November 26, 2013 4:42 am at 4:42 am #611392The TherapistMember
I am wondering what others think about calling opposite sex co-workers by their first name. Would this be considered a lack of tznius? With all the stories of inappropriate conduct and worse amongst frum co-workers, is there too much friendliness with each other?November 26, 2013 5:26 am at 5:26 am #989635🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
I call all my co-workers “hey you”November 26, 2013 5:32 am at 5:32 am #989636supermeMember
If there a nice amount of years older then you then it’s disrespect or ifthere a chashuv person know by ppl then it’s also dosrespectNovember 26, 2013 6:08 am at 6:08 am #989637peacefullMember
If you’d at least say – excuse me, that would be somewhat respectful, but hey you is degrading. just a thoughtNovember 26, 2013 6:14 am at 6:14 am #989638
I think it depends on the type of work place. In High Tech I can’t imagine calling *ANYONE* Mr or Ms, (Well maybe if they were someone on the level of Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos), nor has anyone ever called me “Mr” in 20 years and 3 countries of High Tech workNovember 26, 2013 6:14 am at 6:14 am #989639
I think it depends on the type of work place. In High Tech I can’t imagine calling *ANYONE* Mr or Ms, (Well maybe if they were someone on the level of Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos), nor has anyone ever called me “Mr” in 20 years and 3 countries of High Tech workNovember 26, 2013 6:54 am at 6:54 am #989640HaKatanParticipant
Like other questions posted here, this one is for your LOR.
There are also other particulars that could matter, such as the particular work environment, how much inter-employee contact there is in the course of work, the ages of those involved, if the informal meetings are one-on-one or more than that, and much more.
Generally speaking, however, I would humbly but strongly suggest that we consider the Torah’s attitude of harchaka (lo sikrivu liGalos erva as opposed to lo sigalu erva) and the potential danger of, besides for the aveiros chamuros that could result, the resultant (and needless) destruction of one or more families as a result of extra-marital activity, CH”V.
I’m sure that use of the term “Mrs. x” is a very worthy option to consider with your LOR, regardless of industry.November 26, 2013 8:02 am at 8:02 am #989641twistedParticipant
Oh for the pleasant niceties of Hutz Laaretz. In the current EY climate, first names are the norm in most places, surname only can be a putdown, and adoni and geveret have a sort of artificial ring to them. As a 16 year old MO, I worked in a Hasidic grocery. To the boss, I was “Yankel”. His 15yo daughter worked the register in the afternoons ,and she was drop-dead pretty. She addressed me as “Hey you” and I addressed her as “Uh um”. It worked out pretty well.November 26, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm #989642147Participant
Before Napoleon there was no such thing as surnames, and everyone was called by 1st names, including Moshe Rabbeinu & Avrohom Ovinu in the Toroh, so clearly using a 1st name, is emulating the way the Toroh speaks about people.
Indeed in Gateshead Yeshiva the Rabbonim are referred to by their 1st names. Albeit with Rebbi in front, but so do family names, have a Mr. or Mrs. in front.
