This article is to highlight my amusement at some trend changes I observed in the way clients address me. I’ve been in this IT field very long and I notice that nowadays, people are calling me by a different salutation.
Long time ago, things were very formal. It was either “Mr. Khan”, or less-formally “Anees”. No client or prospect will ever think of calling me “brother” or “bro”. But that has significantly changed over the years. For the past some years, maybe 5, I noticed an increasing trend, where people were addressing me as “bro” even in the first email or phone call.
It shocked me at first, but as the trend became too common, it shocked less. But it is all for good. In our Asian context, we were taught from young to call anyone senior to us (and a stranger) as “Uncle” as a form of respect. I find that a good thing that brings closeness, rather than the formal Mr. so-and-so.
But, we were hardly told to call anyone same-age or just-slightly-older (and a stranger) as “brother” or “bro” or “sis”. But, in the past 10 years or so, don’t know who started it, it seems to be a trend in the general world, to call each other “bro”. I’m just glad that that informality has also encroached into the corporate world.
I have some dealings with some people from China. I like the way they use the word “friend” or even sometimes “dear” (😳). All these breaks the rule that we used to have in our world that when we talk business, the normally-friendly guy must suddenly become formal/stiff and only address people as Mister and Madam.
My take is: if you can do your work/business properly, let the tone be informal. And that brings pleasantness and closeness. We do businesses for our lives. We don’t change our lives for our businesses.
So, go on, call me Bro because I’m your friendly, neighbourhood Brogrammer.
About the Author:
Anees Khan (that is myself) is a web app and mobile app developer, based in Singapore, and runs Getcha Solutions