Calling me Hun

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RusticUrban

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Grrrr, just needed to vent.... it seems that long gone are the days when you would call someone by their name, now all I get from businesses is "thanks Hun", "hi babe" "sure thing sweetie"

Maybe I'm just getting old, but when a business uses a pet name in professional correspondence, i will immediately go elsewhere, especially when they know my name....

Ok vent over...
 

justjacqui

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Wow! That is so unprofessional and a good reason to vent.

Pet names are for personal relationships, families or close friendships. Leave them out of business interactions. I could not imagine addressing a coworker, customer or supplier by a pet name :rolleyes:.
 

Relle

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I agree, with all of the above. A staff member in Aldi said to me OK love ( this wording is my top of the list that I hate), I saw red and said don't talk to me like that, you don't speak to customers like that. He said he didn't know my name and thought it was OK. I said you don't call customers love and you don' t need to know my name. I hope my tone when I spoke to him will make him think next time he speaks to someone. OK love is the worst for me, I find it very condescending. If Dh is with me and someone has called me that, he usually grabs my hand and says to let it go if he doesn't want any hassles that day.He knows that it is my pet hate.
 

Relle

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Wow! That is so unprofessional and a good reason to vent.

Pet names are for personal relationships, families or close friendships. Leave them out of business interactions. I could not imagine addressing a coworker, customer or supplier by a pet name :rolleyes:.
Not sure about O/S, but find it's happening more and more here.
 

Zany_in_CO

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now all I get from businesses is "thanks Hun", "hi babe" "sure thing sweetie"
I don't understand what the problem is, Baby Doll! (Just kidding! 😁) I'm finding it gets worse as I age and have to go in for tests or to have blood drawn or whatever. I am "Dear", "Hun" or "Sweetie". Makes me feel old and feeble-minded. 🥴

Ok vent over...
Good vent! ;)
 
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Kimimarie84

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Have any of y’all just recently moved to the South (as in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc…)? We call everyone honey, baby, love, sweetie, sugar, etc… down here. To anyone and everyone, friends and strangers, alike. It’s just part of the culture. We do also say ma’am and sir, and it’s all meant to be respectful and courteous. It depends on the context. In a corporate setting, “ma’am” and “sir” would be used, but retail and casual places, it would be “sweetie,” “honey,” “hon.”
 

DianaMoon

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Have any of y’all just recently moved to the South (as in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc…)? We call everyone honey, baby, love, sweetie, sugar, etc… down here. To anyone and everyone, friends and strangers, alike. It’s just part of the culture. We do also say ma’am and sir, and it’s all meant to be respectful and courteous. It depends on the context. In a corporate setting, “ma’am” and “sir” would be used, but retail and casual places, it would be “sweetie,” “honey,” “hon.”

I love that about the South. Maybe it's because people are so polite there in general that the terms of endearment are so endearing.

I know people think of NYC as rude and hostile (because it is!) but believe it or not when you get into the boroughs (not Manhattan) people are quite friendly and use "hon" a lot, esp. working-class people, so I have a soft spot for that. And Hispanic NYers call you "mami" and "papi" depending. I love that.

(Change of subject: "y'all" is fine if you really are Southern, but the current overuse of it by people trying to sound cool is galling. Stop. Just stop.)
 

Kimimarie84

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I love that about the South. Maybe it's because people are so polite there in general that the terms of endearment are so endearing.

I know people think of NYC as rude and hostile (because it is!) but believe it or not when you get into the boroughs (not Manhattan) people are quite friendly and use "hon" a lot, esp. working-class people, so I have a soft spot for that. And Hispanic NYers call you "mami" and "papi" depending. I love that.

