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Pedants' corner

Strange use of 'colleagues'?

(49 Posts)
MamaCaz Thu 12-Apr-18 11:08:49

A few times recently, I have seen the word 'colleagues' being used instead of 'employees'. The latest was a sign at the entrance of a car park at a Sainsbury's warehouse, saying 'Colleagues parking' (or words to that effect). Is it just me that finds this odd?

I'm not talking about the lack of apostrophe, because I can't be sure that they didn't use one, and to be honest, the sign might actually have said 'parking for colleagues - I was too busy thinking about the use of 'colleagues' in this context.

Baggs Thu 12-Apr-18 11:28:28

The words employee and colleague are both from Latin so I'd prefer "Staff Parking" to either of them. Staff has the virtue of being an Old English word as well as being shorter than those others.

maryeliza54 Thu 12-Apr-18 12:09:42

Asda have been using the word colleagues for years ( at our nearest Asda store at least). I too think Staff Parking is nice and clear however

janeainsworth Thu 12-Apr-18 12:10:12

I think it’s a not very cunning ruse to give the employees a sense of belonging and that they ‘own’ the business mamacaz and an attempt to stop them imagining they are being exploited by the company wink

varian Thu 12-Apr-18 12:14:02

In John Lewis and Waitrose the staff are all partners.

maryeliza54 Thu 12-Apr-18 12:17:32

I hate being called a customer by my water company or train company when I have absolutely no choice but to use them

yggdrasil Thu 12-Apr-18 13:42:34

In Tesco they call over the loudspeaker, "This is a colleague announcement, would xxx go to yyy."
As opposed to a general announcement like "please evacuate the building" :-)

sparkly1000 Thu 12-Apr-18 14:26:48

My OH works at ASDA and they are all colleagues. Also when the department managers get together they don't have a meeting, they have a "huddle" !!!

MissAdventure Thu 12-Apr-18 14:28:50

Oh I can't stand all that rubbish! A huddle. Ugh!

Wheniwasyourage Thu 12-Apr-18 15:41:12

At least John Lewis partners have a financial interest in the business and are entitled to be called that. I think it's just patronising to call employees "colleagues" when they don't. yes, "staff" is a good word.

"Huddle" reminds me of a Teletubbies group hug - not really suitable for a staff meeting!

Wheniwasyourage Thu 12-Apr-18 15:41:58

Capitals, capitals - this is a pedants' thread! Yes, not yes.

GrandmaMoira Thu 12-Apr-18 15:46:18

Wickes also uses colleagues - my husband worked for them and that was when I first heard this and it does grate on me.

Grannybags Thu 12-Apr-18 15:54:06

Many years ago I worked for Asda when they changed the policy and decided to call us all colleagues instead of staff. We also had to start calling the Managers by their first names and not Mr/Mrs X as we always had done. Couldn't get used to it! They also insisted "This isn't OUR store - it's YOUR store"! As long as we got paid at the end of the month we didn't care whose store it was!

MamaCaz Thu 12-Apr-18 16:07:13

Not just me then, though I didn't realize that it already been in use in that context for so long!

Atqui Thu 12-Apr-18 16:37:19

The coop use it too when they need more people at the check outs. Even more annoying is the frequent use of the term "work colleagues" , work being uneccessary - a pleonasm I believe.

MissAdventure Thu 12-Apr-18 16:39:44

Team mates? confused

glammanana Thu 12-Apr-18 16:41:57

My son works as a night manager for Sainsburys and all employees even the big boss are referred to as colleagues.

loopyloo Thu 12-Apr-18 17:18:05

Well it is more egalitarian. Rather than the bosses and the workers.

MissAdventure Thu 12-Apr-18 17:20:40

Yes, I suppose it does give the impression of equality.
Whether that actually works, in practice may be a different matter. smile

grumppa Thu 12-Apr-18 17:29:59

When I got my first "proper" job in 1968 my boss, no. 2 in the organisation, always introduced me as his colleague, so it always sounds natural and courteous to me.

The were some separate gents. labelled "managers", but we all used them regardless.

varian Thu 12-Apr-18 18:57:20

At one time I used to introduce my workmate to clients as "my colleague" but she told me she preferred "my secretary".

sparkly1000 Thu 12-Apr-18 19:17:24

When Asda was taken over by Walmark over 5 years ago there was a managers every morning huddle chant.
Give me an A.
Give me a S.
Give me a D.
Give me an A.
Give me a pocket tap.
Give me another pocket tap.
Who is number one?
The customer. Always.

MissAdventure Thu 12-Apr-18 19:21:30

My manager at my last place told me that when I was dealing with a man with down syndrome, I should give him a 'high five' when he did well. hmm
Never mind the fact that he and I had been conversing normally all day.

gerry86 Fri 13-Apr-18 10:00:59

I often use the word colleague when speaking or writing to customers, they are actually employed by my husband and me but employees or staff in that context isn't right.

lizzypopbottle Fri 13-Apr-18 10:01:46

The Sainsbury's 'colleague' references amuse me too. If you need any help, notices advise you to ask a colleague. I rarely shop with any of my colleagues so I'm pretty much out of luck if I can't find what I'm looking for!

colleague noun, a person with whom one works in a profession or business (Google search)