To expect as a potential customer to be addressed as Ms/Mrs?

(90 Posts)
DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 10:34:45

Two return emails this week, one from a cleaning company and one from a potential nursery, have begun with 'Hi Dribble', rather than 'Ms/Mrs Wiper'. Surely it's still appropriate and courteous for companies to address their customers by some sort of title until invited to do otherwise?

AIBU to feel rubbed up slightly the wrong way?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 02-May-13 10:36:28

YANBU it's polite. But you're going to get LOADS of people on here smarting that some company or other had the AFFRONTERY to address them as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Miss anything. How very DARE they make an issue of their marital status and gender... blah blah blah. smile

mrsjay Thu 02-May-13 10:38:52

I would hate to get a letter or email like that saying Hi Jay I know it seems petty but yanbu dh was getting emails from a holiday company using his first name, saying not long to your holiday now X are you excited yet I was meh about the informality of it,

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:39:58

YABU. I'd rather they address me as Hi Dribble. Everyone keeps calling me Mrs Terror, and I found it very very offensive.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:40:33

But then I'm kiwi so I'm fairly informal.

DeafLeopard Thu 02-May-13 10:45:41

Seems to be that e-mails are treated more informally and addressed "Hi First Name" whereas letters are "Dear Ms Last Name"

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 10:46:04

OneLittle, are you offended because of the 'Mrs' or because any title is used at all? Why 'very, very offensive'?

mrsjay Thu 02-May-13 10:47:19

I suppose you are right deaf but we had print off stuff to take with us it is al a bit faux friendly imo god how uptight am I grin

Jaskla Thu 02-May-13 10:47:43

When I go to the hospital I see doctors calling in older patients as Mr or Mrs whoever, and the younger ones seem to get their name without a title.

I think the preference must be a generational thing as I am 26 and would prefer not to be Miss or Ms, whereas my Grandma would always refer to herself as Mrs .... when making appointments etc. on the phone.

Steffanoid Thu 02-May-13 10:48:44

where I work we say dear Mr/Mrs if we dont know for a female we use Ms, if we dont know a gender we use dear customer, and on the phone we have to use last names unless otherwise invited, if we do not we would get disciplined as all of our emails are checked and all calls recorded

MaxPepsi Thu 02-May-13 10:48:44

What did you sign yourself off as? Mrs/Ms Wiper or as Dribble?

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:49:21

It's the Mrs I take great offence on. They always use Mrs. Just because I'm over a certain age it doesn't mean I must be married. Can't I have enough money to buy my own car, hire my trades people etc? For example, even when I put down Dr on the National Trust form, they have to switch it to Mrs for me, and change it to Dr for my DH. Mrs is a thin veil for insult basically, IMHO.

I'd rather be just my name without title, or Ms. I'm a Dr if they want to address me correctly. But I prefer first name only.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:50:02

jaskla yes, I get called Mrs in the hospital too, just because I'm over 30.

KellyElly Thu 02-May-13 10:50:09

I think it's pretty old fashioned in an email. If my bank was writing a letter to me then yes. But then I would never sign off an email Ms xxxxxx, I would just sign off with my first name and expect the reply to be to that name. How old are you? Maybe it's an age thing.

mrsjay Thu 02-May-13 10:51:15

I am quite old kelly grin

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 10:51:35

Via email, they have no idea how old I am (30), so it should be a blanket practice to at least use a title initially, no? I'd almost certainly sign off subsequent replies using only my first name, but that's the point - then the invitation is given to use it.

Don't see why emails should be different to letters - I'm still a potential customer, not their pal.

Weegiemum Thu 02-May-13 10:52:43

I expect a certain degree of reciprocity in names.

My hospital consultant calls me "weegie" but introduces himself as "Dr O". I'm not having any of this, so I call him by his first name too. I can tell he doesn't like it much but too bad. I'm a professional in my field as much as he is - so either we both use titles or neither do. I get even more riled by junior docs much younger than me doing this!

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 10:54:26

Both names, Max Pepsi. My first name is unconfusably feminine.

Conversely, OneLittle, I hate Ms, but wouldn't be offended by its use unless I knew the person knew I was married.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 10:55:06

I like it, Weegie! Quite right!

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:57:37

dribble many people who use it know I'm married and they know I don't have my husband's name. I have a chinese surname and my husband is white. They have to be blind to not see it's my own name. I was in the hospital 2 weeks ago, and they keep calling me Mrs <my name> even in front of my husband.

