Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why is Everyone So Angry

I'll tell you why I'm angry. Because in a seminar on how to deal with problem customers this was the response we were told to use when we hear "Can I speak to a man?" "Sir, I assure you I am well qualified" and to then list our qualifications. Why? Because what the man is saying is that he doesn't think you're qualified. (actual quote from the seminar leader)So, because he's a sexist pig who thinks a woman can't be qualified, I need to validate that belief by defending my qualifications? So that he is free to think "women aren't qualified with the exception of a rare few"? I'm sorry, that's simply not fucking good enough.

Another thing that bugged me is one of his examples of honor and respect:
A man and wife were filling out enrollment forms to enroll their kids in elementary school. They came to the question about occupation and she wrote "housewife". He looked at it and said "Honey, you're not a house wife, you're MY wife". Ummm, okay. I can't see how that honors or respects her. He should have said "family manager" "indispensible - without you we'd all fall apart" etc. THAT'S honor and respect. THAT'S seeing her as a competant person who isn't defined by him.

I know I learned some useful things, but the sexist attitudes towards women has blanked them out.

I also realized that I've been on the internet just a little too long. All of his jokes and most of his illustrations? I saw a long time ago via email. And most I'd seen a minimum of 4 times. It's really hard to laugh at something for the 5th+ time. Or act touched by the story of the teacher who had her class write something nice about everyone there or the story of the guy saved from committing suicide by one small act of kindness. It also makes you wonder what the hell when he believes these stories are absolutely true.


Tanya Brown said...

The seminar instructor sounds like a bit of a fossil. Your post made me fantasize about some different responses to the caller who wishes to speak to a man:

1. "I am a man. I just have a very high-pitched voice."

2. Implement Monty Python-style pitch change and speak in a blatantly fake baritone.

3. "Sir, I assure you that although penises are useful for a variety of tasks, they aren't necessary to address this particular issue."

4. "A man. Let's see ... I believe we have a man somewhere around here." (yelled request off phone) "Lucy? Can you send up Billy from the mail room? We have a customer who'd like to speak with a man."

5. "Of course. Just as soon as I'm allowed to only deal with customers who aren't sexist dinosaurs."

None of these responses would be acceptable in real life, but aren't they fun to think about?

Gaia said...

Oooh, I love those responses. If someone called in and asked to speak to a man in our office, he'd be SOL - there are no men (with the exception of the 2 attorneys who don't take routine calls).

I'm going to have to share those with some of my office mates who attended the conference.