As a woman. it’s awkward to be in a position where you know you’re not being treated right but you aren’t sure what to do about it. For a long time, men were the ones in relationships with jobs, money, and decision-making power.
It’s been decades since women could have jobs and speak when not spoken to but sometimes, salespeople still act like it’s the 50s. It’s really really frustrating.
Women on Reddit are sharing their experiences with sexism and being ignored by salespeople when they were a customer and if you’re a woman, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been through this too.
I had this with a new patio door – he walked in, looked me up and down, and outright asked if I had permission to make a decision on whether to accept their quote. When I said I had that power but wouldn’t be making a decision until I had spoken to a few more companies he said he had better come back ‘when the man is around to sort this out’. I told him he wasn’t welcome back in MY house and I would take my business elsewhere.
Their follow-up customer service call employee got a right ear full when they rang a few days later to see if my husband and I had had any more thoughts on the matter. Oh, I had some thoughts…
I’m an army veteran. My debit card is with a military-affiliated bank. Every time I pay for dinner at a restaurant they bring it back, set it in front of my husband, and say “thank you for your service.” My husband was never in the military. The card has my name on it, and sometimes they even watched me pull it out of my bag!
I have also been by myself somewhere, paid for something with the card, and had the person see the card, look at me and say “oh, was your husband or dad in the military?” Ummmmmm, no, no they were not. I was. Thank you.
(To be very clear I do not want or need to be thanked for my service)
My husband and I had our backyard completely dug up and relandscaped when we bought our house. The landscaper was an older guy, probably around my dad’s age, and my husband and I are pretty young to be homeowners, so I could kinda understand this dude’s condescending attitude. When he came over the first time to do the estimate he almost exclusively addressed my husband even though I’d made it clear I was the one who was doing the designing and knew what I wanted to be done.
When the work was done and I paid him, he kept looking behind me for my husband and almost didn’t give me the aftercare instructions for the new sod, saying he wanted to make sure it was done right so he’d email them to my husband. I finally snapped, “Give me the d*mn piece of paper, Bruce! I’m the one who will be home during the day to do the d*mn thing!” (I worked nights at the time). He reluctantly handed it over and called my husband the next day to make sure the lawn got watered. My husband told him, “You’d have to ask her, Bruce. She told you she’d do the d*mn thing” and hung up.
I had, indeed, done the d*mn thing.
This August, I bought a new truck and took my boyfriend with me. He is white and I am Mexican, we arrived at the dealership and I asked about the explorer they had front and center. The salesman comes over and is asking a bunch of questions to my bf. He told him it’s for me. I was ignored for the entire conversation.
I got up and started looking at the truck. A Hispanic Salesman comes and asks me if I need help. I was out of there within 1.5 hours keys in hand. Found my bf with the other salesman. I looked at bf and said I bought the one I wanted Manny G got me squared away. The look of utter disappointment and anger on the guy’s face was worth it. My bf chuckled and told said, “I told you she was the one buying.” Manny, you were great.
I (38F) caught some hunters trespassing on my property. I wasn’t rude to them at all, just waved from the other side of the field. The next day they show up at my house and one gestures towards the police car in the driveway and asks to speak to my husband about hunting in our woods. I was like “you can talk to him if you want, but that’s my cruiser and this is my land, not his.” They still insisted on getting permission from my husband.
Went with my then GF when she was car shopping. I drove us there cause she didn’t have a car at the time but was more than capable of affording one. We get there, she introduces herself to the dealer that came out and he starts showing us cars. He starts showing her cars and then would address me when talking about the vehicle. Like what kind of engine it has, mileage, etc. She would ask a question the guy would address the answer to me. I was pretty annoyed as I’m not mechanically inclined at all. I said “Why are you talking to me!” dealer stopped and looked confused. “She is the one buying the car not me. Just so you know she is a certified diesel mechanic, she knows way more about car bullsh*t than I do. Address her not me, I’m just the ride.” He stopped and then quietly talked to the gf the rest of the time.