On the other hand, I'm not offended if DD's nursery called me Mrs <DH name>. They don't know any other name to address me isn't it?

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:58:22

Actually they don't know he's my husband in the hospital. He could be my partner. But the fact is it's clear it's my own name.

MaxPepsi Thu 02-May-13 10:59:09

Did you use a title then Dribble or just Dribble Wiper?

If I'd put Mrs Max Pepsi I'd expect the response to be addressed Mrs Pepsi. If I'd just put Max Pepsi I'd expect the response to be Max

I use both on emails, depending on who or for what I am emailing which doesn't really help smile

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 11:00:26

Did you correct the people in hospital, OneLittle? I'd have found that most irritating too!

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 11:02:02

I put Mrs in brackets after my name, MaxPepsi! They clearly didn't take the hint. Not sure why they thought I'd included it...!

StealthOfficialCrispTester Thu 02-May-13 11:12:37

I have workmen fitting a new bathroom. They call me "Mrs PolarBear" and I hate it, but I don't know how to say "Call me Stealth" without sounding like Lady Muck.
Yes, I have a problem with social niceties. It's the same at DS's school, although I can see for them, knowing the child it is easier to assume that we are Mr and Mrs <ChildsName> - which we are but I always find it too formal.

MikeOxard Thu 02-May-13 11:18:56

I think Mrs X is quite old fashioned now. Most places will use first names and most people probably prefer it. I makes me feel old to be called Mrs Oxard.

MaxPepsi Thu 02-May-13 11:18:59

Ah, in that case I too would have called you Dribble. not Mrs Wiper.

FlowersBlown Thu 02-May-13 11:23:18

I don't like the use of titles. If you are not married then you get Miss which is some what infantilising. First names are totally acceptable.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 11:23:28

MaxPepsi, but why would you have thought I'd included it, though? Genuinely curious.

So is education the only sphere where titles are regularly used, then? I call all parents by their title (which I check on the computer system first) and they all call me Mrs Wiper!

MaxPepsi Thu 02-May-13 11:38:25

For additional information - like when people put their qualifications after their name. Bsc, Hons etc etc can you tell I don't have any as not actually sure what they are

If I was to receive an email from Joe Bloggs (Dr) I'd still call him Joe

For me, if you want to be addressed in a certain way you have to make it clear that is the way you want to be addressed.

There is so much potential for causing offence these days I do think you are damned if you do, damned if you don't.

My first name can be shortened. I don't like it. I therfore ensure I always use my full length name as that is how I wish to be addressed. If I'd use the shortened version I can't then get arsey about it can i ?

MaxPepsi Thu 02-May-13 11:41:00

sorry - eg

Chris (tine) Chris (topher) I'm letting you know my name but giving you additional information?

Jesus, I'm waffling grin

ukatlast Thu 02-May-13 11:55:07

Quote Dribblewiper: 'So is education the only sphere where titles are regularly used, then? I call all parents by their title (which I check on the computer system first) and they all call me Mrs Wiper!'

Yes Dribblewiper I think this is key to your 'oldfashioned' attitude. I am old but can't abide formality and school is the only area (as a parent) where I struggle with using first names because of attitudes like yours. I assume the reason really since we are all adults is to do with not letting the pupils see such informality...again the workplace the norm is now universally first names so should kids' really have to keep using Mrs X/Mr X etc....(radical I know)?

My kids' schools are somewhat confused themselves and sometimes write letters using titles and surname and sometimes just teacher's first name and surname. When I help out on trips etc some teachers introduce themselves with their first name and call me mine which is fine but others stand on ceremony. Guess which ones I am more inclined to help out?

Medics etc should realise that reducing professional distance by using first names makes most patients feel more comfortable and less nervous. So YABU.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 11:55:41

Hmm! I'm starting to wonder whether I'm actually a young fuddy-duddy!

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 11:58:58

Cor blimey, ukatlast, I didn't invent the system of etiquette that led to pupils calling teachers by their titles (respectfully!). I'd actually be very happy for them to use my first name if that were the system across the school - we certainly did at sixth form and it caused no problems.

Tiny bit aggressive, there!

Trinpy Thu 02-May-13 11:59:44

For me, it depends on how well I know the person and what the situation is. I was fine with my old gp calling me by my first name because I'd known him for years, would stop and chat with him if I saw him outside of work. However I would prefer my new doctor to call me Ms/Mrs because I don't really know her or like her.

