Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crossing the domains

I really, really hate going to car repair shops, tire shops or auto parts stores, and not just because I dread paying through the nose for an oil change or a new filter. I dread going there because I have entered the man's domain -- and I am not welcome there.

Now, to be fair, there are a few employees I have encountered that are nice and make me feel welcome and that they appreciate my business. But for the most part, each time I have to take my car in for a repair the man at the front desk seems to instantly shift into "stupid woman mode."

I don't consider myself a stupid woman, but there are certain things I have never been good at and probably never will be good at. Working on cars is one of them. And I can accept that. What I cannot accept is how men treat women at places like this. I have no idea what is wrong with my car most of the time, and, in all honesty, neither do half the men that bring their cars in. So why do men speak in patronizing tones when I show up, pocketbook in hand, to pay them for their services?

Let me put this in an analogy that will make my point clear. If I owned a fabric store and a man came to the front desk looking completely bewildered and asked me how to find brocade and tricot, I would not give him the "oh-great, another-dumb-man look." No! I would be flattered that a man, who is, usually, completely out of his domain would come into my shop and ask me for help.

Here's what I'm suggesting, then. The next time you start to roll your eyes or say something rude to someone who is apparently clueless, think about how you feel when you're out of YOUR domain and someone makes you feel completely worthless. Believe me, I have a lot to work on with being nice to people. But we can all start by "crossing the domains" and not belittling others around us.

1 comment:

  1. I love it!!! Great analogy too. I like the "kill them with kindness" technique myself.


Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.