In the Seattle area, people treat you nicer once they learn your last name is Gates


One of the team members during the days of Windows 95 happens to have the last name Gates, no relation.

She says that it's surprising how nice salespeople are to you once they learn what your last name is.

Go figure.

Comments (11)
  1. Muzer_ says:

    Does this mean people will eventually notice this trend and start changing their name to Gates, and eventually everyone in Seattle will be called Gates?

  2. Brian_EE says:

    The sales people must be "car guys". Gates makes a wide range of hoses and belts for the aftermarket. Although I think they are based in Denver, not Seattle.

  3. Muzer_ says:

    Alternative theory — natural selection will favour people called Gates due to the aforementioned benefits. People called Gates will then slowly become the dominant part of the population, as they outcompete those not called Gates. This works because names are inherited, like genes (albeit traditionally only on the male side) ;)

  4. James Curran says:

    An MVP Summit at Microsoft left me with this viewpoint of the friendliness of Seattleites:  The only time no one said "God Bless You" when I sneezed was when I was at Church.

  5. Ken in NH says:

    Do they do that because that Gates guy found all that treasure hidden by Benjamin Franklin?

  6. Eric TF Bat says:

    Raymond, I DEMAND that you immediately do a survey of everyone at MS with the surname of Jobs, Ellison, Page, Brin, Bezos, Zuckerberg, etc and see what level of politeness they have experienced.  Report back immediately.  Good lad.

    (I won't ask you to do the same for people like Ballmer. I'd be too frightened of the possible results.)

  7. cheong00 says:

    This post remind me the story about Bill Gates getting email for another "billg".

    blogs.msdn.com/.../billg-memories-part-1.aspx

  8. Steve says:

    Poor woman. You don't want sales people to be *friendly* to you, you want them to get off the phone so you can get some work done rather than spend the entire day being hawked whatever bit of hardware / software / infrastructure they get the highest commission on that particular week.

  9. not important says:

    I remember an article about some Swiss farmers who moved to Canada to become farmers. When they arrived in Canada they were inundated by all sort of sales people. Because, you guessed it, the sales people assumed all Swiss people must be rich.

  10. T. West says:

    When I was working on a Data General machine, I always got very long pauses when I called for technical support and introduced myself.

    It also made ego-surfing impossible as every university's "Computer and Society" course had "Soul of a New Machine", which covered the story of the design of the DG 8000, on the curriculum.

  11. mememe says:

    Everybody knows Americans fake being nice as a social obligation, so this doesn't really have any meaning. Knowing this, I certainly wouldn't want my family name to be Gates if I lived in Seattle.

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