Only exception in the Toroh is calling one’s parents & ancestors, so this is my guideline too.November 26, 2013 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm #989643
<b>Before Napoleon there was no such thing as surnames</b> not really, it depends on the country of course but surnames more or less as we know them today go back at least 600 years in England and France, while Iceland still does not use them today, instead people are known as “X son of Y” or the like, similar to how we are called to the Torah (but obviously with a very different grammar)
As for when Jews started using surnames it rather depends on what country they were in, and probably social class and half a dozen other things.November 26, 2013 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #989644gavra_at_workParticipant
It really depends on the dynamic of your workplace (which your LOR may or may not understand). In a majority-Jewish/Yeraim workforce there is certainly no reason to call someone by their first name (male or female).November 26, 2013 2:13 pm at 2:13 pm #989645
I wouldn’t mind being called Queen 613Torah. But everyone at work insists on calling each other by first names.November 26, 2013 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #989646
Minhagim vary by office and subculture. Traditionally Jews didn’t use surnames (note that in our culture, women keep the same name when married — Pilonis Bas [Piloni her father]). Using surname when everyone used forename can be very insulting, and using forename when everyone else uses surname can be very rude. — Among frum Jews it is even more confusing since we’ll often use forename (e.g. Rab Yaakov) for someone we like, but surname (Mr. Cohen or Herr Cohen, depending on language) for someone we don’t consider to be “one of us.”November 26, 2013 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #989647oomisParticipant
Surnames names are a thing of relatively recent history, only in the last several hundred years. For thousands of years prior, people only had ONE name, and that was the one by which they were known. Unless someone is a rov or king or something else of any import, I certainly see no reason not to call a co-worker by his or her first name, if they are agreeable to that. I personally prefer to be called by my given name by people who know me very well.November 26, 2013 3:44 pm at 3:44 pm #989648Derech AgavParticipant
according to many it IS a lack of tznius to call people of the opposite gendeer by their first names.
for women introducing oneself as Miss/Mrs…. automatically puts up a barrier between the coworkers a barrier you want there. If you can’t start asking everyone to address you with a title… address them mr,miss,mrs so you build that barrier…
also you may want to ask a sheila.. ASK= Always Seek Kedusha (Rav Yehuda Oelbaums abbreviation)November 26, 2013 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #989649apushatayidParticipant
where I work certain people greet each other as ms williams and mr jones while others pat and randi and a certain ethnicity greets each other daily with a kiss on the cheek.
to addres the op:
“With all the stories of inappropriate conduct and worse amongst frum co-workers, is there too much friendliness with each other?”
IF those stories are true then there is too much “friendliness”. I think someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill.November 26, 2013 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #989650
Derech Agav: That some people think its a matter of tznius is irrelvent, even if you are that person. What matters is what the person you are talking to believes. What to one person is overly formal and stuffy, is to another person a sign of basic respect. Given the surnames are a goyish invention, and for Ashkenazim a very recent one (we only switched to inherited surnames about 200 years ago – less in eastern Europe), there is clearly no halachaic issue. What matters is trying to figure out what the other person expects and that requires developing appropriate social skills (e.g. African Americans get highly insulted to be called by forename unless you know them very well, most secular Israeli regard you as stuffy and unfriendly if you use a surname, etc., etc.).November 26, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #989651LevAryehMember
I personally would recommend against it.
In two places in Shas (Bava Kama 80a and Nazir 57b) we find that Rav Adda bar Ahava called Rav Huna’s wife, Chova, by her first name. However, he was addressing Rav Huna, as opposed to addressing her directly.November 26, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #989652
LAB: During the period of the Talmud, how would you address female other than by her personal (first) name. Would you call her “wife of Huna” or “Daughter of whatever”? While Romans had family (and “clan” names), Jews did not. You went through life being Piloni ben/bat Piloni.November 26, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm #989653
I got sworn at today. But not by name because there were too many people.November 27, 2013 1:47 am at 1:47 am #989654
I know! You should talk to everyone in third person!November 27, 2013 2:31 am at 2:31 am #989655scrollerMember
LAB: I do not think that is accurate. He mentioned her in third person and the gemara RECORDS it as such SPECIFICALLY because the way he stated her name was a major point of the gemara. If it was not a major point of the gemara then the gemara would have recorded it as “Does she want so and so”November 27, 2013 2:38 am at 2:38 am #989656Bookworm120Participant
What Queen613Torah said. She is so right. I’m talking to her! Can she hear me??? 😛
To answer the original question, I think it really depends on the setting and circumstance. As Mr. Kessin has pointed out (please forgive my accidental irony), in the high tech industry, addressing people by title is not the norm. I’ve known people who practically insisted I call them by their first name, and when I prefaced it with a Ms. or Mr., it sounded weird and it looked like it wasn’t received well.
