Unfiltered Story #210617

, , | Unfiltered | October 12, 2020

(I work at a local pharmacy that for the couple years that I’ve worked there, and probably longer, has supported local woman’s health programs by donating some of the money we make selling our plastic bags. Just recently, I was at work and, taking a break from cash, decided to field a couple customer service calls.)

Me: Hello, customer service. This is (me), how can I help you?

Customer: My son was just at your store and he came home really upset!

Me: Oh, uh…

(I mentally start preparing a list of every worst case scenario.)

Customer: He got a bag while he was at your store and now he’s upset! Your bags say that his health is not as important as a woman’s! That he’s less of a man!

(It is at this point that I finally realize where this is going. We had just recently changed our plastic bags to reflect the contributions we’ve been making to our womans health program, but again, this is not something new for our store.)

Me: I’m sorry to hear that but there’s nothing I can do at store level to…

Customer: Are you saying that my son’s health isn’t worth anything?! Is that what you believe? This is sexism! I can’t believe (store name) would do something like this! How dare you support such a discriminatory practice!

Me: Mam, I’m sorry, but I can’t answer that, if…

Customer: Oh! So you think this is alright? You think my son isn’t as important as you?

Me: As I’ve said before my hands are tied. This isn’t something that’s decided at store level, there’s nothing….

Customer: You can stop selling them! All your doing is spreading sexism!

(At this point I’ve about had enough, I have the phone a good half a foot away from my ear and my coworker is already staring at me in confusion, as well as the customer they’re serving.)

Me: If you’d like to make a formal complaint, I can give you the number for head office to…

Customer: Of course I’ll be making a formal complaint! About how your store refuses to stop handing out sexist propaganda and discriminating against my son!

(I give her the main store number, as I don’t actually have the one for head office, and hang up.)

Coworker: What was that all about?

Me: Her son feels…. emasculated? By our plastic bags…?

Coworker: Our bags? Why?

Me: They advertise (program name).

Coworker: They do? I thought they just changed the colour? (Looks at bag) Hey, they do. Well, would you look at that…

Me: You just noticed? We’ve had had these for at least a month?

Coworker: Yeah, but it’s just a plastic bag.

Me: That woman calls back, I’m handing the phone to you and you can tell her that yourself.

Coworker: Bring it. Time for some battle of the sexes!

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