About your first name

I just got a call from a realtor interested in earning a commission helping me sell my mother’s house. The call began, “Hello, is this [my first name]? I am a realtor with …” click.
       My best friends are vultures, who make these people look ugly. I understand their need to pursue a living, but it sure can get annoying.
       The most irksome thing to me, though, is the friendly, familiar tone they start out with. It seems a bit rude to just right-off address a stranger by their first name without being invited to do so. I am a fairly laid-back person, but also a little old-fashioned. Being address as Mr. [my last name] feels a bit stodgy, but at least it does not sound like being talked down to.
       Hanging up on someone does seem impolite, but in a way it is not. I do not want to waste my time leaving a wisp of hope or waste their time on a fruitless enterprise, so I think it really is a mercy.

Feel free to excoriate me for being a jerk.

Sales calls are rude and intrusive just by their very nature.

Lately we’ve been getting 3-4 calls a week asking us if we are interested in selling our house. No, we are not. I’ve told my husband to just not bother answering the phone at all unless it is a number he recognizes.

We’re lucky that we get a lot of flyers in our mailbox about selling our house, but no phone calls (that I know of).

I do remember once getting a call about asking if we want to refinance, which we declined. We got a really good deal when we bought this house because of the way the market was at the time and it’s just not beneficial to us.

I agree 100%.

It would be rude to hang up on them if you had called them. They did not seek your permission for the interaction, and you’re free to decline as abruptly as you like. I usually say, “sorry, I’m not interested” as I hang up, but doing so involves talking over their protracted scripted spiel, so I doubt if they perceive it.

My central point, though, is that I find it bad form for a stranger to use my first name. There are situations when it is ok, but this is not one of them. When you meet someone for the first time, you do not slide into profanity right away (unless your first meeting was really bad), and addressing someone by their first name, to me, is a statement of “I occupy a superior station that affords me this right.” Maybe times are changing and I am way out of touch.

I think I might start picking up the phone with “Answering Service.”

Mr. so and so or sir would’ve been more polite.
It’s a more lax world we live in tho’.

My last name is hard for Americans to pronounce, although I am frequently surprised at how well some people do at it. Anyway, for that reason I am a little more forgiving of people addressing me by my first name. I would prefer, rather than Firstname or Mr. Lastname, if they are asking, it should be “Hello, is this Firstname Lastname?” Even if the last name is garbled, this is still more polite.

About once a year I get a really friendly call from the “police officers association” or whatever they are pretending to be, asking for donations, starting out with my first name and a sort of joke. I don’t actually hang up until I say “not interested.” Last time I asked them to please take me off their list because I am never interested in giving out money to soliciting phone calls. He said he would, but I’ll bet I get another call next year.

Yeah, I sat through one of those and said “Send me a bill for it.” But, we want to use your card, it is so much simpler. “Yeah, right, you think I am going to hand my card number to someone who called me?” Not happening.

Oh, they were willing to send me stuff, but then I discovered they did not actually know who I am or where I live. Which meant (to me) that they were calling off a name/phone number list like any boiler room scam artist, probably on an automatic call distributor outcall system. Up to that point (the first time they called) I was taking them seriously and willing to look at their material. At that point I told him to forget it.

About a decade ago, Safeway had a policy requiring the checkers and baggers to thank each shopper personally for their patronage. Since the number of shoppers with whom the clerks were personally acquainted were few, they were required to ask the customers “May I have your first name?” This must have been excruciatingly embarrassing for the employees and the false intimacy made me grind my teeth in fury. I would manage a tight smile, say “No, that’s OK” and sprint out the door as fast as I could.

They haven’t done it for a while now, and I hope the marketing genius who came up with that one was canned.

My full first name – I’ll use “Steven” for the purpose of the post – is on my credit cards and shows up on hotel reservations. But, since I usually go by “Steve”, that’s how I usually identify myself when checking in.

There have been more than a couple times when the clerk will look up my reservation and say something like, “Well, we have a reservation for Steven…” and give me a look like I don’t know what my “real” name is. I kind of get why they say that, but at the same time it really pisses me off.

Hanging up? Hah! My phone (Pixel 8) recently got an update that included “Audio Emojis”, and I’ve been using the “Poo” audio emoji (imagine a sound that, if you heard it emanate from another stall in the rest room, would cause you to preemptively hold your nose). That way, the scammers hang up for me (albeit with occasional imprecations first).

You’re just learning that now? I’ve been doing that for over 20 years! The few times that an unknown number was legitimate and had something important to say (happened maybe twice in 20 years) they left a message.

Nope. Good real estate agents are very busy, make a lot of money, and don’t have time for cold calls. Bad real estate agents want your business but giving it to them is not likely to do you or them very much good. This nuisance invading your privacy should feel lucky you hung up instead of cursing them first.

I’ve done that for years. For the husband, it’s been a lot harder to unlearn his Navy training - if it rings, you answer it.

I was watching a golf tournament the other week and everything was, “Scotty’s got a putt for par…” or “here’s Xander on the tee…” It seems to have changed from “Nicklaus on the 13th fairway…” “Zoeller’s put for a birdie…” I haven’t really followed sports that closely for 20 years or so. I don’t know if this first-naming is a trend in sports or in society or some kind of branding/marketing the player as an agent would promote?
In another instance, I was on the Patreon page of a Youtuber that i follow and asked a question, referring to the youtuber by his pseudonym/youtube channel name instead of his “real” name, that he’s hardly ever mentioned. I was admonished for not using his real name-- “his NAME IS xxxx. if you want to talk to him you better call him that” or something similar.
I replied, “sorry I dont know him personally.”

My full first name is a single syllable. It is pervasively common for people with my name to be given the two syllable name, and they get called the short version by almost everyone, but my parents decided why not just give me the short name since that is what everyone will call me anyway. This led to the occasion of a legal firm I retained to have to reprint a heap of documents for me to sign because they just assumed that my full name was the longer version.

The hell it does! Yes, hanging up on someone you know is rude. Telemarketers are lucky if they get a “I’m not interested, do not call back” before I hang up on them. My phone is not their marketing tool.

Strangely, when my parents were selling their house, I got a number of texts from various realters addressing me by my first name telling me they wanted to help sell/had interested buyers for my house at parents address. Which made it pretty easy to report them as junk and block them, since I was neither the owner of the house at the address in question, nor was selling it.

I’m more interested in how they associated me and my cell phone with my parents’ house, which was being sold. Ok, I’m lying. I’m not actually interested, just a combination of mildly curious slightly terrified about the data collection and correlation they had their hands on.

It doesn’t matter what they call me; any unsolicited sales call is going to get a rapid and terse, “No thanks! -click”.

What annoys me is when someone gets hired at my agency and when they come on board they give their name a certain way, it gets put in our directory that way, it’s published everywhere that way, but if you address them that way they get offended. Let’s go with someone called Steven who prefers Steve.

Dumbshit, if you wanted to be called Steve, tell people your name is Steve. They’ll put it in the system however you want. Don’t expect people to be fucking mind-readers. And make up your damn mind what you want to to be called and stick with it, don’t fuck around Mike-Michael Dave-David James-Jimmy Joe-Joseph whatever the Hell you are.

My family is quite informal about names. My father and my uncle have never called me by my first name. My dad calls me ‘Dude’ and my uncle
calls me ‘Man’ whenever addressing me. Neither has habitually called me by my first name ever. The informality runs through my family; my sister and nephews interact in similar ways. I’ve always known that’s not normal yet I find it personally acceptable.