Talk

Advanced search

Restaurant Etiquette

(51 Posts)
fascinated Fri 20-Apr-18 20:52:52

I was recently in a casual restaurant with my parents and two children, one of which is a babe in arms. I’m in my early forties. Server was in his twenties, maybe.

My dad was addressed as Sir.

My mum and I were addressed as Miss.

AIBU to feel patronised? Many female friends think I should have been flattered and that I would be VU to complain to management 🤮 I had the distinct impression it was some kind of new policy (I’ve been going there for years). The whole thing sounded ridiculous as the server was clearly unfamiliar with this type of formality... but if there’s to be this kind of palaver I’d prefer “Madam” if males in my party are going to be Sir.

Petitepamplemousse Fri 20-Apr-18 21:03:22

It won’t be a policy. It’ll just be that individual waiter. I’ve had it lots of times, I think they get in the habit saying ‘Sir’ and ‘Miss’ to be polite in their school days and then forget to use madam. A fitness instructor called me Miss the other day and I thought it was quite sweet blush and I say this as a strident feminist!! But also a teacher and I do see how a 20 something only a few years out of school could carry this habit into interaction with adults without ill intentions. I think you would have been extremely U to complain, not unreasonable to internally raise an eyebrow.

Petitepamplemousse Fri 20-Apr-18 21:05:16

Having said all that, Sir/Miss in school and elsewhere is somewhat sexist IMO but it’s sexist language that has existed for a long time rather than the individual waiter’s fault.

TerfsUp Fri 20-Apr-18 22:10:56

Yes. You would be unreasonable to complain.

fascinated Fri 20-Apr-18 22:15:37

Ok. Interesting responses. Fair enough. I don’t know why it riled me so much.

I wasn’t seriously thinking of complaining. Just wondered what other folk thought.

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 21-Apr-18 00:02:40

Having said all that, Sir/Miss in school and elsewhere is somewhat sexist IMO but it’s sexist language that has existed for a long time rather than the individual waiter’s fault.

Is "Sir" "Miss" used in real schools? I always thought it was just a thing in shows like Grange Hill. We didn't use it in my school (Scottish comprehensive 60s and 70s) and it wasn't used at my son's (Scottish private school 90s/00s) Teachers were just Mr , Miss, Mrs, Dr plus surname.

To answer the OP if the male customer is sir the female are madam.

ReluctantCamper Sat 21-Apr-18 00:08:25

I think the phrase is 'pick your battles'.

What would be the point of complaining?

PrincessLeia80 Sat 21-Apr-18 00:25:09

Madam would be more usual in an upmarket establishment however it also has certain other connotations. I would say it's a minefield and not to read anything into it.

Itchytights Sat 21-Apr-18 00:28:03

Get over yourself

There are really more
Important things to worry about than this.

Petitepamplemousse Sat 21-Apr-18 00:31:13

LassWiADelicateAir, yes, definitely used in real schools! I would much rather be called ‘Ms X’ but I am only called that by Year 7s who have come straight from primary or by students who don’t know me well. In the three schools I’ve worked at, kids have always called me ‘Miss’ and called the men ‘Sir’. We don’t even encourage it, it just seems to happen! All state schools. I also always called my teachers Mrs X or Mr Y so I found it totally bizarre at first.

SenecaFalls Sat 21-Apr-18 00:31:55

It is unequal. It's Sir and Ma'am where I live. (Southern US)

Trumpdump Sat 21-Apr-18 00:34:01

I used to work on the shop floor at Marks and Spencer. We were told to address females as 'miss' and males as 'sir'. The only other female option here would be 'madam', 'ma'am', which sounds very old-fashioned.

Which alternatives would you suggest?

EightdaysaweekIloveu Sat 21-Apr-18 00:34:19

YABU. As another poster said 'pick your battles'. Complaining would only warrant an eye roll.

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 21-Apr-18 00:36:59

I don't see anything wrong with sir and madam or ma'am.

How are madam / ma'am old fashioned but sir isn't?

angryburd Sat 21-Apr-18 00:40:26

@lass sir/ miss were used at my Scottish secondary school in the late 90s/ early 00s.

I don't particularly like being called madam... makes me feel old!

PrincessLeia80 Sat 21-Apr-18 00:42:10

Sir is terribly old fashioned but other than mister what's the alternative? That's from my husband who says he hates being called Sir.

SenecaFalls Sat 21-Apr-18 00:42:26

So it's become old-fashioned to use equal forms of address and only men get the honorific? How did that happen?

fascinated Sat 21-Apr-18 15:59:51

The point would be that they change it? Obviously!

OlennasWimple Sat 21-Apr-18 16:04:06

I thought in schools it was more like "Miiiiss" with about four syllables and a whine? (It was back in the day at mine)

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 21-Apr-18 16:08:24

The point would be that they change it? Obviously

Maybe; but they'd get a lot of complaints the other way then. I wouldn't mind Miss; I'd hate Madam. A fair few other people have said the same.

My school was always Sir/Miss, too.

Did you ask him to call you something else? A polite, "I'd prefer Madam, if that's okay." Would have solved this painlessly.

MushroomGravy Sat 21-Apr-18 16:30:29

Yes. You would be unreasonable to complain.

Why though?

I find it interesting how many people are calling themselves TERF now while ignoring the radical feminist bit. She's not asking for him to be sacked but pointing out that the it's rude and sexist and sounds a bit silly at best

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 21-Apr-18 16:37:53

And I would hate Miss.

Parking the Sir/Miss thing even if that is common usage in school it is a school usage. In any other social usage the words are Sir and Madam.

I have written work letters to Dear Sir, Dear Madam and even Dear Sir and Madam. Have never addressed a letter to Dear Miss (unless it was followed by a surname)

Lanie233 Sat 21-Apr-18 16:49:12

You sound so stuck up. Get over yourself!

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 21-Apr-18 17:00:20

She's not asking for him to be sacked but pointing out that the it's rude and sexist and sounds a bit silly at best

Agreed.

And as for the "Miss" in school I have a very strong memory of someone on my primary class calling a teacher Miss and being told if they wanted to address her , her name was Mrs Surrname.

TheGrimSqueaker Sat 21-Apr-18 17:02:49

I thought in schools it was more like "Miiiiss" with about four syllables and a whine? (It was back in the day at mine)

The length of time they can drag Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss out for is directly proportional to how utterly trivial the thing they want to grass their classmate up for doing is.
"Miss" = shit's on fire or there's blood or something
"Miiiiiiiiiiiiiss" = Jenny's got my ruler
"Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissss" = Damian breathed annoyingly

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: