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Saw Through His Sexism

, , , , , | Right | March 5, 2013

(I am a female woodworking student, shopping for a specific kind of saw in a hardware store. There’s only one on the shelf, so I grab it and start to move towards the register.)

Customer: “You can’t have this saw.”

Me: “And why not?”

Customer: “Because I need it!”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but I picked it up first when you weren’t even near it. They’ll probably order some soon.”

Customer: “Give it to me. I really need it.”

Me: “As much as I do. I’m sorry, sir, but it’s mine.”

Customer: “I clearly need it more than you; you’re a woman! You can’t have any use for a saw!”

Me: “I’m doing woodworking and I need this saw for an order a client placed with me. I am not going to give it to you and delay my client’s order.”

Customer: *sheepishly* “Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t know… If I knew you were a woodworker, I wouldn’t have said that.”

Me: “You shouldn’t make sexist comments like that, regardless of what field I work. Every woman is allowed to buy a saw… not only woodworkers.”

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Likes To Toy With Other People’s Purchases

| Right | September 29, 2016

(My family is having a garage sale. I’m in my early teens, and I’ve decided to part with a collection of plastic horses. A very old woman hobbles around, looking at all of the toys, before stopping in front of my horses.)

Old Woman: “Oh, these are perfect! I’ve been looking for something for my granddaughter’s birthday, and I know she would love these! She’s always loved horses.”

Me: “I’m sure she will! How old is your granddaughter?”

(She and I chat for a little bit, and I like this grandmother more and more with everything she says. She’s clearly very sincere about wanting something special for her granddaughter. When she asks the price for the collection, I decide to sell them for less than I’d planned.)

Old Woman: “Thank you so much! I just need to run to my car to get my purse.”

(I wait by the horses while she hobbles back to her car. While she’s looking for her purse, a younger woman pulls up to the house, jumps out of her car, and starts snatching up armfuls of anything that looks like it’s in good condition. She comes up to the toy table and reaches for my horses.)

Me: “Oh, sorry, but someone already claimed these.”

Young Woman: “Well, I’m going to buy them.”

Me: “I’m selling them to that woman over there. She’s just getting her purse.”

(The woman looks around and sees the old woman coming back. She lowers her voice and acts all sneaky about it.)

Young Woman: “She hasn’t paid for them yet, so they’re still up for grabs! Quick! Give them to me!”

Me: “No. These are mine to sell and I’m giving them to her. Sorry. My sister has some other toys over there you can look at.”

Young Woman: *catching a glimpse of something she likes at my sister’s table* “Ugh. Fine. Your loss.” *she leaves and begins snatching up more things seemingly at random*

(I might not have made as much money as I could have, but seeing the older woman so happy with her gift for her granddaughter makes me smile even now years later.)

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Giving The Customer A Good Mall-ing

| Right | October 18, 2016

(A sales specialist and a new trainee are working the last hour of their shift. Their store is attached to a shopping mall, but has multiple independent entrances. The mall has been closed for ten minutes, but the department store is still open for another hour. The large, cage door at the mall entrance has been closed. Multiple announcements were made regarding the closing of the mall doors. The specialist is folding clothes while the trainee is ringing up a female customer.)

Trainee: “[Specialist], this customer has a question that I’m not sure how to answer. Can you help me?”

Specialist: “Of course!” *the specialist turns to the customer* “What is your question, ma’am?”

Customer: “Can you tell me how to get out of this store?”

Specialist: “Sure! What department did you come through when you entered?”

Customer: “The shoe department at [Store that is on the opposite side of the mall]. Can you open the door to the mall so I can leave?”

Specialist: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we can’t open that door once it’s locked. It’s a safety issue and a loss prevention issue.”

Customer: “Then how the h*** am I supposed to get to my car? This is ridiculous!”

Specialist: “Ma’am, our managers made announcements every five minutes for the last thirty minutes announcing that the mall door would be closing promptly at nine pm. Once those doors are closed, we cannot open them until the following business day. We gave more than enough warning that the doors would be closing.”

Customer: “I DON’T F****** CARE! I WAS STILL BROWSING WHEN THEY MADE THOSE ANNOUNCEMENTS! I WANT THAT DOOR OPEN NOW! I HAVE PLACES TO BE TONIGHT!”

Specialist: “[Trainee], please call [Manager] and see if she can open the mall door.”

(As the trainee calls the manager, the specialist can hear the customer muttering to her friend, who just walked up to the conversation. The two women can be heard saying degrading things about the specialist and how the store seems to only hire idiots.)

Trainee: “[Manager] wants me to bring them up to the main office so that they may assist in the situation.” *he turns to the customers* “If you’ll follow me upstairs, please.”

Customer: *to the specialist, obviously pleased to be personally escorted to meet with the managers* “If you weren’t such a b****, you’d know that THIS is how to treat a customer.”

Trainee: “Now, ma’am, that wasn’t necessary. [Specialist] informed you of our store policy. Our manager made multiple announcements about the doors closing. The only reason she wants to speak with you is because you obviously didn’t understand when [Specialist] told you, so she thinks that our security guards may be able to explain it in a way you’ll understand. Now, those mall doors will remain closed until tomorrow morning. How you get back to your vehicle is up to you.”

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Please Keep Customer Interaction To A Condominimum, Part 2

| Right | April 29, 2014

(It is a Friday late afternoon. I am mechanically ringing up sales adding “have a nice weekend” to my normal “here’s your receipt” spiel. I realized after saying this to a male customer that he is buying several high-quantity boxes of condoms. I also remember he had a work shirt on with his name sewn on it. I stepped into the pharmacy and talk to my coworkers.)

Me: “Oh, my God!”

Coworker: “What is it?”

Me: “I just told a customer to have a good weekend, before noticing he was buying nothing but condoms! He obviously has plans to do so!”

(About thirty minutes later the phone rings, and the pharmacist picks it up.)

Coworker: “[My Name], you have a phone call.”

(I answer.)

Caller: “Hi, I’m [Customer With Named Shirt]. I’m calling because I want to go out with you this weekend!”

(Um, that would be ‘NO,’ creepy condom dude!)

 

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The One That Can Hear Is Not Listening

| Working | March 29, 2014

(A friend of mine is deaf, and has conversations with people by reading their lips. The bank teller is a woman wearing a burka which covers her mouth.)

Teller: *begins talking*

Friend: “I’m sorry; I can’t understand you. I’m deaf.”

Teller: *keeps talking*

Friend: *louder* “I can’t understand you without seeing your lips. Can I talk to someone else please?”

Teller: *shouts for manager*

Manager: “My employee tells me you wish not to make contact with her because of her burka. We do not tolerate racism in this bank.”

Friend: “I have nothing against this lady’s choice of religion, it’s just that I need to read her lips. I’m deaf.”

Manager: “This is your final warning! One more racist slur and I am closing your account.”

Friend: *nearly in tears* “Please, I can’t understand her. I’m deaf!”

Manager: “That’s it. Get out of this bank or I’m calling the police.”

(My friend had to run out crying. Amazingly, she was more upset about feeling like she’d insulted someone than how she was treated!)

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