Video Games Belong In The Kitchen!

, , , , | Working | October 3, 2017

(I’m a woman, working for a video game publishing company that also publishes smaller games by indie creators. I’ve actually worked in the industry for almost ten years, and I get along great with all my colleagues, who are mostly male. We’re in a video conference call with a young developer who is pitching us his first game. Everyone in this call, except for me, is a guy.)

Boss: “We’ve all had a chance to look over your packet, and we think it looks pretty promising, though we’ll have to play the prototype to be really sure.”

Developer: “Ah, I have that uploaded to your FTP server.”

Coworker #1: “Great. We’ll all give it a try and get back to you with feedback.”

Me: “I’m excited to check this out; I love this type of game.”

Developer: “Oh.” *looks visibly uncomfortable onscreen* “[Boss], I didn’t know… she would be playing. Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Boss: “Uh, yeah. Why?”

Developer: “Well, I mean, she’s… she’s a… g… ” *trails off*

(It seems to dawn on everybody at once that he’s uncomfortable with me testing his game because I’m a woman.)

Coworker #2: *sputtering* “What? Wh… WHAT?”

Boss: *looking furious* “Yeah, well, don’t worry; when it comes to her feedback, I’ll be sure to have it read to you in a deeper voice so you can understand it! If you’re lucky enough to hear back from us!” *slaps laptop case shut, ending the call*

(My boss and all my coworkers are angrier than I’ve ever seen them, probably angrier than I am.)

Me: “Okay, let’s all calm down. I agree that was pretty gross, but… I don’t know, he’s pretty young. Maybe this can be a teachable moment and he can have a chance to redeem himself?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, but then we’d have to time-travel back to the 1950s to work with him. UGH.”

Boss: “I do NOT want somebody like that representing us! I don’t even want to talk about it right now.”

(We did NOT end up working with that kid. I felt a little bad for him, in spite of everything, but also grateful that I worked with such awesome people who had my back. To his credit, he did send me a private e-mail about a year later apologizing for his behaviour, saying we were right to turn him down because it made him think about some prejudices he had, not just about women but other people as well. I accepted his apology, and I hope the rest of his life is a lot more fruitful… and less ignorant!)

Peppered With Requests For Water

, , , , , | Working | September 28, 2017

(I and my two friends go out to eat after work. [Friend #1] was born in Peru, but was adopted as an infant by her white mother and as such, has no connection to South American culture. This means she has a very low tolerance for spicy food. We are eating, and [Friend #1] realizes she just ate a jalapeño accidentally. We flag down our server to ask for some water.)

Server: *with three glasses of water* “Wait, why do you need water?”

Friend #2: “Please, she just had too much spice.”

Server: *while still holding the water away from the table* “But, she doesn’t need water. Why do you need water? Aren’t you Spanish or something?”

Me: “Please, just give her the water. She is not Spanish, and that doesn’t matter anyway.”

Server: “But I don’t get it; why can’t she eat spicy stuff?”

(We looked at each other and glared at her until she gave our friend her water.)

Potty Training Isn’t The Only Training Required Around Here

, , , , | Working | September 18, 2017

(I am buying baby supplies.)

Cashier: “Wipes, diapers, powder. What does a man need all this for?”

Me: “My daughter isn’t old enough to be potty trained yet.”

Cashier: “Surely it’s a wife’s job to handle the baby. Where’s your wife? Why aren’t you working?”

Me: “He’s at home with our daughter, and I’m on paternity leave.”

Cashier: “He? Your wife is a HE?!”

Me: “My husband is a he.”

(The cashier practically jumped away from me, sneering, and crossed her heart. She then refused to sell me anything, and I asked for a manager. When he came, she spoke directly to him, completely ignoring my existence. After she was finished, the manager “queer high-fived” me and gave me an employee discount. The cashier looked like she was about to collapse and asked to be excused. When I dropped by a few weeks, I was told she decided to leave due to a “conflict of interest”.)

Transitioning Away From Toxic People

, , , , , | Friendly | September 18, 2017

(I’m at a gay bar with some friends, and we’re talking to some people we’ve never met before. I’m a trans guy.)

Girl #1: “Who do we have here? [Friend #1], [Friend #2], and…” *points to me*

Me: “[My Name].”

Girl #2: “That’s a guy’s name.”

Me: “Yeah… I’m a guy. I’m trans.”

Girl #2: “That’s stupid.”

Me: “What?”

Girl #2: “You’re not trans. You’re just gay and can’t admit it, because you’ve been raised in such a homophobic world. Just admit your love for women as a lesbian.”

Me: “Uh… I’m queer. I like people: men, women, whatever. I’m not ashamed of that.”

Girl #2: “Pfft, whatever. Call me when this trans thing is over; you’re cute.”

(My friends and I are speechless as the girl leaves. The first girl watches her leave and turns to us.)

Girl #1: “So, she’s dead to me. Shall I buy the next round?”

You Couldn’t Service-Write This Even If You Tried

, , , | Right | September 12, 2017

(I work at an auto and diesel repair shop, and I happen to be a young female. I write estimates, talk to customers, order parts, etc…)

Me: “[Shop]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “I need a quote on my truck.”

Me: “Sure, what kind of truck?”

Customer: “Are you the service writer?”

Me: “I am.”

Customer: “Are you the only service writer? No men?”

Me: “Just me. [Old Male Coworker] left a year ago.”

Customer: “Can I talk to anyone else?”

Me: “Sure. Hang on just a minute.”

(Transfers phone to one of the owners, who is an office manager.)

Owner: “Hi, this is Jane!”

(This happens about once a month.)

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