A.i.R – Being a chick in a ‘dude’ store

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Because the sexism talk hasn’t been done before! Wait, it has? A whole bunch? So much so it’s getting old? Meh.

(Promise I’ll try to keep this short–we don’t need to hash and rehash all the same things that have been said before, right?)

Last Adventures in Retail post I had a quote from Job One that made me think of other instances of sexism at my jobs; it seemed only appropriate that I make a separate post about it. To get it over with. I apologize, because I know this has been done before. A lot. But not by me. I want a turn, because I’m a selfish greedy baby.

Let’s start with last week’s quote that started this oncoming mess. “Don’t you have a, another coworker here? A manager?”

When this one came up, nope, I was there on my own, if I remember right. Answered his question and sent him on his way. No mans here, sorry. Many times I would like to lie and say something like, “I am the manager, you punk.” My luck I’d get caught in the lie, though.

On another occasion, a gentleman asked a similar question, only worded a little differently. “Can I talk to one of the young gentleman, instead?” At the time I was the only female working there. My coworker(s) was otherwise occupied, and we could both see this. But sure, let’s go interrupt him, to make you feel better.

The best part was, in this case, my coworker was not exactly sure about the answer, but I knew it (shockingly; for all my talk, lots of electronic things baffle me), and answered the man’s question anyway. He still turned to my coworker for validation.

Third occasion from Job One was another, “Well, I’d still like to talk to the manager. Is he here?” The lovely emphasis again.

Previously my manager had been male, but we’d recently had another manager come fill in because he’d quit, and our store was dying a slow death. (We were closing soon.) “Sure, I’ll go get the manager.” My manager was in the back, and so I ran back to let them know a customer wanted to speak to them.

And so I bring Victoria. The man’s face when he saw her almost had me laughing out loud.

Once Victoria gives him the same spiel as me and he finishes with his purchase and information, she turns to me and says, “He could have asked you.”

“He did. Wanted the male manager to verify I was right, though.”

“Oh. Not the first time I’ve seen that.” Victoria had, I’m sure, dealt with numerous instances of this before, especially since she was from a bigger store than ours.

It just kills me that this is still an issue. Do you honestly think I’d have the job if I didn’t have some competency in the subject? No, I don’t know everything, but I know enough to get me by and answer the majority of questions that come in.

I just feel like at this point we should all be over the fact that, yes, we’re different, but that doesn’t mean one ‘group’ is less capable or what-have-you than the other(s). A girl can buy/sell electronics, a guy can buy/sell/wear make-up, etc., etc.

Then again, I ask the rhetorical question, “Do you think I’d have the job if I didn’t know shit?” But I know and have seen that this isn’t always the case. Hell, one of my jobs (I’ll decline from offering which, though it may be obvious) my manager hired females on a couple of different occasions because they were ‘pretty.’ The first I’m not entirely sure on the details of, but the second I am.

Apparently she’d come in one day looking for a job, and while my manager was busy with helping another customer, she supposedly spoke with another customer about the products we sell and sounded decently competent. So to simplify, she was hired. Huzzah.

Turns out she’s a lazy shit who likes to sit on her phone in a corner and do nothing and doesn’t know hardly anything. She even had a friend stay with her and help her do her job, which isn’t that hard in the first place, and allowing her in restricted areas of the business. Multiple times. She was often blasé and borderline if not entirely rude to customers and scarcely got any work done, and I was usually the one that cleaned up after her and had to deal with angry customers. Suffice it to say I was getting pissed about it and wanted her gone.

I would ask my manager time and time again why she was still on the damn schedule, because she was basically a waste of space and hours. We had other associates begging for those hours, and they actually worked and did things right. The manager is known for being terrible at getting around to firing people anyway, but finally he was honest with me and said it was because she was good looking that he’d even hired her in the first place.

Really? Knowing him as I do, I had suspected as much from early on. I found myself being upfront and asking, “Have you slept with her?”

He acted (acted being a keyword) slightly affronted at my question, but he knew that I knew him better than that. But he swore up and down that he had never, would never touch her. She was apparently crazy (as are all the women he associates with, according to his stories) and flirting with him a lot and wanting ‘hookups’ (in various senses) most of the time anyway, so he would never do anything with her. Not to mention she was like, eighteen, nineteen? Barely legal, basically. God forbid.

Found out not too long ago he actually did. Sleep with her, I mean. I was so shocked. Oh my goodness. Can you glean the surprise from my words? ‘Cause if you can it’s false or you’re lying. At least she was of age, my god. Still not sure if he slept with her during or after her employment… Or both.

Anyway, my original point is that not everyone is hired for the position they’re in because of actual aptitude and knowledge for the position. In my case this was true (somewhat–still not an electronics expert, sorry Job One), but it’s not saying much when a pretty, stupid monkey gets the same job as me simply because of that first quality. In fact it’s infuriating and really lowers my worth (self and otherwise).

Ha, hell, that actually reminded me. I didn’t know this until about a year ago when my manager felt like sharing with me, but I guess the main reason I got Job Three (gaming store) was because I was a chick. They wanted a girl in there who knew some stuff, but to balance out the men, as there were (at least) four men working there at the time.

So sure, I knew things, and I would learn as I went, but I only really got the job because I have tits. The manager that hired me is not my current manager, but I could see the current one pulling the same move. Have seen him.

Sorry, promised myself I wouldn’t go too far down this path. But I wanted to get this out there.

Overall point: I’m slightly amazed this is still a thing happening while simultaneously accepting that it will probably never go away. Because we’re human, or something. There’s no excuse, we’re just lazy and set in our ways, among other things.

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