I do find it annoying and a bit rude when professionals try to be overly personal in this way though, so I agree with you.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Thu 02-May-13 12:02:58

" Medics etc should realise that reducing professional distance by using first names makes most patients feel more comfortable and less nervous. So YABU"

Im not convinced that is universally the case. Can you back that up?

olgaga Thu 02-May-13 12:06:22

You know you're getting old when you start being addressed as "Madame" when you're on holiday abroad grin.

olgaga Thu 02-May-13 12:10:42

Personally I think the best way to address an email to someone you're not familiar with is Dear Firstname Lastname.

However, the different opinions on this thread show that this is something very subjective and difficult for anyone to get right.

I think it's worth remembering that people don't tend to do the "wrong thing" if they know you're likely to take umbrage. Short of everyone asking everyone else how they would like to be addressed, I'm not sure what the answer is!

Scholes34 Thu 02-May-13 12:18:53

It's probably an age thing. When you've worked over the years in an office environment writing letters, and are now using e-mails for the same kind of correspondence, you're probably likely to stick to the Dear Title Last name salutation, until your receive a reply signed off with a first name.

I certainly would expect someone who doesn't know me not to start a message with Hi Scholes. As said up-thread, it's faux friendly and what I'd consider unprofessional.

I did manage to offend a mum from school I don't know too well by addressing an e-mail to her with Dear First name, rather than Hi First name!

StealthOfficialCrispTester Thu 02-May-13 12:20:19

It also depends on the culture. Where I work, everyone is addressed by their first name. If I insisted on being addressed as Mrs Bear in emails I would be the only one!

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 12:39:24

Entirely agree, Stealth, we don't call each other Mr/Mrs X unless the children are in earshot.

Scholes34, I entirely agree with you, unsurprisingly. Erring on the side of caution is what I would do when contacting a stranger for the first time in a professional capacity. It's the professional bit that makes the difference for me. If it were on Twitter or another website, I'd probably use the first name and expect the same back.

Using both names is a bit Demolition Man...

maddening Thu 02-May-13 13:37:19

I think it depends on how you signed off on your response to them - particularly on emails the standard is to refer to as their full or formal name unless they have already signed off with a first name or nickname.

So if you approached them and signed off as dribble then yabu - if you have never contacted them or have signed off in previous communication with mrs wiper then yanbu.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 13:46:45

I answered that question upthread, maddening. I put my full name with 'Mrs' in brackets afterwards, suggesting they might like to use it! They didn't.

maddening Thu 02-May-13 13:59:16

Mmmm strange way to sign off - possibly not v clear so maybe they took a guess.

If you want to be addressed as Mrs Wiper then sign of Mrs Wiper. Dribble Wiper (Mrs) is open to interpretation imo and Dear Dribble Wiper doesn't read well in communication so Dear Dribble would be my choice too in that case.

If it were communication from a dr, bank, school then you would assume the formal every time but a service such as cleaning or childcare wouldn't necessarily warrant such formality imo.

Kendodd Thu 02-May-13 14:13:33

I think yabu.

I don't think the etiquette for addressing emails is properly defined, people and companies, have to just take a guess. I always use whatever they have signed off with and if you put 'Dribble Wiper (Mrs)' I would think I should use Dribble, if you had put 'Mrs Wiper' I would have used that.

But really, I think you should find more important things to worry about.

limitedperiodonly Thu 02-May-13 14:17:54

YANBU If I didn't know you I'd address a letter or email to Dear Mrs Wiper, particularly if I was trying to sell you a service. I'd expect the same from you.

If we got friendly I'd expect Hi Limited, no salutation at all or even 'Hey, you'.

I don't understand why that is so hard to grasp.

<memories of long-ago work dispute where the HR department of the company who were trying to stuff me kept addressing letters to Dear Limited, like I was asking how much holiday I had left rather than for them to desist in breaking the law>

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 14:31:31

Kendodd, I don't believe I said anywhere that I was 'worried' about it! Is it not permissable to post a non-life-or-death topic for discussion?

Kendodd Thu 02-May-13 14:37:53

Okay, to feel 'rubbed up slightly the wrong way' about.

pigsDOfly Thu 02-May-13 14:39:41

I think whatever term of address you use. Someone's going to be offended. In emails, I do tend towards first names and when giving my name to anyone never give a title.

I don't agree though that it's appropriate for doctors to address patients by their first names to help them relax. If I'm being treated by a doctor who's young enough to be my son/daughter I think it's patronising of them to call me by my first name.

