Called Frau instead of Herr in letter

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Posted

In an email confirmation and the invoice I received for a conference I'm attending next week, I have been called Frau in both. A Frau I am not! I have a commonly used name in Ireland and England that is, for me anyway, obviously a man's name.

While more funny than annoying/insulting in any way, I was wondering has this happened to anyone else and how did you respond?

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Posted

Its happened to me too... so I posted on a public chatforum somewhere...

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Posted

In an email confirmation and the invoice I received for a conference I'm attending next week, I have been called Frau in both. A Frau I am not! I have a commonly used name in Ireland and England that is, for me anyway, obviously a man's name.

While more funny than annoying/insulting in any way, I was wondering has this happened to anyone else and how did you respond?

I once received a collection postcard from Deutsche Post for a parcel, it was for a mate who had left Germany, I had agreed to let him use my address to receive any mail.

I took the card to the post office, and the bumptious official took the card and handed me the parcel and said admonishingly "But next time, Frau so-and-so comes and collects it herself!".

What?

Where did he get the idea the card is addressed to a woman? Funny how they can conjour up imaginary people like that.

Another example. Once when moving to a new address, I went in person to the office of the cable internet provider to order Internet cable broadband.

All the subsequent postal correspondence and account name was addressed to Frau <my name>. Don't know where on earth they got that from. I had to call them to tell them I was not aware of the existence of this Frau, so please change it to my name.

Maybe they think the Hausfrau always orders and signs the internet service contract. Kinder, Kueche, Kirche und Internet.

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Posted

It happens the other way round for me, I get lots of "Herr Surname" because they know Jean is a French man's name and not as many are familiar with Jean as a woman's name. If it's something important like insurance documents, I phone them and ask them to correct it.

If it's something in email, I'll usually reply and add Frau before my name when signing off. Or if I have any other queries that I need to phone them about, I'll take the chance to correct them then (because you cannot assume that they will make the connection between talking to a woman and changing the contact details in their system to reflect that that person is actually a woman).

It's a bit irritating when it's happening for the hundreth time but it also means that you're more likely to be remembered, more likely to have a bit of pleasant idle chat with organisers and so on and most of the time that's more of an advantage than a disadvantage.

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Posted

I am often taken to be a man - even though I tend to close letters/emails with my full name, which is most definitely known to be a female name in Germany.

I don´t let it bother me too much.

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Posted

When I give my surname, I'm always asked how many "T"s. I've never come across anyone called Scot, either as a given name or a surname.

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Posted

happens a LOT to me especially after Tom Cruise named his daughter "Suri"!! :P

Every $#@%$@# EXCLAIMS "Oh isn't that Tom Cruise's daughter's name?"!!

There have been three instances (in both Germany and The Netherlands) where I had to send separate emails / make phone calls to have my salutation corrected from Frau/Vrouw to Herr/Dhr. :P

Another time this mitfahrgelegenheit dude thought I was a chick until he met me in the Hauptbahnhof and goes "OHHH!! I thought it was a girl"!!

(I'm glad he still took me in his car n' didn't abandon me :P )

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Posted

I have a commonly used name in Ireland and England that is, for me anyway, obviously a man's name.

Happens Enda Kenny all the time ;)

it's happened me a few times, I've mostly ignored it because it wasn't anything important, but once or twice when in was a contract thing, I just wrote back to them correcting it - no biggie.

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Posted

I get emails from people applying for jobs that address the email - Dear Sirs

When I write back and sign off with Frau or Ms. Moondancer, the answer comes back again - Dear Sirs

Some people just don't pay attention. When in doubt, just use the names, rather than offend by using the wrong salutation.

Want to know what happens to applications addressed to Dear Sirs? They will need to look some place else for a job.

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Posted

This smacks of a First World Problem.

You have no idea how often I get called by my last name (an androgynous name), even after sending people an email signed with my first name. I live with it and get on with my life.

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Posted

Why don't you turn up in drag?

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I know that isn't aimed at me but my moobs would probably scare the crap out of any driver.

Gratuitous question: If horse racing is the sport of kings, is drag racing the sport of queens?

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Posted

When I write back and sign off with Frau or Ms. Moondancer, the answer comes back again - Dear Sirs

Some people just don't pay attention.

In the UK, 'Dear Sirs' is still sometimes used (though some people don't like it)when you are writing to the management of a company. Sexist but well-established enough to have hung around. Maybe these people are trying to use what they have heard is the correct formal address.

I have one company that regularly writes to me as Herr Anne K. I rather like the idea that gender is unimportant, so am happy to let them do so.

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Posted

In the UK, 'Dear Sirs' is still sometimes used (though some people don't like it)when you are writing to the management of a company. Sexist but well-established enough to have hung around. Maybe these people are trying to use what they have heard is the correct formal address.

Yes, but if they now have a contact name to write to, they really should be using that instead of the indirect approach. If they don't address the letter to a particular person then it's okay to use Dear Sirs (but if they've gotten a personal reply already then it shows lack of attention to detail to not reply to that person). Addressing a letter to Ms. Smith at Company Y but using Dear Sirs as a salutation will always be wrong.

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Posted

Yes yes, first world problems I know. Thanks for the heads up. I think I might have mentioned that I found it funny and not really a problem! I was just interested to see how often these types of mistakes are made. Personally, if I couldn't tell by the name, then I wouldn't use a title but they are sticklers for Herr und Frau.

I had considered turning up in drag but I reckon a day in tights would be quite chafing :)

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Posted

I get the "Dear Sir" or "Sehr geehrter Herr" everytime. I'm French and my name is Laurence. If we were in an English-speaking country, I wouldn't mind because I know Laurence/Lawrence are common male names there. But here in Germany, it really makes me mad, specially when I've ticked the "Frau" box and I then get letters with "Herr", or when I directly go to a company (like Internet, phone, etc) and the guy fills my application in front of me, but I still end up being a Herr. The whole world is not English and in French-speaking countries "Laurence" is exclusively a female name.

Worse: I keep correcting them, writing emails, phoning them, they say "oh sorry, we'll correct that". But they never do.

Same things with my résumé. Everytime I send one, I always get an email saying "Dear Sir, thank you for your résumé but blabla." which clearly shows they haven't even opened the file cause I look nothing like a man and it's obvious on my résumé pic...

I just don't bother anymore, it's useless.

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Posted

Yes, but if they now have a contact name to write to, they really should be using that instead of the indirect approach.

Hence my 'trying to use what they thought was the correct form of address' :-)

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Posted

my ex had four surnames (he is a Pork 'n' Cheezer) and one of those surnames is Rosa.

this completely baffled Bavarian and German authorities from the Finanzamt to Poccistr. *spit spit*.

instead Herr forename, 1st surname-2nd surname-3rd surname-Rosa. he became Frau Rosa then various compilations of his first name and other three surnames.

his first name is also rather a common one.

he is a native speaker of German as he grew up here, so calling them up to bollock them was fun for him :)

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Yep, it'S just not a biggie. So the answer is: do nothing. Unless it is on some formal document where it matters, in which case politely request that it is corrected!

Both my sister and I discovered that if a woman uses "Dr" (at least in the UK) she's often assumed to be a man. We both have names that are undisputably feminine.

When you think about it, that's a shocking level of sexism, but of course it's totally unconscious, so why get het up? My sister was annoyed when she ordered a clothing catalogue and got sent a men's version, though. But only because there were no clothes that would fit :)

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