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Bruce Banner

First (Christian) Names

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[rant]

Probably accentuated by the fact that I do not use my first name (I use the middle one), I have a bee in my bonnet about companies and organisations insisting on addressing complete strangers by their first name. NHS is a prime offender, complete stranger, younger than your youngest child, looks at your notes and says "hello Bruce, what can I do for you today".

It used to be that one waited for someone, particularly someone much older, to say "call me John", or whatever, but these days companies and organisations seem to, by default, address their customers by their first name, which in my case is not a name I use.

[/rant]

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Guest eight

Probably accentuated by the fact that I do not use my first name (I use the middle one),

Goodness. We actually have something in common.

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I can see that using the name you don't use would be grating, but using anything other than your surname ("Mr. Banner" rather than just "Banner") to a complete stranger in a non-social situation always feels very amateurish, unprofessional, and unjustifiably familiar anyway.

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I can see that using the name you don't use would be grating, but using anything other than your surname ("Mr. Banner" rather than just "Banner") to a complete stranger in a non-social situation always feels very amateurish, unprofessional, and unjustifiably familiar anyway.

Strangely enough, what prompted my post was a company I phoned this morning.

"Hello, may I have your name"... "Banner"... "Hello Banner, what can I do for you today"... "Actually, Banner is my surname"... "Okay Banner, what is your first name"... "Bruce, but I don't use it"... "So what would you like me to call you, Bruce or Banner"... "Probably best to stick to Mr Banner"...

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Guest eight

Strangely enough, what prompted my post was a company I phoned this morning.

"Hello, may I have your name"... "Banner"... "Hello Banner, what can I do for you today"... "Actually, Banner is my surname"... "Okay Banner, what is your first name"... "Bruce, but I don't use it"... "So what would you like me to call you, Bruce or Banner"... "Probably best to stick to Mr Banner"...

I know this isn't the point you're making, but if I was actually called Bruce I don't think I'd mind people calling me Bruce - it seems to have a kind of inherent informality.

Hazel Blears on Questionable Time was always the worst offender for making an obvious play of calling complete strangers by their first names, so I'd imagine it emanated from a NuLabour focus group and has gone out of control from there.

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I find on most calls I make/answer to various organisations Mr is the standard.

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One I had yesterday was "Hello Geoff (all sweet & coy) I`m calling from ***** fuel cards" I just placed the phone down still on, and walked away. She was trying to sound like my very best friend and I didnt even know her...

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If you happen to work with Indian IT support staff you can get the best of both Worlds. Mr AND your first name !! Fantastic. :D

And no before anyone says this is racist it certainly isn't - its very common. I find it amusing though - no point getting bothered by it.

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It's not just about respect and manners either, although that's part of it. When dealing with someone in a business context (using the term very loosely to include just going to the shops or being in a hospital) I much prefer having that bit of distance that being more formal gives. Different behaviour is appropriate to different situations, all part of making things work, it's as simple as that, and losing that is unhelpful. But when you've got a generation who have little experience with dealing with human beings other than in social situations it looks like they're unable to handle the non-social ones properly. We're dehumanising a lot of life.

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It's not just about respect and manners either, although that's part of it. When dealing with someone in a business context (using the term very loosely to include just going to the shops or being in a hospital) I much prefer having that bit of distance that being more formal gives. Different behaviour is appropriate to different situations, all part of making things work, it's as simple as that, and losing that is unhelpful. But when you've got a generation who have little experience with dealing with human beings other than in social situations it looks like they're unable to handle the non-social ones properly. We're dehumanising a lot of life.

Social media. Its where nearly everything happens today for most of the 'young'. And you never see the term 'Mr' or 'Mrs' on that. Its always the full name. So for this generation - I think its simply what they are used to and so use as standard.

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Social media is, as it says, a social thing. Of course people have always socialised, but there's increasingly less and less non-social contact with other human beings. IMO it's probably more down to that than to social media. Often it's still possible to get by in those non-social situations but people do seem to be getting more and more flustered where formality and distance is required (I wouldn't want an airline pilot to be chatty and informal with air traffic control for example), and the little details like how you address people help to keep the mind in the appropriate place.

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If you happen to work with Indian IT support staff you can get the best of both Worlds. Mr AND your first name !! Fantastic. :D

And no before anyone says this is racist it certainly isn't - its very common. I find it amusing though - no point getting bothered by it.

The call I had this morning was with an English customer services rep at my energy company. Had it been a call centre in Mumbai I would have made allowances and considered it normal.

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Social media is, as it says, a social thing. Of course people have always socialised, but there's increasingly less and less non-social contact with other human beings. IMO it's probably more down to that than to social media. Often it's still possible to get by in those non-social situations but people do seem to be getting more and more flustered where formality and distance is required (I wouldn't want an airline pilot to be chatty and informal with air traffic control for example), and the little details like how you address people help to keep the mind in the appropriate place.

Yep much less 'formal' situations these days. Whether thats good or bad I don't know.

The call I had this morning was with an English customer services rep at my energy company. Had it been a call centre in Mumbai I would have made allowances and considered it normal.

Geordie I bet.

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A lot of young lads on our local supermarket checkouts have a habit of referring to me as "Mate".

I don't know what I've done to invite such familiarity, but it makes me laugh now instead of bristling like I used to. I guess part of it is that at 42, it makes me very confident that if I ever find myself having to compete in the jobs market, I probably won't have to compete very hard.

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The boomers and Generation X wanted to change the world, break down barriers, make everything cool and groovy.

Now they're turning into their own parents they want to stop it.

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The boomers and Generation X wanted to change the world, break down barriers, make everything cool and groovy.

Now they're turning into their own parents they want to stop it.

It has been said, that the young are more likely to be Socialist but turn into Conservatives as they age. Such is life.

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I agree with all of the above - American boiler house sales call always start with 'Hi Cunning, how are you today?'

But to add, I know many women dislike the use of the term Ms but most seem to sign off an email to me as 'June Brown' (for example!)

How am I meant to address the reply? Any of the four options (Ms, Miss, Mrs, June) may well cause offence.

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It has been said, that the young are more likely to be Socialist but turn into Conservatives as they age. Such is life.

I like the saying: "If you're not a progressive at 20 you have no heart, but if you're not a conservative by 40 you have no brain."

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It's not just about respect and manners either, although that's part of it. When dealing with someone in a business context (using the term very loosely to include just going to the shops or being in a hospital) I much prefer having that bit of distance that being more formal gives. Different behaviour is appropriate to different situations, all part of making things work, it's as simple as that, and losing that is unhelpful. But when you've got a generation who have little experience with dealing with human beings other than in social situations it looks like they're unable to handle the non-social ones properly. We're dehumanising a lot of life.

First names are not even allowed to be formal anymore by some parents.

Parents insist on christening their offspring using the abbreviated versions eg. Charlie, Mickie, Ronnie, Frankie etc. (and those are just the girls!).

Now there is no longer that thing where your playground pals show acceptance of you by an affectionate use of your shortened name, whilst your parents and other grown ups continue to address you always with the proper name.

The parents have of course attempted to leap frog this social custom in an effort to ensure that their kids are somehow liked more by their peers.? Or by everybody?

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