Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Condescending manner


Hello there Jay,
I don't know if this is in your field of expertise or not, but this is driving me nuts so I thought I'd try anyway.
I'm a 66 year-old woman in Melbourne, Australia. Am not sure if they do the same over in your part of the world, but a lot of people here, especially in retail situations, call you love, darling, sweetheart, etc. even though you don't know them and often by people who are a lot younger than me.
I find this extremely rude and condescending and just wish I could think of an answer that isn't churlish but would put them in their place.
Do you have any suggestions?
Many thanks,

Dear Lyn,
My sincerest apologies for not answering you sooner. I have been tending to a bedridden older woman with the flu and was distracted from my duties. Your question is echoed by many people, including me! I tell shop keepers or anyone else my name if they drop one of those bombs and ask for there's in return. This generally computes for them. If it doesn't, I simply ask that they not refer to me as (fill in the blank). I go on if I get a look of disbelief to explain that I had an ex mother-in-law that called me that, and it brings back dreadful memories. That usually illicits a laugh and an "I am so sorry, Mr. Remer." I hope this helps.
P.S. I have been to Australia once a number of years ago and visited Canberra, where I judged a large show of Bull Terriers; Sydney, my favorite big city in the world - magical; and then Hayman Island for a whole week - they don't make 'em like that anymore!

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Jay Remer


I am happy to answer any questions about social or corporate etiquette as well as questions regarding international protocol. It is important to practice civility. It is contagious.


I am certified by the Protocol School of Washington as a consultant for corporate etiquette and international protocol. I have been entertaining and giving advise on entertaining for over 40 years.

Weekly column in Telegraph Journal

Graduate of Protocol School of Washington

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