Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Carpet Cleaning

 I have been playing telephone tag with a carpet cleaning company since last Friday. Their office hours are limited, and my work hours (and Tim's) don't jibe with their schedule. 

I was trying to get supper around last night, and the phone rang. I answered it without looking at the caller ID and a woman's voice asked if I was Debby.

"This is Debby," I answered. 

And she enthusiastically said, "Hey, babe! I'm glad we were finally able to connect."

My first thought was that this sounded a lot like those spam texts you get from lonely women who want to share their pictures with you.

She identified herself as the receptionist for the carpet cleaning place. 

I was a bit surprised, but I really wanted to get the living room carpet cleaned before winter set in. So we talked through the details, and I was inundated with 'babe', 'sweetheart', 'darling', and 'hun'. Nearly every single sentence contained an endearment, and I was starting to grit my teeth a little. I freely admit that while I am a big fan of courtesy and friendliness, I HAAAAATE endearments from total strangers. I feel as if it is intrusive and assumes an intimacy that does not exist. I am not an ass about it. I don't mind the occasional 'hun' from a friendly waitress, but this was over the top and it was...icky.

Since this is an area rug 8 x 16, on hardwood floors, she interrupted to say, "Sweetie, this will need to be brought in. We don't clean carpeting on hardwood floors." 

I was delighted. It meant that I would not have to miss work. We tried to set up a pick up time between a veritable blizzard of endearments. 

Finally, nearing the end of my tolerance, I said, "Okay. How about we just roll it up and set it outside the back door on the concrete driveway? You can just pick it up at your convenience."

She was pleased. "Babes, do me a favor..."

"What's that?" I asked. 

"Put a note on it, so the guys know that's the rug." 

There's only one yellow house on the block. (There are only two on the entire street.) Only one has a 417. If they found a rolled up carpet behind it, they'd be pretty safe in assuming that it was waiting to be picked up. But....I said, "Yes. I can do that." 

Oh, that made her very happy. 

As for me, I was very happy to end that phone call.

My sister was on call last night, and she forgot her phone on the kitchen table when she left with her bags. She ran over at lunch time to get it. I got a text from her 'Forgot my phone, came to get it, helped myself to some cornbread. PS, babe, they picked up the carpet.'

Ooooh, she's funny stuff, my sister...


  1. Well, here in the South we’re pretty free with the endearments, but I get where you’re coming from, Honey. 😂

  2. I totally feel your annoyance. I live in the Deep South and endearments like that are a way of life. I can tolerate it to a certain extent. I am 70 years old and have snowy white hair, so there is no doubt that I am not a honey or sweetie or baby. At a restaurant a few months ago, a young - 25-ish woman kept referring to me and my husband as “baby”. After about the fifth time I told her, in a much nicer way than I felt, that it is very condescending to refer to older people in that manner and we are not at all flattered by it. She was absolutely surprised by that.

    It is almost always a younger person that does it. Even living here most of my life, I just don’t get it.

  3. I don't live in the deep south, and it is not a way of life here. Maybe that's why it was so jarring.

    PS: Bob? Bless your heart....

  4. Well hon, I would so taken aback by someone I didn't know speaking to me like that, I would probably be speechless. I hope you arranged the drop off already so you don't have to go through that again.

  5. I just think that the world has become overly affectionate with their greetings. What gets me cross is the 'see you later' from supermarket tills. How do they know they are going to see me later? ;)

  6. I’d have hated that familiarity though I do like being called madam. I get annoyed when people start asking me how I am etc when I phone for something simple, I know it’s part of a script and really they couldn’t care less. Just get in with your job.

  7. In my last job before I retired one of the ladies I worked with used to call me chick.
    I was the oldest person there and certainly no spring chicken.

  8. The last and only time we sent out a carpet to be cleaned, it came back after quite a long time -- uncleaned.

  9. Your sister is funny, indeed. It runs in the family I see. Glad you got the carpets squared away and I am in complete agreement about the endearments from strangers. Yuck!!

  10. Oh yeah, that would make me crazy too -- and I grew up in the South! I've had people call me "hon" here and there, but I think "babe" is a little bizarre coming from a total stranger.

  11. I guess I never knew there was a location element to use of endearments in conversation, assuming Bob and Steve are right. I've had it happen a time or two to me and it always rubs me the wrong way.

  12. I've lived all my life in the Deep South and I hate that crap, too. I'll admit that at the middle school where I work, I often call children either "sweetie" or "buddy" or "sweetheart", but only because they're kids. Ibwould never, ever, call an adult those kind of names!

  13. I remember once when I was working in a different industry, a rep referred to me as "honey".

    "I'm not sure, darling," I responded.

    There was a bit of silence on the phone, as he had never had endearments back (being a bloke and we are not from a land of endearments meted out randomly towards the males).

    He didn't do so again.

  14. LOL, Jeanie.

    I guess what surprised me, Jennifer is that this was a receptionist. For a business. It was just strange. I mean, informal is one thing. However this was way past informal.

    AC: If that carpet comes back uncleaned, I will be a very unhappy 'sweetie'.


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