18
   

Girls and Ladies? How do you react to being called Ma'am?

 
 
ragnel
 
  4  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 07:24 am
@margo,
About a million years ago (it seems) when the Vietnam conflict was still raging, quite a lot of US military personnel came to Sydney on R and R leave. Often these young men would stay with volunteer families. They were free to come and go as they pleased, but were always welcomed to join in family activities. These 'activities' usually consisted of picnics, parties, barbeques, etc and friends and relatives would arrive at all hours of the day and night to help them 'feel at home'. At any given time there would be three or four young people in attendance so the visitor could let his hair down and not feel too shy.

Most were friendly and seemed to have a great time. One young man though really gave me the willies. His conversation seemed to consist of two phrases "Yes ma'am" or "No ma'am". Even after a week he still called every female 'ma'am'. It annoyed me so much that for years the word grated on my ears.

Of course, looking back on it, I guess he was just terribly shy and we must have overwhelmed him.

Unless it is by a special someone, being called things like dear, darling, darl, love, sweetheart, sweetie, etc, invokes a very similar reaction to Margo's.

I once worked in a company that had a number of travelling reps. Every Friday they would come into the office to do their paperwork and have their sales meeting. One of my jobs was to oversee their expense accounts and to calculate their commissions. Most of the reps were okay and I got on well with them, but one, a typical smarmy, glib, full-of-himself super-salesman always managed to rub me the wrong way. He fudged his sales figures trying to get more commission than he was entitled to, he blatantly padded his expense account and pooh-poohed the need for receipts, when trying to get away with something, he always put a hand on my shoulder and he always called me 'darling'.

One day it got to me and I spat the dummy. I read him the riot act about company rules about his paperwork. He leaned close and gave me a half smile saying something like "Aw come on, Darling, don't be like that. Don't make life difficult for me." As he spoke, the hand landed on my shoulder.

I pushed the hand away and hissed at him, slowly but loudly. "I am not now, never have been, and never will be your Darling. And if you ever touch me again, I will make sure you never function as anyone's darling!"

At that moment I realised that all the other reps, the Manager, the Managing Director and the Chairman of the Board who was visiting from the Melbourne office had been heading for the conference room but had stopped in their tracks when they heard me.

Always quick on the uptake, my tormentor moved to join them saying, "All right then, Madam, we'll keep this impersonal from now on in, shall we?"

All I could think of to say was "And don't call me Madam. I run a respectable cat-house!"

I dreaded that meeting ending, I was sure I'd lose my job over the incident.
However, I found out later that the GM had reminded all reps of the need to stick to company rules and show proper respect to their colleagues.

The one I really loathe is 'girlie'.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 07:39 am
@ragnel,
ragnel wrote:

All I could think of to say was "And don't call me Madam. I run a respectable cat-house!"

A most excellent comeback to have quipped Ragnel. Laughing
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 09:50 am
@ragnel,
Ragnel, you are my kind of "upity" woman!

BBB
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2010 10:05 am
@eoe,
eoe wrote:

explain please. I'm not familiar with the terminology.


mija/mijo = daughter/son

Not just said to one's one children, but to other children they have affection towards.
Hence it's also used sometimes toward other adults, in a friendly affectionate way.

For instance, a coworker I've known for over 10 years, we're about the same age....Sometimes when I call her she'll say "ah mija, what do you need?"

I guess it's sorta like saying "hey girl"
0 Replies
 
Lyric Dreamer
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 03:32 pm
I don't mind actually.
Not sure what I am doing...
Hi everyone Smile
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 03:39 pm
@Lyric Dreamer,
Goodevening Lyric Dreamer and welcome to a2k!

Would you like a slice of cake?
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2405/2174210505_b66698cac6.jpg
A cup of tea?
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 06:53 pm
@eoe,
Quote:
mismi wrote:

It seems most people that have to bring attention to a title are usually pretty insecure.

The only reason it bothers me...


eoe wrote:
Quote:
'nuff said.


Yeah yeah...I am not aging very graciously. I am kicking and screaming about it...t'is true. Razz
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 06:55 pm
don't worry mismi.

there will come a time that you just give up.

it's wonderful.
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 07:04 pm
@chai2,
I am SO looking forward to it. I am still at that stage that I am surprised when I look in the mirror in the morning...then pissed. But I manage to get past it pretty well. I just try to avoid the mirrors - because I feel 25 Smile
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 07:13 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Well, I've many times been the one to ok whether or not my firm's designs were approved as carried out, and the follow through of my non approval - and, honey, I don't like to be called, hey or hello lady.

You are in your own world, Finn.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 07:20 pm
@mismi,
Oh, stop it. You are getting to be an adult.
(I say this as friend)
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 07:26 pm
@ossobuco,
Adult is good. Thank you friend. Smile
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 07:49 pm
@ossobuco,
Mismi, I do love you. I get it that I'm a brat.

My own wrinkles have multiplied in the last year. Astonishing, really. So it goes, as Vonnegut would say.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 07:52 pm
@ossobuco,
Osso - you are precious. I don't see you as a brat. You seem to shoot straight. I like that in a friend.

So it goes. Wink
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 08:12 pm
Actually, I don't recall anyone calling me "Ma'am." What else? Lady? Woman?
I don't like it, though, when the dentists' receptionist calls me Miss Pat.
Do they think this is, somehow, flattering: Miss Pat. Oh, puke.

If at all possible, I call all women Miss. When I interviewed people, awhile back, I called all the men "sir." For some reason they seem to like that. I'm noticing lately that Greta Susternen (that ma'am on Fox News at 10pm) calls all the gentlemen she interviews, "sir."

What does it matter? Nothing is right.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 08:29 pm
@Pemerson,
Osso roars, don't call me miss when I am the designer/architect.

In real life we just talk about site problems. I usually got that the problems made sense, that we had to deal with.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 08:30 pm
Just call people by their ******* name.
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 08:57 pm
@ossobuco,
OK, Ossobucco. Someone is calling someone else ma'am because they don't know their name. Is that right?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2010 09:34 pm
@Pemerson,
That is not right.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Sep, 2010 02:22 pm
I think you're right, Pemerson.

I get called by my name by doctors, dentists, etc., but Ma'am by store clerks, waiters, etc. It doesn't bug me - what else would they call me? I'm not a "Miss" anymore, I'm 52 and don't look like a "Miss" - in fact, if they called me Miss, I'd raise my eyebrows at them out of surprise.

Ma'am is quite respectable and is actually suitable for someone my age, I think.
0 Replies
 
 

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