I distinctly remember the first ever official (professional) mail I had sent. In May 2005, when the HR of the company had sent a mail asking me to confirm that I would join the company, I had to send my first ever official mail. Not having any exposure and not knowing anything about the "so called software culture", I was wondering why would anyone turn down an offer?
The later had come from someone called Kanchan. With a lot of eager and enthusiasm, I clicked the 'Reply' button and for a long time, I couldn't type even a single word. How to address the person? Respected? or Dear? I was in a great dilemma, and even the bigger doubt is, is that a He or She? I asked my father and he was not sure.
So, I called my sister and asked 'Is Kanchan a female name?' and she was not sure. She said it is a female's name, but not confidently. I reasoned 'Kanchana is a female name... Kanchan should be a male name only... but is very odd...' After agreeing to join the company on the given date, I had the next big hesitation.
How to end the letter? All the training I had ever had was to finish the letter with 'Thanking You, Yours Obediently' or 'Yours Faithfully' or 'Yours Truly'. Nothing seemed right. So, I called my other friend who got placed in another company and asked him how to finish the letter. He said, "Start with Hi and end with Thanks..."
Not convinced with his answer, I started the letter with 'Respected Sir,' and ended the letter with 'Yours Sincerely'. The fact is, Kanchan was a female HR ;)