Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Y'know, I probably shouldn't complain.  I mean, it's hard enough finding people who think "customer service" means forcing a plastic-looking smile as they serve you in some way.  But, honestly, folks, having someone who's about 15 years younger than you call you "sweetie" is annoying! I'm not 12 anymore and I don't know anyone over the age of 14 who likes the term "sweetie" being applied to them.  If you're in customer service (i.e., fast food, restaurant, cashier at any store) don't call someone "sweetie" unless it's obvious they're under the age of 12 or they're your husband/spouse.

And, while I'm ranting, to you women who use the words "hon" and "sugar" to everyone... don't.  Just. Don't.  Unless you're a Southern woman, it sounds patronizing in the extreme.  I worked for years with a woman who did that and it always sounded like she was talking down to the person she used it on, as if they were mentally incapacitated in some way.  When Southern women say "Hon" or "Sugar" it's a complement, as if they're including you in their vast circle of friends. And it's the way they can say it.  They sliiiiide it under the door and follow after! It's not a short, abrupt bark of a word "Hun!"  They draw it out as "Huuuun" and you expect to hear the second half, "-ney," on the end.  You don't feel talked at or down to, you feel welcomed.  And, when she says "sugar" it, too, is drawn out, "Shuuh-gah."  Southern women are just easy on the ears and ego.  And they never call anyone "sweetie" unless it's a grandchild (at least, not that I've ever heard... and, yes, I can say this with authority, my mom's side of the family is Texan - as am I - and most of my college friends were from Alabama, Georgia, North & South Carolina... you get the idea).

I think we forget that words have meaning, even words we take as "meaningless" today.  And, the meaning takes on more weight in how it's used, when it's used and how it's said (the one thing you don't want is a Southern woman shortening that "hon" when you've done something stupid... it's a reprimand all on it's own!).  Think about what you say and how you say it before you verbalize.  Because, seriously, folks, I'm about ready to snap off a good, old fashioned, Southern "Hon!" at the next young person who calls me "sweetie!" as if I were twelve!

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