Friday, June 19, 2009

Liz Throws a hissy fit

Elizabeth Becton doesn't like being called "Liz".

She really, really, really doesn't like it.

If you want to score a meeting with Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), know this: His scheduler/office manager, Elizabeth Becton, is to be addressed by her full name — not Liz or any other variant.

An executive assistant at McBee Strategic recently learned this the hard way. A few weeks ago, the assistant e-mailed Becton seeking a meeting with McDermott and a client, JPMorgan Chase. Days later, the assistant checked back in and unfortunately began the e-mail with "Hi Liz." 

Becton curtly replied, "Who is Liz?"

When the assistant wrote back with an apology, Becton turned up the heat. "I do not go by Liz. Where did you get your information?" she asked. 

The back-and-forth went on for 19 e-mails, with the assistant apologizing six times if she had "offended" Becton, while Becton lectured about name-calling.

A while ago, I decided to adopt as a policy that you get one apology per minor offense.  If that's not sufficient, that becomes your problem.  Now this isn't for something major like a broken bone or a wrecked car, but if you take offense over a mode of address, and refuse to accept an apology, I have to conclude it's because you enjoy taking offense.

I'm more than happy to oblige.

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