Scene: Unsuccessfully trying to get a letter of reference to print on letterhead. A student comes in.
Him: What program do you work for?
Me: I'm a faculty member in X department. What about you? What do you do?
Him: I'm a student in Y department. What's your name?
Me: Elizabeth [Barefoot].
Him: Oh, [Bare-y]? Lizzy [Bare-y]?
Me: Don't even go there.
What's up with the patronizing, diminutizing nicknaming?!?? Do I need to drop the friendly, informal demeanor and start referring to myself as Dr. Barefoot all the time? Should I boycott the copyroom and demand that the administrative people make all the copies for me? Would a grey wig and thick glasses garner more respect?
I may be a little sensitive about my gender and age, in that I'm a department that has historically been male. However, I'm hard pressed to believe that this student might have said, upon meeting one of my grey-haired male colleagues, "Oh you're Bobby? Bobby Scholar-y?"
How would you handle such situations?