How To Survive Working With Your Brother

I'm guest editing Lifehacker this week while Angus is off at Microsoft TechEd 2012. To get the obvious question out of the way, no, I'm not him. Here's how I handle that common misconception.

You might recall that I was the editor of Gizmodo for a reasonable chunk of last year and this year, but if you're scratching your head and pondering if Gus has decided to undergo a name change for no readily apparent reason, I'm sorry to have to disappoint you; I'm not him.

The thing is, I've worked in technology writing for nearly fifteen years now; Gus for slightly longer. Every once in a while we'll get a call, package or email intended for the other brother. It's a little annoying, but every time it happens, I've got to remind myself that the best general approach is to redirect the missed approach with as much grace as I can muster. We're all human, and we all make mistakes.

I do reserve the right to curse (sometimes not-so-quietly) under my breath once I'm off the phone though. Better to vent than let it build up, I reckon. Equally, I'm generally a little less impressed if it's a repeated mistake from the same person.

It would be tougher in a work environment where you were one of a couple of unrelated people with similar (or identical) names; I have the luxury that there's always a line of communication open if I do get the wrong box or phone call going my way. Still, if you were dealing with a disinterested (or even worse, hostile) co-worker, the same basic rules should apply, even if you don't like them much. In any professional setting, there's no way of knowing if you'll be working with the person on the other end of the phone or email at some point, and making that bad first impression is just a plain bad move.


    It frustrates me when I get called by my siblings' names accidentally. Then again, perhaps that's understandable as they're sisters rather than brothers.

      Hear Hear! 3 sisters myself - thankfully doesn't happen all that often though.

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