Jump to content

Dear madam, please don't call me sir, my dear


smashradio
 Share

Recommended Posts

I think, as a general observation, people from non-western nations tend to be overly polite in their communications, and that might look weird to us from the west. Sir, madam and dear are used in countries where a high degree of politeness is required just to not come across as rude, while other nations and cultures might have a more relaxed way of doing things. To avoid issues both ways, I find it best to be polite but not personal.

So I’ll start a conversation like this:

“Hi there, John! Thanks for reaching out.”

And I’ll end it with:

“All the best,

Leo”

Yes, I know muslims adress even strangers as brother, at least in a lot of arabic countries, but that is mostly done between muslims, not to a non-believer, at least not in my experience, @mdminhaz05

@smashradio thank you so much for the value advice 😊

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a side note,

I had/have a client who is “originally” Asian and the one instance I exasperatedly referred to their first name with
“Name, will you please respond”

Was met with, “It was disrespectful”

:roll_eyes:

I informed them that was far from my intention but seriously, you are singlehandedly destroying my project timelines 😑


Then I had a senior client from India who had ordered unannounced, I referred to her as ma’am (the one time I did) because calling her with her first name didn’t feel right due to culture.

  • Like 9
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a boss that called everybody “SIR” lol … sir I need you over here, sir please take care of this… thank you sir. … omg he was a tyrant. It is terrible, he never used anybody’s name always sir or miss. It was definitely uncomfortable after a while.

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Etiquette 101, couldn’t agree more. I have experienced some sort of micro-aggression here; when a buyer reaches out to me and then gets surprised and voices their surprise over the fact that I write and speak good English despite the fact that am an African in Africa.
I think it is courteous to do some bit of research before you speak with someone, better yet check their profile before you reach out. If someone thinks you are ignorant, they will not put much effort in your work because they know that you are not keen to details or they may simply not care to give you the best of their services based on how they have perceived you. As you said, this is business

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell you what, it’s hard living down here in the Southern US. Everyone calls everyone “sir” “ma’am”, “Honey” “Sweetie” “Hon” “Sugar-bun”, “Sweetheart”, “Bless your heart” I tell you, the list goes on lol! I do find that anyone outside of the Southern US, when they say Sir or Ma’am, it’s more in a … frustrated way? Like, “This is what I’m trying to say, Sir,” rather than a term of endearment, it’s almost meant as a way to communicate frustration (not all the time, just something I’ve noticed.) Some people say it out of endearment, which you could usually get away with in the Southern US, but outside of that? Has no place in a professional and international environment.

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see many ones use “my friend” here 😃 And I think it’s ok 😃 Hello my friend, Thank you my friend… Once a very old client called me my friend, but I didn’t see any problem with that. Cultures are different among countries, you just don’t have the perfect pronoun for all the clients, then just use a safe one.

Besides, using the name is a great idea if I can guess their name from the username like Michael, Harry, Lily. But what if their username are prince_of_brave or jedi_knight :rofl:

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see many ones use “my friend” here 😃 And I think it’s ok 😃 Hello my friend, Thank you my friend… Once a very old client called me my friend, but I didn’t see any problem with that. Cultures are different among countries, you just don’t have the perfect pronoun for all the clients, then just use a safe one.

Besides, using the name is a great idea if I can guess their name from the username like Michael, Harry, Lily. But what if their username are prince_of_brave or jedi_knight :rofl:

“May the Force be with you. Now, regarding the gig you just ordered…”

  • Like 12
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On a side note,

I had/have a client who is “originally” Asian and the one instance I exasperatedly referred to their first name with

“Name, will you please respond”

Was met with, “It was disrespectful”

:roll_eyes:

I informed them that was far from my intention but seriously, you are singlehandedly destroying my project timelines 😑


Then I had a senior client from India who had ordered unannounced, I referred to her as ma’am (the one time I did) because calling her with her first name didn’t feel right due to culture.

“Name, will you please respond”

You could have easily left “name” out and say something like “Can you respond, please?”

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

“Name, will you please respond”

You could have easily left “name” out and say something like “Can you respond, please?”

In retrospect, yes.

My emotional side took over on the fourth day with no response.

This is the client who messaged after a month of delivery and acceptance stating, “Why haven’t you shared the manual yet?”

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see many ones use “my friend” here 😃 And I think it’s ok 😃 Hello my friend, Thank you my friend… Once a very old client called me my friend, but I didn’t see any problem with that. Cultures are different among countries, you just don’t have the perfect pronoun for all the clients, then just use a safe one.

