Ask Alex : What’s in a name?

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Hey Alex,

There is a guy at work that is nice. He’s not for me, but he often goes out of his way to say nice things to people and uses little names for coworkers. Not just women, I’ve paid attention to notice he compliments everyone. From simple things like “Nice tie, handsome” to some of the guys to “Thanks for your help today, beautiful” to some of the girls.

A few times, I’ve really needed it and it brightened my day. One specific example was a presentation I thought was awful but he said, “great job, Shakespeare.”

I’ve told a friend about him, and she thinks the compliments are nice, but the names are too far. I think it’s fun and he hasn’t done anything physical to make it awkward. Plus, he does it to everyone.

 I know I enjoy it, and I’m not looking for what to do, but my question is, who do you agree with? Are the names too much? Or is she being too sensitive?



Hey  Nicknamed,

Well, I know the politically correct answer that I should give, but this is an opinion article, so I’m siding with you.

If no one in your company has complained (which is a shocker in this day and age) then I would say no harm, no foul. This person, according to your observations, hasn’t crossed the line with anyone and that points to it just being a friendly part of their personality.

I feel that society as a whole has become a little too sensitive. We have all been programmed to be offended, but even with that being said, you should still keep in mind that what is appropriate for you may not be for others.

Be sure to be vigilant of your co-workers and make sure that the fun banter does not cross the line into possible passive aggression. Not everyone is able to speak up if they truly are offended or hurt. 

It sounds like you enjoy your workspace, so keep on enjoying it as long as it isn’t causing harm to you or your coworkers. And tell your friend, Sensitive Sally, that not everyone in life has ill intent, sometimes it’s best to just sit back and accept people for who they are.




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