I am a woman and I have a woman’s voice, a normal woman’s voice that I don’t think anyone even over the phone could mistake for a man’s… so when I pick up the phone and find that despite a blocker we are supposed to have, this is an unsolicited sales call from someone who is just phoning me at random from a list he has, and is probably phoning from another country, I am pretty irritated (typical English understatement) I am further infuriated by the person on the other end asking if he is speaking “to the man of the house“.
The man of the house? The man of the house? Surely that concept died when bra’s were first bunt? My aunty bought her own house in 1960, she didn’t have ‘a man of the house’; my mother-in-law was a widow for many years and sadly she didn’t have a man of the house either, and how upset she would have been to receive such a call.
However, despite my soaring irritation, I replied politely that I didn’t want to speak to him and ended the call. What would have been the point of yelling at or being abusive to the poor guy at the end of the line – he probably was a literally poor guy to be doing a job like that. He didn’t write the script he was reading, he wasn’t trying to be rude of condescending, he probably was on commission and me ending the call meant his pay packet would have been less. Both my son and daughter have worked in call centres, and they know what it’s like to have rude people on the end of the phone; my son, desperate for a job signed up to one of these ‘charities’ to go round knocking on doors asking for subscriptions – he started off full of enthusiasm and altruism, and within a few days was crushed by how he and the people who he signed up were being exploited to make money for the company… he gave up and then had to start looking for a job again. He was a student, living at home over the holidays, but the poor guy speaking to me probably had this as his only income.
I’m still annoyed, but really I should get over it, I can get on with my life, and don’t have to phone people up in set time slots, to ask if they are the man of the house…