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How To Speak Up For Yourself At Work

Savvy Community: It's "Assistant Manager" Not "Sweetheart"

This post was shared by reader onlysourcherry in our Ask Savvy group.

I started at my current company right out of college. I've been promoted twice and am now an assistant manager with a huge range of responsibilities. Unfortunately (at work at least) I'm young, blonde, and a woman. While people stopped treating me like my boss's secretary when I moved into an office, one issue lingers — my coworkers sometimes call me "sweetie" or "honey" on the phone. It's mostly older women who do this. It drives me crazy! Is there a tasteful and professional way I can point out to them that this is really inappropriate?  Or should I just suck it up and deal with it?

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vabeachbum vabeachbum 6 years
Do they do it to everyone or just you? Like lickety split said, if it's a cultural thing and they do it to everyone, you saying something will just be perceived as you being the odd one out. If they are in fact just doing it to you, then the next time it happens I would respond with something like "Oh, by the way, please call me Jane... I like to keep things informal, so don't be afraid to call me by my first name!"
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
I lived in Texas for awhile. Everyone called everyone "sweetie" and the like. If it's cultural, you'll only prove you aren't "one of them" if you correct them. If it isn't, and it's done to be condescending, then that's a different matter. As in it needs to be formally addressed and a notation put in their files.
runningesq runningesq 6 years
I don't think "putting up with it" is the answer. It signals to them that you don't mind being called 'sweetie' or 'honey.' I would say - kindly but firmly - my name is "Jane Doe."
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
It's okay that you don't like it, but I don't think saying anything would change their behavior. They probably do this to a lot of people, therefore I wouldn't say anything at all. It is sort of strange to me, but in a cute way. I'm from Germany, where words like these are only used for people in a romantic relationship or your own children, if they are very young.
motherdear motherdear 6 years
Yes, you should just put up with it. I forged a very successful career in a totally male dominated environment, and put up with all of the above (and much worse!). Just rise above it & carry on proving that you are better than that & better than them! Remember, too, that everyone has a "key" if they want you to be little woman - go with it, if they want you to be the consummate professional, go with that, too. You'll win out in the end! Good Luck.
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