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“But you are a women”

So contrary to the title, I’m a man. However, I don’t have a very deep voice, and my “professional” phone voice is a little higher still. I’m often mistaken for a woman, I’ve been referenced as “she”, flirted with by old men, outright called out on it, and given various female names that sound a little like my common man’s name. I’ve had “oh, sorry, it’s a poor line/I have a cold/I’m really embarrassed” and others just move on and pretend it never happened. I honestly don’t care, I’m not hurt or embarrassed or insulted, and being British I’ll often preface “I’m actually a man” with a “sorry”.

So many years ago I was working for a large British distance retailer, whose name rhymes with Shmittlewoods. I got the following call:

Customer – “I’d like to make a complaint. My girlfriend just called and she was referred to as sir and is upset about it.” The guy was angry, raised voice etc.

Me – “I’m really sorry, I totally sympathise with her, I get called she all the time and know what it’s like.”

Customer – “But you’re a woman!”

Me – “No, I’m not, I’m a man, like I said earlier you’re speaking to [only ever a man’s name]”.

Customer – “Oh I’m sorry, I thought you were a woman. Really sorry. Well, ok, erm, never mind then.”

And that was that.

What do you think?

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