Sigh

Dear Student,

I am afraid I do not understand your email.  I was emailing on behalf of another student who is looking for a tutor for my class.  Your offer to tutor people from a different class makes no sense.  Given your reading comprehension abilities, it’s probably just as well that I don’t proffer your name.

Exasperated,

Firstname Maiden

p.s. There is no Mrs. Maiden.  Not even my mother is Mrs. Maiden because she also has a PhD and she hyphenated.  My husband’s last name is Married, which would make me Mrs. Married if you were someone calling from my child’s school, which you are not. I don’t take offense, but many people do (or think you’re uneducated, like I do, you moron.  How long have you been in college now?). If you’re going to address someone who might have an advanced degree or may be unmarried, it is a good idea to check on whether or not that person has a degree and to use “Ms.” in professional settings if there is not a degree. This information is easy to find on the same website where my email address is listed.  Only use Mrs. or Miss if the person in question has indicated that that is their preferred method of address (Miss/Mrs. are also sometimes appropriate in non-professional settings).  The campus career office offers an etiquette class that you may find helpful in the future.  Please do not embarrass our department or university in your future dealings with people who are much smarter than you are.

The correct form of address in this instance would be Professor Maiden or Dr. Maiden. Or even Firstname.  In other words, don’t assume I’m an administrative assistant just because I’m female.  In real cities there are such things as female professionals and male clerical workers, and it’s good that you found out now before you seriously embarrassed our school as one of our graduates.

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