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to hate being called m'am or madam by shop assistants

(125 Posts)
BadaBingBang Tue 04-Jan-11 07:08:42

Is it necessary to give me a title? M'am is a like being called Mum, and Madam puts me in mind of the lady in charge of a brothel.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 04-Jan-11 11:21:25

I love being called Ma'am in america, especially in the deep south.


Mind you, when I was younger and lived in Devon, I used to hate being called 'maid' by older people e.g. 'there ee go then, maid'

Nobody in Devon calls me maid anymore, as probably am hatchet of face and too old. And that pisses me off no end grin

I love being called madam in shops, but it hardly ever happens. I don't like being called love, or duck (in Nottingham).

mutznutz Tue 04-Jan-11 11:23:43

It doesn't bother me either way really but it is nice that politeness hasn't gone completely out of fashion.

Imarriedafrog Tue 04-Jan-11 11:25:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NestaFiesta Tue 04-Jan-11 11:30:13

YABU. We should encourage good manenrs wherever possible- they are a dying breed!. Poor person who served has probably been on a course and is terrified of mystery shoppers.

I love being called Madam or Mrs Fiesta. its shows respect and gives me a little glow.

I was in a shop recently and instead of being greeted by "Can I help you Madam?" the member of staff just came and stood next to me and mumbled "allright?" to his shoes.

TandB Tue 04-Jan-11 11:33:16

I spend my days addressing people as "Sir" and "Madam". I will now be worrying that the judges/magistrates are thinking "stop bloody well calling me that, I have a name."

They are probably not though.

Aims80 Tue 04-Jan-11 11:37:36

I hate it too, makes me feel old! The first time I got called Madam I died a little inside (much prefer Miss!).

Lonnie Tue 04-Jan-11 11:45:16

I do not mind it I hate it when they assume they can call me by my first name and I do correct and tell them MRS.. if they ask Im fine.. I like politeness it costs nothing and it makes things nicer in life imo so I would say YABU (though 3 times in that is a bit ott)

kenobi Tue 04-Jan-11 11:47:00

YABU. I got called sir once in a sandwich shop which was far more depressing. I still get paranoid when I have my hair scraped back and glasses on...

Getoffmoiland: So with you on the US thing! I have always found it odd that Brits have the rep for politeness when 90% of Yanks are far politer than Brits. We once had an intern from Texas who called us all sir and ma'am and it was so lovely yet at the same time utterly embarrassing as we are all utter scruff-bags in my office, and don't deserve it.

mumeeee Tue 04-Jan-11 12:31:43

YABU I would much rather be called that than love which a lot of shop assistants semm to do

MrsvWoolf Tue 04-Jan-11 13:03:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsvWoolf Tue 04-Jan-11 13:04:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tgcounselling Sat 02-Nov-13 21:50:14

No, I am with you all the way. It started not long ago, it used to be that only nice old ladies who are at least over 50 would be called "Madam" as a polite gesture. Everyone would have laughed or think out of mind or at any rate, not so cool if someone calls a young person "Madam" or "Sir". (especially a guy to a girl)
Anybody here who says they like being called "Madam", they are obviously lying or has twisted mind. If it is only a polite gesture, nothing more, the person would not be angry if I ask the waiter/ waitress "not to call me Madam."

I HATE to be called Madam, because it sounds so mature and it makes me feel like an old woman, and as if all my young days are gone, so I try to be friendly with the shop staff if they look like a young person from 20 and under 50. I can't do that with a man over 50 because then the old man would want to flirt with me and I would feel sick.

Normally I would start the conversation like, "Hi, Girl" and then the shop person do not call me "Madam" and we chat like good friends. But it happened to me in the Jimmy's World Grill Bar recently, when the young waiter said, "Where would like to seat, Ma'am?" I said with a smile, "Can I not be called Madam, if it is OK?" and then the waiter became so angry, he told something about me to the other waitress and then the both of them were looking at me with very angry expression on their face. I was very surprised and asked them, "What's wrong?" and they said "Nothing."

