Terms of endearment misdirected
There is a social convention in this town that is offensive.
Since I moved here two years ago, I have noticed, especially in the service industries, that staff take the liberty of calling the customers, especially women, dear or worse sweetheart. They do not know me to be using these terms, which are patronizing at least and offensive at most. I don’t want to think it, but they seem to be terms used on people over 50 years of age.
Wanting to check my perception, I have asked others over 50, and all agreed that they have noticed this habit.
I am not dear or sweetheart to anyone except close family members. It has happened at the McDonalds take-out window, and several other restaurants in Penticton. I find it so offensive, I do not patronize businesses who continue to have staff that do this.
Most of the staff using the terms, look to be still in school, ie teenagers or 20-somethings and perhaps they do not know the impact of their comments.
Perhaps this letter may serve to enlighten about appropriate social conventions, and that it may save business for those who have staff that address the over 50s as dear or sweetheart.
Ma’am would do just fine.