Sweet, Honey

Posted
by LikeTheDeadSea LikeTheDeadSea, BSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I'm 26 and this is my first school year at my current school. I've worked in the same position but for a different district the last 3 school years and have never had this issue until now.

"Thanks so much, Sweetie."

"Thanks, Hun, I really appreciate it."

"Thanks, sweetheart, blah blah blah."

I've been getting the sweetie/sweetheart/hun nicknames this year from parents on phone calls and some staff members in the building. The building staff stopped doing it after I addressed it directly because that is definitely an unprofessional way to address me in front of parents! I'm not sure if my voice just sounds young, but I have been younger/newer to all of this and have never had this occur so repetitively.

My general plan was to just let it go for the rest of the school year since I'm leaving this position next year, but I'm wondering if anyone else has similar experiences?

kidzcare

kidzcare

Has 5 years experience. 3,393 Posts

I have a low tolerance for this although I have not dealt with it from a parent standpoint. From co-workers or salespeople, I have cut it off at the first instance.

For example:

Co-worker: Do you think you can check on Little Johnny's knee today? He skinned it yesterday and it may need a new bandage.

Me: Absolutely!

Co-worker: Thanks Hon!

Me: You're welcome and you can call me (my name). I'll see you at lunch!

or (real example from very recently)

Sales person: Hi there Sweetie! What can I help you find today?

Me: I'm looking for a Toyota Van and I saw you have one that I'd like to look at

Sales person: Sure, come on over, Sweetheart. Gosh you have pretty hair (reaches out to stroke my hair in the first 10 seconds of our interaction)

Me: You can call me (my name) and my hair is for display only.

Eleven011

Eleven011

Specializes in Home Health,Dialysis, MDS, School Nurse. Has 20+ years experience. 1,235 Posts

This doesn't bother me too much I guess. It doesn't happen that often (probably because I'm no spring chicken), but when it does, its usually from someone who does it to everyone, we have a few staff who just have that personality trait.

That being said, the example Kidz gave about the car salesman would just give me a really creepy vibe. Not ok.

NurseBeans

NurseBeans, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in school/military/OR/home health. Has 20 years experience. 307 Posts

I have never had this issue--and even through four pregnancies no one ever tried to touch my belly (which fellow moms report is a constant issue). Certainly no one ever touches my hair.

But I have a rather frosty demeanor and a good RBF (resting b**** face). Not because I am one, just because I guess that's how I act/how my face looks.

Maybe you need to work on your RBF? :mad:

This doesn't bother me with co-workers or friends. My grandparents were from the South and I grew up hearing this. I don't do it but it doesn't faze me.

But yeah, that car salesperson example was creepy.

It didn't bother me when I was pregnant to have someone touch my belly IF I KNEW THEM AND TRUSTED THEM.

I have a RBF as well - and people have told me for years "smile!". Makes me sad I look so bad when my face is "resting".

kidzcare

kidzcare

Has 5 years experience. 3,393 Posts

Maybe you need to work on your RBF?

I probably do. I have the opposite of RBF. I appear very approachable and I have often been stopped by people in stores to ask where things are located and I have to tell them that I don't work there. They usually respond that they assumed I worked there because I smiled at them. It happens less now that I often shop with my three kids with me.

It's a double edged sword since being approachable helps patients open up to me and when I worked as a hairdresser it was good for business (I am much more personable than I am talented as far as doing hair). But this also opens the door to people who are emotionally needy and need to vent. I once spent almost 2 hours at a wedding listening to the bride's mother lament her life choices. I have since learned to be more assertive.

Running Cat Lady

Running Cat Lady

47 Posts

Sales person: Hi there Sweetie! What can I help you find today?

Me: I'm looking for a Toyota Van and I saw you have one that I'd like to look at

Sales person: Sure, come on over, Sweetheart. Gosh you have pretty hair (reaches out to stroke my hair in the first 10 seconds of our interaction)

Me: You can call me (my name) and my hair is for display only.

That is creepy. Also, I hate when people play with my hair. I don't find it soothing or comforting like some do. On the floor people would walk right up and grab my ponytail. They would get their hand slapped if they couldn't move fast enough.

I don't even realize half the time if someone calls me "sweetie" or "dear" or "darlin'" Maybe my years of working in a rural LTC? Most don't mean any harm by it and those that do I can tell and I let that s**t roll right off my back.

The one thing I REFUSE to be called? Teacher

1mrsbs

1mrsbs

Has 6 years experience. 316 Posts

I'm in my mid 40's & people still call me sweetie, honey, etc (even though they are younger than me). I don't mind. Being born & raised in the South, it is just second nature to some people. :cat:

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma. 5 Articles; 4,427 Posts

i let it roll of of me or i may say it back to them.

As an aside - I began my SN career when I was about 22. When I was 25 I wend to a public school district. One day i covered the high school and got called to the office to administer a suspected under the influence. I went to the office and told the secretary that i needed to meet up with the principal and could she point the way. She asked me for a pass. I was flabbergasted, but flattered.

GdBSN, RN

Specializes in School Nurse. Has 9 years experience. 646 Posts

I am in my 50's, mostly grew up in the South, so the occasional "sweetie" or "hun" does not bother me. The one that bothers me is when a younger person calls me "young lady." It always sounds so condescending to me. I was creeped out by a teacher who one time called me "sweetie" three times in the span of a minute conversation. I guess it all depends on the messenger.

kidzcare

kidzcare

Has 5 years experience. 3,393 Posts

That being said, the example Kidz gave about the car salesman would just give me a really creepy vibe. Not ok.

But yeah, that car salesperson example was creepy.

I won't say it happens all the time, but people like to touch my hair. It's very thick and long and generally styled (remember, previously a stylist) so I guess it looks inviting? I think guys think of it as flirty but it usually does not come off that way. A guy at the gym recently did it too (my hair was in ponytail so I don't know how it looked inviting) and it made me so uncomfortable that I actively avoided using weight machines that he was near and left the building through a different door to avoid him.

SM gets to touch my hair though :inlove: And the first time he did, he asked for permission.

I guess it all depends on the messenger.

This is very true. Context is everything.

I always think of an article we read in nursing school that was written by someone in a nursing home wondering "When did I become everyone's 'Sweetie' and 'Honey'?" and wanting to be treated like an individual.

Farawyn

Has 25 years experience. 12,646 Posts

*touches your hair creepily*