At the self-serve checkout at a supermarket today, a young lady, no more than 16 or 17, was being called darling by a fellow in his early 40's. She was clearly uncomfortable by it. There's a young manager who works there who impresses me. I caught his eye and told him of the young woman's distress. He spoke quietly with her, having got the gist of the matter he confronted the customer.
"Pardon me, Sir," he politely said, "it might seem rude of me to ask, but do you have children?" The fellow was taken aback but still answered yes. "A girl 14 and a boy of 10." The manager went straight for the jugular, "Would you be uncomfortable if a middle aged man kept calling your daughter, darling?" He got the point immediately. Looking at the young woman he said: "Sorry my dear." Emboldened by her manager she said: "I'm not your dear, any more than I am your darling." The chap couldn't get out of there quick enough.
I smiled at the young lady and mouthed: "Good for you," she smiled back and mouthed: "Thank you!" I winked at her and left the shop.
In my opinion it's not trivial. At work it's been my goal to impress upon those men who quite happily call a male customer, "Sir," that such a similar salutation should be offered to the ladies. Call her, Ma'am, madam, Miss, Mrs, followed by her surname, or if she permits, call her by her first name. As my wife used to say when called, "Love." "I'm not your love, I'm my husband's love." It might have put noses out but the men certainly knew not to call her by an endearment.
Spangler Sun 27-Sep-20 16:13:22
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