This week I got my first USD problem report ticket from a user – it was an easy question, in fact the user managed to find the solution themselves! When communicating with the user (which is by email) I was thinking what tone to use and how to address them. I mean the user is another professional astronomer, so do I address them as Dr. XXX or simply say Hello? When I was a “user” before starting work at ESO I preferred the informal way – it made me feel comfortable to ask more questions, but now at the other end of the table I feel I should be more formal when representing ESO / USD…hmmm
I am not comfortable being addressed with the Dr title. I almost never use it myself. Actually the only people who insist I use the title are my grandparents and other relatives in Sri Lanka – I think because they feel a sense of pride from me, esp. those that didnt have the opportunity to study. In general just a “Hi Gayandhi” is perfect with me. However now that I am working in an international environment, with people from different language backgrounds, I get called all sorts of modifications to my name, some common ones are Gani, Gayanda, or Gandhi (now that’s an honor!). Sometimes it is a random combination of the core sounds “G” “Y” and “N”. I try to politely correct them but it doesn’t always work. I don’t really mind – as long as I know someone is talking to me.