After reading about Dave Assman’s endless trouble in getting a personalized license plate in Canada, German native Frank Assmann, of Würzburg, felt inspired to reach out to The Post to commiserate with always being the butt of the joke.
Here, in his own words, Assmann, who is 42 and works as a business development manager for Garmin, shares how his unique last name is really what you think it is — a giant pain in the ass.
My name is Frank Assmann. Yes, I’m a real “Assman” from Germany and I was shocked when my colleagues from the US forwarded me Dave Assman’s bitter fate on his fight against Canadian bureaucracy.
I would like to share a few of my experiences with surviving already 42 years as an Assman and hopefully we can support Dave Assman on getting his license plate finally approved.
In my case, it actually started already at school, when some teachers called me “Arschmann” — this is the equivalent in German when you translate Assman. For sure, they had good reasons calling me Arsch/Assman, however, at that time I realized that it’s a very different name, even in German.
When graduating from high school, I spent some time studying abroad at New Mexico State University in the early 2000s, far away from good old Germany.
At that time, I faced my second weird experience when trying to rent a car via phone. With my broken English, I spelled the last name “Assmann” — and the Alamo agent just hung up the phone without any comment. Thank you.
But that was just the beginning. Later on, when I started working for a Kansas-based company and traveling more frequently to US, the comments from immigration officers and airport security were even worse.
“Did you read your boarding pass?” they’d ask.
I’d reply, “What’s wrong?” and they’d answer, “They put a wrong name on your boarding pass!” before laughing in my face.
A couple of months ago, I received an email from the US that they found my email in a newsletter listing and the guy contacted me explaining he’s a big “Seinfeld” fan and wanted to check if I’m a real person.
At first, I thought he wanted to sell me some products, but he was really serious. At that time, I was sure — my name is different, especially in the US.
Four weeks ago, I had a flight from London back to Frankfurt on my birthday. The flight attendant from British Airways was walking through the whole plane with a bottle of champagne on a silver platter, asking 100 times, “Where is Mr. Assmann?”
I’m pretty sure she enjoyed that since it was not really necessary calling my name as they certainly knew my seat number!
In the end, I hoped that all passengers on the Airbus would start singing, “Happy birthday, Mr. Assmann” — but maybe next time!
Sometimes I dress like a doctor and colleagues just call me Dr. Frank. Why? Because Assmann is the best name a proctologist could ever have.
I hope in my next life I get the same last name again.
I have no clue how many Assmanns are actually living in North America. But maybe we can plan an Assmann Summit in New York and make a tour in an Assmann-licensed stretch limousine together with our fellow sufferer, Dave Assman!
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