I needed to impress or some other situation that would just send me through the roof. So the next time he called me that, I said, “If you call me that again, I’m going to punch you in the gut. And you think I’m joking, but you won’t think it’s funny because I’m actually going to do it, and I’m going to do it hard, so you will be doubled over on the ground unable to breathe, and then it will be really awkward between us and then I’ll just go home.” He hasn’t called me Skippy since.

  4. Brandysquire

    February 12, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Don’t think of it as something that undermines your authority. Just … be coool, man. If you stop reacting, they’ll stop thinking it’s funny. If someone addresses you as that in an important situation (like in front of opposing counsel) look at them (stare, really) and then slowly raise your eyebrows. Then say, “Sorry, what did you say?” and hopefully they’ll back the fuck down.

    With the cupcake sign on your door etc., don’t get mad. Don’t laugh at it, just don’t react.

    Also, it’s kind of affectionate to call someone cupcake. Regardless of genitals. Not saying you don’t have the right to be mad, just saying that it’s hardly “douchebag”.

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