About your first name

I go almost exclusively by a nickname, so when someone I don’t know addresses me by my actual first name, it automatically feels distant and formal, which means I’m not offended by the over-familiarity.

I’ve never had a problem with this, but I’ve never been much of a stickler on formality.

People call me all the time asking “Can I please speak to (firstname)?” then I respond “Yes, this is her.” then they start talking and I realize they are trying to sell me something and immediately hang up.

I’m guilty of this, but it’s not my fault. I prefer my full first name (Kimberly), and that’s how I always introduce myself. That’s on documents I fill out. That’s on my credit cards. That’s what I write on nametags. Yet about 90% of the time, it gets shortened to Kim. It’s unbelievable how common this is. I’ve managed to remain Kimberly in a few very small groups, but for the most part, I just give up. Constantly reminding people makes me feel like I’m demanding some extraordinary privilege. Anyway, that’s why I’m Kim at work, Kimberly at the Democratic volunteer office, Kim to high school friends, Kimberly at the gym.

The way I see it, telemarketers are not allowed to hang up - they’ll get in trouble with their boss if they do. So by hanging up on them, you’re actually doing them a favor by not wasting their time.

The surgeon that is going to operate on my wrist and elbow introduces himself by his first name. So I guess it’s ok to use that and not ‘Doctor’.

And this guy is probably the best hand surgeon in the state, if not the country. A LOT of professional athletes use his clinic.

In my experience this is very much a generational thing. People under the age of say, 40, address others by and expect to be addressed by their first names in nearly all situations. This includes people in relatively formal situations like financial advisor, lawyers, doctors, and yes realtors. If you call me sir or Mr. lastname, I will assume you are either over the age of 60, from another country/culture, or trying to scam me. This of course can create issues with older-fashioned people who see calling by their first name as somehow demeaning, rather than friendly and egalitarian.

On the subject of real estate agent annoyances, I once was getting incessant emails for some reason from one particular agent that I’d never had anything to do with. Polite requests to stop went unheeded. What finally worked was a response wherein I cited the specific anti-spam law they were violating and for which they would be reported if I received one more email.

Somehow, I was associated with my parents’ house - the place where they moved 6 years after I left home, the place where I never lived and never used as a home address (I was in the Navy at the time.) What was even weirder was getting stuff addressed to my married name at their address - I married 4 years after them moved and, again, never lived there. I don’t know.

I get irritated when parents introduce me to their kids by my first name. Um, no. Your kids may address me as Mrs.[lastname] or Ms [firstname], but I’m not their friend and they need to understand there’s a difference between their classmates and someone old enough to be their grandparent.

As for calls, I have 3 ringtones - one for family, one for professionals/businesses I deal with, and default which I almost never answer unless I’m expecting a call. It saves me from having to rush from one room to another to pick up a BS call. Lately, my voicemail has been getting packed with messages about “grants” or “approvals” or other nonsense. Those can be deleted within the first 5 seconds at most. Tho, in keeping with the OP, they pretty much never address me by name.

Hanging up abruptly is what I’d do if I ever answered calls, which I do not. Not in my contact list? Your call goes to voicemail automatically without ringing/vibrating.

Making cold calls is one of the worst ways to make a living. Quite often the person calling has been told that it’s a requirement of employment. I was supposed to do it when I briefly sold RVs, but I refused. The sales manager would walk around during slack times and badger people for not being on the phone. So I have a certain sympathy for the poor bastard on the other end who is often just trying to keep his job, but it doesn’t mean I have to listen to the spiel. On the rare occasion when I answer the phone and it’s a solicitor, I just say “not interested” and terminate. I’ve tried to train my wife not to answer unknown callers, but with limited success.

When we first got here we were kinda sorta interested in maybe buying a lakefront cabin. We contacted a realtor about a few places, but finally decided to ditch the idea. I don’t know if it was retaliation or business as usual, but we got inundated with emails and cold calls for several months from every idiot with a real estate license.

I agree, strangers soliciting by phone who act familiar with my first name arouse my suspicion immediately.

Back when I was a cold calling hungry sales person I always introduced myself, first and last name. Then I’d ask for the party or ask am I speaking to so and so first and last name. Just felt more polite and respectful, seemed to make people feel more comfortable to at least hear me out.

