I hate the term ma'am I really do. I find it insulting for some reason. Probably because the person saying it is telling you you're old. Otherwise they'd call you "miss" or nothing at all wouldn't they.
It's not that I object to being given a pet name by friends and even strangers, In fact in England I rarely had a conversation with anyone without some term of endearment tagged on to the end. Such as:
Me old mucker
and two particular favourites between me and my best friend Sue "Mrs Miggins" and "Betty Swollocks"
I much prefer these terms to the ones I hear here. Dude is ridiculous. Man is too manly. Guys is too cheesy. Jack keep calling me and Craig guys and I have to pull him up and remind him that we are "mummy" and "daddy". The exception to the rule over here is my friend Lynn, who's from Louisiana. She calls me "my darlin" in that southern way that makes you swoon.