We don't get to pick our e-mail addresses here. When a new employee joins, the e-mail alias is chosen for them (my friend Ann swears she didn't pick mine, but...). Anyway, someone (not Ann) somewhere (not Ann's office) decided that I needed to be firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of that, this conversation happens all the time:
Person: Heather, can I have your e-mail adddress?
Me: sure, I need to spell it for you. It's h-e-a-t-h-another h-a-m at microsoft dot com
Person: wait a minute...h-e-a-t-h-a-m?
Me: nope, h-e-a-t-h-another h...
Person: two Hs?
Me: two in the middle, one at the beginning. Three altogether. I know, I didn't get to choose it.
Person: could you just e-mail me first?
Me: no problem.
"Dear Ms. Ham" (if only you knew how much the thought of ham makes me gag).
OK, so now all of that is officially over because I am Heather.Hamilton@microsoft.com. Woohoo! I guess there's something called Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 (MIIS) that enables it. I don't really know what it is or how it works and I don't care. My old e-mail address will still work, but the new one is added as part of my profile. I'm just hoping that people will actually stop calling me heathham here!