July 30, 2006

Trends. I am slowly noticing how things change, and how we define things as being ok to do or not. The way we do things is different than it was several years ago.

We made a call in order to a local restaurant today. When asked for my name, I left my last name, Dean. Now, admittedly, this could be a last name or a first name. I had a boss once whose first name was Deane. The joke was that his middle name was Bryan. I used to kid him that he didn’t know how to spell as he spelled it differently than I do.

At any rate, I remember that when you made carryout orders or reservations, you left your last name. When you picked it up, they addressed you as Mr. or Ms. or some proper expression. Nowadays, they expect that the name you left is your first name, not your last name. So, it is “Hi Dean” or “There you go Dean”. Now, in the military, they use last names, but there is usually rank involved. Since I am not the commander of some starship J, that is not an option. 

I guess I find that what places are trying to do is become friendlier. If we use someone’s first name, we are friends as opposed to making our relationship nothing but business. One of the warehouse clubs has their employees hand your card back and say something like “Thank you for shopping with us, Brian.” Now, for some reason, that bothers me, and it may simply be because I’m not 15 anymore. But I feel (at least in this case), it shows a lack of respect. I think that once I pass say 30, that the 18-year old kid checking me out at the grocery should say Mr. instead of using my first name. (Now I can remember telling people now and than that if they meet my father, they can call him Mr. Dean, but not to do so with me.) 

I don’t know, I guess it’s just a trend. All too many companies are trying so hard to appear as my friend, that one wonders if they know the true meaning. 

But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.