I got two text messages from Amazon on my cellphone to the effect that a book that I had ordered had been delivered successfully. I had been at home and had not received any delivery from a courier and so got online to Amazon and went to their customer service facility and chose to chat online about my problem.
I was asked to wait till a representative came online which took a couple of minutes but when she came online, she because of the name, she started off by typing “Hello Ramana, how may I be of assistance?”
I responded “I am 75 years old Ms.XYZ. Do you still want to address me by my first name?”
She promptly responded, “Sorry Sir, how may I be of assistance?”
We proceeded to chat and she solved my problem for me.
Amazon wanted me to respond to a customer feed back where I have left my response to the effect that they should not use the first name system of addressing their customers.
Yes, I understand that in the West this is quite common and acceptable but in India, this simply is not. We are formal in our addressing of people, particularly so when it comes to strangers. You would notice that I addressed the lady representative as Ms automatically and instinctively.
I shared this story with another senior citizen friend who too confirmed that he found it annoying when total strangers addressed him by his first name.
I wonder what Nick would say about this!