I keep meaning to share my outrage about Sunday, so here it is:
Sunday was Ladies' Night...at one of the branches of a local chain of hardware stores
I'm just going to give that a minute to sink in.
Ok. Mum dragged me along, which was why I was there. Basically, you showed up with the postcard they sent around and an obvious lack of a Y chromosome, and they gave you a goodie bag (more on that later) and let you in. The store, which was reasonably well-stocked (as long as you didn't need lumber and that kind of supply, but that might have been hidden), was full of women, which I suppose is good for the store. They had plates of cheap finger foods (fruit, veggies, cookies, little crackers with cheese on them) on every flat surface, and had representatives from some of the companies showing off their products. There was a woman showing off vacuum cleaners (with a mat that had four different kinds of carpet to test them out on, which was smart), a guy showing off coffee presses, etc. And there was a kind of hunky guy showing off Command
hooks. Very nice product, I'll admit, but I'm reasonably certain the group of 40-60-year-old women surrounding him and twittering
(not the web phenom) didn't really care.
Mum told me that we had a coupon along with the invite, and I needed a few things (an outlet plate and a door stopper for the apartment, plus a new set of tools which she did not let me buy
), so I let her drag me along. I found out after we were already on line to pay
that the coupon only worked if you had one of their discount card thingies. And Mum had known that when we were still at home, but didn't tell me so she could drag me along.
And the goodie bag? It was a reusable tote like the ones at the grocery store (useful), a set of cookie cutters (moderately useful, though most of my baking is freehand), and two assorted antique-style kitchen gadgets. Between us, we wound up with a fruit corer/slicer, a potato masher, a set of egg tongs
, and a bizarre angled-handle spatula that I'm not entirely sure how you're supposed to use.
Oh, and let me just add that if you looked at anything too long, a male
employee would rush over and help you...whether you liked it or not.
Now, I found all this incredibly patronizing. The clerks would not leave me alone, and I found it incredibly insulting that it was assumed that because I'm female I'll go running out because I was mailed something that said SALE, no matter where it was.
And seriously? I've cut steel. I've built platforms that have had sword fights on top of them. I ran wiring for a set of sconces mounted on 20-ft tall Styrofoam pillars. I was the primary repair person at my store for things like changing light bulbs, basic toilet repair, and the time the door hydraulic got torn halfway out of the frame and needed to be removed so the door could be closed
. I carry a Swiss army knife or a multi-tool on me on a regular basis. I may be a little biased, but I still think it's insulting to assume that I'm clueless and then try to get my money at the same time.
Mum thought it was just a "clever marketing scheme", and laughed at me when I fumed about it. Opinions from the peanut gallery?
(I almost used my "venting in progress" icon, but I thought this one was even more appropriate.)