This woman I work with insists on calling me ‘doll’ or ‘babe’ or ‘hon’ and I finally confronted her about it. I don’t like it. I told her she can just call me Katrina.

She said it’s just how they talk in West Virginia.

I don’t think that is an excuse.

what is it about it that you don’t like?

 I know she probably doesn’t mean it that way, but when someone calls me those names, it feels like they are talking down to me. (Like the teenage girls who call everyone ‘hun.’ Bitch, I’m older than you.) My name works just fine if you want my attention.

oh I see. Mmm, yeah, I don’t like it when people call me ‘mate’. Unless, like, I’m their mate. But in a work context it can almost be threatening. ‘Sir’ at all times. I will insist upon it.

One time this security guard at Parliament House in Australia called a politician “mate” instead of “sir” and the pollie flipped out and drafted a motion to ban the word ‘mate’ in such a context.

There was this enormous backlash against him, and the Prime Minister basically made a public statement saying something like “Australia is built upon the foundation of mateship” and anyone who raised their hackles if someone addressed them as “mate” is un-Australian.

Basically now the right to call anyone ‘mate’ is enshrined in Australian de-facto law.

So, how do you feel about that, Tom? You’re un-Australian. There, I said it.