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Plumbing the depths of disrespect

Really, I shouldn’t complain. This has been a wonderful week. The big project I’ve been busy with celebrated its birthday, and I’ve been on the receiving end of an amazing list of special surprises — including one that sparkles and one that will drastically improve my home life, as well as visits from the Tulip Fairy, Orchid Fairy and Cupcake Fairy (no, I’m not sharing them).

I spent Wednesday with my best girl, having our nails done, lunch at the tea shop, window shopping in the mall.

If not for the fact that this sinus infection will not let up, it’d be a perfect week.Today, the boss took pity on me (thank you, Boss).

The plan was to get the grocery shopping out of the way, slip into my sweatpants and take up a book for the rest of the afternoon, leaving the work til tomorrow, when — hopefully — the brain fog clears.

You can imagine my angst, then, to pull into the driveway and find the garage door wide open and all the lights on, but no one inside. In short order, someone from the plumbing company that installed our furnace 14 months ago returned.

Given that we’ve been trying to get them to fix some glitch or other since the darn thing was installed (and paid for), I didn’t think it unreasonable for me to stop by my own garage and ask him how it was going.

Bad idea.

He was just here about the fan, he said. I asked about the banging we keep calling about and got a very  defensive reply that ended: “Do you have a man? Is there a husband?”

W. T .F?!!!!

He continued in that vein before I cut him off and called him on his attitude, making it clear that no man would stand in MY house and speak to me that way. He quickly backpedaled, but by then, the damage was done.

Listen, I’m no stranger to being second class. I waitressed my way through college putting up with men in business suits cracking wise about my serving them “city gin” while they tried to look down my blouse.

I worked for 20+ years as a journalist — a profession where even the men are sometimes viewed as second class.

And I’m an adoptee who is by law not permitted access to my health or family records, for pete’s sake.

But it was too much to have this twentysomething neanderthal refuse to discuss the finer points of furnaces with me because I’m not a man.

How is it that in the 21st century, there are still men who think having breasts negates having brain cells? I nearly threw him out, but thankfully had the sense to realize he was holding the fan parts. So I hung out and silently watched while he finished the job. (In case you’re wondering, yes, I had to endure “plumber’s crack.”)

Later, I spoke with his boss, a milquetoast type who said he would “talk to” the guy.

Fat lot of good that will do.

About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.


7 thoughts on “Plumbing the depths of disrespect

  1. I understand exactly who you mean by disrespectful plumbers. Fine, they are there to do a job but it is not their home it is ours and disrespect to females seems to be on the increase My husband was in Dublin on business when our new central heating was being installed We left the garage and side gate open for access and asked them not to use the front door and to close the back door behind them as it was high summer and lots of flies about. Did they do it – no they didn’t and I came home to find every door of our house open to all and sundry and them eating on the patio. I saw
    red and told them I had told them on several occasions to close the doors for security and to stop flies entering the house – one of them piped up but we were upstairs I said you are not upstairs you are on my patio eating. From then on things went downhill – they left an unholy mess and virtually every room. Disgusting behaviour from men who have a trade but no manners and use bullish tactics to make a point.

    When I leave a review on their website it won’t be a good one..we wait to see how the central heating works and when I receive their invoice for payment, which I am paying for – me a woman I will advise them that the review I will leave will be 100 per cent honest. Obviously they don’t need the business if they can go around treating their customers this way. Equality – that’s a joke some men are still living in the dark ages.

    Posted by fiona | August 31, 2013, 2:54 am
  2. You go Girl!

    Posted by Jacquie | February 18, 2012, 7:41 pm
  3. Terri, you’re a girl after my own heart! After reading all your blogs, I’m thinking it would be fun to get together for coffee someday! What stories we could tell!
    Aside from the guy who seems to be lacking in social skills, I love to read about your relationship with your daughter. My daughter and I also enjoy a close relationship. She’s almost 18, and we’ve gotten through the teen years somehow without her hating me! Score!

    Posted by Celia Taylor | February 18, 2012, 9:06 am
  4. As usual, right on point! So typical. I once made an appointment with a window replacement company, the account rep of which actually called the day before to confirm Not the appointment–but that the man of the house would be there. Needless to say, there was no appointment, nor any further conversation after I banged the receiver down!

    Posted by Abbie | February 17, 2012, 8:32 pm

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