Dear Teenage Sales Clerk, I Am Not Your "Honey" or Your "Sweetie!"

4 years ago

I admit it, I am old-fashioned. Long before it was "age-appropriate," I started making statements that either started or ended with a phrase similar to, "What is with these young people today!"

Why can't people have conversations face-to-face anymore? Why do tween girls need to look like they are in their 20s. Why do kids today call their teachers by their first names? What is wrong with giving a kid an "F" if he actually failed a test or assignment?

If I am being honest, I have to admit that at times, I am merely showing my antiquated views on society. I can be a bit behind the times.

But, when talking about young teen and twenty-something girls today, I know that I am right in saying that there is one trend that simply must be stopped. Since when did it become OK for them refer to anyone, especially their elders, superiors, or a customer at their place of employment, as "honey" or  "sweetie?"

I cannot go into a restaurant or store anymore without a teenage or twenty-something female employee using one of those terms.

"Can I help you find your size "honey?"

"Would you like a table or a booth, sweetie?"

"Can a start a dressing room for you, hon?"

"I'll be right with you, sweetie."

When I was growing up, we bristled at the very thought of being called one of those words.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is not coming from a place of extreme feminism. It is about respect. Unless you are talking to a loved one, those words are demeaning.

I am just trying to imagine what would have happened to me if, in one of my teenage jobs, I had called a customer "sweetie" or "honey." I'm fairly certain that I would have been fired. More importantly, had I called a female boss or colleague in corporate America one of those words, I know that I would have run into some major problems. That would have been career suicide.

Do these girls' mothers, fathers, teachers, bosses, etc. know that they are talking to people this way?

If you have a teenage daughter, ask her if she thinks this is acceptable? If so, nip it in the bud immediately. She will never be taken seriously if she considers this acceptable... especially in a professional environment!

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go put my soap box back in the closet...

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