"Hello my lovely." she greeted, at the same time as she placed my groceries in the bag. Lucky she didn't notice my not-so-nice smile and my clenched jaw. The heat in my body rose as I seethed at this greeting.
I wanted to say, "I'm not your lovely! Who are you to call me, 'your lovely'? What do you know about me? You don't know me. Why so familiar with me? You're a checkout girl. Just do your job!" Many responses to her greeting wanted to spew out of my mouth, as she packed my groceries.
She'd called me this before and I promised myself that if she said, 'my lovely' one more time, I would respond with; "Oh hi darlin', my sweet. Hope your day is good, love!" Or "don't call me your lovely, it's disrespectful and condescending!" My temperature rose as I contemplated my responses to her over-familiarity. Or when she'd give me my change I could call her 'love'. "Thanks love or thanks sweetie."
How did she come to speak like this to customers? Why would she? She must have practised it and trained herself to say these words. Those words aren't common everyday language. An argument continued in my brain, 'don’t say anything. Don't worry about it. Say something, you know it irritates you. You really get riled up. Tell her off. Call her something. No don't, she'll only get upset, but she has to learn not to say this to people? Just put the milk and fruit in, so I can get out of here. Don't look at her. Don't converse. I don't care about talking about the weather. I just want to leave! I want to say some thing, set her straight and explain how annoying her words are. I think of raising my voice, "don't call me your lovely!"
The girl at the deli called me love when she asked me what I would like. She said, "thanks love" when she gave the cold meat to me. The guy in the fruit area said, "hi darl’, how ya goin'?" What is it with these customer service people? I'm not anyone's love or darl'!
As the check out girl gave me my change, I was polite, said thanks but didn't look at her. "Have a good day, my lovely," she called out to me.
I bit my tongue and walked away feeling the heat of my anger reach its peak. I will talk to the manager; sales people need to have respect! Managers need to teach their staff the correct way to approach customers and use manners and not use these offensive terms! What happened to calling people Ms or Mr or Maam or Sir? I need a name badge and then they'd know my name.
As my husband and I unloaded the groceries I told him about being called 'my lovely' again, expressing my loathing for the term but he only laughed. "Why does it bother you so much?" I wasn't sure but next time I'll definitely say something!