Author Topic: I am not a "Miss"  (Read 4376 times)

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twiggy

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I am not a "Miss"
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:22:34 AM »
I don't know what's going on lately, but I am having the strangest issue with people in service positions lately. I am a married, mother of 3, I wear my wedding ring on my left hand, and in each of the following situations I have had at least my kids, and usually my husband with me as well. But for some reason  I keep being addressed as "Miss."

The first time was at my little brother's birthday lunch 2 weeks ago. After ordering meals for my children, (DH was there too) the waitress asked, "and what would you like Miss?" I didn't say anything, and thought it was kind of funny at the time. The waitress was youngish woman, and I would be amazed if she was older than I.

Then, at the hardware store a few days later, I had the kids with me and asked an older gentleman for help finding screws. I was chit chatting and mentioned a project I'm working on for DH for Christmas. After he helped me find what I was looking for, he asked me "Did you need anything else Miss?" I still thought it was odd, but I figured maybe that's how he refers to women younger than he is.

This past weekend we took DS to IHOP after his soccer game. I was there with my husband and our 3 kids and the male server also called me 'Miss' I don't know why this keeps happening, or why it's bugging me so much. Is this the new training for customer service? Am I supposed to be flattered that I'm being called "Miss", which is a term I associate with young girls? And why on Earth is it just now happening all of a sudden? I was called "ma'am" in my early 20's, and now that I am a Mrs. I'm getting "Miss'ed"

edited because I wear my ring on my left hand
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 10:27:40 AM by twiggy »
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

katycoo

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 01:40:32 AM »
With your ring on your right hand instead of your left, I'd assume it was not a wedding ring and that you were not married.  Is the right hand the norm where you are?

Slartibartfast

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 02:43:38 AM »
Where do you live?  "Miss" around here is pretty much standard for any woman who looks like she could be in her 20s or younger (and that's assuming some pretty generous assumptions about appearances and age).  I'm 31 and I tend to get "miss" and "ma'am" in about equal parts nowadays.

Pippen

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 03:31:10 AM »
I think it is just a standard form of address rather than a reflection of your marital status. Maybe Ma'am didn't seem appropriate to them in these situations and they were erring on the side of caution. I get called Miss a lot more often than I get called Ma'am. Either way it doesn't bother me.

I get called 'Mrs Pippen' by pretty much everyone who doesn't know me and even some who do despite the fact I have never been married. People just assume I am married and use it as a default. I have given up correcting them it is just not worth the hassle. The only time I did get a little peeved is at the interior designers ordering curtains and the assistant very politely inquired as to when my husband would be coming in to have a look at the selection before they confirmed the order. What she was really implying was who was going to be paying for it.

judecat

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 05:10:11 AM »
Are you sure they are calling you "Miss" and not using the generic "Ms."  I'm a cashier in a convenience store,  and my interactions with customers are usually not prolonged enough for me to even concern myself with marital status, or looking for clues.  It's "Ms" if you look under 40 or so,  "ma'am" if you look older.

oogyda

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 07:14:51 AM »
Are you sure they are calling you "Miss" and not using the generic "Ms."  I'm a cashier in a convenience store,  and my interactions with customers are usually not prolonged enough for me to even concern myself with marital status, or looking for clues.  It's "Ms" if you look under 40 or so,  "ma'am" if you look older.

That's outright age discrimination!  Ms. Is appropriate for any age.
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Jones

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 07:45:52 AM »
I'm in my 20s, been married for almost 9 years; I get Miss and Ma'am in equal parts. Can't say I've ever been called Ms., but maybe I was and mistook it for Miss.

suzieQ

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 07:49:23 AM »
With your ring on your right hand instead of your left, I'd assume it was not a wedding ring and that you were not married.  Is the right hand the norm where you are?

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Sharnita

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 07:57:28 AM »
I consider myself a "Miss" and I am in my late 30s. I thomk people are using itto convey respect, not their idea of compparritive age.

Corvid

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 07:59:05 AM »
Am I supposed to be flattered that I'm being called "Miss", which is a term I associate with young girls?

Yes.  Too many ma'ams who are old enough to know better go bat-manure crazy when it is noticed by someone that they are beyond their greenest years.  Service people are beginning to find that "Miss" is safer unless the woman is obviously post-menopausal.

sourwolf

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2012, 08:33:41 AM »
Am I supposed to be flattered that I'm being called "Miss", which is a term I associate with young girls?

Yes.  Too many ma'ams who are old enough to know better go bat-manure crazy when it is noticed by someone that they are beyond their greenest years.  Service people are beginning to find that "Miss" is safer unless the woman is obviously post-menopausal.

Corvid gets it in one.  IME no one ever got offended by "Miss" but god forbid you call someone Ma'am when she feels like "only old people are ma'am."  I assure you, as a former retail worker, my only interest is in getting you what you need as quickly and with as little hassle as possible.  I really don't need to get yelled at because I dared to call you "ma'am."

Yvaine

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2012, 08:39:59 AM »
Are you sure they are calling you "Miss" and not using the generic "Ms."  I'm a cashier in a convenience store,  and my interactions with customers are usually not prolonged enough for me to even concern myself with marital status, or looking for clues.  It's "Ms" if you look under 40 or so,  "ma'am" if you look older.

That's outright age discrimination!  Ms. Is appropriate for any age.

I love Ms. Unfortunately, I don't know that it's really caught on around here as used all by itself--i.e., people will say "Ms. Smith" but nobody in this area says "Ms.! You dropped your purse!" or "Can I help you, Ms.?" with no name attached.

So people are still trying to pick between Miss and Ma'am which each have baggage and can each annoy people. And, heck, Ms. annoys some people too, as we've seen in every thread we've ever had on this topic.  ;D So I think it's best just to realize that there's no way to "win," no universally accepted rule, and to give people the benefit of the doubt when they're obviously meaning to be polite.

(Sorry, Oogyda, I'm not trying to pick on you--I just seem to have rambled off my original point, which started as a spinoff of yours and went another direction. More coffee...)

Zilla

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2012, 08:40:34 AM »
I have never heard of a general Mrs from anyone as in, "Will that be all Mrs?"  It actually sounds a bit like Missus which I believe was a term used by slaves for their masters so I wouldn't want to be called that either.
 
Miss or Ma'am is fine with me.

Yvaine

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2012, 08:45:58 AM »
I have never heard of a general Mrs from anyone as in, "Will that be all Mrs?"  It actually sounds a bit like Missus which I believe was a term used by slaves for their masters so I wouldn't want to be called that either.
 
Miss or Ma'am is fine with me.

Yeah, come to think of it, Mrs. and Ms. are not equivalents to Sir, but to Mr., which people also don't generally use alone unless they're being rude ("Hey mister! Nice park job!"). The equivalents of Sir are Ma'am or Miss, and it gets a little confusing because Miss can also be a title tacked onto a name. It's the only one of the bunch that really does both.

RebeccainGA

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Re: I am not a "Miss"
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2012, 08:48:48 AM »
Miss makes me nuts, too - especially when a kid that's in his teens calls me that (I'll be 34 in a few weeks, wear an obvious engagement and wedding ring set, and have more grey in my hair than I'd like to admit). An adult, especially older than me? Sure. But when the weasly looking teenager at the grocery store does it, I think of the obnoxious kid on "Leave It To Beaver" and want to walk away in disgust.

Good luck, though - some customer service training book must have recently suggested it, as it seems to have popped up all over.