Not Making A Sweet(ie) Sale That Day

, , , , , | Working | January 10, 2019

(My husband and I are about to run out to do some errands. As I’m gathering my things together, the doorbell rings. It’s some grizzled-looking dude, perhaps a few years older than my 40-something husband, wearing a uniform polo and hawking Internet, cable, and phone service door-to-door. My husband decides to humor him and listen to his pitch on our front stoop while I get ready. Please note that I am also in my 40s and look it. I join them after a few minutes, and speak up at an appropriate break in the conversation.)

Me: *to my husband* “Ready to go?”

Salesman: *to husband* “That’s why [Internet service] is the best.” *to me, in what I can only describe as a “men are talking”-type condescending tone* “Hi, sweetie.”

Husband: *under his breath and with a smirk on his face* “Uh-oh.”

Me: *completely flabbergasted* “EXCUSE ME?”

(I don’t know what my face looks like just then, but the salesman blanches and starts to stammer.)

Salesman: “Uh… Um, thanks for humoring me.” *takes off down our stairs at a record pace without looking back*

Husband: *huge grin on his face* “Aaaaand that’s when he realized the steel trap had closed on his nuts.”

Just Plain Jane

, , , , | Right | January 10, 2019

(I am working at an international call center, which, though located in the middle of continental Europe, mostly receives calls from various places on the British Isles. Names in the story have been changed.)

Me: “Hello. My name’s Charlie; how can I help you?”

Caller: “What? You’re a woman!”

Me: “Yes, how can I help you, sir?”

Caller: “What was your name again?”

Me: “Charlie. Oh, I get the confusion. It’s short for Charlotte, sir.”

Caller: “That’s a man’s name! You’re a woman! You’re lying to me!”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, sir. Now, how can I help you?”

Caller: “This is ridiculous! You’re trying to be a man. I demand to speak to your manager!”

(I sigh, but I ask the guy to wait while I go to get my supervisor. She has a very low voice that still sounds female in real life, but over the phone, it can sometimes sound a bit masculine. I’m sure everyone can see where this is going. I only hear the following because the guy is so loud it bleeds out of the headset.)

Supervisor: “Hello, sir, I’m the supervisor. My name’s Jane. How can I–“

Caller: “What is this?!”

Supervisor: “Sorry?”

Caller: “Where the f*** did I call?! You’re all liars!”

Supervisor: “I’m not sure I follow.”

Caller: “You’re a man!”

Supervisor: “Sir, my name’s Jane, and I’m the supervisor you asked for. How can I–“

Caller: “You are all f***** up! What is this bulls***!?”

Supervisor: “Sir, if you insult me or any employee one more time, I have to inform you that according to policy, I am allowed to hang up on you.”

Caller: “Shut the f*** up, you [gay slur]!”

(The supervisor hangs up, rolling her eyes, and summarizes him thusly:)

Supervisor: “Well, here’s one for the training team…”

The 1950s Called; They Want Their Medical Results

, , , , , , , | Friendly Healthy | January 10, 2019

(My husband is having a day-long series of medical tests at a Veterans Administration hospital in Kentucky. I drove him there, so I am camping out in the waiting room working on some homework on my laptop for the supply chain management courses I am taking online. I have been working for about an hour and a half when I am approached by an elderly man.)

Elderly Man: “What are you doing on that computer?”

Me: “I am a Transportation and Logistics Management student at [Well-Respected Online college]. I am working on the homework for my supply chain management courses.”

Elderly Man: “Why aren’t you going to nursing school?! Nursing is the only respectable occupation for a woman!”

Me: “What? I can’t qualify for nursing school because I had a stroke a few years ago and my right hand is partially paralyzed.”

(I hold up my right hand and show that I can only use my middle finger and thumb.)

Elderly Man: “But you could be a nurse if you tried harder! Why are you playing with that silly supply chain management stuff? Only men do that!”

Me: “I also have an active Class-A commercial driver’s license to drive tractor trailers.” *reaches into my purse to pull out my license* “I like transportation!”

Elderly Man: “But nurses are so sweet! You should be sweet like a nurse!” *motions to one of the VA nurses*

(The VA nurse chimes in:)

VA Nurse: “I wouldn’t want her as a nurse with that hand of hers. She would never pass nursing school, anyway. I have met [My Name] before, and that woman is planning on going to law school after she finishes her bachelor’s degree because of the way she has argued her husband’s VA disability claim.”

Elderly Man: “How disgraceful! A woman working as a truck driver and wanting to become a lawyer! Why can’t women be sweet and realize their place in the world?!”

(I put my earbuds on and cranked some Bon Jovi on my laptop and tried to ignore the old coot until he was called for his appointment.)

How To Appeal To A Man: Become One

, , , | Right | January 8, 2019

I have been an IT tech for fifteen years. I absolutely love it when people ask for a man.

I have an older man calling from the Bronx — I am Canadian. He is being a total a**, calling me “little lady” and such. He asks if he can speak to a man, and I tell him none are available. I then ask him if he wants me to lower my voice and strap one on to help him. He laughs for about ten minutes and is happy to let me help him after that.

I Only Believe 10% Of Whatever I Hear

, , , , , | Right | January 8, 2019

(This customer has bought £55 worth of items. She has a voucher for 10% off which is applied to the entire purchase. She pays and leaves, but comes back not ten minutes later.)

Customer: “Excuse me. You didn’t take 10% off.”

Me: *checks receipt and points* “No, here it is. You only paid £49.50.”

Customer: “How is that 10%?!”

Me: “It… just is.”

Customer: “No, can I get someone else to fix this? Preferably a man who can actually do maths?”

Me: “I don’t know if there are any men in store at the moment, but regardless, I didn’t actually take 10% off myself. The register did when I scanned your voucher.”

(The woman refuses to listen and goes to reception, where the receptionist and manager — both women — try to convince her that the discount is correct. She again refuses to listen. The manager tells her the next man will be coming in around an hour, and the woman literally waits for him at reception.)

Male Colleague: “I have been told you have an issue with your purchase?”

Customer: “Yes, my voucher wasn’t counted — 10% off.”

Male Colleague: *looks at voucher* “No, it has. The original price was £55, and you paid £49.50. That’s 10% off.”

Customer: “That’s good to know. But really, I can’t stand here all day waiting for you! You need a man in store at all times. I’m much too busy! None of your women had the maths to help!” *storms out*

Male Colleague: “Did she actually wait an hour just for me to tell her what her receipt said?”

Me: “Yup!”

Male Colleague: “And you didn’t bother to tell her you had a maths A-level?”

Me: “I figured after she asked for a ‘man’ that she wouldn’t have listened to me, regardless. I probably could’ve invented calculus and she would still be in doubt as to whether 10% of 55 is 5.5.”

Male Colleague: *laughing* “Well, I didn’t even pass maths!”

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