From the time I was a kid, my parents told me that I could do anything I put my mind to, be anything I wanted to be, and live the life I wanted to live. While that might be a bit extreme, I've never really had the mentality that because I was female I couldn't do things that men could do. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an active feminist, and I don't believe that I'm nearly as strong as most men, but I feel that answering phones is a job in which sex doesn't matter.
Not apparently so, for one of my recent callers, Mr. Johnson*. Upon hearing my voice on the other end of the line, he demanded to speak with a man. I politely told him that I couldn't transfer his call to a man but that I would be more than happy to answer his question. He wanted to know why he wasn't able to watch the Yankees game that afternoon. When I told him that due to MLB regulations, certain games were blacked out for those not in "Yankee territory", he went crazy.
Mr Johnson: Get me a man! You have no idea what you're talking about!
Me: I assure you sir, a male employee would be telling you the exact same thing. I'm not making this up, I'm reading the memo they sent us.
I then read him, verbatim, the memo that had been given to us by the company.
Mr Johnson: You're just a girl, what would you know?
Me: The same thing as a man sir. We all read the same memos here. I'm sorry, but Rhode Island isn't in Yankee territory.
Mr. Johnson: ahhh, get back in the kitchen *click*
I understand that he was older and frustrated that he couldn't watch his game, but the angle he came at me with was unbelievable to me. It didn't upset me and I maintained a professional attitude throughout the call (again, I value that paycheck) but what happened to common courtesy and respect? It's not like he needed me to analyze the game/stats/players, he wanted to know why it wasn't airing for crying out loud.
Either way, there will always be people out there that hold archaic opinions and I've learned that I have to learn to smile and nod and be a polite and friendly person. The way every woman should be.
*names have been changed to protect the ignorant