Gender Stereotypes Are A Weighty Subject

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 26, 2018

(I am female and I’m at the gym. I go year-round, but this time it’s mid-January, when it is full of people! I am looking for a bar to do some workouts. They come in 20 kg and 15 kg, and you can add weight to them if you need to. I can’t find any on the rack, but spot a 15 kg one unattended. Not wanting to rob it from someone mid-session, I look around as a man walks towards me.)

Me: *gesturing* “Are you using this?”

Man: “Yeah, I am.”

(I go to walk away and he calls me back.)

Man: “I’ll happily swap with you if you find a man’s one.”

Me: *thinking I’ve misheard* “Huh?”

Man: “This is a girl’s one. If you find a man’s one, I will swap with you.”

(I was gobsmacked that he a) thought that weights should be gendered, and b) would say it so openly to my face. And for the record, I use a 20 kg one, adding weights if I need it. And there are some bloody strong women in my gym.)

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Owe Dad A Debt Of Gratitude

, , , , | Working | February 26, 2018

(I have just turned 16 and I am looking for a summer job. Since I am looking for employment and am about to get my license, my parents decide to buy me my first cell phone for my birthday. I don’t give my number out to people except to my friends, relatives, and potential employers. One day I receive a phone call from an unknown number, and since the number has the same area code as my city, I assume it is an employer looking to schedule an interview, so I answer it.)

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Yes, I am looking for Mrs. [Stranger]?”

Me: “I’m sorry. You must have the wrong number. I don’t know anyone by that name.”

Caller: “I know it is you! You don’t have to lie!”

(I try explaining that I don’t know who this person is, and that I have only had this number for two weeks, but she interrupts me.)

Caller: “I am with [Debt Collector Company], Mrs. [Stranger], and before I can go any further, I need to tell you that this call is monitored for quality assurance and this is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information purposes will be used to collect this debt.”

Me: “But I’m not—”

Caller: *interrupting me* “Now, you owe an outstanding balance of [balance] to [Major Credit Card Company]. Would you like to pay with a debit card or send in a check?”

Me: “Neither. I don’t owe you anything. I am 16 years old, and I’m not even old enough to have a credit card!”

(My dad, who has been listening to the entire conversation turns and looks at me. On the other end of the phone, the debt collector is laughing at what I just said.)

Caller: “Oh, sweetie! This ain’t kindergarten! Hasn’t your mommy or daddy warned you not to charge thousands of dollars on a credit card and not pay them back? You can’t expect to go through life and have everything to be handed to you. Do you really think I’m going to believe you, Mrs. [Stranger]? You will pay the [balance] in the full amount today, or I will sue you for your unpaid debts.”

(Having had enough, I hang up the phone and explain to my dad what just happened. He tells me next time they call to give the phone to him and he will handle it. Within the next couple of minutes, the same debt collector calls, and I hand my phone to my dad. He tells the debt collector to stop calling my number and that I am, indeed, only 16 years old, and we know no one with the name she’s looking for. After 15 minutes of arguing with her, the debt collector transfers him to the supervisor.)

Supervisor: “Hello, Mr. [Stranger]. This is [Supervisor] speaking. I understand you’re refusing to pay the debt your wife owes us?”

Dad: “Look, lady: you have the wrong number. Your employee called my 16-year-old daughter, has been harassing her to pay a debt that isn’t hers, and when my daughter told her she has the wrong number and she’s not the person you’re looking for, your employee told her that ‘this isn’t kindergarten’ and threatened to sue her. She doesn’t owe you anything. Now, either you can stop calling my daughter’s number, or I will report your company for harassment.”

(There was complete silence on the other line, and after a couple of moments the supervisor hung up the phone. They haven’t called back since!)

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Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 18

, , , , , , | Working | February 26, 2018

(I’m in my late 20s, but because of my size, I am often mistaken for a teenager. A few months prior to this incident, my husband and I decided to start trying to conceive. I’m very excited and immediately go out and buy a pregnancy test. A few weeks later, the test is negative, and I go to the same store to buy a pack of tests. I am checked out by the same cashier, an older woman. When I approach with the tests, she gives me a disgusted look. The following happens:)

Me: “Hi, how are you today?”