Years ago in hospital the woman in the next bed to me was an elderly Scottish lady who had been a nanny of the old fashion type all her working life. She never commented when the young student nurses addressed her by her first name in a tone of voice one usually uses to chivy young children along, but the look on her face said it all.

Sometimes first names just aren't appropriate.

ConferencePear Thu 02-May-13 14:42:08

"" Medics etc should realise that reducing professional distance by using first names makes most patients feel more comfortable and less nervous. So YABU"

I agree with this. My GP calls me by my first name; I don't even know his first name. Far from making me comfortable it makes me feel that I'm being patronised.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 14:44:57

For pigs and Conference:

Names (Wendy Cope)

She was Eliza for a few weeks

When she was a baby –

Eliza Lily. Soon it changed to Lil.

Later she was Miss Steward in the baker’s shop

And then “my love”, “my darling”, Mother.

Widowed at thirty, she went back to work

As Mrs Hand. Her daughter grew up,

Married and gave birth

Now she was Nanna. “Everybody

Calls me Nanna,” she would say to visitors.

And so they did – friends, tradesman, the doctor.

In the geriatric ward

They used the patients’ Christian names.

“Lil,” we said, “or Nanna,”

But it wasn’t in her file

And for those last bewildered weeks

She was Eliza once again.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 14:46:59

I'm not making a point - just reminded me of the poem.

limitedperiodonly Thu 02-May-13 14:52:05

When I was in hospital I got really fed up with doctors not introducing themselves before asking me questions or worse, discussing me like I wasn't there. I also didn't like them calling me by my first name but introducing themselves (when forced to) as Dr or Mr X. So I said so.

No problem with the nursing staff calling me Limited because they always introduced themselves and always by their first name. I noticed that they called some older patients Mr or Mrs out of courtesy.

I wonder why it is that doctors with their big brains can't grasp the things that mere nurses can? wink

Doctors insisting on Dr. Lastname, but calling you Firstname, or even worse, when dealing with your DC, referring to you as 'Mum' is extremely patronising and disrespectful, not 'comforting' at all.

themaltesecat Thu 02-May-13 15:00:19

I like that poem.

OP, you are right, it is rude. Just your first name? Abrasive and far too familiar- and bad business. Even in the Soviet Union, when they forcefully did away with the old order and everything that went with it (titles, ordinary courtesy and what have you), they would address you as "Comrade So-and-So."

Chortling at "very, very offended" upthread. I'm also a Kiwi, and one of the reasons I emigrated was my fellow countrymen forever getting "very, very offended" at fuck all.

limitedperiodonly Thu 02-May-13 15:00:27

Ahh Dribble you've reminded me of this Elvis Costello song about an elderly woman in a nursing home.

Veronica sits in her favourite chair and she sits
very quiet and still
And they call her a name that they never get
right and if they don't then nobody else will
But she used to have a carefree mind of her
own, with devilish look in her eye
Saying "You can call me anything you like, but
my name is Veronica"

I don't know what my point is either but it always makes me smile and cry at the same time.

cumfy Thu 02-May-13 15:00:34

Why do you let them know your forename ?

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 15:01:34

Yes, we've only been into hospital once with DD, but I didn't like being referred to as just 'Mum'. My poor DH wasn't even addressed at all, presumably because they weren't sure if he was 'Dad'!

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 15:03:49

I was thinking about that kind of thing themaltesecat! Can we think of an alternative to Comrade? Suppose we could go for 'Citizen', like during the French Revolution...

Citizen Dribble would be okay.... grin

pigsDOfly Thu 02-May-13 15:16:10

I quite like Citizen, it has a certain dignity to it.

I too hate that 'mum' thing. When my children were younger it used to really annoy me. Just because I have a child it doesn't mean my brain's gone walkabout. Bloody patronising.

trinity0097 Thu 02-May-13 15:28:00

How did you sign off your original email? If with your first name it would be considered normal in my opinion to then reply using it. If with Mrs Whatever, then I would expect them to do that.

I am a teacher, and I will start a fresh email (to all but a few parents I communicate with often) as Mrs Whatever, but then in my reply to their reply as Sally, or whatever their first name is if that is what they used. I do not consider it rude for them to address me by my first name in an email if I have previously replied using my first name.

trinity0097 Thu 02-May-13 15:30:06

How did you sign off your original email? If with your first name it would be considered normal in my opinion to then reply using it. If with Mrs Whatever, then I would expect them to do that.