(Change of subject: "y'all" is fine if you really are Southern, but the current overuse of it by people trying to sound cool is galling. Stop. Just stop.)
I live in North Alabama, where we have missile defense, NASA, military, etc… Our city’s nickname is “Rocket City,” and it’s an engineering town, as we like to call it. That is great for a lot of things; it brings in a lot of people from everywhere. Lately, we have been getting a lot of people from waaaaay out of town: California, New York, Texas, etc… It’s a culture shock for them, for sure. Perhaps this is why so many non-Southerners are beginning to use “y’all.” Maybe we’re rubbing off on people! Or maybe it’s just because the South is so cool and everyone wants to be like us. 😉😂
 

earlene

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Well, I do have reactions to some of that as well. I have been called 'luv' in some shops in the UK and did not find it offensive. I was okay with being called 'the boss' by a waitress in Ercolano, Italy, but later when a waiter in another town called me the 'the boss' I felt it was condescending and manipulative. I began to have a different point of view about the exact same term based on gender, I think. In fact, it was probably manipulative on both their parts, but the waitress referring to the female customer in a marriage as the 'boss' versus a male doing the same just felt off to me. But it was the culture, not necessarily of the entire area (it only happened in two restaurants in the Naples area, and nowhere else).

Sometimes these kinds of greetings, salutations, etc. are part of the culture of the locale, and sometimes they are part of the culture of the types of business. Sometimes they seem to be based on the ages of those involved as well as apparent pre-conceived perceptions of those using them.

From a professional standpoint, I agree, it is truly inappropriate in written correspondence. If I were to have used such language in a memo when I was a supervisor, I believe it would have been grounds for a sexual harassment case, or at the very least a reprimand from my superior.

In local stores in my own town, I find that some cashiers do use those types of endearments, while others do not. I don't like being called ma'am, but it's what's done in some parts of the country and considered a form of respect, so I do not take offense. They learned their manners from their elders and they are following what they were taught. If I'm in a store in Santa Cruz, California and someone calls me 'dude' or 'dudette' I actually love it, because I am a California gal and it makes me feel at home. For me it's about perception, I think.

When I'm in a healthcare setting, I am not offended by the endearments, not only because it is part of the culture, but also because my hair is white and healthcare professionals often tend to use endearments with the very young, the frail, the elderly, and in fact with any client who may be in a vulnerable position in order to set them at ease.
 

DianaMoon

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The problem with such a diverse society is that different rules apply in different parts of the country.

Also, English doesn't have a formal "you." (Second person? I forget my grammar.)

In Russian people are referred to or addressed in a formal way as "Your Name, Your Patronymic" until you really get to know that person. Then it's a nickname.

When you have these strong formal rules, it's like wearing a uniform. It's constricting & freeing at the same time.

Unless offense was meant, I brush it off. And sometimes I like it. I really enjoy being called "mami." I feel like, wow, he doesn't think of me as a gringo. Oops, Anglo. I hope I didn't offend anyone.
 

Obsidian

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I had this discussion just a couple weeks ago with a small business owner who didn't understand a customer who got upset at being called hun.
I explained best I could but it seems like these terms of endearment are quite acceptable amongst the younger generation.
I see no reason to tack a name or title on a greeting. Just say hi, thanks, ok.
 

MelissaG

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It's not professional but I'm used to it. I live in the deep south. Hon, honey, dear, etc are common here. It's just part of the lexicon. Though I have to say I don't call people that unless it's my husband, well unless I'm doing the passive aggressive southern insult thing lol. I've lived in the south too long. rofl
 

DeeAnna

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I'm uncomfortable being called "pet" names by non-family and non-good-friends, but I've learned to go with the flow.
Here in Iowa, people almost never use pet names when speaking to others in a professional situation, but when I lived in MIssouri, people did use "Sweetie" and "Hun" a bit more often.

In my current occupation, I talk to people all over the United States and Canada, and have learned the use of pet names is very much a regional thing. If the person doesn't seem condescending or sarcastic, and most of the time they aren't, I can accept the pet name without getting annoyed, although I never return the "favor."

