A quick diversion from the usual bookery, as I turn to you, gentle reader, for some etiquette advice.
I'm a woman with a professional career, and here, and in many other jobs I've held previously, I've wound up spending a good portion of my workday on the phone. On a near-daily basis, people that I speak to on the phone will call me "honey," "sweetie," or "dear," despite the fact that my speaking voice is neither childlike nor particularly cute.
I am not easily offended, but these interactions tend to get my blood up.
It's not just men, and it's not just people who are a great deal older than I am (in fact, with the latter, I have no problem with letting it slide) -- this happens with men and women, young and old, and it happens a lot.
So, is there a polite and inoffensive way to advise people against this behavior when it occurs?
I once asked a co-worker of mine about this, and she sighed and said, "Well, I just tell myself, they could be calling me a lot worse." I'm afraid that this might be the only Miss Manners-approved way to deal with the situation, but I'm looking for suggestions.
And as a general PSA, gentle reader, please tell everyone you know that these terms of endearment are wonderful and warm and perfectly acceptable for use between family members, significant others, and close friends. But when you use them with strangers, it's condescending, uncomfortable, and rude.
And when you use them with me, it is taking every fiber of professionalism and will in my being not to hang up on you.
That is all.
Not Your Sweetie