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Published: Monday, September 12, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Need a lift? Carl Cary has the right name for the job

This week's Aptonym is an elevator and escalator designer and salesman

  • Carl Cary works for ThyssenKrupp, a company that specializes in elevator and escalator sales. He sells and designs them.

    Carl Cary works for ThyssenKrupp, a company that specializes in elevator and escalator sales. He sells and designs them.

Q: How did your name direct your career path?
A: Well, it didn't direct it at all. I was in the construction industry before, working for United Rentals, and I got a call from a head hunter who asked me, "What do you know about elevators?" And I said, "Nothing," and he said, "Well, you are perfect."
No, I don't think it was the name. I was in construction and had a lot of construction contacts, but I was also very trainable, very moldable.
So he gave me a call and through a series of interviews I got hired. Now I've been doing this for five or six years. And I think I've got one of the coolest jobs in the world.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
A: No. I played a lot of sports in high school, and back then I was a jock on the heavy-set side and the guys used to say, "If you want a hernia say Carl Cary backwards." Those kids can be quite clever when they want to be, and vicious.
But today, absolutely would not change it today. I've got two wonderful children and a great wife, and we call our house the Cary Compound up in Granite Falls, and my name has become kind of an identity that I've formed at this point, so no, I wouldn't change it at all.
And now I find it somewhat useful.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: God willing I would love to be on the Snohomish County Council. I have always had an interest in politics, and I'm excited about making the world a better place. I don't live in the city limits so jobs in the political arena are a little trickier to come by, but I've always watched what the County Council is doing, and someday I want to put my name in the hat.
I am on the Granite Falls Planning Commission and am doing things just to get my feet wet, and I'm president of a local community club here called the Riverside Community Club. It's all a good fit, and I'd hate to be that guy who is young and idealistic and who just gets burned out, so I am taking it slow.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: I don't know. They don't come right out and say your name is an aptonym. I know I did not know what it meant until I read The Herald. I have a hard enough time having people call me by my right name. People always want to call me Cary as a first name and sometimes I don't even correct them.
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
A: Now, I always say I've never met an elevator salesman until I became one. Ha! They are not exactly wandering the streets, and I never thought there was a guy out there like that, so that surprised me.
You know when you see a name like Travis Hots and you see he's a firefighter, well, you know right there, you make that leap immediately. But with mine you don't necessarily go there right away with my last name "Cary" and think, "Yeah this guy sells elevators, escalators and auto-walks -- all things that carry people!"
No, I've never talked to my wife about being an aptonym. But I laugh because now I feel like I should.
Read about more aptonyms on our Aptonyms page.
Story tags » Human Interest

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