Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Politeness Gone Awry

Because I am generally a nice person, and a Southerner born and bred, I try to be polite.  I try to remember to say please and thank you and will add a "sir" or "ma'am" when appropriate.  And by appropriate I mean most of the time, no matter the age of the recipient. However, lately I have been missing a step - which would determining the gender of the person to whom I am speaking.

Granted, these faux pas have occurred when I was speaking in the order box of an eating establishment or a telephone conversation involving a possible service situation. What has been happening is that the conversation is moving, and a point arrives when I need to express my gratitude, which I do, complete with a gender-specific salutation. And then I arrive at the pick-up window or my current telephone companion dispenses with a name, and I have found out that I used the wrong gender-specific salutation.

In other words, I said, "Thank you ma'am," and drove up to find James handing me my Egg McMuffin. Or I said, "Yessir," and Brenda said, "You're welcome. My name is Brenda."

So, now I am faced with yet another dilemma. Do I continue my politeness and possibly offend the sexuality of a person? Or find new ways of being polite like, "Thank you pal," or "Yes, kind person." Or maybe I should just ask up front, "Are you male or female," like they do when I order a Happy Meal for Lindley or Everley.

I don't know either - maybe I'll just use the tried and true Southern affectionate nicknames as in "Thank you honey" or "Yes sweetie pie." I just got to use my manners, y'all!!
Today is a gift because: Taking Everley to school; picking up Lindley and Lynnette at the airport; Lindley and Everley time

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