Unisex Perplex

, , , | Right | April 26, 2019

(I work in a supermarket in Finland that also sells some clothes. Our children’s clothing section is not divided by gender, only organised by age, brand, use, and colour, mostly in that order. I’m stocking the section for toddlers when an angry-looking woman approaches me holding a onesie meant for babies. She doesn’t speak Finnish very well, and it is not considered polite to speak English if the other person tries to speak Finnish, so I have trouble understanding her. That would not be a problem, but the customer is also clearly annoyed, and her tone is short and somewhat rude from the beginning.)

Customer: “YOU!”

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Customer: *snappily* “THIS!” *waves the onesie in front of me* “This cloth… Who fits it?”

Me: “Do you mean what age is it meant for? Let me see.” *takes the onesie and reads the label* “It says here that it is 68 cm, which usually means that it for children who are between about four and six months. But children are all different, so if you are not sure, it is always better to buy a bit too large than too small since babies grow so fast.”

Customer: “NO! NO! WHO! Who it fits?!”

Me: *thinking she might not have understood me* “Usually children between four and six months, madam.”

Customer: “NO!” *snatches the clothing back from my hands and proceeds to wave it in front of me again* “WHO IT FITS?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.”

Customer: *in English* “BOY OR GIRL?”

Me: *also changing languages* “Oh, I’m sorry, madam. I did not understand. The cuts on baby clothing generally fit all the babies, regardless of sex. The size is the only thing that matters in how the clothing fits.”

Customer: “NO! BOY OR GIRL?!”

Me: “Both? You can decide yourself, madam. They are unisex.”

(This was clearly the wrong thing to say. The customer sort of screeched and shouted, “NO UNISEX,” threw the onesie into my stocking cart, and stomped away. What was the sexless, offending onesie like? It was light beige with little yellow ducklings. I still have no idea for which sex baby ducks are reserved.)

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