Sexy Gay Jesus here. It's been a while since I've written, I know. It seems nobody needs my advice anymore, so I've been hanging out with the Occupy crowd in New York, inspiring people, protesting greed, helping heal the sick and trench-footed, and circle-drumming:
|I'm the guy with the beard, obvs.|
Whenever I receive a business communication from someone unknown to me with my first name in the salutation, as in "Dear Robert," it immediately goes into the trash.
Being addressed by my first name in this context is just plain wrong. Since I don't know the person who is sending the correspondence, I find the informal tone to be highly improper...I have been accused of being "old school." However, there are rules and guidelines governing written communication, and it seems as though they are being ignored. Would you please inform people about the proper way to write? -- CALL ME "MISTER C.," SAN JOSE, CALIF.
Dear Mr. Cock (I just decided that's what the C stands for),
You need to chill the fuck out. You are "old school," and not in a Fab Five Freddy kind of way. Yes, sometimes people presume too much familiarity in correspondence and in personal interaction, but some (most?) of us don't give a shit if people call us by our first names (Unless they are creepy, in which case we prefer that they not know our names at all). Do you think people would like me as much as they do if I ran around insisting people call me MISTER Christ all the time? And sure, while I appreciate a good beatifying title like "Our Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Son of God, Redeemer of the World, Jehovah, Prince of Peace, Light of the World, the Way the Truth and the Life, Lamb of God, King of the Jews, etc., etc.," that just takes too long for everyday use. And depending on which industry you work in, formality standards may be in flux. I am pleased to see, though, that you both adhere to old-fashioned etiquette standards AND can use the internet with some competence! It is possible that one of those first name-users may actually be an important client or contact though, so I am not sure just deleting those messages is a good idea. I'm assuming you continue to work somewhere stodgy, in which case I recommend you reply to all overly informal emails as passive-aggressively as possible. Por ejemplo:
Dear MS. Soandso,
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, both Dear Abby and I think you know nothing about business etiquette. I prefer not to be addressed by my first name by anyone, including my wife and my parents. I am afraid your business will ultimately fail because you have mis-gauged the proper level of formality. I have spent YEARS earning my title of "Mr." through being male and over eighteen and insist it be used at all times in order to show the proper respect to a man of my status.
Get off my lawn.
MISTER R. COCK
I think this could be a really effective networking tool for you.
Love and vodka shots,
THE Sexy Gay Jesus, Ph.DEITY