Cashier: “I’m fine… Honey, would you like me to show you where we keep the condoms? They’re not hard to find; they’re in the same aisle as the tests.”

Me: *a little taken aback* “No, thank you.”

(The cashier doesn’t ring out the test. She just looks at me.)

Cashier: “Sweetie, the condoms aren’t too expensive. We have some great options, and it would be a lot better than these constant scares.”

Me: “Oh, it’s not a scare—”

Cashier: *cuts me off* “I saw you a few weeks ago, buying a test. I remember because I said a prayer for you, that you wouldn’t be pregnant.”

Me: *getting angry now* “Well, that’s not a very nice thing to pray for! I want to be pregnant”

Cashier: *looks horrified* “Honey, you don’t want to be pregnant; trust me. You want to finish school, get a job, and find a guy who wants you for more than sex. Make the guy marry you first!”

Me: “Pretty sure this is none of your business, but my husband and I both have well-paying jobs, and a baby would be a blessing. Please ring me out.”

Cashier: “I can’t believe your parents let you get married so young!”

Me: “I’m almost 30. And again, this is none of your business.”

(She finally finished ringing me out, and I had a word with the manager about the incident. He promised to speak to her about it. It’s been two weeks, and when I go back she avoids me like the plague.)

Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 17
Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 16
Cause For Pregnant Pause, Part 15

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Been Having Problems Of Late

, , , , , , | Friendly | February 26, 2018

(A friend and I have signed up for an evening class together.)

Friend: “There’s no use in both of us driving there separately; why don’t I pick you up, and we’ll drive over together?”

Me: “Sounds good!”

(On the night of the first class, I’m waiting on my driveway. The class starts at 6:30. It’s 6:25, and there’s no sign of her. Finally…)

Friend: “Here I am!”

Me: “Oh, thank goodness!” *gets in* “Was traffic bad?”

Friend: “No, why?”

Me: “Um… You’re a bit late. We’ve only got three minutes to get to class, now.”

Friend: “Really?” *checks clock* “Oh, well. I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

(We arrive at the class, several minutes late. The instructor has already begun. She glares at us.)

Friend: “Sorry! I have no sense of time!”

(The same thing happens the following week, and the week after that.)

Me: “I’m going to drive myself from now on.”

Friend: “Why?”

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Break-ing The Law

, , , , , | Working | February 26, 2018

(I am a cashier at a department store. It is 4:00 pm, and I am midway through my eight-hour shift. We are very busy, though we have more than enough staff on hand. I approach my supervisor for my lunch break.)

Me: “May I take my lunch now?”

Supervisor: “Sorry, but we are very busy right now. You’re going to have to wait.”

(This pattern repeats every 30 minutes for the next two and a half hours. When I approach her again at 6:30, this happens.)

Me: “Now can I take my break?”

Supervisor: “No. You’re not getting a lunch at all.”

Me: “Excuse me?

Supervisor: “Do I need to repeat myself? You are not getting your lunch today!”

Me: “That’s illegal! The company can get in a lot of trouble for that!”

Supervisor: “Really? Wait here.”

(Soon after my supervisor leaves, she returns with my manager in tow, who brings me to the office.)

Manager: “Is there a reason why you were not taking your break?”

Me: “[Supervisor] wouldn’t let me! She eventually told me I wasn’t allowed to take it at all!”

Manager: “I see.”

(She hands me a clipboard. I immediately realize I’m being written up!)

Manager: “You’re not a good liar, you know. I heard everything from [Supervisor]. I would normally have you fired for this, [My Name], but I’m feeling generous today. But going forward, this cannot happen again, or you will be fired.”

Me: *signing the form* “I should not have been written up for this. I’m going to take this up with [Owner].”

Manager: “You do that, and I will fire you. I dare you.”

(Unafraid of my manager, I followed through and reported the incident to the owner, who was horrified when he heard of it. He fired my supervisor for intentionally breaking state laws and lying to him about it, corroborating his statement with a customer complaint about her cursing me out. The manager was also suspended for two weeks without pay for not investigating enough, and eventually demoted when the owner discovered that my write-up wasn’t the only bogus one she had submitted. For all my trouble, I got three days paid leave and a promotion!)

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