A painting

Please, Don’t Call Me Sweetie

I really and vehemently do not like the term ‘sweetie’, particularly when it’s used in a corporate context – not when your Grandma is offering you her freshly baked scones to clarify.

I’ve been called many things over the years in the workplace but I really only appreciate being called my name which I think is a fair thing to expect. Even a shortening or reversal of my name I will tolerate (after many attempts at correcting) but pet names I draw the line.

Here’s the clincher though – I struggle to correct people when this happens (welcome to my introverted side) and to be very honest the only time I have been able to correct someone was by email when they asked “if I could be a sweetie and…”. So this sort of thing festers in my mind and the other person rarely discovers my dislike of petnames in the workplace. Heck even my partner and I don’t use pet names with each other!

Not only is it demeaning to the person, but also puts them in a place that’s beneath the other persons station. I’ve been called darling by many a manager and I really just find it so patronising. So to be absolutely clear as crystal here are names that are ok and not ok to use in the workplace with your colleagues (that are not close friends or family):

Names ok to be used in the workplace:
  • your actual name
  • your last name (good use for nicknames)
Names that are not ok to be used in the workplace:
  • Sweetie
  • Hun
  • Honey
  • Sweetiepie
  • Darling
  • Handsome
  • Babe
  • Cupcake
  • Gorgeous

So any name you would likely call you partner, husband, wife, child, grandchild… just steer clear. You may accidentally (or intentionally?) offend the person your talking to and ruin the rapport you have built up so well.

Do you have more pet peeve pet names to add to this list?

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