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My surname is also a common firstname, so sometimes people mix them up and call me by my surname. I'm never offended and just answer by calling them by their surname too, so they understand... usually.

Today, the following e-mail exchange happened:
(Following are made-up names)
Me: Alexander William
Colleague 1: Kurt Richardson
Colleague 2: Amy Lopez

From: k.richardson@contoso.com <Kurt Richardson>
To: a.william@contoso.com <Alexander William>
Cc: a.lopez@contoso.com <Amy Lopez>

Hi,
Could I have an USB-C to HDMI adapter please ?
Thanks.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: a.william@contoso.com <Alexander William>
To: k.richardson@contoso.com <Kurt Richardson>
Cc: a.lopez@contoso.com <Amy Lopez>

Hi Kurt,
I'm currently remote-working but if you are on premises tomorrow I could give one to you.
If you're not there tomorrow, I'll just drop it on Amy's desk so you can get it from her.

Regards,

Alexander William
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: k.richardson@contoso.com <Kurt Richardson>
To: a.william@contoso.com <Alexander William>
Cc: a.lopez@contoso.com <Amy Lopez>

Hi William,
I'm working on premises every thursday.
Regards.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: a.william@contoso.com <Alexander William>
To: k.richardson@contoso.com <Kurt Richardson>
Cc: a.lopez@contoso.com <Amy Lopez>

No problem, Richardson. As I said I'll then drop it on Lopez' desk.

Regards,

Alexander William
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: k.richardson@contoso.com <Kurt Richardson>
To: a.william@contoso.com <Alexander William>
Cc: a.lopez@contoso.com <Amy Lopez>

Good evening William, [Editor's Note: this was received at 14:23]
Thanks.

Is he fucking dense or what?

Comments
  • 6
    I've worked in several companies where this issue was solved systematically: in any email communication, email signatures, and already in the address book, the family name is written in capitals. So your example name would be "Alexander WILLIAM".

    It also helps coping with Chinese names where the family name is in front of the given name, not after. Except if they westernise their names, then it's the other way around, and you never know which is which.

    So, the complaint should go to your IT department why they don't set up the email system in such a way.
  • 3
    Do not fret Sir William ⚔️
  • 6
    @Fast-Nop TIL!
    I didn't realize it was an accessibility setting for an apparently common issue. I didn't like the all caps last name but now, wow.
  • 9
    This sounds like FBI agents talking to each other

    (radio chatter noises)

    "Lopez, do you see the suspect"

    "Yes, he's approaching Richardson with the HDMI Dongle right now"

    sometimes using surnames sounds pretty cool, so maybe that's why the colleagues kept doing it. I mean if everyone is being called by a surname, then it's ok right? herd mentality sort of xD
  • 5
    I fixed this issue by specifying only name in signature.
    i.e. -

    Best regards,
    Alexander
  • 2
    You could've called him Richard, lol
  • 4
    Human names are ambiguous.
    Multi-part forenames are a common thing.
    Only using forenames is a common thing.
    Only using surnames is a common thing.

    There literally is no definite way for other humans to know where your forename starts or ends and whether you omitted your surname or not.
    And most don't care about what form of address you use on them.

    So if you really care that much:
    Just tell them - every few months as non-diplomats in general do forget such stuff...
  • 2
    @anux It's not only an accessibility setting, it's a tradition as old as international mail.
  • 0
    @lbfalvy I had no idea. Good to know.
  • 0
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