What The Ellie?

, , , , | Working | December 10, 2017

(We have a new contract and have been given a direct contact who will handle all things which are needed across both companies. Her email address is, I assume, her name. It starts with Ellie. I email her a formal introduction, as I will be interacting quite a lot with her in the coming weeks.)

Me: “Dear Ellie, I would just like introduce myself prior to our actual meeting, as there will be many new faces for you to remember. I’m [My Name], and I am the main commercial advisor who will be dealing with your contract.”

Eloise: “Dear [My Name], thank you for your email. I would like to ask, however, that you address me by my full name, Eloise. We have not established a strong enough work relationship to start using nicknames.”

(Her email includes a signature with “Ellie” as her name.)

Me: “Oh, I do apologise. We have only been given your email address, and I have a relative who is named Ellie, so I assumed it was the same situation with you. I am sorry if I caused offence.”

Eloise: “No offence caused. But please try to remember, it is E-L-O-I-S-E. I would also appreciate the exclusion of personal details in future correspondence, thank you.” *same signature*

(I can tell she isn’t interested in anything beyond the most basic and professional relationship, so I decide to stick with that. Everything is going well until I receive an email one morning that is addressed to everyone in the company.)

Eloise: “Could I please request that all future correspondence address me as ‘Eloise,’ as the level of unprofessionalism being conveyed by your company is disturbing and affects productivity. We do not know each other on a personal level, so addressing me with just ‘Ellie’ is extremely inappropriate. Thank you.” *Ellie signature*

(I decide not to respond, as I have followed this request to the letter already. Several more emails come through following a similar theme. This is the first.)

Director: “Eloise, I can understand your frustration; however, as your employer has only graced us with your email address, and this company prides itself on maintaining a friendly environment, we have had little reason to assume your name is anything other than your email suggests. I would advise perhaps updating your signature, as the use of your nickname may be causing confusion.”

(We got no response from her, but I heard she complained about the “lack of professionalism” to her bosses. The director asked if she had an additional address with her full name, instead, so that the desire to use her nickname at first contact would be prevented. She didn’t, and seemed thoroughly offended by the suggestion. The contract was put in jeopardy because of it, and required a full week of board meetings to straighten out. In the end, she was moved to another contract to save on future hostilities.)

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