When I started working in local government in the 1980s, I was taught to communicate with customers using a style of English that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a solicitor’s office in the 1920s.
I had to use phrases like ‘I trust this gives satisfaction’ or ‘I was grateful to be made aware.’ It was horrible, (and it was bad English too). As for the idea of calling a member of the public by their first name – whatever the circumstances, it would have simply been unacceptable. I can honestly say that for at least the first fifteen years of my working life, I simply never called a member of the public, however well I knew them by anything other than their appropriate title and surname.
But times change; we now have social media to talk to our customers, leaving people like me increasingly feeling like dinosaurs. Our Private Sector Housing team have asked me to post about their new Facebook page, please see the image below. If you are a Facebook user, please do have a look. Just search for ‘Sandwell Council Private Sector Housing’ and you’ll find it.