Wedding Woes

There's no excuse for being unprofessional.

Dear Prudence,

I am a young woman and physician in training. I am terrible with names and work with a rotating team of nurses, social workers, nursing assistants, and other physicians. I work at several hospitals on several teams. I tend to refer to people as “my dear” or “my love.” This includes everyone: my patients, other doctors I work with, social workers, etc. The other day at work, I was speaking with a staff member. I said, “Thank you so much, my dear, for your help earlier.” Later that day she told me she doesn’t like nicknames and asked me to call her by her name. I apologized and thanked her for telling me. In the future, I will call her by her name (which I won’t forget)! Is this a practice I should stop for everyone? I mean it kindly, and my intention is to be warm. I am cognizant of my role as the doctor with nurses and social workers (even if I am in my first year of training) and don’t want to come across as patronizing or make anyone uncomfortable. This interaction has made me second-guess myself. Am I no worse than a creepy male boss?! Is there a kind term of endearment that would be more neutral?

Re: There's no excuse for being unprofessional.

  • For anyone in a work setting, use people's names. I've had doctors, etc. call me things like "sweetie" and I find it way too familiar. Save the terms of endearment for your family and friends and be more professional at work.
    image
    short+sassy
  • Please do not use terms of endearment if there is no mutual endearing.

    People have names and they should be used until you have reached a point in a SOCIAL relationship when those names are possible to change. 

    Do not blur the lines of personal and professional and one of the best ways to do this is to address people by name and also by professional title. 
    VarunaTTcharlotte989875short+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'd be extremely put off my being called "love" or "dear". Commit to learning people's names! 

    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • My office it's different, but it varies on times. Have we used terms of endearment? Yes, absolutely. Do we mainly only do that when no clients are around? Yes.

    My boss and another office's boss are married. There is a strong difference between work terms and home terms.
    short+sassy
  • This is patronizing and because of the perceived hierarchies in the medical field you need to be even more aware that this is making people uncomfortable. Learn their names. 
    short+sassySTARMOON44
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Why couldn't Physician in Training with SO MANY CO-WORKERS!!!!1!! just call them by their professional term.  "Nurse, thank you very much for your help earlier today!"  And as S+S mentioned, most will be wearing name tags!  So do a quick look as you come on your rotation.  And the patients names are usually on their medical chart or written somewhere in their room.

    Also, its possible to fall on your sword and just say that you have always been terrible at remembering people's names.  Apologize and then ask them for it again.  I think most of the other professionals LW would encounter would have an idea of how many people they would interact with on a weekly basis.  "Nurse, I recognize your face, but I am sorry to say terrible with names.  What is your name again?"  Then repeat it out loud to help remember it.  "Eleanor, thank you.  I promise, I am trying to get better with names, Eleanor!"
    charlotte989875short+sassyMNNEBride
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Why couldn't Physician in Training with SO MANY CO-WORKERS!!!!1!! just call them by their professional term.  "Nurse, thank you very much for your help earlier today!"  And as S+S mentioned, most will be wearing name tags!  So do a quick look as you come on your rotation.  And the patients names are usually on their medical chart or written somewhere in their room.

    Also, its possible to fall on your sword and just say that you have always been terrible at remembering people's names.  Apologize and then ask them for it again.  I think most of the other professionals LW would encounter would have an idea of how many people they would interact with on a weekly basis.  "Nurse, I recognize your face, but I am sorry to say terrible with names.  What is your name again?"  Then repeat it out loud to help remember it.  "Eleanor, thank you.  I promise, I am trying to get better with names, Eleanor!"
    To the bolded, that would be even more weird than not saying my name at all. Calling nurses by their title is kind of insulting just given the culture of the hospital. 

    And honestly, one of the first things we’re taught is to avoid terms of endearment when addressing patients.


    image
    charlotte989875
  • Talking about names reminded me of a recent, positive experience I had.

    There is a cocktail server at Harrahs who is especially sweet and friendly.  I only gamble there 1-2x/month, so she probably only waits on me a handful of times a year.  But she has worked there for years.

    At any rate, she always greets me by name and asks how I've been doing.  I know she recognizes me, but always assumed the name thing was her being a Sly Boots ;) and reading my name off the little panel on the machine that has my player's Reward card in it.  Or from my drink order (at this Harrahs, you can order your drink from the machine, when your player's card is in it).

    But a couple months ago, we were walking past each other on one of the aisles.  I had just gotten there.  Was not at a machine.  Had not been on a machine yet.  She said her usual friendly hello/how have you been.  And still addressed me, by name.  Wow!  Now THAT was really impressive!  Yes, I do know her name also, lol.  But that's a lot easier for me to remember a few names of the employees I interact with, then the probably hundreds of regular and semi-regular players that she has.
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    charlotte989875MissKittyDangerkvrunsOliveOilsMom
  • Talking about names reminded me of a recent, positive experience I had.

    There is a cocktail server at Harrahs who is especially sweet and friendly.  I only gamble there 1-2x/month, so she probably only waits on me a handful of times a year.  But she has worked there for years.

    At any rate, she always greets me by name and asks how I've been doing.  I know she recognizes me, but always assumed the name thing was her being a Sly Boots ;) and reading my name off the little panel on the machine that has my player's Reward card in it.  Or from my drink order (at this Harrahs, you can order your drink from the machine, when your player's card is in it).

    But a couple months ago, we were walking past each other on one of the aisles.  I had just gotten there.  Was not at a machine.  Had not been on a machine yet.  She said her usual friendly hello/how have you been.  And still addressed me, by name.  Wow!  Now THAT was really impressive!  Yes, I do know her name also, lol.  But that's a lot easier for me to remember a few names of the employees I interact with, then the probably hundreds of regular and semi-regular players that she has.
    She may have learned your name that way, but she likely associates you with something to remember you.
    I've been in customer service {even job now is like a customer service position} and I try to associate people with things - facial features, voice, file, etc

    :) 
    short+sassy
  • I'm late but I agree with others, why not just say "thanks for your help" no need to mention name, position, term of endearment, etc. I am good with names but I rarely use them in conversation when I'm talking to that person.

    A funny re: names. At a friend's wedding a few years ago they had a guy working the table where you got your seating assignments and when you walked up he would hand you the card without you saying your name. They had given him a list of names and pictures that he memorized to then know who you were before you had to say it. That was pretty cool 
    short+sassy
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 9
    Yea - this is one of those "get it out of your system now" type things...  A colleague who just in passing with a case innocently said after a rather effective/transformational session with a client "You're going to be alright sweetheart!"...  Not knowing that her abuser/rapist called her "sweetheart"...  Rapport went out the window instantly, they were the able to do work, but there was an "on guard" that needed to be overcome first to air out and disconnect that from being a "trigger".  "One trial learning" - he from then on eliminated any of that type of language when working with men or women because it was something not intended to be anything more than a "term of endearment" but it actually triggered the client and used it as a teaching metaphor so others wouldn't make the same blunder.
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