Besides, using the name is a great idea if I can guess their name from the username like Michael, Harry, Lily. But what if their username are prince_of_brave or jedi_knight :rofl: what about a client called:

Hello uvuvuevewe oyereer swoei oasas :rofl:

hqdefault.jpg.950de36d75acffaf9ea4b1ec20be3047.jpg

  • Like 10
  • Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Etiquette 101, couldn’t agree more. I have experienced some sort of micro-aggression here; when a buyer reaches out to me and then gets surprised and voices their surprise over the fact that I write and speak good English despite the fact that am an African in Africa.

I think it is courteous to do some bit of research before you speak with someone, better yet check their profile before you reach out. If someone thinks you are ignorant, they will not put much effort in your work because they know that you are not keen to details or they may simply not care to give you the best of their services based on how they have perceived you. As you said, this is business

That happens a lot with me as well.

Once during a zoom (audio), a client (while demoing their software) pointed it out and asked me where my schooling was from, and how old I was!

It was surprising because I was from DOWN THERE… (downthereistan lol)

what about a client called:

Legit question!

Maybe ask them the pronunciation and ask them whether there is an alternate initial they would prefer (maybe)

or… just ignore the elephant in the room, avoid calling the name and sincerely hope there is no need!


Okay, someone please share the right way.

  • Like 9
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a boss that called everybody “SIR” lol … sir I need you over here, sir please take care of this… thank you sir. … omg he was a tyrant. It is terrible, he never used anybody’s name always sir or miss. It was definitely uncomfortable after a while.

My personal favorite: “my good man”. I’ve used it in a leadership position once, because I got truly pissed off at an employee.

“My good man. This just won’t do.” :rofl:

The employee quit. (If he didn’t, I would have fired him for pure incompetence).

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tell you what, it’s hard living down here in the Southern US. Everyone calls everyone “sir” “ma’am”, “Honey” “Sweetie” “Hon” “Sugar-bun”, “Sweetheart”, “Bless your heart” I tell you, the list goes on lol! I do find that anyone outside of the Southern US, when they say Sir or Ma’am, it’s more in a … frustrated way? Like, “This is what I’m trying to say, Sir,” rather than a term of endearment, it’s almost meant as a way to communicate frustration (not all the time, just something I’ve noticed.) Some people say it out of endearment, which you could usually get away with in the Southern US, but outside of that? Has no place in a professional and international environment.

I’m particularly fond of “sugar-bun”. It’s so american to use food as a term of endearment.

@michaelscottmk6 I disagree, actually. I guess it comes from the fact that I live in a tourist area where street sellers will use the line “special price for you my friend”. It has become sort of a stereotype when you want to explain what they do for a living. :rofl:

  • Like 7
  • Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
25 minutes ago, hijab_e_zainab said:

Hi. 
Just wanted to ask if using smilies like " :), 🙂, :D" seems all right? 

Had a blast reading through the entire thread. 
Also my first ever comment here. 🙂

Welcome, dear miss madam! Happy to have you in the forums! :D Smileys are ok - sometimes! It all depends on the tone your buyer sets, in my opinion. I prefer to not use smileys to begin with, but if the buyer uses them, they might find it friendly if I do, too. Personally, I don't think smileys have anything to do in business communication, but I'm letting the buyer set the mood when it comes to that. If the buyer uses no smileys, I just avoid them. 

Edited by smashradio
  • Like 9
  • Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, olyasr said:

This is ridiculous, when I open a new message and see "Dear Sir". When I see this, I understand, that I don't even want to read a message

I sort of understand, but honestly, this is about doing business, and if someone is trying to be polite, but misses the mark, who cares? It is about getting paid. Now if they are rude that's different. You can order my gig and call me Sunshine if you want. Money, money money.

Edited by newsmike
  • Like 8
  • Haha 1
  • Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, newsmike said:

I sort of understand, but honestly, this is about doing business, and if someone is trying to be polite, but misses the mark, who cares? It is about getting paid. Now if they are rude that's different. You can order my gig and call me Sunshine if you want. Money, money money.

I wasn't really correct - you are right, that a buyer can call sunshine, honey or in any other way, but I was talking about messages where the text is always similar "Hi Sir, I need a job, give me job". They don't even care that I am a seller too, and only sometimes I am a buyer.

  • Like 7
  • Congrats! 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
On 5/17/2021 at 7:42 PM, smashradio said:

I know this has been discussed repeatedly, but somehow, it seems never to get better. I’m talking about the use of “dear”, “sir”, and “madam”. Recently I’ve also been called “honey”. What’s next? “Pumpkin?”

