Post # 1
I have a name that is kind of unisex. Depending on the spelling, it can go either way. Unfortunately, not everyone knows that, and my name is more commonly masculine than feminine. When people just hear the name, they assume I’m a man. To make things worse, I work for an international company and frequently interact with people who don’t speak English as a first language, so they’re even less likely to catch the subtleties of gender in the spelling of my name.
I’m currently in a long email chain with a customer who calls me Mr. GreenEyedMoon OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. It’s been going on for about two weeks now. It drives me crazy. This is not the first time it’s happened, but it’s the longest I’ve ever dealt with it from one customer.
Is there a polite, professional way for me to tell the customer that I am, in fact, a woman? Any ideas?
This is one of those things that cause irrational, disproportionate rage in me every time it happens, so I’m kind of surprised that my computer monitor is still working, since I definitely want to Hulk out and punch it every single time I get a new one of these emails.
Post # 3
Could you sign your name Ms. Yourlastname on your next correspondance?
Post # 4
I second Juliepants.
Make a point of signing your name as Miss, Ms. or Mrs. until they get the point.
Post # 5
@GreenEyedMoon: so I’m kind of surprised that my computer monitor is still working, since I definitely want to Hulk out and punch it every single time I get a new one of these emails.
^^ This made me laugh!
I think @Juliepants: has a great idea. Or could you perhaps slip in some sort of gender identifying reference? Maybe say something along the lines of “As a woman with XX amount of experience in this area, I think……”
Post # 6
This is what I was going to suggest as well.
Post # 7
I have this exact same problem! My name can be a woman’s name, but has traditionally been a man’s. When I arrived at camp in 5th grade, they’d sorted me into the boys’ cabin. They fixed it the instant they saw me, but I was mortified.
I don’t get angry about it now, just frustrated. And there really isn’t an easy way to let someone know, esp. after its gone on for a couple weeks. If it’s likely working with this customer won’t go on much longer, you might just let it go. If not, or you really just can’t stand it another second, all you can do is add a postscript to a message that says
ps- A short note on my name: I am a woman, with a name common to men, and often find myself mistaken for a man in written communication. In short exchanges I ordinarily just overlook it, but as you and I have a more extended exchange, I thought it best to let you know.
He might be embarrassed, but if you play it off that will pass. And hey, it could be worse – southern men are often named Ashley or Leslie, so think how often they have to correct mistaken gender assumptions 🙂
Post # 8
Start signing off as Mrs. GreenEyedMoon.
Post # 9
@GreenEyedMoon: I once applied for a job where the boss’s name was Leslie. To me, that’s a girl’s name and I wrote “Ms. LASTNAME” – and he just responded with something that said that he’s actually a guy (more professionally than that). I felt so embarassed, but how was I to know?
It’s kind of weird because it’s been happening for two weeks now.. so it will definitely be awkward. I’d say, next time it happens, when you first respond to the email, at the end add a little line that says, “My name is often confusing and most people think it belongs to a man, but it’s actually a female name. Sorry for the confusion!” Because it can be really awkward for the person who gets it wrong.
Post # 10
I guess I should point out that both my boss and my boss’ boss get copied on each and every single email, which is why I haven’t signed it as Ms. GreenEyedMoon yet. Even knowing that both of them will see it, would you still sign it like that?
I did actually sign like that on another email a couple years ago before we started copying everyone and their mother. The next day, I got another email addressed to Mr. GEM. LOOK AT MY STUPID SIGNATURE, YOU #%^&@!!! THEN MAYBE YOU’LL NOT ONLY GET MY GENDER RIGHT, BUT YOU’LL SPELL MY DAMN NAME CORRECTLY, TOO!
Excuse me for a moment, please. I’m going to go take some deep breaths in a corner now.
Post # 11
I interact occasionally with someone at another organization who kept calling me a slight variation on my actual name – very annoying. I felt awkward correcting him in a group setting (other people would make a point of saying my name very loudly and clearly after he said it wrong but he was oblivious). I finally told him, “Hey, my name is actually ___, not ___.” Problem solved!
I think using “Miss, Ms. or Mrs.” is worth a shot but if he still doesn’t get the point, you will have to say it directly. Better now than to let it go on even longer.
Post # 12
Would it be possible to call the person? Perhaps say something like “I just wanted to clarify a point in the email and thought it would be easier over the phone”.
I’m sure once the person hears your voice, it will clue in.
Post # 13
@MrsMermaid: Nope, she’s in Japan. Can’t call. :-
Post # 14
Yeah, I would just sign email as Ms. G.E.M.
I think it would be appropriate. Once, Darling Husband got a spam email that was signed “Doctor Mr. Mrs. (Name of person), Esquire.
Post # 15
Definitely sign it as Ms. or Mrs. regardless of your bosses seeing it. I always sign every single one of my email with my name regardless of who I’m sending it to (husband excluded lol).
Post # 16
I get this fairly often. I just ignore it because I don’t really care. If someone wants to make the correction for me, or if I have to call the person (and then they obviously realize the mistake) that’s fine, but I don’t even worry about trying to correct it.