So our local BK has their minions ask for your first name at the drive thru. I don’t know why and I hesitated giving it, I was the only car in the lane, it just seemed like forced friendliness on my part. If there’s a next time I’m going with an oddball name.

I think that for the past 15 years or so at least we’ve been going through a cultural change where the use of only first names across the board has become de riguer. I don’t mind it, as long as people are aware of the times when it can lead to confusion between people.

I realized this was a firm trend when I was in a group and we were introducing ourselves, and I happened to know that one person in the group had an Icelandic name, and I also knew that Wikipedia says that in Iceland they typically go by only their first names except when absolutely necessary, so I paid attention when she introduced herself. She indeed introduced herself by only her first name. However, I realized that that didn’t tell me anything about Iceland or her Icelandicness because everyone goes by their first names these days.

The idea is to instill a false sense of familiarity with the prospective client so that there is a better chance that their call will go through. All calls to the technology department go through me because I am the official Help Desk, and virtually every call to my boss begins with a friendly, “Good morning, is [first name] available?” I simply reply, “Please hold, I’ll transfer you.” As I do, I call out, "It’s [CTL, Dell, E2, etc.], or, “Sounds like a solicitor.” If he expects the call, he answers. If not, he lets it go to voicemail.

I occasionally get texts asking me if I want to sell my house. I tell them sure, for around $1.7M (my house is worth $400K.) Strangely, I don’t hear back from them!

Getting annoyed when others refer to you by your first name is such an old person thing. I just don’t really ever see that bothering anyone of my generation, I don’t think I have been introduced to anyone new as “Mr” or “Mrs” since I was a child, and to me an adult using that to refer to another adult is really weird. I really only hear that from those who are 60+ or from another country like India.

This is completely unrelated to telemarketers, who I never even pick up the phone for.

When a telemarketer uses my first name, it always comes across to me as smarmy, contrived, and insincere no matter how well the perform it. And often it’s not a good performance, given that a lot of them will shoehorn my first name in an average of 2.4 times per sentence, and they’ll almost always emphasize the name (“See? I’m using your first name. You notice that, right? Yeah, we’re good ol’ buds. You can trust me”). That’s just plain unnatural. Add that to my non-negotiable policy of never doing business with anyone who cold calls, and you get an instant hanging up if not a snippy, quite rude reply.

I’ve gotten phone calls about selling my house. Sometimes, when they catch me in a mood, I’ll ask if they saw a For Sale sign out front. No? Then why are you bothering me?

I find it hilarious when I get flyers in my mailbox regarding selling my house, or replacing my home’s roof, or windows, or otherwise upgrading/repairing/selling real estate.

I live in an apartment building. I rent. Clearly they are just blasting every address in a zip code. Fortunately, since actual paper newspapers have largely disappeared I can use this junk for the bottom of the bird cage.

Unsolicited sales calls I usually hang up. I have recently received a couple calls from car dealers but in both cases I had actually visited the dealership and I am actually in the market for another vehicle so to those guys, who are just trying to make a living, I am courteous. Especially to the one guy, who is a bit slimy in some respects but actually listened to me when I listed off my priority and budget and showed me some nice, small sized SUV’s in my price range. That’s different - I chose to interact with those guys, they didn’t cold call me.

Obviously cold calling and blasting out ads works, otherwise no one would keep doing it, but I really find it off-putting.

I have a source for used work-shirts. I wear them instead of t shirts. So, I’ll be wearing a swimming pool service shirt with “Ed” on the pocket. Never fails, a stranger says, “hey Ed” and I don’t respond.

When they try to get my attention, I eventually explain my name isn’t Ed. They say “it says Ed on your shirt”. I point to the woman in the hockey jersey and tell them that her name likely isn’t Mario, same deal here.

I think that is true in a large majority of cases, but they view their efforts as a war of attrition. There are always people out there who can be socially engineered in their favor so, if they stay the course, they can always find a few.

It’s generally a requirement to provide HR with your full legal name for right to work verification and for tax withholding. Including middle name if you have one.

What’s an abject failure is the design of HR systems that do not have provisions for people to provide a short form name (Ed vs Edward) or a nickname. Or systems that demand a middle name if you have one, but then load it into the first name field so everyone assumes your first name is a compound monstrosity.