Name and Shame them….
Louise Livesey // 4 March 2008
I am continually frustrated by people who can’t get my name right, I mean it’s not difficult, it’s not double barrelled (which leads to with or without hyphen dilemmas), it’s not oddly spelt, it’s not got silent letters none of that. Yet people seem to find it difficult. And I’m not talking about my surname but my title.
The latest in the saga of trying to get people to get my name right is Thomas Cook, the travel company. I booked a holiday for me and my partner, I paid but my partner was to take delivery of tickets as it’s hard to “sign for” when you’re giving a lecture!
So he’d already given his name and address for the tickets. When it came to paying and asking what name to book the tickets I was asked whether it was “Mrs [his name]”. No I said, we’d already had a discussion about why not and I’d already said this was a really big issue for me. So I said it should be booked under “Dr Louise Livesey” (that being my name). Apparently they couldn’t do “Dr” only “Miss, Mrs or Ms”. After much heart-rending conversations they said they’d book it in with one of those titles (Ms to be precise) and then get it changed as soon as possible and ask the company to sort out their booking system. And so in good faith I booked. The invoice arrived with the correct name on it. The flight tickets, however, have arrived in the name of “Miss Louise Livesey”. Yes that’s right apparently not only can I not be a Dr I can’t be defined by anything other than presumed marital status.1.
I am spitting (feminist) feathers spring. I am not a “Miss” and haven’t been since that fateful day I walked up the aisle (wait for it) to receive my PhD certificate. If you insist on using a title, use the right one (Dr), if you can’t have the decency to ring me and tell me. If you can’t be bothered to do that don’t be so damned lazy as to presume I’m a “Miss” particularly when I’ve already said if you have to use a title then use “Ms”. Why is it important? Because men are not immediately categorised by their marital status, women are. And because, to be frank, I’m not Ms or Miss, my bank card says “Dr” the very same bankcard from which I paid you a large amount of money. If my bank (that doyen of conservative institutions) can get it right, surely to heavens you can too.
Thomas Cook – get a grip, get a life and expect my complaint letter in the post. Better still how about a comment or an apology we can publish on the site? (And yes I have sent them the text and the link to the page – lets see if they have the guts to respond shall we!).
To illustrate how much of an issue this will be my partner rung Thomas Cook and said before he has to show the tickets to me could they change the name so it was right. Their answer was “No”. Lets see what they say to me tomorrow when I share with them a piece of my mind.
Anyone with similar stories to tell please do share them here – I may well find myself writing a feature piece on the importance of this and would love to include other stories….