Newsflash: Having 2 ‘X’ chromosomes does not prevent someone from having the authority, or the ability, to make decisions.
Now that I have educated everyone, let me explain why I need to share this information:
Not too long ago, a vinyl siding salesman came to our door. Our house is stucco on the upper level, and we have actually been contemplating siding, so I talked to the guy for a bit.
After about ten minutes of trying to “sell” me on his product, he wanted to set up an appointment for his crew to come do an estimate. I said I was pretty flexible since I am home most days, and he said “but when is your husband home?”. I said that didn’t matter, and that I was allowed to be involved in home renovations. (I had almost single-handedly managed the renovation of most of our first floor. I think that shocked him.)
The salesman kept pushing me to set up appointment for the weekend and I said no, I could manage it alone during the week. Our weekends are so busy that I would rather not worry about having to be home during a range of time when people may or may not show up. He refused to have an estimate done without my husband’s involvement. I was so insulted, so I told him to forget it and told him we were just not interested. (I then promptly got back to preparing dinner and making sure my husband’s newspaper was waiting for him at the table with his gin and tonic. HA!)
Incidents like these are not isolated. I cannot tell you how many phone calls I get for my husband during the day. When I tell the caller he is not available, they always ask if I am his spouse. When I say yes, they always ask me if I am “authorized” to make decisions regarding this or that. I always tell them that my husband does not allow me to think for myself and hang up. There is no way I am going to give any business to anyone that treats me like a second class citizen. I am sure that if my husband answered the phone that they would not ask if he had his wife’s permission to make decisions independently.
Previously, I had written a post that provided some tips for sales people. I am going to reiterate here that possibly the most important thing a sales person should do is make sure they treat each and every customer with the utmost respect, regardless of who they are, how they dress, the car they drive, etc. If I find a sales person offensive, I will not give their product a chance, no matter how great the price or terms of service are. Maybe my ego will prevent me from saving money, but at least I know that I am not financially contributing to a company that hasn’t realized yet that women actually can think for themselves, and are capable of making many decisions in life! (Even Wilma Flintstone had a charge card and went on shopping sprees! Although Fred didn’t handle that very well. But really, who was the smarter one in that relationship? It wasn’t Wilma who was getting caught up in some nonsense in every single episode.)
Have you ever been totally insulted by a sales person?