Pet names aren’t for the office, love

The widespread use of pet names in this country has always puzzled me.  You just don’t hear Americans calling each other ‘babe’ and ‘dearie’ – outside of Texas or a seedy bar, that is. 

The occasional ‘love’ and ‘darlin’’ still catch me off guard here, even though I’ve almost come to expect them sometimes.  Cabbies and shouting market stall owners rarely disappoint with their “Where to then, love?” and “A punnet of strawberries, darlin’?”. 

But one place I don’t expect to hear pet names is in the office.  And it turns out a lot of working women agree.  A recent survey by found that female office employees hate the use of pet names in the office, more than 75 per cent saying they’re ‘unacceptable’ at work.  Office pet names conjured up feelings of anger and degradation amongst the women, as they’re thought to be patronising, overly friendly and condescending.

Women aren’t the only ones who dislike pet names.  It drives one of my male colleagues up the wall when someone calls him ‘mate’, for example.  He wholeheartedly agrees that pet names are unprofessional and have no place in the office. 

So we’d like to know what you think.  Should pet names ever be used in the office?  Or are they only acceptable in certain situations?
Top 10 hated office pet names from’s survey

1.    Babe
2.    Love
3.    Hun
4.    Mate
5.    Chick / chicken
6.    Kiddo
7.    Darlin’
8.    Pet
9.    Poppet
10.  My Dear

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