Honorific Horrific

, , , | Right | March 30, 2018

(I finish ringing up groceries for an older woman.)

Me: “Your total is [total].”

(No response.)

Me: “Ma’am?”

(No response. I wait a few seconds to see if she will catch on to the lack of activity going on.)

Me: “Ma’am?”

Customer: “You know, it’s rude to call someone ‘ma’am’!”

Me: “…”

Customer: “I know that that’s what they tell you to do, but it’s just rude. You should never call someone ‘ma’am.’”

(I don’t say anything as I finish packing up her groceries. It’s the only time I don’t say, “Have a nice day,” as I am still in shock. She continues to lecture me on how rude calling someone “ma’am” is and how the stores shouldn’t be teaching that to their employees. As soon as she leaves, the next customer puts her groceries on the belt.)

Customer #2: “Would ‘old bag’ be better?”

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