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article imageOp-Ed: My name is not Sweetie - I am your customer. Please call me Sir

By Russ J. Alan     Sep 12, 2010 in Business
There is a problem in American business that seems to have grown to epidemic proportions. It is a problem that has caused millions of patrons unnecessary pain, anger, aggravation and discomfort.
Now that the problem has been identified, it is possible to stop it once and for all, but we need the help of all who are reading this article. Please print, make hundreds and thousands of copies, post it on bulletin boards, telephone poles, everywhere. Email it to everyone you know. I am begging you to get the word out. I can't take it anymore.
Are you the mom or the dad of a teenage daughter who is about to start their first entry-level job, probably as a cashier in a store or fast-food restaurant?
Are you a manager of a convenience store, fast-food restaurant or what have you, with teenage to college age female cashiers or waitresses working in your store? Are you out front watching and listening to these youthful female employees or are you hiding in the back office, playing games and reading articles on the Internet while eating french fries because the district or regional manager is not visiting today?
It is time for moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas to sit down at the table with their teenage to college age daughters who are about to take their first entry-level jobs or who have already started their career path in customer service positions at fast food establishments, convenience stores, etc., and teach them that mature, adult male customers are to be called "Sir". It is time for store managers (who aren't deservedly about to be terminated) to regularly meet with their young female staff who have direct contact with customers, and explain to them, proper business etiquette.
By AARP standards, I am a male who has just entered my senior years, and one thing that irritates me to the point of biting a number 2 pencil in half with my eye teeth, is to be condescendingly called "Hun" or "Sweetie" by your little, darling, precious, angel daughter who is young enough to be my grand daughter and who many times has a tattoo on her neck and/or a pierced nasal and/or lip(s) and/or has an earring in the middle of her tongue, and who finishes my sentences -- because she has the patience of a gnat and a brain the size of a walnut -- while I am trying to articulate my business with her in two-second sound bytes (because I am aware of the two previously mentioned facts) as she ends each and every one of her sentences with "Sweetie", "Hun", "Baby", or some other term of condescension, as if she is "Flo" at Mel's diner.
This problem doesn't seem to exist among young male customer service employees. I've never had a teenage boy at a cash register or waiting my table call me "Sweetie" or "Hun"-- it may only be because I don't go to gay establishments. If they call me anything it is usually "Sir". They may have said stuff like "Ok man, hurry back" or "OK Bud, thanks alot" and maybe it should, but that doesn't bother me. I can live with that.
Hopefully Grandpa and Grandma, it's not too late to teach your adult children to respect their elders, and not too late for your children to teach your grand daughter to call older men "Sir". Managers, it is your job to teach your young female front line workers to call your customers Ma'am and Sir.
Some of you men who are reading this are in absolute agreement with me. Other toothless rednecks are saying to me right now "Lighten up! I like it when them li'l old young baby dolls call me Hun and Sweetie an thangs like 'at!" And I say that it is because you are a pedophile and probably a statutory rapist and most probably a democrat.
I have thought countless hours about ways I can get this message to the young females who insist on calling me "Babe", "Darlin'", etc., to get them to cease immediately. I have thought of having a few t-shirts printed to say "My name is SIR -- I am your CUSTOMER", but I know this would only cause me more frustration because I wouldn't have it on when I needed it, because I wouldn't want to wear it all the time, and I would have to keep it in my vehicle and change my shirt in my car every time I want a taco, or inevitably I would have unknowingly dropped mustard down the shirt which would cause me to look like a redneck. I have thought about getting business cards printed up with the same message, and after the first "HUN", I could pull one out and hand it over, but then I think, "they probably can't read". Maybe if I could do some kind of graphics like they use for the different sandwiches and fries on McDonald's cash register keys... no, they would probably not understand the pictures and the manager hiding in the back office would call the police and report me as a pedophile.
Please tell your daughters, grand daughters and young female customer service employees, to stop using what they think are "terms of endearment" which are actually "terms of condescension" when dealing with customers.
My name is not "Honey". I am your customer -- Please call me "Sir" (Unless you want to have sex).
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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