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Undue Familiarity
#1
Undue Familiarity
For reasons that needn't be gone into, we need to hire a car for the next several days. I called the rental agency this afternoon and an obviously young man answered and immediately asked for my name (presumably to look me up in the system in case I was a prior customer).  I gave it and he said, 'Do you prefer "Pat" or "Patrick" ?'  I was a little taken aback and said, 'Actually, I prefer "Mr. Shannon".'  This impudent little snot then proceed to parrot what was apparently a company phone script about their services, in the course of which he called me 'Patrick' at least twice.  I finally managed to derail him and asked to speak to his boss.

After what felt like an interminable wait through a recording about the joys of car rental, a man came on the line and said, 'Patrick? This is Andrew.  Is there a problem?' Trying my best not to fly into a profanity-filled rage (I do that, sometimes), I explained that I didn't appreciate being called by my first name in a business transaction, particularly by people who don't know me and have never dealt with me before.  I said that I found it unprofessional, and that they should consider making a change.  He said - I swear this is true - 'You see, Patrick, we've found that being on a first-name basis with our clients adds to the  holistic experience of hiring a car.'  I told him, 'Well, enjoy the holistic experience of losing my business,' and hung up.

When the fuck did this sort of false chumminess and familiarity start creeping into business relationships?  It has, I'm sure, a lot to do with the way I was raised - we were taught that you never, EVER called someone by their first name until and unless you were invited to do so.

Does this piss anyone else off?

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#2
RE: Undue Familiarity
No, that's dumb. Who wants to be called Mr. So and so. Are you a businessman living in the 1930s? Just call me by my name
[Image: dcep7c.jpg]
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#3
RE: Undue Familiarity
But the point - in this instance - was that I told the kid who took my call that I didn't want to be called by my first name.  He continued to do so.  I made it clear that I wasn't happy by asking to speak to his boss.  I told him I didn't want to be called by my first name, and he went right ahead and did so.

You can have people address you however you like, but there are times when it is decidedly unprofessional, and in this case at least, indicated that they didn't care a steaming shit about the customer's wishes.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#4
RE: Undue Familiarity
Seriously, you asked for a manager and waited on hold because they called you by your first name?
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#5
RE: Undue Familiarity
Yes. But more because I had told the first person NOT to call me by my first name, and he continued to do so.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#6
RE: Undue Familiarity
(April 14, 2018 at 5:46 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: But the point - in this instance - was that I told the kid who took my call that I didn't want to be called by my first name.  He continued to do so.  I made it clear that I wasn't happy by asking to speak to his boss.  I told him I didn't want to be called by my first name, and he went right ahead and did so.

You can have people address you however you like, but there are times when it is decidedly unprofessional, and in this case at least, indicated that they didn't care a steaming shit about the customer's wishes.

Boru

The customer's wishes are often stupid. It's not the 1900s. I would never insist on being called Mr. Anything. This is the world we live in. Maybe you can adjust to it, rather than insist everyone adjusts to your outdated preferences. It's totally crazy to make such a big deal about this.

Because you are buying something doesn't make you some sort of temporary slave owner. Can't believe you'd try to get someone punished for not calling you mister. The manager did the right thing by blowing you off.

(April 14, 2018 at 6:32 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: Yes. But more because I had told the first person NOT to call me by my first name, and he continued to do so.

Boru

Yeah, but why do you care to start with? You have no right to be called mister just because you are buying something, nor do I understand why you would even want to be. I hate getting called Mr. I'm not that old. The funny thing is that you are like, a liberal politically, but this is behavior I'd expect from like, 95 year old conservative ladies.
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#7
RE: Undue Familiarity
I notice here in te USA that first name usage is more common now than surname usage, at least in the customer situations I find myself in. So it doesn;t bug me, really. But what is somewhat annoying is seeing 'sir and ma'am' fall out of disuse. Or maybe it's more me. People see my crutches and automatically see fit to be much more informal, or even maternal, with me.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
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#8
RE: Undue Familiarity
(April 14, 2018 at 5:28 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: For reasons that needn't be gone into, we need to hire a car for the next several days. I called the rental agency this afternoon and an obviously young man answered and immediately asked for my name (presumably to look me up in the system in case I was a prior customer).  I gave it and he said, 'Do you prefer "Pat" or "Patrick" ?'  I was a little taken aback and said, 'Actually, I prefer "Mr. Shannon".'  This impudent little snot then proceed to parrot what was apparently a company phone script about their services, in the course of which he called me 'Patrick' at least twice.  I finally managed to derail him and asked to speak to his boss.

After what felt like an interminable wait through a recording about the joys of car rental, a man came on the line and said, 'Patrick? This is Andrew.  Is there a problem?' Trying my best not to fly into a profanity-filled rage (I do that, sometimes), I explained that I didn't appreciate being called by my first name in a business transaction, particularly by people who don't know me and have never dealt with me before.  I said that I found it unprofessional, and that they should consider making a change.  He said - I swear this is true - 'You see, Patrick, we've found that being on a first-name basis with our clients adds to the  holistic experience of hiring a car.'  I told him, 'Well, enjoy the holistic experience of losing my business,' and hung up.

When the fuck did this sort of false chumminess and familiarity start creeping into business relationships?  It has, I'm sure, a lot to do with the way I was raised - we were taught that you never, EVER called someone by their first name until and unless you were invited to do so.

Does this piss anyone else off?

Boru

I find it weird that they insisted it upon you multiples times after being asked not to do so.  Why would a business intentionally instigate a potential customer?  Bizzare.
Nay_Sayer: “Nothing is impossible if you dream big enough, or in this case, nothing is impossible if you use a barrel of KY Jelly and a miniature horse.”

Wiser words were never spoken. 
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#9
RE: Undue Familiarity
(April 14, 2018 at 6:32 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: Yes.  But more because I had told the first person NOT to call me by my first name, and he continued to do so.

Boru

The complain't isn't that they used your first name. The real problem is they continued to annoy you by not addressing you the way you wanted. 

Not everyone cares, and some people don't mind you using their first name. 

I could care less if a clerk calls me Brian, I would get pissed if they repeatedly called me "Bri". 

But, my last name continually gets an "s" added to the end of it, that annoys me too. 

Even with new people you meet outside a business setting. It is simply polite to address the other in the manor they request. 

I get that you were annoyed though.
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#10
RE: Undue Familiarity
I find it cringeworthily cynical on their part that they'd do that; not only ask to use your first name but also ask you for the shortened/nickname that your friends might call you by... and then to proceed to plug that name into a presumably monotonous telemarketing script... the opposite of informal, friendly chat. Seems like they're trying to artificially engineer trust by doing that... by becoming your 'best friend'... for the duration of a phone call, so yeah, cringeworthy and cynical.
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