Friday, 26 June 2009

A Fine Point of Etiquette

A recent e-mail:
Hi Zoe, I am looking for the Author of this article to ask him some more technical based questions on specific aircraft PCN's.

Hope you can help,


Ok, we have two interesting issues here. Supposing you think the person you want to contact has had what is colloquially known as a "sex change". Or maybe you've misunderstood, and are contacting a relative, a sister perhaps? How do you broach the subject? To get it wrong would be a gaffe of not just massive, but truly Cosmic proportions. Bidenesque.

On this one - don't sweat the small stuff. The author handled it exactly right. Say who you're trying to contact, making no assumptions.

The next interesting issue of etiquette is how does the receiving party answer? Say "I had a sex change - fortunately, they had one I liked." or similar? Or just acknowledge that they're the party being contacted, while pretending not to notice the Elephant in the room.

Again, don't sweat the small stuff. If it's necessary to mention it - as when being contacted by a former colleague with the possibility of meeting up some time to say hello - then do so. "You might have noticed a few small changes since we last met...". But if it's not necessary, don't bother. They're not interested in your life story, just trying to find someone who might be able to help.

Well, that's how *I* handle it, anyway.


pe1biv said...

No idea under which name the linked article was posted, but when going there from the link I would think it's clear it was you.
So asking you about the author and then refering to a 'him' seems quite stupid to me.. But, as written, I don't know how you posted the article in 2005, which might give some confusion.

Having seen you in a few places and having read your profile info, I think there is absolutely no mistake possible.

Zoe Brain said...

Funnily enough, some people find the whole thing difficult to believe. They figure there must be some mistake.

This guy was after some technical info on wear and tear of different aircraft on various kinds of landing strip. Nothing about biology, or software, or trans anything. It's not exactly a commonly studied subject.

A Google on "ACN PCN Aircraft Logistics" puts my post as No 4, and the first one that looks useful.

And now he has to write to someone who may or may not be the author - for after all, this could be a guest post, or it could be a group blog, or it could HAVE BEEN a group blog back in 2005, or something. I've been blogging since 2003, long before my life turned upside-down.

The post in question was written in Jan 2005. I had absolutely no idea then that I would ever transition. I had come to a reasonable accomodation with my condition, and though every year was just a little harder, the odds were good I'd die soon and not have to reveal anything. No treatment, no anti-depressants, I was coping by total 100% no concession denial. No crossdressing for symptomatic relief, hair cut really short, white or blue shirts so I didn't appear too femme... I was as nutty as a fruitcake. The Boy Act had to be 100%, because if it ever went to 99.99... I'd have to transition. Immediately.

Of course, in May 2005, just 4 months later, my body staged a palace revolt, and less than 3 months after that, I'd transitioned socially, name changed, the works. Shortly after that, HRT, and a year later, surgery. The trouble with screwing down the safety valve like that is that when things blow, they *really* blow.

In many ways, I'm still playing catch-up. But I digress.

pe1biv said...

I guess it's probably that as you are in a technical role, certainly when it is design, then you must be a man. Certainly quite a few years ago, as I did get a lot of paperwork, like technical magazines and documentation addressed to Mr.... Quite a few times it was even difficult to have it corrected.
Might be funny to see how it is today if I see some mailing I didn't have before.

Your story BTW is intriguing.

CGHill said...

"Fortunately, they had one I liked."

A marvelous line.