I was born and raised in the American south where my parents and grandparents taught me to say ma’am and sir to my elders. As I have grown I extend that to people equal and younger than myself. This is not to be patriarchal but to be polite. However I know the rules have changed because of gender preferences so I try to handle how I address a person based upon their personal preferences and hope I remember it all.
When someone calls me “baby”, “sweetie”, “sugar” it confuses me because I am of the persuasion that those titles need to be reserved for those closer to them in relationship. Tonight I was called “sweetie” by someone in a local drive through. I don’t know how to react to that. They probably were called that themselves so they think its cool to do it to others and I get that however in a professional setting I don’t think its cool because it could be misunderstood by some who think its flirting. Maybe it’s a tool of the trade to get a bigger tip or something but it’s really not necessary. Some spouses could be offended by use of such nicknames.
Maybe I am making a bigger deal out of it than there should be but you know in the world we live in being safe is better. What do you think?