I am a teacher, and I will start a fresh email (to all but a few parents I communicate with often) as Mrs Whatever, but then in my reply to their reply as Sally, or whatever their first name is if that is what they used. I do not consider it rude for them to address me by my first name in an email if I have previously replied using my first name.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 16:25:02

Already answered twice upthread

'Dribble Wiper (Mrs)', which seems to be considered a bit odd. I think I wanted to make the point that I expected to be addressed (at least initially) as Mrs Wiper, but have no problem with first names thereafter. It's clearly confusing and I won't do it again.

I'm also a teacher and would certainly address parents by title + surname in emails and usually thereafter. It's a professional relationship and they rarely attempt to move on to using first names. There are a couple with several children, whom I've all taught, but it's not the norm.

limitedperiodonly Thu 02-May-13 16:40:43

We used to call someone at work Citizen S... (I can't put his real name because it's very distinctive and I think his wife's on here) for his strident views on THE WAY THINGS SHOULD BE, especially when drunk. Never to his face though. We did like him really, but the lectures were a little hard to take.

limitedperiodonly Thu 02-May-13 16:47:22

It's interesting that one of the replies was from a cleaning company. My mum was a cleaner and she was always Mrs X but she called her employers by their first names.

Good, honest cleaners are like gold dust and are worth buttering up. But I still think the company should call you Mrs Wiper.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 17:09:23

I've been looking up synonyms for 'citizen', but they're a bit uninspiring. Anyone fancy Denizen? Compatriot? Taxpayer??

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 18:37:24

I expect a certain degree of reciprocity in names.

Yes it is interesting how the power dynamic works, I am quite happy to be called 'Compo' but only object if the person then refers to themselves as 'Dr/Mr/Ms Smith.' It is a bit of one upmanship on the part of the speaker.

If you wished to be referred to by a more formal title, grant me the same courtesy.

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 18:40:01

Oh and OP how did you address the email you responded to.

If you signed it

yours sincerely,

Dribble Wiper

How would they know if you were Mrs/Ms/Dr/Lady/Admiral Wiper?

thermalsinapril Thu 02-May-13 18:43:48

YANBU. If someone doesn't know me, I'm Ms Thermals.

ChunkyPickle Thu 02-May-13 19:00:21

YANBU - in a formal/customer/whatever situation I am Ms Pickle, and I would do the same to people I met - be they receptionists, doctors, salespeople or whatever. If you call me Chunky, then I know that you're trying to be inappropriately friendly and that puts me on my guard because you're probably about to try and sell me something.

When I was a salesperson, I always appreciated that my company put my full name on my badge, and liked that the polite customers would call me Miss Pickle (Ms would be better, but it is more awkward to pronounce).

In hospital with my son I totally understood that my son was the important one with the name, and I was mum - I preferred that the nurses looked after and knew him rather than mucked about figuring out my name (which is different to my childs)

exoticfruits Thu 02-May-13 19:01:48

It is a bit tricky though- I am not Ms.

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 19:17:23

YANBU. If someone doesn't know me, I'm Ms Thermals.

What if someone has a ambigous first name like Sam? or a name from another culture where it is not clear what gender a person is?

How would they know if you were a Ms or a Mr?

Bue Thu 02-May-13 19:26:58

Oh I hate it when doctors introduce themselves as Dr so and so but they refer to you by your first name. Mum is even worse! Luckily on our labour ward the vast majority use their first names, which I think is much nicer and more appropriate for everyone involved. There are a couple of young male anaesthetists (why is it always the young male anaesthetists?!) who go in with "Hi Karen, I'm Dr Johnson" and I always think, oh you utter twat.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 19:30:35

ComposHat Please see my reply to your question upthread. You've given me an idea, though. I think I shall be First Sea Lady Wiper from now on.

Sams presumably are more used to making their gender clear in correspondence (if they don't, then ho hum). If it were a name from another culture, I'd almost certainly try to find out which gender it applied to. Risk of mistakes, still, of course, but effort made.

GettingObsessive Thu 02-May-13 19:33:59

If I email people, I sign off Getting Obsessive. They usually (in a work context) reply Dear Ms Obsessive or Dear Getting.

On forms (for example for the electricity company) I always give my title and I expect them to refer to me as Mrs Obsessive. As a child, I was taught that you don't call someone by their first name until you've been invited to.

On the phone I call myself Getting Obsessive, but they always seem to call me Mrs Obsessive must be the steel in my voice

GettingObsessive Thu 02-May-13 19:35:12

And, when his online banking asked him how he wanted to be addressed, my BIL put "Lord BIL"


DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 19:41:26

Love it! Did anyone ever question it? They probably got all excited in the online banking office.

