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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Terms of Endearment!

Confession time: I like McDonald's. Most of my friends would describe me as healthy. I always have fruits & veggies in the fridge. I choose water over soda. Sushi is my favorite food. But, I still have a special place in my heart for Micky D's. I've been going there my entire life (I remember when burgers were a quarter!). I did a commercial for McDonald's when I was a young teen (sadly no food was consumed). They also have really great happy meal toys & the best fast food fries. I always order a hamburger happy meal (with just ketchup on the burger, barbecue sauce to dip my fries & a diet coke). But my fondness for the place has nothing to do with this post. I'm writing about the boy (I'm pretty sure he's under 18) who works the register & occasionally takes the orders outside. We go there about once a week, so I've seen him fairly regularly over the last 6 months. He always refers to me by a rather odd string of greetings (No, "Thank you, Ma'am, or even Miss for this young man). He's called me "Hon, Baby, Sweetie, Babe, Dear & even Toots"! I'm never sure how to react. My kids always look puzzled & as we drive away say "Do you KNOW that guy?


Octolad said...

You could do the guy a favor and tell him with a smile that not everyone in this day and age appreciates the coziness (or condescension) of a flirtatious professional style that may have worked great for his grandfather back in another day. On second thought, if he's been doing it for six months, at least once he's probably already been told something to this effect by another female customer, and much less tactfully than you might. If so, then his spirits obviously remain undampened. If it gets annoying, approach him about it. If it ever gets creepy, I trust you'd place a phone call to the management and start dining at another McD's.

Or teach him my magic word: I call all of my favorite female co-workers and clients "Ladybug." It's a feel-good word that expresses genuine endearment without being threatening or even remotely sexual. And I cut this reply from five paragraphs down to two by omitting the many reasons why "Toots" is so wrong, right out of the gate. :-)

Erin Murphy said...

If he called me Ladybug in the same tone of voice he uses to call me Toots, I think it would be REALLY creepy!
Ladybug is one of my sister's childhood nicknames & it was very cute when my parents said it. I guess it's all in the delivery ;-)

Octolad said...

LOL! Delivery is key. I use "Ladybug" sparingly, and only as a breezy passing-in-the-hallway kind of greeting. In full-on conversation, I call co-workers and clients by their given name -- the most magical form of address.

Oyeboi said...

The boy obviously knows a hottie when he sees one:D

Georgie E. Montgomery said...

Working at Starbucks we have to uphold the "friendly, but professional" forms of greeting for our customers. Though with some of the regulars you can get familiar with them and the greetings become more casual. I call my female regulars who are around my age, "beautiful, smiles, georgeous" and other light forms while keeping the delivery light and complimentory (is that a word?) If I sense they don't like it, I apologize and move on.
When I have a person call me something that makes me feel uncomfortable I usually smile and say something like, "my friends call me Georgie."
Good Luck!

Mischa said...


The young man apparently tries to be polite, but has no clue as to what that means on an individual customer basis. The fact that you have been going to this Micky D's for a while and this young man has taken your order several times now, it is in no way rude to remind him, that ma'am is much more appropriate to address a female customer, than it is any of those other nick names. Dear is somewhat acceptable, but Toots, and Baby, no way! Just remind him. If that doesn't work, then I do think you should talk to the manager or call the district manager and tell them your encounters with this particular Micky D's.