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Server Called Out For Correcting Elderly Customer Who Refused To Stop Calling Her ‘Princess’

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For many, the time spent at work sits in a neutral zone: neither very exciting nor terrible.

But no matter how you cut it, there are always the occasional annoyances that come along and tip someone into that “terrible” category.

One Redditor encountered that recently. She explained everything in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), known as Swishleafy on the site, drilled down into the key details right in the title. 

“AITA for asking a customer not to call me princess?”

OP began by zeroing in on one particular customer. 

“I am 19 years old and I am a waitress at a diner as of now.”

“There is one customer at my job, an old man, who is a bit strange and asks a lot of personal questions.”

“In the past he’s asked me my name and age, and I refused to give my age making a joke that I was ‘too old’ to give my age.”

And that was just the start of it. 

“Well he also has a strange habit of calling me ‘princess’ I understand that yes old people sometimes call younger people endearing nicknames like ‘sweetheart.’ ”

“However, whenever he calls me over he yells ‘princess!’ I’ve told him numerous times before ‘My name is [myname].’ “

But nothing seemed to work. 

“However, he continues to call me ‘princess’ so the other day I told him ‘my name is [myname] so you can call me that instead of princess. I am not a child so please don’t call me ‘princess’ it’s very demeaning’ and he turned red.”

“My boss overheard and told me that I should never correct customers like that and I made him uncomfortable over a nickname he thought was endearing.”

“She says that I overreacted, I thought that his nickname was disrespectful considering that I’m an adult.”

“AITA for asking a customer to not use a nick name for me?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Most Redditors were completely on OP’s side.

“NTA. Fu** your boss. You have a name. People can use it. It’s not up to other people to decide for you what is or isn’t endearing.”

“How about your start calling your boss ‘sugar’ and see how long that lasts.” — Aaroniero

“Your boss is afraid of losing a customer because you corrected him and he was embarrassed. I wonder if he smacked you on the a** and you told him to keep his hands to himself would your boss react the same way?”

“You had every right to correct him. NTA” — Saraqael_Rising

“NTA Uhh . . . you have a name and respect your boundaries. Your boss needs to respect her employees and back them up. Customer IS NOT in the right here.” — Snl007

“NTA No one deserves to be called names like that if they don’t want to be. You repeatedly let him know it made you uncomfortable and he didn’t stop.”

“When you confronted him, the fact that he turned red tells me that he knows it’s inappropriate too and he’s just embarrassed that a young woman showed him up.”

“I’m surprised your boss took that approach, especially being a woman herself. She should have been on your side and had a word with the customer herself about crossing boundaries with staff.”

“Good for you for standing up for yourself, hopefully he’ll show you more respect if you have to serve him again.” — Catachaos

Those criticisms of OP’s boss just kept coming. 

“NTA. You politely informed him over and over to call you by your name. And when you last spoke to him you were still respectful.”

“Your boss is also TA. What is it with some women who defend men using misogynistic/outdated terms? She can be called Princess all she likes, she doesn’t get to dictate you put up with being patronised.” — Rainbow_dreaming

“NTA You made him uncomfortable over a nickname he thought was endearing? Too bad; he made you uncomfortable and he completely disregarded your multiple attempts to redirect him to an appropriate way to call for you.”

“Managers in the serving industry need to realize that servers are not servants. You cannot create a hostile working environment for someone just because you’re old and the manager is too scared to tell you that you’re out of line. I’m sorry you had to deal with this.” — thisoneiscozy

Others explained the seriousness of the incident.

“NTA – that’s not a nickname, that’s sexual harassment. It’s both a thing that’s been normalized and tolerated for most of this man’s life and also harassment. You were nice way longer than you needed to be.”

“It’s ridiculous that your employer isn’t backing you up. Our labor laws need to be a lot stronger regarding employers punishing employees for rejecting harassment. So you might be fired unfairly but you are most certainly not the a**hole.”

“You did a service to humanity. Wonder how quick he’d be fussed if you nicknamed him father time, coffinstuffer, dirty old man, grandpa, or methuselah.”bawbness

“In the sexual harassment course my employer has us do every year it is emphasized that calling names even though meant well is still harassment. You can tell this to your employer as well.”

“In most countries harassment leads to an entry ban or even legal action. NTA. Your employer is though for not having your back.” — Cap0bvi0us

“NTA let your boss pass know that the business has the obligation to protect You from any form of harassment. This customer is making personal questions and using nouns that could possibly be considered sexual harassment.” — Mission-Cloud360

And some had a simple piece of advice. 

“Your boss is a jerk for not having your back. The customer is a creep.”

“Take your employment skills elsewhere. It’s an employee’s market. You can do much, much better.” — MrsMomma20176

“NTA. Leave that toxic work environment please” — Spkpkcap

With some Reddit inspired confidence, OP can now make a more informed decision about if or how to continue working at the current spot. 


Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.