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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.

Caitlin17 Sun 03-Nov-13 03:31:52

I like it, I'm trying and failing at 3.36 in the morning to remember where and when it was last used.

I don't mind, "love", "dear" or similar.

The only one I really hate is " Mrs my surname". The juniors in my hairdresser always call me that and I know they're just doing it to be polite and I'd look a complete sourface if I said it's "Miss"

crumpet Sun 03-Nov-13 03:57:18

Tgcounselling are you serious? Madam has been used for a looooong time and is a courtesy.

Spiteful it is not.

SatinSandals Sun 03-Nov-13 07:04:43

There is a thread at the moment asking why old people get het up about trivial matters and I have pointed out that is has nothing to do with age, as proved by this! It is courtesy and since people seem to hate love, duck, pet etc probably a good thing!
Has it not occurred to you that you are actually getting old, Tigerbomb? It comes to us all!

SatinSandals Sun 03-Nov-13 07:05:48

I also have no objection to love, duck, pet etc either, depending on how it is said.

DoBatsEatCats Sun 03-Nov-13 08:33:18

I hate it, but I only get called Madam in posh shops where the assistants combine it with eying you like something they've scraped off their shoe. In that context it's just subtle rudeness. If I got called it by someone who was otherwise being polite to me, I wouldn't mind.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 03-Nov-13 08:44:10

I work in a shop and have never had reason to use "Madam" ... or Sir....

"Can I help you?", "What are you looking for?", "Is it still raining?", "So sorry, the till is running slowly today", "Thank you" "Goodbye"

Seem to make up most conversations.... with those customers who can be bothered to put their mobile phones away.... my bugbear is people who seem to think it is ok to just wave a hand at me on the till as if to say "this call is far more important than common courtesy"....

Weeantwee Sun 03-Nov-13 09:45:33

I don't like it as it makes me feel old but there's little else an assistant can say. With men it is 'Sir' which sounds fine at any age. My DH works in retail and will call a man Sir but he tries to judge whether a female customer would appreciate Madam or not and use it accordingly.

tgcounselling Sun 03-Nov-13 10:36:43

I am sorry, but, if it was only a courtesy, why would people not STOP calling me Madam if I ask them not to? Instead, most people would call you Madam even more if you ask them. If it was not spite, only a courtesy, then you should be able to stop it. I think you are lying and hiding the truth.

Don't lie to me, I lived through the 90s and 80s though I was only a child at the time and nobody used to call the young ladies or young men
"Madam" "Lady" or "Sir" "Gentlemen". At any rate, one must be able to see that it IS a ridiculous word for young people and it is hurting many people. In UK, people even call little children now "Madam" "Sir" and it is horrible.

It is not only the words, there used to an atmosphere that from old people to young people, they adore you like their own son and daughter, and between young people, a kind of cool casual air that so young and vibrant and happy. I think that is more ideal. Nowadays the young people (from 20 to under 50) talk like grandpas.

I also remember people saying without "Madam" or "Lady" usually, such as,
when parents talk to their children "Move over here so she can get pass." instead of "Let the lady pass".

I agree with what "BadaBingBang" said, you CAN actually say and have conversation without saying Madam, Sir, and it does not sound rude.

Nobody would find it rude. If it is rude, WHY would old people over 50 look angry when I do address them Sir/Madam? I do that out of respect to old people, because I think that old people should be respected, but, I do not think it is an appropriate word for young people.

I think that the words or the words that addressing somebody represent the culture. I see at the supermarkets old men over 50 wearing tight T-shirt with animated character on it with big headphone on their heads, and trying to flirt with me. They dress up and act like teenagers, which I do not even do that. Because I think that it is more pleasant to be a proper young person, I do not have to mimic the teenagers who are only children of under 20. That would be pathetic.
The world is clearly going crazy.

I try to be as friendly and casual as possible when I go to shops and say "Hi, Girl" or "Hi, Love" if they look not over 50. I think that being 40 or 49 is way too young to be considered as an old person.

If you can not be sure about the border line of young and old, look up the bible. (the Numbers) One can contradict a human, but can not contradict God, and the bible suggests that people over 50 are old people and a person should expect to die when they reach 100. (Jacob's story)

You can NOT consider someone as an old person who has not lived even a half of life time yet.

