@Chrisfox "The nice gentleman who checked out my items kept referring to me as ma’am. Over and over he used this term, which I happen to find offensive."

The terms "sir" and "ma'am" are honorifics, i.e. they're signs of respect. Referring to the person as a "nice gentleman" suggests that Chrisfox acknowledges that he used the term in that way. 

So if Chrisfox finds the term "offensive" and wants REI to discourage its use, then it's incumbent on her to explain why she feels it's offensive and how she would prefer to be called by REI associates in the future.

BTW:

1. This is a longstanding issue that has no easy or pat solution. See for example this piece on NPR from a decade ago: Please Don't Call Me 'Ma'am' (https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129727777) [I can't seem to get URL linking to work without getting error messages]

2. The etymology of the contraction "ma'am" is from the French, "Ma dame" or "My lady" which is clearly a sign of respect.

...Wanderer


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