Giving the brush off


I was in a stereo store looking at an iPod dock for my husband’s birthday. I asked the male sales assistant to talk me through the differences between two different models as audio equipment isn’t really my thing. He did so, but right at the end, just as I was about to say I would buy one, he showed me the way the dock folded up to be portable. “It’s easier to pack in baggage, and you’ll be pleased to note, it also makes it easier for you to dust.” I was going to tell him that since I’m the one who goes out to work while my husband works part time from home, it’s normally him that does much of the housework, but instead I just left without buying anything. He lost a good sale, but hey, #MFIF.

KMD, Oxfordshire


8 Responses to “Giving the brush off”

  1. teleen Says:


  2. Rufus Says:

    Hope you told him why. Pillock.

  3. Phil Says:

    This isn’t sexist.

    If he had said: “… and you’ll be pleased to note, as a woman, it also makes it easier for you to dust”, then that would be sexist.

    What he actually did was provide you, as a customer, some helpful information about the product. Given how easily these docks can accumulate dust I do not find it in the least bit extraordinary that he did so.

  4. Lotus Says:

    I don’t think you have much to complain about here. You mentioned audio equipment is “not your thing” so he gave you a run down of the features. Dusting is important for electronics lest they get screwed up. People who own them have to dust them. A store employee can’t be expected to know who exactly will be doing dusting (although “you” used by salesmen is usually an all-inclusive word anyway)

  5. PLandis Says:

    Uh, maybe your post doesn’t fully express the sales guy’s sexism, but a general comment about the product being easy to dust doesn’t imply that you are necessarily doing the dusting or that your husband doesn’t dust. Compared to most of the other posts here, I think you’re being too sensitive and in this case, it may may be your fault (regardless of gender).

  6. Heather Says:

    You do know, that male techno geeks actually dust their equipment themselves all the time right? He probably uses the same sales pitch with his male clients too.

  7. fis Says:

    Several commenters have pointed out that the words used by the salesperson can be interpreted in a non-sexist way. Short of some kind of recording of the event, we’ll never know for sure how the words were delivered, which would allow us to decide. However, we do have the next best thing: someone who was there at the time. She clearly thinks he was being sexist. I for one am going to give her the benefit of the doubt, and accept her assertion that he was being a bit condescending, possibly without knowing it, in making it sound like she would be dusting it even though the ipod dock was for her husband.

  8. Andrew Says:

    The irony here is that you have given in to a reverse sexism – you assume that because he spoke about dusting, he was talking about a woman’s role; in actual fact, ease of cleaning is a big concern in tech (it’s a factor for me when I purchase any item that sits around collecting dust).

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