Ok, so there might be some humour in all of this, but please, stop using “dear”, “sir”, and “madam” when doing business internationally.

I’m not your dear. Sir might be seen as respectful in some countries, but then it’s overused and unnecessary. Besides, most countries in the west won’t use “sir” in business communication.

I get that there are cultural differences, and yes, I’m sure it’s done with the best intentions. But I feel like this has been brought up many times before, without getting better. It’s gotten worse since more and more people start working online due to the pandemic.

We’re communicating across borders, cultures, and norms even more than before, which leads to some interesting situations.
If a buyer/seller calls me “dear”, that could be uncomfortable. “Dear” is mostly used for my wife, not for a random person on the internet. It’s personal. Or, at best, it could be a formal way to start a letter to an older person. At best.

This isn’t just about comfort. It’s also for your sake: you risk alienating people when calling them “sir” or “dear”, making people more cautious about you. And when you want to earn money, you don’t want people to feel uncomfortable: you want them to trust you.
For way too many years, spammers using e-mail have been using “Dear sir”, “Dear madam”, etc. to introduce themselves. For most of us, we instantly react to the words because they are so common in spam.
Instead, use the persons named in the introduction if you know it, or simply use “Hi” or “Hello”. And no, don’t say “yes dear” – say “yes”. It’s that simple. I don’t need to be called dear by a stranger.

I hope this will help anyone who uses these words to get even better at their communication skills across borders and cultures, especially when dealing with westerners/Europeans.

Now it’s time to see what we as westerners/Europeans or any other cultural area could do better. I’m a European, so I’d love to hear if there’s anything we tend to do or say that might put people from other cultures off. After all, this isn’t about putting anyone down: it’s about helping each other to communicate and succeed even more!

When buyers call me Hi man, Hi mate. It puts me off to work with them. Obviously, I am a man but you do not need to tell me that everytime to buy something from me.

And for mate, I am not your husband or friend why would you call me that?

  • Like 7
  • Congrats! 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
On 5/18/2021 at 9:27 PM, looseink said:

I just told a newbie who called me “dear” that I found it creepy.

What bothers me most about it is that I am here on Fiverr in a professional, business capacity.

I know no one here well enough to call my friend.

Therefore, everyone here is technically a stranger to me.

I would NEVER refer to a stranger as dear, bro, honey, etc.

Besides, isn’t that the point of user names?

Call me by my user name if you expect me to respect you.

 

On 5/17/2021 at 8:42 PM, smashradio said:

I know this has been discussed repeatedly, but somehow, it seems never to get better. I’m talking about the use of “dear”, “sir”, and “madam”. Recently I’ve also been called “honey”. What’s next? “Pumpkin?”

Ok, so there might be some humour in all of this, but please, stop using “dear”, “sir”, and “madam” when doing business internationally.

I’m not your dear. Sir might be seen as respectful in some countries, but then it’s overused and unnecessary. Besides, most countries in the west won’t use “sir” in business communication.

I get that there are cultural differences, and yes, I’m sure it’s done with the best intentions. But I feel like this has been brought up many times before, without getting better. It’s gotten worse since more and more people start working online due to the pandemic.

We’re communicating across borders, cultures, and norms even more than before, which leads to some interesting situations.
If a buyer/seller calls me “dear”, that could be uncomfortable. “Dear” is mostly used for my wife, not for a random person on the internet. It’s personal. Or, at best, it could be a formal way to start a letter to an older person. At best.

This isn’t just about comfort. It’s also for your sake: you risk alienating people when calling them “sir” or “dear”, making people more cautious about you. And when you want to earn money, you don’t want people to feel uncomfortable: you want them to trust you.
For way too many years, spammers using e-mail have been using “Dear sir”, “Dear madam”, etc. to introduce themselves. For most of us, we instantly react to the words because they are so common in spam.
Instead, use the persons named in the introduction if you know it, or simply use “Hi” or “Hello”. And no, don’t say “yes dear” – say “yes”. It’s that simple. I don’t need to be called dear by a stranger.

I hope this will help anyone who uses these words to get even better at their communication skills across borders and cultures, especially when dealing with westerners/Europeans.

Now it’s time to see what we as westerners/Europeans or any other cultural area could do better. I’m a European, so I’d love to hear if there’s anything we tend to do or say that might put people from other cultures off. After all, this isn’t about putting anyone down: it’s about helping each other to communicate and succeed even more!

Hi @smashradio

I have been learning so many things from your posts. Thank you so much for your effort and time.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...