My husband and I were buying a new mattress. It was a joint decision on the feel of it, but my decision for the price-point/warranty/etc because I was paying for it. In other words, all the stuff we actually needed the salesperson for. The salesperson was a fine guy, old-fashioned, not overtly rude, but he was definitely talking to my husband more than to me (the one with the money to pay). I noticed but, eh, I’m used to it, I was going to get my info and pay the man. Whatever.
My husband, bless him, wandered away all floaty, like he’d never seen a furniture store before (weird, but ok). Then he came back and said, “Hey, can I have some money? I’m going to go check out the (insert dumb little decorative thing in the other part of the store).” I was weirded out because I have never seen him care about a lamp enough to go examine it on his own and also we don’t… we don’t do that? But yeah, I said, sure, and handed him some cash.
The salesman IMMEDIATELY stopped paying attention to my husband. Suddenly, in his mind, I was wearing all the pants. He started asking me what I did for a living, etc and I was able to negotiate for a slightly lower price.
I love my husband so much. He knew exactly what he was doing.
I was trying to buy a TV about 10 years ago at Fry’s Electronics. Bf came along to help carry the big box. Every time I asked a question the employee would answer by turning to my bf and talking to him. Even when he said stuff like “IDK – it’s her TV” he still faced and made eye contact only with my bf. I was getting pretty irritated, the last straw was when I was handing him MY credit card and he turns to my bf to ask if he wants the 2 yr warranty. Finally, I snapped at him “IT’S NOT HIS TV. I AM BUYING THIS TV. STOP TRYING TO SELL IT TO HIM!” I was p*ssed and it was the most irritating and sexist customer service I’ve ever experienced.
My old teacher told me a story about a cold caller. A man phoned the house phone (this was around the 80s/90s when people still had house phones) asking for the man of the house to talk about changing suppliers for something or other. My teacher (a woman) told the man that her husband was away on a business trip and to call back the next day.
He called the next day, again asking for the man of the house, and she informed him that her husband had been delayed and to call back the next day. Then he called the next day, and she informed him that due to bad weather his flight had been delayed until later on that night, so please call back the next day. He called the next day, she put her husband on, the man asked about changing to his company’s service. The husband informing him that his wife dealt with all the bills and please talk to her. My teacher took the phone, said “No thank you” and hung up.
Not exactly this scenario, but it rankles me to this day. There was a particular car I wanted and I wanted it with a manual transmission, which was tough to find in that car. There was one at a local dealer that was near my office, so I stopped in during my lunch hour to see what they’d do on price. At the time, I was a young, professional woman in my twenties. The car was for me and I was paying cash.
I wander in around noon on a Tuesday. No one even acknowledges my presence though there was NO ONE else in the showroom. Finally, I go up to one of the salespeople and say “Hey, do you still have [model] car? I thought you had one in stock.” The guy looked at me, in total seriousness, and says in a very condescending tone, “Oh, honey, you don’t want that car, it has a manual transmission. Let me show you these others that would be better for you.”
Ummmm, wtf? After the initial shock wore off, I looked at him and said, “Well, first off, my name isn’t ‘Honey’. I have a name which you’d know if you’d bothered to ask. Second, I know what I want and don’t need you to tell me. I think we’re done here.” And, with that, I walked out the door.
I ended up finding the same model, manual transmission, at another dealership about an hour from my house. TOTALLY worth the drive. I did most of the deal over the phone. The salesman DGAF that I was female. We got to a price we could both live with and the deal was done. SO MUCH BETTER. Drove that car until about 10 years later.
The first dealership went out of business about a year later. Can’t say I’m surprised.
I’ve had a gynecologist speak only to my husband. I wanted to scream ‘He doesn’t have a uterus’ but I was too shocked.
