The Cat’s Mother & Affectionate Brits

In England by Eller Student

Why are all of my coworkers affectionate?  It’s not that they perform physical displays of affection, but they all have doting little names that they say.  Rohina, my boss, never refers to my name unless she’s addressing something I did or when I did something wrong.  Other times she calls me “dear” or “darling”.  She’s not the only one either; my coworker today called me “sweets” when she came over to talk to me about a member.  I don’t know if this is a British thing to have pet names with people that you haven’t known that long, or if my coworkers are just trying to incorporating me into their circle.  It’s just a little weird because in an American work environment, you wouldn’t see this is kind of constant affection so I’m not used to receiving it here.

Also another thing that I’ve noticed is apparently its rude to address someone by their pronoun.  My fellow German intern, Patrick, addressed me as “she” when he was talking about work that I had done and Ruchira, another coworker, pounced on it and said, “Who’s she?  The cat’s mother?”  Of course, neither Patrick nor I understood her joke, until Rohina explained that it is rude to address a female by “she” when she is present.  I don’t like this rule.  Now I just feel like a rude American every time I don’t use someone’s name to address them.  I can’t call someone “she” but I can call them “darling” or “dear”?