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“Age doesn’t matter” – M’sians Debate on Whether Seniors Should be Referred to by Name at Work


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Source: pressfoto | Freepik & Twitter

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In Asian cultures, it if often ingrained into us that we refer to those older than us as ‘uncle’, ‘abang’ and not simply by their name as a sign of respect for the age gap.

But should it also apply at the workplace?

Recently, a tweet has gone viral after the original poster had slammed interns for not addressing senior staff “properly” and for referring to them by their actual names.

“You are 19 but you call a 32-year-old by their name. I’m 23 but I still call staff that are 24-years-old as kak or ms.”


Does age and seniority matter at work?

The tweet has caused debate amongst netizens. Some believe that age and seniority does in fact still matter and calling someone older simply by their first name is not only rude but unprofessional.

“Some places need this formality and hierarchy. Without it, some workers will think too highly of themselves and forget how to speak to their superiors.”

We can’t control people. What we can control is ourselves, starting from at work, so just call them by kak/miss/tuan/encik. The easiest is to follow what’s around you,” commented a user.

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On the other hand, some pointed out it appears that the problem only lies with women as men generally do not care about titles.

“I only call women as akak even though we’re only a year difference. For men, I’d just refer to by name. Actually women are the only ones that get triggered when you don’t call them by title.”

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“Jokes aside, and not to be sexist, but most of the places I’ve worked at it’s mostly girls that are particular about titles compared to guys,” said another user.

Screenshot 167


Meanwhile, some said that age doesn’t matter in the workplace anymore and that people shouldn’t be so stuck on titles and hierarchies.

“I don’t want my junior staff to call me akak. Just call me by name, it’s easier. I don’t want a gap.”

Another commented, “In the workplace age doesn’t matter.

Screenshot 168 Screenshot 169 1


What is your take on this? Should we refer to our bosses on a first name basis?


Also read: Woman Rants After Her Company Makes All 15 Employees Take Turns to Wash Office Toilet

Clean Toilet

Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

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