Women. Does your boss ever call you “pet” or “treat” names that offends you?

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Question by Love is Everything: Women. Does your boss ever call you “pet” or “treat” names that offends you?
I am a junior advertising copywriter from Detroit, and I am the only woman in my division. My boss is a nice guy but he treats me more like a girl-scout then like his other employees. He’s always calling me darling, sugar, honey, cupcake, angel, and sweetheart. He would never call the male employees that, and it wouldn’t be such a big deal if that was just like his personality. He never calls them tiger, or sport he calls them by their first names. Also he is closer to my age than you would think, its not some cutesy old guy thing.

Does this happen to anyone else? Should I be offended or flattered?

Best answer:

Answer by Holly
You should decide if you are offended, dont ask us if you should be.

Ive personally never had this situation happen to me, but I work in Government so everything is uber PC around here.

What do you think? Answer below!

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10 comments on “Women. Does your boss ever call you “pet” or “treat” names that offends you?

  1. As an older professional woman that is not only a mentor to junior (and young staff fresh out of school) as well as a teacher, I regularly refer to my younger colleagues (which are 95% female) by the terms “love”, “sweet pea” etc. This is because I am a nurturing individual by nature and, in the profession I am in (social work) this is acceptable due to the emotionality of the work. It denotes a protective and empathetic quality due to the traumatic nature of the work. With that stated, I do not refer to my age/experience mate colleagues the same way–unless they need some nurturing due to having dealt with a hugely traumatic incident whereby we are “technically” debriefing.

    In the environment in which you are working, I will say that I would not find it particularly appropriate. But I do not believe that he is doing this in a malicious or condescending way. My response to his sugar, darling etc. would be a humourous one. When he calls you by a term, say okie dokie poopsy! Other terms would be “chief”, “honeybear”, “snookums” etc–he will get the message! Just know that his intention is benevolent and not meant to cause harm or discomfort–but I certainly understand why you feel this way. Good luck.

  2. I can’t tell you how to feel but it has happened to me before. A couple of years ago, I worked for a very small company (only 3 other employees) and, like you, I was the only woman and I was just out of college. The other guys were a a lot older than me, they were in their late 30’s to early 40’s and all of them did the same thing. I wasn’t particularly bothered by it as they didn’t treat me like a idiot, just called me pet names. They weren’t trying to offend me and didn’t mean anything by it so I didn’t take offense to it.

  3. “honey” offends you? you know that means you’re sweet, right? and that that’s a compliment? he’s not slapping your behind or asking you to stay late for a promotion, and you’re wondering if you should take offense about your boss liking you enough to make you feel like a girl scout instead of a janitor or a hooker? grow up lady. you have a job and a nice boss. it’s not 1950 and he’s not trying to have sex with you. appreciate that.

  4. It never happens to me, but yes, it would bother me. If it bothers you (and it sounds as it does, as you say he treats you like a girl scout) tell him to please call you by your name rather than honey or darling.

  5. I have had this happen to me but my boss was 79 years old and he called all his female employees that and all his male employees son. I don’t think he means to hurt your feelings, the way it sounds I think he is just trying to make you feel included and welcomed as you are the only woman he supervises. Don’t think of it negatively unless you see that your co-workers think you are being favored, because then they might start rumors about your relationship with your boss.

  6. Offended….Ask him not to call you those names, they’re a source of discomfort.

  7. 무지개, 남자 및 나무

    Politely tell him to stop if it bothers you.

  8. that’s not offensive to me at all

    its also about intentions

    if it offends you tell him that makes you uncomfortable

  9. Blue-Eyed Christian

    Well, tell him that you don’t like it. Next time he calls you pookie or cupcake, politely tell him “my name is ________”, or call him a cutesy name back, something like “sugarpants”, just so he gets the idea. Keep doing it until he gets it….and if he doesn’t get it, then be blunt and ask him to stop calling you those things. It would irritate me more than offend me….it wouldn’t flatter me. He needs to stop. It’s not professional.

  10. You choose your reactions honey. Document them! Who knows! Some day, you can turn it into a million dollar SH lawsuit and get that money, or in the worst case, become the VP of that company! Good luck! (to your boss, that is)

    Seriously, such pleasantries are not at all needed at work place. They aren’t wrong per se, but given the current legal scenario, it’s not at all in the good interests of male bosses to be “nice” to female co-workers/subordinates etc.

    “Professional” is far better and safe than “nice to women”.

    Men have a lot to learn in this area.

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