Boss insist that you call h/her by last name. Boss calls you by first name...

The weirdest thing I ever experienced along these lines is when I had to call the power company to get the juice to my new place turned on. The customer service rep answered the phone, “Thank you for calling Con Edison. This is Mrs. Davidson, how may I help you?”

That was pretty strange.

You know, I had not thought of this. She had a couple of years on me, but not enough for her to be of a generation where office formality like that was the norm.

I’m a teacher, so it’s a little different: since we are “Ms. Lastname” to the students, we tend to answer to that as easily as to our first names. “Ms/Mr. Lastname” really IS our name in a way that I suspect it isn’t in other enviroments. As a result, I call my principal and the assistant principals by their last name as well–with the Mr./Ms. if there are students or parents present and with just their last name if it is all co-workers around. Of course, there are also exceptions for various reasons: if I have a parent who is trying to threaten me with “I’ll speak with the principal”, I might come back with “I know that [principal’s first name] loves imput from parents, but this policy is one she set” as a way to signify that I am not scared by the threat.

I also call teachers I don’t know well by their last names because that is how I think of them–that’s how the kids identify them.

Manda Jo- do you call the students by their first or last names?

I’m a high school student, and I call pretty much every adult Mr/Mrs/Ms. + (lastname). The only exceptions are relatives and the parents of a very good friend of mine whom I’ve known for years. Basically, Mr/Mrs/Ms. is the norm for my interactions with adults.
So, I feel a little strange when adults refer to me by Mr. (lastname), or even “sir”. Especially “sir”, because I don’t even call adults that, and it feels strange when an adult is giving me more respect than I give him/her.

I occasionally do the Mr./Ms. (never Mrs., unless it’s requested)/Dr./Professor (lastname) thing. It’s useful for maintaining boundaries, especially since some of my professors are my contemporaries. There are a couple whom I call by their first names, but there are informal relationships there, largely because of our children.

That said, I rarely call a boss by his last name. We’re at work for eight hours a day, so some familiarity is appropriate, I think.


** MsRobyn** For now on I INSIST that you refer to me as MrSHAKES :smiley:


I supervise two planners and an intern, and have authority over another.

I would feel very uncomfortable if they called me by my last name. In local government offices in the US, employees are usually on a first name basis. The only people I address by their last names are elected and appointed officials.

Being in the military, its a rule to call anyone who outranks you by their Rank at least, or their rank and last name to avoid confusion. However, you have full right to address those of lower rank than you by their first name.

I’ve had the distinctive pleasure of being passed over several times for promotion due to some trouble I’ve been in, and this has resulted in me being lower rank than people who haven’t had as much time in the military as I have, and in some cases, people who are younger than me.

Lately I’ve been put under the supervision of a person I trained when he was a rank lower than me, now he’s a rank higher, and he wants an unwaivering commitment to the use of professional address. I told him to stuffit pretty much, but I humor him when I’m in a good mood.

I’m a supervisor and my employees all call me by my last name, no Mr. included. I call them, Mr. or Ms. Xxxxxx. All of my department calls everyone else by their last name, I just add the Mr. or Ms. I can’t think of one person that is referred to by their first name.