I work in the corporate, customer service industry.
Recently, I’ve noticed an increase in male customers and non-customers using pet names during business interactions.
Sweetie, it’s disgusting. And disrespectful. And inappropriate. Are you my boyfriend? No. So stop it.
Nothing puts me off more or makes me feel like a scam is heading my way like someone who starts off an interaction by using Sweetie, Baby, Hon, Young Lady to address me and then uses said names 17 times during a two-minute transaction.
I don’t know anyone who likes it. I don’t. My co-workers don’t. People who work for tips don’t. They might act like they do, but I can guarantee they don’t.
It feels smarmy.
Do you read body language? Do you see my expression when I hear that crap? I’m not smiling. AT ALL. Or making eye contact. Or small talk.
Use my name. It’s on my name tag and my business cards right in front of you. It will seem excessive to say my name 17 times in two minutes of a simple exchange, and it will be 70 times better than hearing Sweetie, Baby, Hon, Young Lady at all! No name would also work, especially if we don’t know each other.
Since I can’t do anything right now to change or improve this situation, I’ve listed my approaches for future reference:
- Accept that some people use pet names. Don’t sweat it. Life is short. These people go away. Read this: http://zenhabits.net/frustrated/ and let go.
- Address people who use pet names with the pet names they call me. Throw it back in their face. Yeah! This could be fun!
- Smile and politely point to my name tag, correcting people to use my name.
- Get a job outside the customer service realm. I REALLY like this one!
I’ll try out these out and report back on my results. In the meantime, if you have any other suggestions or can sympathize, leave a comment. I’d love to read it!