A friend once told me that her parents taught her to always greet people by name — rather than just an anonymous “hey you” or “wassup?”
I’ve always associated over-using people’s names with a sales pitch. As in, “Hello, Jane Doe. How are you, Jane Doe? Can I sell you some snake oil, Ms. Doe, or can I call you Jane?”
But today I thought I’d give it a try and see if people appreciate that personal touch of hearing their name.
I started with the gentleman who sells the Outreach Connection newspaper on a corner near the subway. I hadn’t expected to see him again so soon.
“Hi, Mr. Singh,” I greeted him.
He threw his head back and laughed. “No ‘Mister’,” he said, smiling. “Just ‘John’ is okay.”
“Okay then. Hi John!” I said, laughing too.
We chatted for a minute and I told him he’d better get out of the rain that was starting to come down. Little did I know that I’d be the one to get completely soaked about five minutes later. I was so drenched, my toenails felt soggy.
Anyway, Mr. Singh had thought it was silly for me, a customer, to address him as “Mister.” But he’s at least 15 years my senior, and it has a nice, respectful ring to it, I thought.
I remember, as kids, it was always understood that we would address my parents’ friends and adult neighbours as Mrs. Smith or Mr. Jones and aunts and uncles as Aunt Millie or Uncle Jack. You get the picture.
That seems to have all changed … last weekend, I heard one of the Sunday school kids calling the priest, “dude.”
Oh yeah, my good deed … I did try to use people’s names throughout the day. I couldn’t tell if they liked it or not but at least I didn’t get anyone’s name wrong … yet.
P.S. The name of the person who wrote this song is Colbie Caillat. Enjoy!