Well, then the same waiter came to me while I was eating, "So how is the food, Madam?" I was so angry and I was sick of being called Madam so many times, I said, "Oh, Thank you, Sir! It is very good, SIIIIIIIIR!!!!!!!!!" and he ran away like a kid.

I sent a complaint email, and I got even more unpleasant letter, starting with "Ms.*" and it was written that every lady should be called Madam. And I thought, "That's ridiculous! Even a little 5-yr-old child?"

I think that it started when 20-21 yr-olds boasted about their age, I sometimes feel the urge to call people "Madam" or "Sir" when someone younger than me boast about their youth in front of me.

But, I do not understand why anyone should be so angry about the person who thinks that you are just as young as herself, does not matter if you or the other person is a little younger or older, (and you don't even know my age! you are guessing it) and try to be only friendly. I just could not understand and the whole experience makes me feel so sad.

There is a definitely spiteful reason behind calling young people "Ms.*" or "Madam" or "Ma'am" or "Sir" or "Lady". It is just spite. Nothing more. Don't lie. Be nice. Use appropriate words like, "Girl" or "Young lady" or "Miss" or "Boy" or at least "Young man". PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

FeckinNC Sat 02-Nov-13 22:11:58

As previously advised, don't ever move to the Middle East. I reckon I'm addressed as ma'am or madam at least 10 times every day. It did make me really uncomfortable initially but I was immune to it very quickly sadly

FloozeyLoozey Sat 02-Nov-13 22:14:55

It's always "love" round here (Lancashire). I couldn't give a fig what they call me, as long a it's not offensive. YABU.

Alliballi Sat 02-Nov-13 22:17:07

I get called ma'am a dozen times a day. (Deep South). I barely notice it any more

missinglalaland Sat 02-Nov-13 22:20:08

YABU, it's an attempt at courtesy.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 02-Nov-13 22:21:16

I dislike madam,but I was genuinely quite upset to be called 'dear' the other day by a young male shop assistant......

manicinsomniac Sat 02-Nov-13 22:21:58

Pupils at the school where I teach call us Ma'am. Not all the time, they can call us Miss/Mrs?Mr X,Y,Z but, if they are going to address a male teacher as 'Sir' they have to call the famale teacher 'Ma'am' as oppose to Miiiiiiiisssssss (in hideous, drawn out way that only children on a Friday afternoon can manage!)

gemmal88 Sat 02-Nov-13 22:24:35

Eugh... Love and babe make my blood boil

I don't mind madam, I'm not sure if I can ever recall being called ma'am - I reckon it would make me feel quite old! smile

breatheslowly Sat 02-Nov-13 22:25:50

I love being called Madam, but that might be because it only happens in John Lewis and I love shopping in John Lewis.

hoobypickypicky Sat 02-Nov-13 22:27:55

YABU. It's a courtesy term. It's better than the one I got today. My daughter's friend is a young Bangladeshi man so English isn't his first language. He's incredibly sweet and ultra polite and at first I had to reassure him that it was fine to call me Hooby and not Madam or Mrs PickyPicky. He sent me a text today and called me "dear" as in "Thank you dear, I hope you had a good day". Bless him! grin

stopgap Sat 02-Nov-13 22:36:33

I hate it, too. I've lived in America for ten years, and still get "Miss" about 30% of the time, but have seen myself transition from "Miss" to "Ma'am" the majority of the time, and it just reminds me that I'm edging towards 40, instead of edging towards 30.

Halfrek Sun 03-Nov-13 00:01:43

I went for a teaching interview once and all the kids called me Ma'am. Threw me right off as I'd never come across it before, everywhere else I have taught I am Ms Halfrek or Miss.

Tigerbomb Sun 03-Nov-13 00:17:57

I absolutely loathe being called Madam. It makes me feel so old. I have noticed an increase use of Madam over the past 12 months and I don't just mean towards me, it seems to be the new Miss

I don't mind being called a little madam though grin

EweHaveGoatToBeKiddin Sun 03-Nov-13 00:19:45

I've never been called ma'am or madam. I just get a screech of "Next please" or "hi there".

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