DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work at a government agency with an information phone line that I will periodically answer. Sometimes people expect me to give them my name, which I am not comfortable doing. Other than giving a fake name, is there a good way to say to the caller that I will not disclose my name?
GENTLE READER: Why? Are you not prepared to be accountable for the information you are giving them? Miss Manners is confused by your reluctance, or that of any employer who sets such a policy.
You can hardly blame these people, who have likely been put endlessly on hold, for wanting to have a name, or at least a unique code name, associated with the person giving them information. Often they are cut off or must give proof of their source.
Miss Manners defends the right to privacy in personal situations, but advocates transparency in business. Surely a government agency has nothing to hide.