'Can I speak to HIM please'

(50 Posts)
StickEmUp Thu 10-Oct-13 19:46:06

Just a little one. Answering Phones at work:

Me: Hello Stick Speaking
Him: Hello may I speak to the marketing manager?
Me: No I am afraid marketing are in a meeting, can I take a message?
Him: That's okay I can call back. When can I call to speak to HIM
Me: You can call and speak to HER when SHE is out of her meeting
Him: Okay great ..name please etc ...

At this point he did sound a nice man so I did give some contact for marketing.

The funny bit is I did actually emphasis the HER and SHE, but in a funny way not horrible as I have to be nice unless someone swears at me.

Thing is; I know he didnt really consciously thing, 'this person MUST be a man' that makes no sense. So I do not blame him personally.

But I do find, managers and people high up tend to be men, so he said wirthout thinking based on what years of having eyes must do to you wink

I also made a comment to my MD that most people who come to see us (we work with retailers) are all in ties (men).

We went on to have a nice conversation about the fact he sees more and more women in these management roles. (I am talking CEO and just below, not middle management, or he wasnt anyway)

Interesting.

sashh Sat 12-Oct-13 08:25:32

My parents ran a business from home, my mum doesn't have many feminist tenancies, she believes it is easier for boys to learn to drive because they are mechanically minded - that sort of thing.

But if she answered the phone and someone asked to speak to her manager her answer was always, "I'm sorry there is no manager available, would you like to speak to a director?"

She would then wait, the person on the other end would wait for the sound of a cal being put through and eventually say "Er I thought you were putting me through to a director?"

"Yes I have, I am a director, what's the problem?"

MorrisZapp Sat 12-Oct-13 08:36:39

I have to make phone calls every day which begin by me saying 'may I speak to the duty manager please'. Sometimes I'm already speaking to them, usually I'm not. I think its fair to ask for the manager if that's who you need to speak to. The person answering can then say, yes its Sandra speaking, I am the manager, how can I help, or they can say hold on, putting you through or whatever.

I don't see any problem with not knowing the job status of somebody answering a phone.

I think you're missing the point, Morris. We're objecting to the assumption that the person in charge is a man. Hearing a female voice answer, not knowing what her role is and saying "May I speak to the duty manager please?" is fine.

However, hearing a female voice answer, assuming she's the receptionist and saying "I'm looking for the duty manager, could you put me through to him please?" is not fine.

Thants Sat 12-Oct-13 17:27:43

I hate this too op. Anyone in power is assumed to be a man. I hate letters addressed 'Dear Sirs', grrr!
Animals and toys are always boys too which is especially odd when talking about hens... It's weird that no one ever questions this.

WhentheRed Sat 12-Oct-13 17:52:46

Our bank called our home.

Bank caller: I'd like to speak to Mr. WhentheRed
Me: May I say who is calling?
Bank caller: It's X from Y Bank. I am calling about some new products.
Me: If it's about our banking, you can talk to me. I am his wife.
Bank caller: No thanks, may I speak with Mr. WhentheRed?

Give the phone to DH. Bank caller launches into bonhommie small talk and sales pitch.
DH: I'm afraid I can't help you. My wife handles all our finances, you'd have to speak to her.

clam Sat 12-Oct-13 18:11:26

My friend answered the phone to an elderly neighbour who asked to speak to "the man of the house." She asked what it was concerning, and he said it was about trimming the trees on their boundary. Friend said that that was her department, but neighbour said, no, he preferred to speak to her husband!
Tough luck, he was abroad at the time and anyway, my friend was so furious that she wouldn't have let her husband deal with it.

SplitHeadGirl Sat 12-Oct-13 18:26:44

What the hell??? WHY are people so unthinking?? I can't believe how NARROW so many people's lives are.

Portofino Sat 12-Oct-13 18:28:56

In my previous job I used to visit a lot of companies with my (male) junior bod. I reckon in about 90% of cases they assumed he was my boss. The fact he was older than probably didn't help. It used to give me the rage.

