April 25, 2022 at 8:35 a.m.
Terms of endearment should only be used with a family member or close friend in a personal setting. I say this gently.
Using "honey," "baby," or "darling" to address any patron in a business setting is ill-advised and quite rude. I've noticed that within the past two years, far too many employees of businesses or healthcare systems are using these terms with consumers. How do I know? I've been on the receiving end. Please know that I'm not anybody's "honey."
Using these terms is a form of condescension. It could imply the patron can't conduct business independently without being babied by an employee. It could imply the patron has Alzheimer's disease and shouldn't be conducting business alone. It could imply that an employee is on the move to get a quick date.
When the term "honey" has been used with me, I politely ask the employee not to address me with such language. I have a first name. I have a surname. Use that. Putting Mr., Mrs., or Ms. in front of a surname is polite and acceptable. Thank you.