Excuse me Sir.. uh, I mean Ma'am..

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mirage, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Have you ever confused somebody's gender when addressing them?

    I'm not even going to bother asking if it was awkward because I've done this on a few occasions and it's always awkward. It's just one of the joys of working in customer service jobs.

    And I'm not talking about over the phone as much as actually in person. Phone is bad enough but in person is just horribly awkward.

  2. AnitaKnapp

    AnitaKnapp It's not me, it's you. V.I.P. Lifetime

    there's been a couple of times that i couldn't tell, but decided not to chance it, and didn't address the gender at all.

    what's even worse is if you see a woman, ask her when she's due, and found out that she had the baby a month ago.
  3. Millz

    Millz LGB Staff Member V.I.P.

    I've never done this in person but I can think of a handfull amount of times where I've done it over the phone.

    I talk to hundreds of people per week and sometimes I just screw up. I always correct myself quickly but its still kind of embarrasing when it happens.

    Its like when you're at the movie theatre and you pay and they always say "enjoy your show" and my automatic thought is to say, "you too." Which makes no sense considering what they said to me haha.
  4. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Yeah I try for that strategy too but sometimes my mind gets ahead of me and I make a guess and Sir or Ma'am comes out. The worst is when you think you got it wrong but they don't call you on it. Then you have to be careful to not have to call attention to it again in the conversation.

    That's not fair though. It's called a treadmill. Once the baby is out it's time to deal. :lol:

    That's not nearly as bad. I've done that several times too though. It does get awkward when you catch yourself and try to explain.. "Oh sorry I didn't mean enjoy the show. Just habit.. er I bet you get that a lot.. Uh..." and by then they are just wondering if you are done yet or not. :lol:
  5. Nibbles

    Nibbles meep

    Even face to face I make this mistake.
    Women who don't appear feminine or have a gravel voice. Once I even mistook a gay guy for a woman, it must've been the high heels.
  6. Rebeccaaa

    Rebeccaaa yellow 4!


    If I'm unsure of someone's gender in terms of appearance (which is more and more often these days, lol), I never chance it. I would just find a way around addressing that. So no, I don't think I've ever made the mistake. If I did then I'd probably be embarrassed about it for a veery long time.
  7. Nixola

    Nixola Boom Boom Pow!

    I've done it a few times before when they have their back to me and I really am unsure, needless to say I learned my lesson and now I don't address people by their gender unless I know what it is :hah:
    Some people get angry, other people just sort of look at you oddly and think "did she just say what I think she said" lol

    I've never asked the whole, when's it due thing, I think I would die then.
  8. AnitaKnapp

    AnitaKnapp It's not me, it's you. V.I.P. Lifetime

    That's not cool Brix. Do you have any idea how often you have to take care of a baby when it's a newborn? you have to get up every couple of hours and feed him/her. You're so dead tired that you have to sleep whenever you can. There is no way most new mothers can exercise in the first month.
  9. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    I do it all the time. Not necessarily on purpose...but I do do it all the time on the phone. What happens is I address people as Sir non-stop when I'm at work on the phone. So when a female calls I tend to have a habit of answering and talking in a certain way. More often than not I've been caught calling a woman a "Sir"... sometimes they correct me other times they dont. But it does happen quite often.
  10. Barbara

    Barbara Ess Tii Eph Yu V.I.P. Lifetime

    For me it's more of a slip of the tongue kind of thing. I can look at a person and register male but my brain still has "Ma'am" come out. Usually I just laugh it off. No use making a big deal out of a minor slip of the tongue. when I'm on register I see so many people in a day and get into a patterned speech that it just comes out naturally. Most customers seem to understand that.

Share This Page