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Hello Alan (say what?!?)

in Bank, Rant

Again, I had another one of those incidents that makes me wonder why the Service Industries of the world have decided that familiarity is assumed when it comes to dealing with their customers?

I visited a bank that is not my regular branch, but I am dressed for work. I go in, give the young lady (who was no more than 24 years old) my bank card, I log in with it, and suddenly she says, “Hi Alan how are you today?”.  I mustn’t have put up my ‘are you seriously talking to someone old enough to be your Father (if not Grandfather) and using his first name?’ look, because the teller kept talking to me with my first name. I think with my grey hair and my age I have at least earned a “Mr. Big Caj” at least once, but no, someone in TD Customer Service thinks calling me by my first name makes me feel more comfortable when dealing with a bank teller.

When did it become OK for people young enough to be my kids to call me by my first name? Yes, in my life there are a couple of young men I allow to call me by my first name but I have known them since they were born, and I have said it’s OK for them to use my first name, but why is it that my first name is suddenly the way to talk to me (especially by someone in a service industry)?

Just Show a Little Respect!

I have ranted about this before with OK My Man, but this one just had me ranting for hours (ask Mrs. C8j, she was tired of it after a while). This young lady with the purple finger nails, more eye liner than Johnny Depp, was told by some idiot that you seem more friendly when you talk to people if you use their first name. I need to update my TD Profile to reflect, call me Mr. Big Caj please!

Am I being unreasonable expecting at least a small attempt at respect from someone in the service industry? At least wait for me to say it is OK to use my first name before jumping all over it.

 

 

{ 22 comments }

  • MetalRx July 12, 2012, 9:38 PM

    I hope I never adopt this attitude as I get older. I cringe when customers get angry if they are called by their first name. Give me a break.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 13, 2012, 5:01 AM

      I didn’t get angry young man, and who taught you that using someone’s first name is the polite thing to do?

      Reply
  • Ray @ Financial Highway July 11, 2012, 6:03 PM

    I generally prefer to be called by my first name, but that’s also because the age gap is usually very small. At least they should ask if it is ok to call you Alan.

    Reply
  • Mary July 10, 2012, 10:58 PM

    As far as I know, Ms is still a proper salutation. I agree that some women place a large value in being called Mrs. but it’s not as common these days.

    Reply
  • Big Cajun Wife July 10, 2012, 8:38 PM

    I don’t think this is “bank policy” because when we go into the bank when we have made an appointment and get to sit in a glass office the person dealing with us refers to us as Mr. and Mrs. Big Caj. Our titles are in our file as all our correspondence is labeled correctly.
    I believe this is an example of poor customer service training by front line people.
    tsk tsk TD.

    Big Cajun Wife.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 8:54 PM

      True, but she is also afraid of me, and knows my wrath as well!

      Reply
  • Elizabeth July 10, 2012, 3:03 PM

    See, “Madame” would work for me (if it was in common use here, that is). Why are names and titles so confusing for women? We don’t use “master” and “mister” for men anymore.

    Unfortunately, for many women that “Mrs.” is an important status symbol. I hate having to correct people that I’m a “Miss” not a “Mrs.” because everyone assumes I should be married by this age 😉

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 7:18 PM

      So is Ms. off the table now? Too bad, I liked that.

      Reply
  • Money Beagle July 10, 2012, 2:22 PM

    I would judge the level of respect on other things, like did she make you wait before taking care of you, did she give you her full attention, did she do what you requested of her without having to be told twice, did she avoid distractions from other co-workers, did she smile at you, did she thank you for your business, etc. If someone is pleasant, efficient and attentive, those are signs that they respect me and the business I bring.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 7:17 PM

      Agreed, however, when you start off bad, it takes a while to come back from that too.

      Reply
  • CVS Coupons July 10, 2012, 2:29 PM

    I see nothing wrong with young people in the service industry calling you MR. Learning to show respect to your elders is a lost art in the day in age.

    Reply
  • Mary July 10, 2012, 1:28 PM

    I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you here….a person should have the respect to, at least, ask you if it’s ok for them to use your first name. I can’t agree with Echo either, there is nothing old fashioned about using ma’am or sir…that shows that you have been raised with respect for others, no matter their age. Of course, I was raised in the South, where manners were a big deal but I see no situation where respect for others can be turned aside.

    Yep, bigcajunman, you definitely hit on one of my pet peeves! There seems to be a big lack of respect these days,.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 2:01 PM

      Lack of respect, or at least the appearance of lack of respect.

      Reply
  • The College Investor July 10, 2012, 11:55 AM

    Being a guy in customer service, I always call every woman, regardless of age “Miss”. That way, if they are young, they feel young, and if they are older, they still feel younger.

    I did get one complaint in all my years by this old woman who wanted to be called “Ma’am” and not “Miss”, but you can’t win them all!

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 12:13 PM

      No, but at least you made the effort, and for that we old folks appreciate it.

      Reply
  • Elizabeth July 10, 2012, 9:32 AM

    You post made me laugh because I’d rather be called by my first name than have someone trying to figure out if I’m “Miss” “Ms.” or “Mrs.” Men don’t have that problem!

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 9:35 AM

      In France they solved that, everyone is now Madame!

      Reply
  • krantcents July 10, 2012, 8:53 AM

    As another old(er) person, I have no problem with someone younger calling me by my first name. although other circumstances dictate respect. In my classroom, everything is different. Mr. K is the only acceptable reference.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 9:35 AM

      I would prefer they ASK first before becoming familiar with me.

      Reply
  • Echo July 10, 2012, 8:21 AM

    I think it’s old-fashioned to call people sir, or ma’am these days. Mr. Big Caj sounds ok, but I wouldn’t get too worked up over it if someone used my first name.

    That said, when I was on the front lines of the hospitality industry we would never use someone’s first name in a business setting. In fact, there’s an Italian family who came in for coffee every morning and I think if I called the man Tony he would have me whacked – and he’s 95 years old!

    Social settings are different. I have a friend whose father is a prominent business man in town and likes to be called Mr. V. I call him Glen and he still seems to like me.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman July 10, 2012, 8:24 AM

      Yup, you never know WHO you are talking to!

      Reply

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