What you had to say after Wakefield Council apologised for addressing a phone caller as 'mate'

Should town halls staff be allowed to use the term 'mate' as Wakefield Council apologises to a complainant who took offence?

Here's what you had to say...

Gordon Haynes - Best way round this is to be over polite to start with and then ask the complainant if they mind being called xxxx – the key is to let them calm down.

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Theresa Duffield - Hmm…this is Yorkshire we all call each other mate or love or hun; no offence is intended. A few years ago we NHS staff were told we couldn’t use these familiar terms to patients, it was considered unprofessional. Personally I’m comfortable with it but clearly some aren’t.

County Hall in Wakefield

Marianne Smith - It’s not very professional but it’s certainly not a reason to complain about. Could have been far worse.

Gary Woolton - I have no issue with being called mate, but can’t help thinking in a professional circumstance it is not really appropriate and can feel like you are not taking the complaint seriously.

Mark Lamont - It’s bad form, you wouldn’t expect a waiter, a teacher or a solicitor to call you mate.

Sue Baxter - What is the matter with people. Far too precious for their own good. Just a friendly figure of speech.

James Morgan - Perhaps the caller was brought up at a time when manners mattered and when we didn’t speak to customers in the same way that we spoke to our friends.

John Hughes - Or perhaps his complaint was not upheld.

Chris Turner - It all depends on the situation. Appearing “friendly” isn’t a priority in a whole lot of situations where a person just wants to know that their grievance, complaint or whatever is being taken “seriously”.

Angela Midgley - I think it’s nice and friendly, they should be commended.

John Ward - Pathetic people getting offended about anything and everything.

Gordon Specter - Normally being called mate isn’t an issue but, if as in this case, you are making a complaint, the term could inflame the caller as it is disrespecting the complaint.

Helen Clayton - Suppose next time they could say “Look Mr X you whinging old so and so”. Doubt he’d like that either.

Rchael Kimberley - Maybe not quite so professional sounding on the phone, but not summat I’d have a problem with myself.

Heather Peach - It is Yorkshire, we don’t live there now, but when I am in Yorkshire it’s good to be addressed as ‘luv’. Something I was used to but I suppose in an official phone call perhaps things should be different.

Robert Williams - Yes it is rude and impolite, I would politely point out that they were not a mate of mine.

Debby Mortimer - My husband’s pet hate.

David Graham - I don’t like anyone I don’t know calling me “mate” or “pal”.

Anne Brearley - Respect is the key.

Michael Clive Ward - Sir or Madam, it’s simple respect.

Jose Sevilla - Yes, pet hate, especially in shops. Once stopped the queue in Wickes when a youth kept calling me mate, totally ignored him as he kept asking for £60.29 ‘mate’.