I got the second half of my crown done today. It seems to fit perfectly and I'm assuming it won't trouble me for awhile. I was supposed to get my old crown back, but someone "forgot" to give it to me. Oh well. I know some people trade those things in for money, but it was in my mouth for five years. If someone has to steal my dental gold for their gain, they must need money more than I do. I doubt I would have bothered to turn it in.
I'm glad to have this work done, but I'm even gladder that my business with the dentist is done for the time being. That way, I don't have to be subjected to repeatedly being called "hon" but the receptionist. I know I live in the South. I know some people think I'm too sensitive. I know that "hon" is part of the local color. Whatever. I still fucking hate it.
I think overly familiar pet names are inappropriate in business situations, especially toward someone you don't know so well. It would be different if I had been going to that dentist for 20 years and everybody there knew me. I probably would be on good terms with the staff and might think of them as friends. But, as it stands now, I have been in this community for six months. I don't know these people well enough for them to call me cute names. I find pet names from people I don't know diminutive and patronizing.
A friend pointed out that the cute names are supposed to be warm and friendly. But if the person you're addressing is uncomfortable with the pet name, you've not succeeded in comforting them with warmth or friendliness. You've failed in your mission to put them at ease.
Seems to me, the safest approach is to address people by their names. Then, once you get to know them, maybe you can start calling them cutesy names. Or maybe not. But if your goal is to make friends, shouldn't you give people the respect they deserve by allowing them to determine how they want to be addressed? I think it's the polite and businesslike thing to do.