GettingObsessive Thu 02-May-13 20:00:06

Oh it's only on the bit at the beginning that says "Hello Getting" so that you know you've logged in OK - they know he's plain old Mister really!

Viviennemary Thu 02-May-13 20:05:23

I think it is cheeky of staff to address elderly people in hospital by their first names. But some find it more friendly.

I think I'd want banks/utility companies/big faceless institutions to call me Ms Groat, but where there are smaller companies and the likelihood of an ongoing personal relationship in future I'd expect/prefer "Hi Tolliver" (or better "Dear Tolliver").

However, I also know that if someone signs off "Dribble Wiper (Mrs)" it normally means they want to be called Mrs Wiper and would adjust my response accordingly.

My grandmother was Florence, Florrie for short. When she was in hospital the staff insisted on calling her Flo, which no one had ever called her in her life (and she'd definitely have preferred Mrs Groat).

Cloverer Thu 02-May-13 20:21:00

I have never received an email or letter from someone signed Jane Smith (Mrs) so I would have no idea how they expected to be addressed to be honest! I think you probably caused confusion there.

If an email was signed Mrs Smith or Mrs Jane Smith, I would address the reply to Mrs Smith.

Jane Smith or Jane I would address it to Jane.

maddening Thu 02-May-13 20:40:01

those poems were lovely <sob>

ceres Thu 02-May-13 20:46:37

i have never given a title as part of my name - unless obliged to in e.g. a form, then i put ms.

i prefer to be called by my name. i think irish people are more informal though. i would feel extremely up myself asking anybody to address me as ms whatever. also extremely old (and i am in my 40s).

Misspixietrix Thu 02-May-13 20:49:10

Oh I don't think YABU. I agree with what Tolliver said. I don't know why but it really annoys me when my Bank does it! ~

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 20:53:02

Jane Smith (Mrs)

It is a bit old-fashioned and isn't really seen that much any more, but it used to be fairly common.

I really can't get worked up by whether I am addressed by surname or first name or whatever so long as it isn't insulting.

On a related topic I'm doing a PhD and if I pass, I can't see me getting worked up about being called 'Compo' 'Mr Hat' or 'Dr Hat' all the same to me.

None of the University staff are the least bit popmpus about being called Dr and it would never occur to address them as anything other than their first name.

The most obsessive person I knew about titles was a Chemistry teacher at my old school who had a PhD in Chemistry fuck knows what he doing teaching Chemistry extrodiarily badly in a dog rough comp in the West Midlands insisited on being addressed as Dr Jones and would tear strips of any student who inadvertatly called him Mr Jones.

WeAreEternal Thu 02-May-13 20:57:16

Honestly I expect everyone I do not know personally to address me by my title. It really irritates me when people address me by my first name, especially in emails where I have signed my email to them with just my title initial and surname, but they still start their reply with hello We. I find it rude.

thermalsinapril Thu 02-May-13 21:03:20

> What if someone has a ambigous first name like Sam? or a name from another culture where it is not clear what gender a person is?

Then it's up to them to make this clear in their initial contact. The OP is referring to companies who are getting in touch after she'd contacted them.

Likewise Ms should be the default for a woman who hasn't stated her preferred title, not just defaulting to the first name instead. Of course if you'd rather be Mrs/Miss/Professor/Doctor/Lady then you can state that in brackets as suggested by ComposHat.

DribbleWiper Thu 02-May-13 21:07:59

ComposHat, I nearly put that I'd be infinitely more pissed off if I'd done that DPhil I thought of doing at 21 and then wasn't called Dr by anyone! You've earned it! Wouldn't you want the title to be used by strangers?

I certainly don't think it's pompous to want to be known as Dr rather than Mr. It's merited by how much work you've done to achieve it. Professor's even better, obviously! grin

ComposHat Thu 02-May-13 21:48:33

I think the Dr or Ms/Mr thing got debated on another thread, the consensus amongst us PhDers seemed to be: 'fine in a formal academic context, but a bit try hard if you start using it on the outside world where it has no relevence.' For example I know someone who is in the Army, he's only known as Sgt Smith at work, but outside he's Mr Smith or Dave.

Anyway I never introduce myself as Mr Hat, so it is unlikely I will ever introduce myself as Dr Hat. I am a diminutive of my first name to pretty much everyone.

Anyway I couldn't be arsed writing to Tesco Club Card or the watter board and going through the faff of changing my title.

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