Portofino Sat 12-Oct-13 18:30:03

And in restaurants it annoys me that the default is to give the bill/credit card reader to dh.

jasminerose Sat 12-Oct-13 18:37:25

With the husband thing it does depend on how much you deal with the finances. Our council tax bills have always come as Mrs and Mr being that was round since we were 20. I didnt even request that its just once they know whose in charge they dont often speak to the other one.

SplitHeadGirl Sat 12-Oct-13 18:59:33

Will it change,do you think?? Will one day the norm be to think the WOMAN is the boss, or the breadwinner??

jasminerose Sat 12-Oct-13 19:16:42

It will be normal for your dds if you did it.

Portofino Sat 12-Oct-13 19:24:14

The norm should be to ASK not just assume.

I hope it will never be the norm to expect that the woman is the boss/breadwinner (realistically, I doubt it would ever happen - if we can't even achieve equality, we're rather unlikely to ever achieve superiority).

What I hope will happen is that no-one will make any assumptions about anyone based purely on their gender.

And I think it is (very, very slowly) happening.

jasminerose Sat 12-Oct-13 19:25:05

A lot of people do ask. Its not that common to assume except with the proper old schoolers.

(though the Kinder egg thread has me despairing)

Oinkypig Sun 13-Oct-13 20:06:14

I'm a dentist, this was the worst example I've had happen to me. I was doing an assessment for a general anaesthetic for a child, introduced myself as the dentist, took radiographs, discussed risks, advised what would happen on the day, how the child would be after. At the end the parent said 'thats fine when will the dentist be here
won't HE want to check the teeth that need to come out' this was only 3 years ago. I'm still not sure who the parent thought I was to be honest.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Sun 13-Oct-13 20:22:46

Oinky - angry

MsJupiterJones Sun 13-Oct-13 23:42:58

I've been lucky enough to work with several brilliant technical managers - who happen to be women. They put up with this on a daily basis (particularly the one with the androgynous name.)

As a manager I've also been doubted, on one occasion a customer insisted on speaking to my 'boss' - actually my deputy - as he hadn't got the answer he wanted. My deputy politely redirected him back to me and his face fell.

Oh and any emails addressed to Dear Sir/s get a reply addressed to Dear Ms Whoever. It's enjoyably passive aggressive.

Ms Jupiter I get a lot of 'Dear Sirs' emails for my job in Highways. I also respond with 'Dear Ms'! thlgrin

I had a bloke round quoting for work to the house - discussing the neighbours and whether it would affect them / he said (gesturing left) "he won't mind because xxxx" and (gesturing right) "he won't mind because xxx"

Both houses are owned by single women - one widow, one unmarried woman. I didn't give him the work because he patronised me throughout the discussion and that sentence made it quite clear why...

What actually is the correct way to address a 'Dear Sirs' letter?

MortifiedAdams Tue 15-Oct-13 09:27:35

I get this, "Can I speak to the Manager on Duty?" and I walk.out, only just over 5', under 30 and of course, female. Then when I help them fetch and carry stuff, "ooh, can you manage? Do you need me to find a man to help?" - "No thank you, this is 2013".

MsJupiterJones Tue 15-Oct-13 09:34:11

Dear Madam/Sir is fine... (or the other way round if you must!)

Dear CompanyName always sounds a bit 'generic sales email' to me but is a possibility.

If anyone was looking up the email address of my company they would be hard pressed to miss the name of the person they are trying to reach so they could just put that.

slug Tue 15-Oct-13 11:18:16

I manage a big IT system. I'm frequently asked if I can put through calls to my manager so he can sort out issues.

<<sigh>> My manager is also female, but she's my line manager, she knows next to nothing about the technicalities. All she ever does is redirect the calls back to me.

I also often see emails and letters addressed to "Dear Mr Slug's-first-name" I have an obviously female name. My full name and my bloody picture are on the website, which will have been where they got my email address from. I reply with Dear Ms as well.

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