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Ok... I understand that in some geographic areas it is normal for people to address you as "hon" whether you like it or not. (I don't.) I "suck it up" and deal with it because I live in such an area. However, there are certain words that I really do not want used to address me, particularly by a customer service person or server at a restaurant. I actually consider it demeaning. So I really do want some advice on this one. Btw, I made a point to listen to the manner in which said server interacted with customers at the next table, and she did it there as well; so I at least don't assume that it is personal. My question still stands.

What is the polite way to ask someone not to call you "baby girl?"


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
I don't know exactly. What I do know is that I find it highly annoying. Here, men will often address women as "sweetheart" or "honey" or "baby". It drives me insane.
Oct. 6th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
men calling women sweetheart
See, I can tolerate another female calling me hon. But having a man call me hon or sweetie is very offensive to me, especially if done in a certain tone of voice. It makes me feel like he thinks I'm a sex object or not too intelligent.
Oct. 6th, 2007 03:50 am (UTC)
If it were me, I'd just say "Please don't call me that. Thank you." and keep going about what I was doing.

But, that's just me.
Oct. 6th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
Ack. That would get to me too!

Most of the time I just suck it up if it's a service person or stranger, someone I'm not likely to see again. If you get it a lot from staff in one particular place, though, you might want to send a letter/email to management explaining that it can seem patronising, and could their staff please be a little more sensitive to that?

Otherwise, I'd probably try the subtle approach of making a joke out of it, in this particular case something like mentioning how I grew out of rattles in first year uni, actually, that gets the idea across without being confrontational. Your cultural foo may vary, though.
Oct. 6th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
I only use words like that for friends - people I feel close to. I have cutesy, affectionate nicknames for a bunch of my friends, and use them as I feel it's appropriate. No one has ever asked me not to, because they realize I'm doing it in love, affectionately.

But to call a stranger "baby girl"...? Holy cow! I'm at a loss as to how to handle someone so ignorant.

I suppose if I were never going to see that person again I'd just let it slide. Why bother making an issue of it? But if it were a waitress at a restaurant I frequent or plan to go to again, I might speak up and tell her nicely that I find being addressed that way patronizing and insulting because we're not friends, that I would prefer to be addressed more respectfully. ("miss" or "ma'am" would do)
Oct. 6th, 2007 10:18 am (UTC)
cutesy names and relationships
Relationships is totally the key. My friends can call me all kinds of things and it comes across totally differently. I just get really out of sorts when strangers feel free to refer to me in terms that should be reserved for fclose relationships. "Ma'am" is a perfectly acceptable term, and I really don't know why people can't bring themselves to use it. For a long time I have agonized over whether this has anything to do with me looking young, whether I dress in certain ways, or my disability. The fact that she did it to the people at the other table really made me quit all that worrying and realize this is all about that whole issue of social skills again.

When I was working a phone job as a 16-year-old kid, I was required to listen to a recorded presentation on phone manners. I will never forget it. It went all over not using "hon" and not saying, "Ba-bye." I think this is stuff that anyone working in any public service really should hear!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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