This was submitted by an anonymous visitor hailing from the Bay Area in California. He brings to light the difficulties of being friendly to be that don’t care for pleasantries or may be offended if you, a very busy bartender who server a lot of people each day, don’t remember his or her name.
Some customers get offended or give me strange looks when I use short names. I don’t like to do it but some times they just slip out. For example…
Do you guys have a problem being called any of these short names? “Boss” tends to piss people off the most.
From The Editor: I know what you’re talking about with this one. I think these short names mostly apply to men addressing men. In your case, you’re the bartender who simply can’t remember every person’s name, or use these common names to simply be friendly to some guy asking for a drink. Short names for women include babe, baby, honey, sweetie, etc. In modern society, these are now considered derogatory “pet” names which could possibly get you in trouble. I do hear women call other women “honey”, but I think that’s about as far as it goes. Possibly the only proper was to address a female patron with a short name would be to call her miss or ma’am. If the patron is very young, I think addressing her as “young lady” is appropriate and respectful. Be careful using short names on women though, you can easily offend a women by calling her ma’am or miss because those names will make them feel old.
I suppose the short name you use really depends on the environment. If you’re working at a college bar, calling those kids “man” “girl” “bud” etc. should be fine. In a more refined environment, you really can’t go wrong with “sir”, “mr.”, “ma’am” and “miss”.
This service industry worker has noticed some men don’t like to be called “boss”. What he/she may not know is “boss” is used commonly in detention centers. An inmate usually calls a guard “boss”.