I’m not a “miss”

I’ve been analyzing some of the things that bug me recently… so let’s chat about another one of my pet peeves.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I tend to have a lot of trouble with waitresses (I’m being gender specific because I never have seems to have issues with waiters). Whether it’s having water spilled on me, getting judgmental looks for order “slim and fit” meals or being given a Diet Coke instead of Coke Zero, I often find myself not really liking our waitresses (specifically the ones close to my age).

We recently went out with Brad’s family for my brother-in-law’s birthday. Our waitress was great overall, very nice, helpful, timely and accurate. But one thing she did really got under my skin, she would always refer to me and my mother-in-law as “miss.” I realize that would be considered polite, but she didn’t call any of our men “sir” or “mister” or anything at all.

I always wear my wedding and engagement rings, as does my mother-in-law, so it was pretty obvious that neither of us are a “miss.”

This is where my preferences and the preferences of other millennial women diverge.

I would rather be called ma’am or nothing at all than to be called “miss.” Many women in my generation hate being called “ma’am” because it makes them feel old. To me, being called “miss” makes me feel like I’m being talked down to. Little girls love being called “miss” and I was ok with it before I got married. But the prefix, “miss” is specifically intended for unmarried women.

Unfortunately when you work with the public, there isn’t any right way to go when trying to use respectful terms like “ma’am” or “sir” because there’s always someone out there who doesn’t appreciate it… the way that I don’t appreciate being called “miss.”

What do you prefer to be called? Miss, ma’am, sir, mister, son, honey, dude, something else or nothing at all?

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Hi! I’m Rachel Engel…stetter?

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About Probably Rachel

PR professional and social media enthusiast, blogging about life, marriage, coffee and type 1 diabetes. You can follow me on Twitter also @ProbablyRachel

Posted on November 18, 2011, in Customer Service, My Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I understand where you’re coming from. “Miss” doesn’t bother me, but being called “sweetie” or “honey” does: especially when it’s someone close to my age. It’s not respectful.

    I think I respect “ma’am” and “miss” because most of my family is from the South, and those are considered terms of respect. It’s different for everyone, though!

    • I also don’t like being called “sweetie” or “honey” (unless it’s a relative). I used to work with a girl who was a few years younger than me who would call anyone “honey.” It drove me crazy!

  2. Yes, I HATE being called honey. With a passion. Or ‘hon’ is worse. Sweetie bugs me as well. When I was a server, I always said ma’am and sir when addressing customers. That’s just the way I was raised, to be polite.

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