I was applying my make-up listening to the Today Show yesterday morning and heard something so disturbing my skin actually crawled. In response to Meredith Viera’s interview question regarding running for election, Senator Chuck Hagel answered her with the word “dear”. I was somewhat appalled – did he really say that? His tone sounded quite condescending. If responding to Matt Lauer, would he have called him dear? I think not! Ann Curry playfully called Meredith “dear” when they tossed it back to her for the morning’s news. Now, that was funny.
It goes to show you we still live in a man’s world. When Sheri and I worked together at Bank One Corporation, we experienced that quite a bit. The banking world really was a man’s world when we were part of it. I remember one time we were together riding the elevator and one of the men in our corporate lending group (who did not have much respect for marketing people) got in and said: “Oh, here are the marketing gals!”. Ouch! That was humbling. And, we had an internal client who referred to us both as “kiddo”. He’s the same age we are for goodness sakes! And, he reeked of cologne every day.
I dislike being addressed by anyone (other than my grandmother – who has passed on – or a guy that I really like) as “hon” or “honey”, “kiddo”, “sweetie”, “dear”, etc. I think it’s odd when a female young enough to be my daughter addresses me in a store or restaurant with one of these names.
It’s sad to admit but I have fallen in the habit of occasionally using endearments. But, there’s one big difference. I never, ever use them in a business situation.
When the person at the bank used to call me “kiddo,” I was insulted. Later I started responding to him by saying, “Thanks Pop.” He got the point.
If you are a friend or loved one, I might greet you with, “Hey Baby.” If I ever do this in a business situation, I have lost my mind.
Yes, there’s the BIG difference – never do this in a business situation!