My mom flew to Chicago to help us prepare for our move. She watched Moxie as we flew to California to find a place to live, and when we got back, helped us organize a garage sale. She's the best.
One day, we went to lunch at a casual spot with a great patio, which is where we sat. The server - an early 20-something named Ashley - came over and introduced herself and asked if she could get us a drink. My mom ordered her iced tea and Ashley turned to me and said, "And for you, sweetheart?" I ordered my iced tea and Ashley went about her way.
When she brought our beverages back, she said, "Here you go, my loves" as she placed the teas on the table.
My ears had perked up at 'sweetheart' - but now they were fully open. Whenever a woman who is clearly younger than me calls me 'sweetheart', 'hun', or anything of the sort - I feel weird about it. I mean, it's just not the natural order of things. However, when a woman older than me does it, I feel warmed up inside. Especially if that older woman has a southern accent, for some reason.
Ashley came back to find out if we were ready to order and when my mom placed her order, Ashley said, "Great choice, sweetie." She turned to me and asked, "And for you, honey" - as I silently giggled to myself and wondered how many 'affectionate' names she'd use before she'd repeat one.
The rest of our service was peppered with "babe", "dolly", "sweets", and "sugar."
It was overkill.
And, the more I thought about it - it's a risky thing to do when working for tips. Because, what if I was someone who took offense to this constant pet naming? Like, how men do when they're called "champ" and/or "chief"? I mean, imagine a male server asking a male customer, "What can I get you to drink, champ?"
How about a tall glass of Face Punch?
Overusing pet names in this case, sort of sounds disrespectful, in a position that relies a lot on respect. But, I don't want to sound like I've got my panties in a bunch over it. I would never say anything to the server about it or let it reflect in my tip - or even write it on the comment card.
But, I will blog about it.
Tone it down, Ash. You sweetheart, you.