What’s in a name?

One of my pet peeves is when people call me via email by my last name first. I’m not talking amongst friends who do that with humor and/or love. I mean people at work who see my name and call me by my last name. 

Now the way our emails are structured is that our last name appears first in the address line. I also know that my name itself isn’t common. I’m no John Doe. Still, it is common knowledge that’s how are email addresses work. 

Even with that, I have had numerous people just address me by my last name. It’s “N”, look at this. “N” I need this ASAP, “N”, you need to be available at this time. It wouldn’t irk me so much if others on the email were addressed the same. Oh no, they are John, Tony, Bob, Kathy, Susan, Mark, etc.  The list goes on.  

In the past I let it go unnoticed thinking people were rushing messages. Only when I started to get “Hi Laura and “N” that I started to get pissed off. I would casually remind people that was my last name and if they would use my first. Some apologized immediately but there were others who tried to justify it. “Oh I know someone by the name of “N”. No asshole, you don’t. It is only a last name and that’s a fact. 

Now I reach out to the person and tell them if they can’t type my first name, please call me “Mr. N” instead. I remind them how are  work emails are structured. I basically make them feel like an idiot.

Is it petty? Perhaps but it is also unfair if someone has a name that isn’t commonplace. Take the few microseconds to type it right. I take care to ensure I get a person’s name right and so should others. After all, without a name, we wouldn’t have an identity. 


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