I have this fear. I am afraid I will forget your name or mispronounce your name.
So when I see you at work or I see you at church, I just say "Hey" or "Hi" or "Yo." Or if I've had too much candy, maybe a "Hey buddy" or "Howsitgoin'?"
It's a stupid fear. It's not like you're going to start hating me if I call you by the wrong name. I get called by the wrong name -- usually my brother's, even by people who don't know him -- and it's been fine. Though one new guy recently called me Jason, David, Brian and I think his own name. And someone else recently looked at me like they were having trouble recalling my name (same as theirs).
Worse yet, sometimes it causes me to not know your name long after I should. I lose that association trick. And then I'm frantically trying to surreptitiously spot your ID badge and read it, if it's facing the right way and if it's not in an area of your body where it looks like I'm being lecherous -- people put badges in weird places. (I'm no help, I keep mine in my pocket.)
But I've been trying something new this week. Trying to greet as many people by name as I can. It's been hit or miss, but I guess that's what happens when you try to go hot turkey instead of easing into it.
But, I think it's getting easier. I think that in time, I will get over this stupid fear and it will help me engage better and help me remember names.
Because, heck, who doesn't like hearing their own name?