I wish I could see more charismatic old people over 50, rather than old people in teen clothes. I remember my grandfather and grandmother was so affectionate and warm and really nice old people, NEVER calling the young people with over-polite terms. My grandma would call a 40 yr-old young woman as "My dear girl" and if she is a nice person who can respect the elders she would not be angry to those words.

My grand parents were loved and respected by so many people until the end of their lives.

There is clearly another kind of happiness as an old person and people today do not realise it and missing the big part of their life!

I think it is all to do with the ideal way of relationships in life, the children, the young, the old, the parents, etc.

We should start looking for what is the ideal way of life as a human being, and try to find a way not to hurt each other.

There is no such thing as an "Ageless" world. People born and die. That's life. Life is not about living forever on the earth, it is about what kind of life you live, if you lived a decent life, and you have no regrets.

We can NOT pass this vicious current culture that biting each other's head off, to the children. We must find a way. And it starts, when STOP trying to make the young people as the same as the old people.

Chesntoots Sun 03-Nov-13 10:49:49

Tg, with the best will in the world, I have no idea what you are talking about....

almapudden Sun 03-Nov-13 11:34:20

tgcounselling you are hilarious. What on earth are you blathering on about?

LaurieFairyCake Sun 03-Nov-13 11:38:59

I like it.

Tgcounselling - get checked out, you're losing it

ringaringarosy Sun 03-Nov-13 11:40:30

i hate it when they say ma'am but even more when its just like MAM it makes me cringe.

Salmotrutta Sun 03-Nov-13 11:40:35

The prize for the most tortuous post goes to tgcounselling grin

You really go into shops and say "Hii Girl" to assistants??

How interesting.

Salmotrutta Sun 03-Nov-13 11:41:22

Or even Hi Girl... hmm grin

RaRa1988 Sun 03-Nov-13 11:52:46

TGCounselling : You address people in shops as "Hi Girl"?! Honestly?! I haven't worked in shops for a while now, and when I did I suppose you might have considered me a 'girl', being in my early twenties and quite young-looking, but I'd have found being referred to as "Girl" extremely rude and no doubt you'd have gone down as one very odd customer!

Preciousbane Sun 03-Nov-13 12:13:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ukatlast Sun 03-Nov-13 12:59:24

YANBU I don't even like being called Mrs ukatlast. As you say there is no need. I hate unnecessary verbal formality.

WholeNutt Sun 03-Nov-13 13:05:11

YABU it's nice to know courtesy still exists.

nulgirl Sun 03-Nov-13 13:13:54

Agree with satinsandals. There really is no end to the trivia that people get offended/ narked/ annoyed by. What does it matter if someone refers to you as madam. They are trying to be polite (and have probably been told by their management to say it anyway).

SatinSandals Sun 03-Nov-13 17:45:20

Exactly nulgirl. You upset people whatever. There have been whole threads where people can't stand being referred to a a lady, they get very upset at 'girls' or 'guys' , apoplectic at 'love', hate first names, don't like 'Mrs' if they are 'Ms' or vice versa.
I didn't understand tg's post but it seemed to say that politeness differed according to age, whereas I would say it was regardless of age.
Some shops use 'madam' , get over it and move on! (Or use a different shop)

BurlyShassey Sun 03-Nov-13 17:54:42

unquietdad grin Im thinking exactly that about Dick Ememry.

and I get angry being called Madam too. makes me feel old. Sir sounds right, no age group there, but miss and madam, grrrrr!

ontheotherside Sun 03-Nov-13 18:03:48

I love it (as long, as some said up thread, as it's not being said in an unpleasant snotty way in a posh shop).

I visit France often and everyone is very polite and calls you Madame. The lady who runs the fish stall at the local market knows a bit of English which she is always keen to try - enough to know that Madame = Mrs, so when I leave she shouts out "Goodbye Mrs" grin

paxtecum Sun 03-Nov-13 18:10:03

Madam, love, dear, dearie, duck, ducky, hon, pet, darling.

Don't mind any of them.

A security man at a midlands airport called me duck. It did bring a smile to my face.

UsedToBeNDP Sun 03-Nov-13 18:12:43

It is definitely not exclusively a 'posh shops' thing. There is a lady in my local TK MaXx who calls women madam, she is utterly lovely and is purely doing it out of politeness and, ok maybe a slightly dated idea of customer service but it does no harm at all and she comes across as well mannered and an asset to their team.

Trills Sun 03-Nov-13 18:15:59

I've already commented on this in 2011...

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