Don’t call me honey.
Or darling or sweetheart or dear or baby. While you’re at it, if you could cut out the Miss or Ma’am as well, that would be great.
But please, don’t call me honey.
Really. Don’t. I can’t stand it.
Unfortunately this weekend, the guy at Home Depot didn’t really get the memo.
A little background. For the last little while (read: two months or more), our sink has been a little leaky, and getting worse on the regular. After googling, and testing things out, I was pretty sure it was the seal on the sink basket strainer that was gonzo, so then I started to google how to fix the damn thing. Days (maybe weeks?) later, I finally had enough of worrying about plastic containers and towels under the sink and off we went to Home Depot.
It was raining, and the kids were whiny, so I went in on my own. I picked out what I thought I needed but was looking for one last thing. Putty. All I needed was putty. I waited around really awkwardly while the Home Depot guy was helping some other dude. They were talking about all sorts of stuff I didn’t understand. All I needed was putty.
Finally, complicated plumbing issue dude walked away, and the employee approached.
“Hi there honey, did you need some help?”
I tried to ignore it. I just said “I just need some plumbing putty. I’m just hoping you can show me where it is?” That’s it. That’s all I said.
He then took the part that I had already picked out out of my hands (I didn’t even ask about the damn part!), and proceeded to question any knowledge or ability I might have.
“Do you know what you have here, honey?”
“Do you know this is a shallow basket?”
“Do you have the tail pipe?”
“Have you done this before, honey?”
“Is that a big enough wrench you have there?”
“Honey, are you doing this on your own?”
Honey. Honey. Honey. Honey. Honey. Honey. Honey. Honey.
That is ALL I heard. Honey.
Eventually he looked resigned, took a big breath, and slugged his way over to show me where to find the damn putty,
You know what dude? I actually had very little idea what I was doing – and I would have probably asked you some questions, or shown you the pictures I had taken before I left the house, or talked about the measurements I took if you had treated me like a capable adult. But, instead, you ‘honey’ed me into being so furious I could barely say two words to you.
Why on earth do people feel like this is ok? I have a pretty good feeling that if I had walked in there with my partner (a tall dude with a beard), that this salesperson would have assumed he knew what he was doing. In our case, that is far from the truth. The two of us are, if we’re honest, pretty useless with home repairs, but often I get frustrated enough first that I’m doing the research and figuring it out. Not too long ago I fixed a leaky toilet. This time, our kitchen sink. I’m a perfectly capable adult, and there is no need to question my knowledge or patronize me with pet names that he sure as hell didn’t use with the customer before me.
So I got back to the car, cursed out this total asshole, and became really really determined to figure out this repair.
And I did. I fixed the damn sink. I could probably have used some help. I’m usually ok with asking for help – even if I feel like it makes me look a little silly. I could have asked him some good questions. In fact, I HAD bought some of the wrong stuff, but it turns out I didn’t need it – thank goodness for receipts. I would have really benefitted having someone go over the process with me. Most tutorials said it would take under an hour. Well, for me, it took…a while, I had to watch about a million and a half youtube videos to figure it out, but I did it.
Friends on Facebook shared similar stories of being handed the pink coloured products, or treated as though they didn’t know what they were talking about when describing an electrical repair, all feeling as though these things happened because they were women. It’s not surprising, but it’s damn frustrating.
And so – I fixed my kitchen sink with the help of old Bob Vila youtube videos and home repair videos where all the repair people were men. The only women featured were doing the sidekick/helper job (in this case, holding the pliers to keep the drain basket straight while the dude used the wrench to tighten the nut (sounds like I know what I’m talking about here, doesn’t it?). Instead, over at my house, my partner cleaned the house, and held the pliers when I needed him to, and at the end, got to enjoy my little victory dance around the kitchen.
Because I fixed the kitchen sink all by myself.
With no thanks to you, honey.