I had read this original post the day it was entered, and after reading @hikermor question, I messaged him directly because I didn't want to endorse, or bring any additional attention to this topic. Seeing the rest of this feedback gave me the impetus to add my 2 cents. I completely agree with @REI-CarterC that everyone deserves respect and the opportunity to voice their feelings and concerns. I also agree completely with @Philreedshikes , @nathanu in that I too was raised to use "sir" and "ma'am" as terms of respect. That ethos was reinforced by my job training when I entered the workforce in retail. If those terms are no longer considered acceptable, I certainly don't know what the correct terms is, or should be. And neither do the vast majority of retail and hospitality workers I encounter across the country...in fact, the world.
I personally cannot understand why "ma'am" would be considered offensive, but, be that as it may, there are much less volatile ways of addressing it. A simple and polite. "I'm not fond of that term. Please refer to me as _______." Or a joking or friendly, "Oh, that term is much to formal for me. Call me_____."
Can't we all just get along?
And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming....
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.