This incident made me feel awful for all concerned.
I’d trained this guy to work on the phones. He was probably a good 10-15 years older than me so that might have explained his attitude. I can’t remember how long it was after I’d finished the training when this occurred but part of me did feel that perhaps the training hadn’t been adequate. I heard about it after it had all happened.
He was taking calls for one client and got a woman named Sally* on the phone. Sally had a deep, masculine voice. It soon became obvious Sally was trans and this was in no way a scam. Well, the operator started saying something about how unusual her name was and from what I was told, he was not acknowledging her as m to f. Whether he meant it as a joke, I don’t know, but Sally took offence. I wouldn’t have blamed her for a second, to be honest. You just don’t do that.
As a consequence, he got fired. While I felt bad for the guy, I still question to this day whether the bosses thought I hadn’t trained him well enough. The thing is, you can train operators for various scenarios, but this was something that had never happened before and I certainly would never have thought of it. Because I just never would have talked to her in that way. I believe in total respect and if someone with a masculine voice gives me a feminine name, and they pass all privacy checks, I don’t question it.
*Name changed, for obvious reasons.