Make That Your Uniform Response

, , , , | Right | June 16, 2017

(I’m working as a bagger today and am standing at the end of a belt when a customer walks up behind me and starts asking a question.)

Customer: “Excuse me, sir, could you hand me some extra bags?” *I turn to look at him as he steps in front of me* “Oh! I’m so sorry, ma’am!”

Me: *I smile and hand him a couple bags* “It’s all right.”

Customer: *very embarrassed and seeming unsure what to do with himself* “It’s just from the back… I like your hair.”

(I had a very unfortunate hair cut a couple months back and drastic measures had to be taken.)

Me: “It’s fine; don’t worry about.” *as he turns and walks away, inspiration hits me* “It’s called a uniform for a reason!”

Customer: “Yeah, it is!”

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  • Anne

    Wait, what?

    • jackiesayshuh

      because uniforms are supposed to make every one uniform or the same looks wise.

      • Jackie Fauxe

        I was also thinking that maybe the haircut was called a “uniform haircut” or something like that.

  • Ladya Aloe

    I so get this. I’m 6′ tall and almost got grabbed by a security guard from behind at a concert when I didn’t respond to, “Move, Sir!” I turned to see who he was talking to and he was taken aback when he saw me.

  • Ingrid Potter

    I….don’t get it?

    • RallyLock

      Uniform = everyone looks largely the same, regardless of gender, skin color/ethnicity, size and stature, etc.

      In layman’s terms – Because OP was wearing her work uniform, the customers are supposed to identify her as an employee first, and as an individual person second.

      • Ingrid Potter

        Yep, I know what a uniform is, and I understand the purpose. I don’t get how it translates to a hair cut and gender confusion, but thanks for being there to describe it as condescendingly as possible. 🙂

        • RallyLock

          Sorry for trying to explain something, I guess? But hey, if you want to read an insult where there was none intended, be my guest.

        • I don’t think condescension was intended, as Rally said. We get people from all walks of life here, so you never know who knows what.

        • sacke5

          No wonder you don’t get it, when you directly assume someone trying to be polite and explain things that he is condescending.

    • Pringles

      Inspiration didn’t hit her so much as inspiration’s third cousin gave her a gentle wave.

    • Brad Ryder

      Yeah, I read this a few times and the point escapes me.

  • Kirishima Touka

    NAW?

  • mischiani

    I get this all the time and I don’t even have a pixie cut anymore. I think it’s a combination of the customers not expecting a woman to have a job in a grocery store that isn’t either cashiering or floral, and of generally not caring enough to properly look at a worker before they begin to speak. It’s one of the rare moments you can have a good laugh at the customer’s expense, in their presence, and get away with it.

    • Jackie Fauxe

      We have lots of female baggers in the grocery stores I go to, and plenty in the deli, bakery, and seafood departments plus stocking the shelves. Would this be more of a regional thing or am I not thinking of the right departments?

      • mischiani

        I think you’re not thinking of the right customers. I get this most often from the elderly. Women have begun taking over in more recent years. 😉

        That said, I’m only my company’s 2nd female dairy manager in my district. Customers, co-workers and vendors all occasionally try to get me to say the job is too much, as if they need to know I’m miserable in order to set their world straight again. “But isn’t that a lot of work for you?” or “Isn’t it too cold for a small girl in there?” or “Wouldn’t you rather work GM (health and beauty) or up front (registers)?”

        • Katrin Schirmer

          i like to imagine your response each time is a happy “nope, i’m fine.” whilst smiling at them.

        • Angela Kershner

          I used to get such comments when I was outside running carts. Most often it was couched as a chivalry/lazy teenagers thing – “They shouldn’t make a woman push carts. Couldn’t they get one of those boys to come out here and do this?” Oftentimes, the truthful answer was “yes, they could, but the teenage boys wouldn’t do the work if they were sent outside and not under direct supervision,” but I usually just told the customers that I enjoyed doing it, which was sometimes true.

    • Usually because they’re laughing at themselves as well. At least, that’s what I do when I get someone’s gender wrong, along with apologies.

  • Deadpool

    Yeah, I’m not even going to comment on this one.

    • Jackie Fauxe

      Liar.

      • Cathrope

        Pants on fire.

        • Jackie Fauxe

          That would explain some of his scarring.

  • Blaine Wheeler

    I know how that goes, OP. I’m a guy and, until recently, I had shoulder-length hair. From the back, I got mistaken for a woman all the time…

    • My senior year of high school, I got an extremely short haircut. I got mistaken for a guy several times despite a very ample chest (including a fairly form-fitting shirt and long skirt in school one afternoon).

      Funniest, though, was at university when my hair was long again. It was pulled back in a ponytail, and I was wearing a uniform shirt (at work at an on-campus grill). The university had a firm dress code including no long hair for men (unless they had a religious exemption). A woman still called me “sir” while trying to get my attention from behind.

  • Colin Burke

    I think OP was a woman and the short hair made the customer call her “sir”

  • I Troll Libtards

    Surely some libtard was triggered for assuming xer gender.

  • I used to have long hair, hated it when people/customers would call me ma’am, and not even when viewing me from behind.

    You’d think the beard would be a hint.

    • NRA

      Hey, I’d think my boobs would keep folks from calling me Sir, but they do not!

  • Jake

    I had mid-backish hair. I constantly got called Ma’am. Never bothered me.

    What did bother me, was that I was told I had to wear my hair in a ponytail whereas all female staff could have it however. I decided that wasn’t worth the effort to go to higher than store level hr though.

  • Matilda

    This is really a non story.

  • Stephen

    It took me a few reads before I got part of it – I thought the customer was addressing the cashier, and didn’t notice the OP bagging.

    Still don’t get the whole “uniform” business though.

  • Angela Kershner

    I got this fairly often when I was a bagger, even with long hair and prominent hips. It was always more amusing than anything, but the customers always reacted like I was going to be deeply offended.

  • Katie Manning

    What?

  • I wonder if this happened in the last six months – for most, the argument would be “no, I don’t want to pay for my extra bags”.

  • PsychoFox

    I can’t believe people still assume gender based on appearance in 2017, ESPECIALLY hair… that’s been an unreliable method for about 50 years now (and even then was far from foolproof, but you’d likely have more people on your side if you complained about it then).

  • NRA

    So, as someone who gets misgendered often due to my short hair, narrow hips and broad shoulders, I’d like to make a Public Service Announcement:

    If you misgender someone and they do NOT correct you, then just roll with it. If it bothers them, they’ll tell you. But if it doesn’t, and you proceed to spring into a string of apologies it just makes the situation more awkward and then the person who was misgendered is responsible for soothing you and reassuring you and the whole thing is just a damn mess.

    Just roll with it.