There are other regional differences in how people talk that can be challenging -- it's not just the pet name thing. For example people who live in certain big cities have a way of speaking that comes across as brusque and rude to me, a born and bred Iowan. If I've had a long, tiring day, talking to someone from this part of the US can be really difficult -- I have to rein in my temper and remind myself that it's just the way they are, they're not deliberately trying to be annoying or insulting.

There's a lady in our small-town hardware store who doesn't fit the usual restrained but polite "Iowa Nice" mold. She calls everyone "Hun." Me (a woman with more fancy tools than most men), the burly farmer with manure on his boots, the stray dog sneaking in the store, the local kid looking for a bicycle chain, whoever -- makes no matter. She's the kindest, thoughtfull-est, capable-est person in that store and it's just her way. To be annoyed with her saying "Hun" is to insist the sun not rise in the east. I smile warmly when she calls me "Hun" and think nothing of it.

I spent many years as an engineer in the chemical industry; I was often the only woman in the chemical plant other than an office secretary or chemistry lab assistant. I got called "little lady" and "young woman" and such by quite a few men. Some were well intentioned but misguided but others were deliberately trying to put me down and teach me my place. I think I learned to tell the difference fairly well and respond accordingly.
 
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I can see why it would be offensive to a lot of people. I grew up with it though, so I guess it does not bother me. My mom had a furniture store in what I guess would be the furniture district in down town San Salvador, El Salvador. Street Selling and haggling is very common, so just walking the block I would get called every loving name there is,"Mi amor, tesoro, corazon.." "My love, my treasure, my heart?", and some would even touch people's arms trying to draw them in...you would think you were in a different kind district but by the setting.
 

Zany_in_CO

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so just walking the block I would get called every loving name there is,"Mi amor, tesoro, corazon.." "My love, my treasure, my heart?"
Oh, young women have all the fun! When I walk down a crowded vendor street (think: Tim Conway as the bent over 'Little Old Man' barely shuffling along slowly) I hear, "Hey lady! Could ya pick up the pace a bit?" 🤣
 
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I have noticed in a few transactions with Chinese vendors that they call me “dear.“ it’s frankly sort of jarring. I have thought about letting them know it’s not really appropriate but don’t want to create bad vibes. (These are all email transactions.)
I don’t mind when people (where I live, always women) call me hun. But it would bug me if men used terms like that with me.
 

Sandiebrown65

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If I am in a casual setting I basically call any women under the age of about 30 "lovey". It was what my mother did and I began doing it when my daughters were children. I would refer to their girl friends as lovey. Now my daughters are in their 30's I still tend to do it to women of their age. I don't call males this, just women and it is meant to make the other person feel at ease and to let them know I am a friendly person, it is done as a warm gesture. I am pretty sure anyone would understand this. If people choose to take offense at this then so be it I guess. If someone berated me for doing this I think I would probably dissolve immediately into tears, it would catch me so off guard and I would be really confused.

My mother was from a Scottish background and it was either "lovey" or "lassy". My grandfather always referred to and called young women "lass" and young men "laddie". To be offended by this is a bit baffling for me? Would people seriously be offended by this? It's the same thing as calling someone love, just different terms. The overall gesture is the same, it is meant to be warm and friendly not condescending.

Personally I hate being called Ma'am or madam, I would rather the term madam be reserved for women in charge of houses of ill repute and the only person who should be called Ma'am is the Queen of England. 👑 I find both terms to be really abrasive and cold.

I think it all comes down to context and culture is a big part too.
 
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Oh, young women have all the fun! When I walk down a crowded vendor street (think: Tim Conway as the bent over 'Little Old Man' barely shuffling along slowly) I hear, "Hey lady! Could ya pick up the pace a bit?" 🤣
You are too funny! I should have clarified most of the sales people were women, and I was probably 10-14, so I think they just repeated the same thing over and over to anyone who passed by: “What do you want my love? Come in, come see.
 

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