20 September 2011

Hiya Doll

shop assistants etiquette customer serviceI am not sure if this is a global phenomenon, (glad I don't have to say that without my dentures in place!) or whether it is a Sydney or merely local thing. I am referring to the habit of female shop assistants calling male customers "Doll" or "Darl".

I first came across this a few years ago, noticing that a waitress in a club restaurant would call me "Darl" while a local female shop assistant would call me "doll". Then all of a sudden it seemed to stop as quickly as it had arrived on the social etiquette scene.

Now however, it seems to have resurfaced with female staff in both my local supermarkets, greeting me with, "Hello doll, have you had a good day?" or bidding me farewell with a cheery, "Have a good day darl'. Neither am I the only male customer to be the recipient of such familiarity.

Don't get me wrong, I am quite comfortable with this greeting - although if they wish to address me as "Sir" who am I to complain!. However, I can't help thinking what would happen if the whole thing was reversed and I started calling every female I came into contact with, "doll" or "darl".

If I leaned on the counter at my local GP and said to the receptionist, "Hi doll - you're looking well" would I be greeted with a smile or a snooty look - which is par for the course anyway whichever way you greet doctors receptionists. Funny thing about doctors receptionists, they can't spell my name or get my date of birth right, yet they decide what's wrong with me before I finish saying, 'I'd like to make an appointment".

Perhaps next time I am called "doll" by a female assistant, I should get all indignant, demand to see the manager then sue the shop for failing to address sexism in the workplace.

But I wont.

For one thing I don't get steamed up about such things, and secondly, I doubt a male would ever succeed with such a case anyway!

Wherever you may be - be safe
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