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AIBU to think this is sexism (and wasn't just trying to be nice)?

(23 Posts)
WarmWinter Sun 18-Dec-16 03:02:36

I'm probably being sensitive, but thought I would ask (as my DH is doing my head in) angry

DD is 18, currently works part-time (in a supermarket) and was told to do a certain cage, she got it done quickly, so went to help her colleague. The store leader came out to help the other colleague and said to DD that it's okay as he can help, she asked that it's honestly fine as she has nothing else to do. He then reminded her 15 times to be careful (it was alcohol) and was telling the other colleague to 'hurry up as (DD's name) is holding something heavy' - DD says it really wasn't that heavy and that the other colleague was holding something heavier. DD has had no past experience of smashing anything, etc. so can't really see where it has come from. Other colleague is her age, so can't be because she is quite young.

To be honest, I know it isn't the biggest deal in the world, but DD says that she feels a bit crappy that he thought she couldn't do her job. It's DH who is pissing me off, saying that 'they were probably just trying to be nice to her' hmm

What do you think?

WarmWinter Sun 18-Dec-16 03:03:49

Oh, they then kept standing in the way of the cage, so she couldn't get any alcohol, then said she could go and work on a different cage...

WarmWinter Sun 18-Dec-16 03:04:24

Why do they think she isn't capable of lifting a pack of bear, etc.?

CondensedMilkSarnies Sun 18-Dec-16 03:05:00

I would take it that they were trying to be nice albeit it a bit of a cack handed way .

Araminta99 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:29:33

I'd be grateful they were trying to be nice. I don't understand why anyone would get annoyed at someone trying to be courteous!

holidaysaregreat Sun 18-Dec-16 03:34:13

I think they were cross with the other worker actually and were using it as a polite way of hurrying them up. I don't think it was intentionally aimed at her.

SF25 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:34:26

Nice/courteous?? Would they have done that for a man??

I'm with you OP, it's making the assumption she's going to drop it, not be able to hold it for long.

They wouldn't have done it for a man.

SF25 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:36:49

If they were just cross with the other worker, the other stuff makes no sense.

It happens all the time in work that requires lifting, etc. it's shit.

GirlOverboard Sun 18-Dec-16 03:51:21

Well it could be sexism, but equally it might not be. Men are typically bigger and stronger than women. If your DD is quite small then it's not necessarily sexist to be worried about her lifting something very heavy. For all we know he might have said the same to a small, skinny male employee (or an older employee). But if he's like this with all his female employees then yes it is quite sexist.

user1477282676 Sun 18-Dec-16 03:58:32

The store leader has probably been told on a health and safety course to watch out for smaller members of the team carrying items which could be too heavy, resulting in them injuring themselves. It is an issue in the workplace and a young man of 18 would be more able to heft boxes of alcohol than a young woman.

user1477282676 Sun 18-Dec-16 04:00:15

Oh and I once had a small female colleague drop a water filled weight on my foot. hmm She had been trying to carry it to weigh down an outdoor table and chairs and my manager had told her to wait as he would get it...she picked it up and dropped it right on my foot. Broke two toes and it was agony.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Sun 18-Dec-16 04:25:11

Wilkos has recently been in court for health and safety breaches regarding using a cage that was over loaded compared to the petite worker using it. An accident occurred, resulting in spinal injuries that mean she has to permanently use a wheelchair. There was specific reference to the relationship between her size and the cage in the ruling amongst other factors.

I'm small. I'm stronger than I look, but in absolute terms I'm still considerably weaker than the average man. I physically have less muscle through being female and it would require substantial physical training to reach the strength that an average man would have by default. My grip is weaker than average because my hands are small so the pressure through them is greater.

I'd say that it wasn't sexism, more an attempt at reasonable adjustment.

Atenco Sun 18-Dec-16 04:42:50

I'm good a carrying heavy things but I still appreciate if someone wants to help me - and I'm a feminist.

The problem would be if she was not allowed to take a better paying job that required lifting, because she is a woman.
In my young day, women would never be given decent paying jobs that required lifting but I worked in a hospital laundry where an awful lot of heavy lifting was required for minimum wage and nobody batted an eyelid because it was woman's work.

melj1213 Sun 18-Dec-16 04:51:40

As other posters have said it might have been to do with health and safety and her size in comparison to the cage, but equally if it was the store leader coming to work with the other colleague, it could have been that the other colleague was working too slow to hit their replenishment targets and they were assessing them and your daughter was interfering with that but they didn't want to say outright that was what they were doing as she had no right to that information.

