{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Should you not call a woman ma’am? I just said “good morning ma’am” to my manager and she’s like “never call me ma’am again” and it wasnt in a joking manner she sounded pretty annoyed lol", "post_id": "613b76d2e339500022bb614e", "reply_count": 175, "vote_count": 44, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Should you not call a woman ma’am? I just said “good morning ma’am” to my manager and she’s like “never call me ma’am again” and it wasnt in a joking manner she sounded pretty annoyed lol

likefunny
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Lots of deep discussion here so this is a simple one. I grew up and still live in texas. I was called ma’am for the first time when I was maybe 12 on a school field trip so I had no idea that had something to do with age. I was always taught to say sir/ma’am, so I continue to this day even to people my same age. If anyone says they feel weird about it (which has happened because it sounds formal, but nobody said outright to not call them that ever), I just say “sorry its how I was raised in the south and old habits die hard!” And move on

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I call men and women, young and old, “ma’am” and “sir”. I’ve done it since I was knee high and will continue to say it. And there’s nothing “unprofessional” about it.

I’m not bothered enough by someone taking offense due to their own unprocessed insecurities to stop using those words to address people.

OP, you didn’t do or say anything wrong.

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You shouldn’t call her ma’am. For whatever reason she doesn’t like it. It doesn’t matter why.

What else is there to think about here?

You don’t hear a lot of “sir” or “ma’am” in professional services, culturally, that is more formal than most firms like to pretend to be. But that has nothing to do with what you call “a woman”. Context matters.

likefunny

Also, the examples you gave are not comparable to the situation but rather than drag this pointless tangent on any longer, I'll just end it with what we agree on.

Seeing a lot of dissent on this thread regarding a common address of respect used in the South.

I think it’s perfectly fine to request that someone not address you in a certain way because it doesn’t fall within your cultural norms and would expect the addresser to respect the addressee’s requests.

On the flip-side, is it not acceptable at all for the south to want their cultural norms propagated? Who is to say that one is “more correct” than the other? For instance, if you have a southern director that prefers to be called ma’am and doesn’t feel like she’s getting respected by other around her, is she wrong?

Alas, bringing me to my final conclusion… can’t we all just get along and stop being offended by every minuscule thing that happens in our daily lives? People. Come on.

likefunny

D1- your first two paragraphs are reiterating my points made above.

In regard to the insinuation of southerners being obstinate when it’s indoctrinated into the culture from day 1, well then I could argue that you’re just being ignorant to the fact that other cultures exist.

Pretty sure I speak for most when I say that if we use ma’am, there is no malice behind it. Try being a little more open minded and get some thicker skin.

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It's rude, you should only address her by m'lady

funnylikeuplifting

While you were writing slides, I was studying the blade

likeupliftingfunny

Am I your manager? I had someone call me ma’am recently 😖

funnylike

Save… Martha

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Yeah I'm from Texas and I don't say sir or ma'am unless I'm cranking up the folksy. It's weird to say it in this day and age.

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Same; or if I’m speaking to an elderly person, I generally do it because I know they like it.

But I don’t like being called “sir” (unless the other person is being folksy) because it puts me on a pedestal I don’t want to be on. I want to be at the same level as whatever waiter/call center rep/whatever I’m speaking to.

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Yeah, this is region / person dependent.
I’m in the South, and former military, so I do it often but only when I get a feeling it’s safe. If I’m being southern and warm it will come out with the right people. If I am being strictly professional, or with non southerners, no chance.
It’s like code switching for southerners.

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I once heard someone call it “coat switching,” because they thought of it as putting on a different coat depending on who you were with.

And honestly, I like their version better

At the very least I hope I get a conversation starter badge out of this 🤣

likefunny

I hope that you do, good Sir!

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Ma’am can be seen as something you say to an older woman, so that’s my best guess on why it’d be offensive. It’s a sign of respect, but you should be able to call your manager by their first name so I didn’t think it’s necessary

likehelpful

That’s awesome. I can’t imagine my 3yo being called ma’am but she’s a diva and would probably demand that level of respect if she could 😊

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Mam was most likely to backfire. Go with Madame’ next time.

funnylike

It's ok to call a women ma'am
It's ok for her to ask you to not call her ma'am
It's common decency to respect that request

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Unless you are in the military, there's no reason to call anyone ma'am.

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I think it’s a cultural thing. I’m from Texas and still say a lot of sir and ma’am to be polite

likesmart

I grew up in the south and was used to calling everyone older than like 25 sir or ma’am. At my first internship in a major city, I was pull aside and kindly told to stop calling my older colleagues sir and ma’am.

It makes people feel old, apparently.

likefunny

Wow P1, you sound like an absolute nightmare to work with. God forbid someone use the appropriate, formal term to address you.

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I’ve been a military officer for 20 years, I’m pretty used to people calling me “sir.”

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It used to be (still is in some places) as a way showing respect , but since women always have a complex about their age and feeling old, you might as well be calling her grandma

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SC2 - you might want to rephrase that to ‘since society has bullied women into thinking they can’t age’.

likefunny

Back in the third grade I accidentally called my teacher "mom"..and it still haunts me to this day too friend

funny

I called my manager “mom” when I was interning. This was a manager who was my champion and a big part of why I got my return offer. She gave me a very confused look and laughed it off with “as long as you dont call me mommy were good”

funny

In GPS it’s always SIR and Ma’am with the client, internally no

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This is very project dependent. I’m in GPS and nobody is sir or ma’am

First name for my professors and colleagues, even MDPs. For my formal DoD clients, rank (military) or Mr/Ms (civilian). For all strangers and service workers, Sir/Ma’am.

Asian-American born and raised in the South. Everyone in the third bucket seems to have appreciated it, especially when I am elsewhere in the US.

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Ok lady. Buh bye. (seeing flashbacks of Animaniacs).

funny

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