Yesterday a (male) co-worker called me ‘woman’ out of anger. Never before in my life have I been reduced to my gender in place of my name.
The situation was not meant to be confrontational. I asked him to clean up after himself and he retorted with, “Jesus woman! It’s just a few dishes. How hard is it to put them away?’ MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY. Just because I am a woman does not mean that I am automatically there to clean up after you. You are more than capable of putting your dishes into the dishwasher, especially since I unload it every morning when I get in. I did not resort to name calling or degrading you in any manner. I didn’t send you an email or act in a passive way because I am an adult and if the roles were reversed, I’d want to know. I’d apologize and take responsibility. I am fair to a fault, even if it meant my own undoing. I admit when I’m wrong, I’ll admit when I was snarky, because two wrongs don’t make a right. But I wasn’t either of those in this circumstance and you lashed out and called me woman and tried to put me in my place which apparently is doing your dishes.
And today I got a phone call from another man asking for the principal of the firm. Being unavailable I asked the caller if I could take a message. Then the caller said, “I’d prefer to speak with a gentleman.” I said, “Excuse me?” and the caller said, “I’d rather deal with a man.” I told the caller never to phone this office ever again. They could have asked for another discipline and I would have been 100% okay with that, but they had to ask for someone not female. Seriously? What century do you live in? I happen to be the principal’s executive assistant, and chances are he’d pass whatever matter to me anyway.
I am balancing being livid and trying not to cry. There is no crying in the executive world, only on the phone when you need the airline to credit your non-refundable flights.