I also work in a supermarket, albeit on the front end of services, but anyone who works on the shop floor will have specific targets and numbers of cages or pallets to replenish during a shift. If they are working too slowly it will get flagged to their section leader. In my store, if a colleague has been flagged, the section leader will usually go and help the colleague so that they can see what exactly is taking them so long - their technique; their natural task speed; are they chatting to other colleagues and not focussing; the fact they don't have a box cutter so are having to fiddle around wasting time trying to open each box by hand; they genuinely have too much to do in the time allotted - so that they can speak with the colleague regarding specific strategies about how to improve their quota and hit their targets.

Or perhaps it's none of those things and in fact your daughter was actually messing up her other colleague's personal replenishment system but they didn't want to be rude and say that outright to someone who was so insistent on helping, which was why your daughter was left holding heavy boxes for a while as they weren't ready for them, why they were apparently getting in her way to stop her helping etc. Perhaps in future suggest your daughter finds her supervisor if she has finished her cage to se what is next on the list of jobs needed completing.

scaryclown Sun 18-Dec-16 05:03:39

Heavy lifting damage is cumulative. .you can lift weights you feel you can handle but still be damaging yourself. crates of beer are 12kg and awkward and often the lifting maximum is 11kg..

its more likely to be sexist in the 'men are expendable' way than in the 'women are weak' way.

in this case though it was probably just as much a 'ni, you've been quick, so you take it easy..its this duffer who needs to know that if they are skow, they have to wirk for longer. . i will 'help ' but not do it all for them!

Boomerwang Sun 18-Dec-16 05:19:30

I actually think there should not be a blanket assumption of any person's capability, male or female. I think it's simpler and more satisfying to all to simply ask/speak up. In this case the woman felt happy with the work she was doing and said so. At that point she should have been left to get on with it until she needed help, when she would ask for it.

I'm a 37 year old woman going on a lumberjack training course next month. I do not expect to sit on my arse all day while a man does it all for me.

WarmWinter Sun 18-Dec-16 05:40:32

Nope, this is an express type store so runs differently and store leader helps on shop floor a lot, but only if extra hands were needed, they don't have set cages either, they all work through them, as there are only a few and as they were all done, they're told to work on any ones that people are working on. I've worked in this company when I was younger, so I'm not just taking all this from DD.

I think PP is right about just assuming that a man is stronger, my DD is a black belt in Karate and is very strong, potentially stronger than the man in question, but you're supposed to assume the man is stronger? hmm isn't this part of the issue!?

Anyway, clearly in minority, so I'm out smile

pklme Sun 18-Dec-16 06:21:09

Another possibility, the boss's wife has had a prolapse so he's hypervigilant about women lifting stuff which is too heavy! Men have to look after her back, we have to look after back and pelvic floor!!

claraschu Sun 18-Dec-16 06:51:30

That's a lot of new info OP. Maybe it was sexist. Has your daughter told the management that she is stronger than she looks because of her training?

GreatFuckability Sun 18-Dec-16 06:57:54

To be fair, i wouldn't be able to lift a pack of bears.

Temporaryname137 Sun 18-Dec-16 06:58:49

An attempt to be nice and practical, I think. Men are not cleverer or better than women. Men are usually stronger than women - and this was a purely physical task.

If they had said, "no no, we will cash up," or "we will deal with this difficult customer", that would be more likely to be sexist IMO.

OnTheUp13 Sun 18-Dec-16 07:38:40

I'd be encouraging my DD by giving her the words & confidence to question them and ask if they thought it was sexist.

She's likely to feel like this regularly and I'd been keen to equip her with the tools to question in a polite manner rather than stewing on it and feeling bad later. No one wants to feel like that.

EnormousTiger Sun 18-Dec-16 07:39:38

I carry a lot of heavy loads and I suspect that's one reason at my age I'm rarely ill and am quite strong. I love being strong. I don't think she needs to worry about this but it is a bit sexist. I would rather someone were offering to carry heavy loads though than suggesting she is paid 50% of a man's wage for the same job so it's not really the worst sexism around.

I love being quite strong although there are certainly women my age who are stronger and I think as we get older it's very important women keep lifting things - doesn't have to be at a gym, can be heavy toddlers, boxes at work, shopping. It keeps us fit. Good for your daughter.

However as we all know it's dead easy to lose a job and be branded a trouble maker so she just needs to be careful if jobs are short around where you are that she doesn't shoot herself in the foot particularly as the male boss probably just thought he was being kind.

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