I actually didn’t know that about Israelis and African Americans. Y’know, that probably explains why Israelis think I’m stuffy and weird. I knew people who called their friends’ parents by their forenames, and I was rather scandalized. It’s not a practice I’d adopt, since I think it diminishes the kavodability of the person you speak of/to. (I think I just invented a word.)
Even in a public school, I don’t think you get to address your teacher as “Joe,” rather, “Mr. Schmoe.”November 27, 2013 4:43 am at 4:43 am #989657🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
At work we call each other Miss and then our last initial or last name. Even the married people are Miss, I think it’s meant generically.November 27, 2013 3:19 pm at 3:19 pm #989658live rightMember
im called “Morah xxxxx”. even by the janitor.November 27, 2013 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #989659Little FroggieMember
People around here call me by Veltz’s last name.November 27, 2013 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #989660
I got sworn at today. But not by name because there were too many people.
What has that to do with this thread?November 27, 2013 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #989661
Popa, did they swear at you by first name?
Edit: Thanks Queen Bookworm120!November 27, 2013 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm #989662a maminParticipant
One should definitely not be called by their first name under any circumstances by the opposite gender. When we work, we need to keep professionalism in the work place. There is no need to get that friendly with the opposite gender! It takes away from the atmosphere which is needed , which should be conducive to producing. We came to work to do our jobs and be successful at it. We are not coming to find a shidduch for ourselves.November 27, 2013 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm #989663
I was not sworn at by first name, because that would not be tznius, particularly since I was sworn at by a woman.November 27, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #989664LeyzerParticipant
A mamin, I take it you don’t work in a nonjewish firm.
I do and there simply is no way to avoid calling coworkers by the first name. Anything else would be viewed as weird and offensive.November 27, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm #989665LevAryehMember
akuperma – He could have said “your wife”. He was talking to R’ Huna, about his [Rav Huna’s] wife.
scroller – How does anything I said contradict anything you said?November 28, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am #989666Derech AgavParticipant
A mamin: I’m happy someone somewhat agrees with me
just to show how desensitized the American society has become
very sad.November 28, 2013 5:03 am at 5:03 am #989667The TherapistMember
It’s true, by non-jewish places of employment it’s difficult. I have also worked by frum-run places that the bosses encouraged (insisted?) first names. He felt it’s a better work environment.November 28, 2013 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #989668WIYMember
I would call any of you by your first names. I would say “Troll…..”November 28, 2013 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #989669TinyTimMember
The issue isn’t really a question of modesty. It’s more of an issue of “??? ???????? ??????” There should be a barrier that discourages co workers of the opposite sex from being to comfortable with each other. Not calling members of the opposite gender by their first name MIGHT help in this matter. The real “solution” is for the females (to whom this is important to) to realize that men who are spending much more quality time with them than with their spouses are careful in how they interact with their male counterparts. It could be very professional with first names being used (as some people pointed out it might be weird in some environments to not use the first name) On the other side of the coin it could be too comfortable even not using first names if office conversation and interaction leaves the realm of professional and polite communication… So in conclusion this like all things in life needs a certain amount of common sense as opposed to hard and fast “rules”November 28, 2013 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #989670👑RebYidd23Participant
All employees should have an official work name, or go by their last name (plus a number if they have a common one).November 28, 2013 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #989671takahmamashParticipant
Growing up in Baltimore we (as kids) called our neighbors by Mr. or Miss and their first name (Mr. Henry, Miss Nancy, Mr. Norman, etc.). I’m told that’s a southern thing.
Currently, in Israel, I work for an Israeli company with an American client. All those who work here in Israel currently go by their first names. I give everyone the choice as to how they want to be called; one chareidi gentleman asked to be called “Mr. Lastname,” which is fine and not a problem. All of those we work with in America go by Mr. or Mrs. and their last names.
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