Ask Laskas: “Is Ma’am Offensive?”

Jeanne Marie Laskas writes our magazine's monthly advice column; now it's your turn to help solve readers' problems.

Ask Laskas: “Is Ma’am Offensive?”

Reader Question: I’m the youngest person at my current job, and I’m naturally inclined to address upper management as “sir” or “ma’am.” However, I’ve received some backlash on using these respectful terms. Whats the big deal? Have people really become that sensitive? I still see nothing wrong with my courteous mannerisms.
—Perplexed Youngster

What’s your take? Give your best advice in the comments below, and your answer might appear in the magazine.

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  • Your Comments

    • Jd

      They’re just words, who cares? And if you really think about it, why should you be expected to show an elevated level of respect to people who are in a position above you? Really though, what have they done to make them better than anyone else? We’re all just people. In my head ma’am and sir are the same as calling someone woman or man in a more formal way. They just fill space. Do what you want.