Okay To Be Stuffy

The other day I got to wondering when is it okay to be stuffy. The reason this even occurred to me is that two insurance salesmen came to call on me. When they telephoned to make the appointment, they called me by my first name. The entire hour they were sitting in my living room, they addressed me by my first name.

They were at least 20-25 years younger than me. I began to wonder why they were so informal. Would it be stuffy of me to correct them and tell them to call me by my last name?

As a rule, I don’t mind being addressed by my first name. But it occurred to me that this may not be appropriate for business people you have never met. If I decide to correct the way I’m addressed, how do I do it? How old do I have to be to get addressed by my last name?

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3 Responses to Okay To Be Stuffy

  1. Susie says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. It is awfully presumptive for a much younger person to address you by your first name as if you were the best of friends and peers. Some of my very best friends I still address by their last names, because of tremendous respect. Businesses encourage this first-name business, but I have always found it very offensive. Perhaps we should start a movement to stop this rude practice!

  2. fillyjonk says:

    I admit to getting a bit bugged when someone who is (a) younger than I am and (b) someone I don’t know (like a waitress) refers to me as “hon” or “honey.” I know that’s just some people’s way, but it still bugs me.

    I know it’s not IMPOSSIBLE for people to have respect any more; the person I usually interact with at the post office calls me “Dr. [lastname]”, as does the campus nurse (who is about my age but whom I don’t know well).

  3. Robbyn says:

    I don’t believe you need to be *any* particular age in order to be treated with respect – at the very least, politeness. And assuming it’s perfectly o-kay to address you by your first name – without your explicit invitation to do so – is hardly polite. It’s extremely rude.

    Actually, it is an attempt to establish an air of “We’re all just buddies here” so that you will be more susceptible to buying something. It is beyond presumptive and I admit with some embarrassment (since someone else’s bad behavior is not an excuse for my own) that I am often rather rude myself in dealing with it.

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