Auto repair. Happens a lot. One time I described the problem to the guy at the desk as clicking when I turned the key and asked if they’d check the timing belt. They said I’d have to leave it so my husband arrived ten minutes later to pick me up. The mechanic came out and asked him what was going on with the car, never looking at me. I finally asked if he’d checked the timing belts as I’d asked the guy at the desk to do. He had not. I Gotta say mad turned to cocky when it turned out to be the timing belt.
Trying to collect a parcel from the post office that was addressed to both me and my husband. Was told that my husband had to come to collect it. I asked whether they meant both of us had to be there and the response was no just him. Needless to say, I was not happy and after a while of arguing they gave me the parcel.
We were looking into replacing our roof and found a metal roof company who was running a promotion, so I gave them a call and scheduled for someone to come out and give us a quote. I was able to answer all of his questions, but he refused to give me a quote without my husband present (with some “sign before we leave for best price” excuse), and was intent on driving back over the following day (when my husband would be home).
I called their main office shortly after he left and said I wasn’t interested in any high-pressure sales tactics, I just wanted a quote, and if they wouldn’t give that to me, the one who would be paying for it, then to not bother coming back out. Didn’t see them again. The three other roofing companies I contacted had no problem dealing solely with me.
Not a spousal thing but I work on male-skewing TV shows, and a lot of my colleagues are male. It happens from time to time overall, but there is one really the weirdly consistent instance.
We hire local drone operators all over the US and around the world. I’m the showrunner and I direct the shows, so when we meet our drone team I give them an overview of what we’re looking for. Conservatively, 75% of the time, follow-up questions will be directed to my male colleagues. No matter where we go, it happens. My colleagues are now in the habit of just staring back in response, letting it get real awkward, and then saying “ask her”.
I suffer long-term, degenerative problems from a TBI and I know I can’t go to the hospital without my husband or father. I’m a 30-something woman. There was one time I was more or less actively dying in a triage room and the doctor (male) asked my husband what my pain level was like. He did one of those cartoon dumbstruck faces and said he didn’t know what my pain level was and maybe the doc should ask me.
Another time, my mum shepherded me into A&E while my dad parked the car. The admitting staff didn’t want any info from her. Dad walked in and all the questions started. Dad was FURIOUS and let them have it – they’d wasted 10 mins where I could have been taken back in but insisted on waiting for the Male of the House to appear. The joke was on them – my dad doesn’t know anything!
Once I was out with a crew and we all went to get dinner. One guy asks at the end of the meal if they do military discount and the waitress said “we do! Are all y’all military?” He said yes (which we all were). Came back with the checks and everyone (10 males) except me(the only female) received a discount. My favorite one is when I was getting a nursery gift for my pregnant friend who was with me. Asked the floor salesman if they did military discount (taking about $80 off). When I went to go pay for the item, I showed my ID to the cashier. The girl said they don’t do spousal IDs. Politely informed her it was an active duty CAC.
What did you do when they didn’t give you the discount at the restaurant?
Nothing. $2 off dinner is not the hill I’m fighting for lmao
Edit: After an 18 hour day and ending it with a good dinner at a sit-down restaurant with a large number of coworkers, I’m not going to chastise a waitress who has probably also had a long day dealing with numerous patrons over what could’ve been a genuine mistake.
Will I correct someone when it’s earlier in the day, I’m wide awake, and I’m looking at $80 off a crib set for my expecting friend? You betcha. Big smile, point it out to them, give them the benefit of the doubt, and walk away with the savings that can go towards a few week’s worths of groceries.
Not me but my mom (I’m not married anyway). My parents were looking to get solar panels and invited several people over to give their recommendations and get a quotation. This one salesperson kept only looking at my dad, only responding to his questions and not hers and the quotation ended up being addressed only to my dad, not the both of them. My mom stood her ground and said that even if his offer was the lowest, they would not be choosing him. My mom is very anti-confrontational, so I was really proud of her.
Another time, I was helping my mom book plane tickets online for both my parents. Even though she filled her name in first, the online system suggested that my dad would be the ‘main booker’. My mom booked her tickets elsewhere.