Tuesday, August 01, 2006

OK, Fine Don't Take My Woman Money

As I was on my way out this afternoon the phone rang. It was a soliciter trying to make small talk about the heatwave. Yeah it's hot, it's so hot the last thing I want to do is make meaningless small talk about how hot it is. If Chris answered the phone, he would have collected all of the company's information and reported them because we're on the on the no solicitor call list and Chris is very law abiding. I don't report unsolicited calls, I usually just tell them not to call again and hang up, but today I interrupted the annoying chitter chatter and said, "What can I do for you?" The solicitor explained See-Thru Windows and Doors was offering free estimates for windows. That is probably the one thing I am interested getting a call about. Our windows leak a ton of air, especially in Gideon's room, and they're all painted shut. This year there's a tax credit if you replace your windows with energy saving ones, so this might be the year I get them.

I told him yes, I would like a free estimate and arranged a time for them to come by tomorrow. He said he'd have to call back tonight to confirm. I asked why, I could give all the information he needed now. He said he had to call back. I told him I'm out the door and won't be back until 8 p.m. He said he'd call me from his home number because he's very dedicated to his job (oh aren't we all). I told him that won't be good because my son will be asleep and I don't like the phone ringing that late, so I gave him my cell phone number to call.

Great he said, then he asked if my husband would be home during that time as well. I said no, just me. He asked if we could schedule a different time when my husband would be home. I said no, there is no need for my husband to be here -- I handle these things, not him. He asked if I'm the sole homeowner because they need both homeowners to be there when the guy comes for an estimate. That's not going to happen, I tell him. He says, Ok, I'm sure we can get an exception.

Ten minutes later the "VP" of the company called to confirm, but said they can't send an estimator unless my husband is present because they're contractors and don't get paid for doing estimates and too often they come once and then have to come a second time when the other homeowner is present. I told him I wouldn't ask for a second visit since I make these decisions and am the only person they need to deal with. He said they can't do that so I ended the call with "Then I guess we can't do business together" and hung up.

We have owned our home for 11 years and had numerous estimators for a variety of projects come by. More often than not, only one of us have been present. This has never been an issue before and for a moment was perplexed until the obvious struck me.

We need both "homeowners" is code for we need your husband there because you're a ninny woman and aren't capable of deciding what kind of windows your home needs and surely aren't allowed to make financial situations of such magnitude. If we send a guy out there, you're gonna waste his time hemming and hawing oh my gawd, this is so complicated, going on about baking, Bloomingdales and how you need to discuss this with your husband.

I only pull the "I need to discuss this with my husband" when I'm trying to blow you off or when you're an auto mechanic not listening to what I'm saying and I decide your punishment is speaking to my angry, hard-ass husband who first heard all about the situation from my point of view and wants to tear your throat out for disrepecting "his woman." You think I'm difficult? Meet my chosen mate. At least I'm cute when I'm pissed off. The husband is very large and scary. You really want to deal with me.

This asshole company missed an opportunity for thousands of dollars of business because they refused to deal with a woman. Like I was going to pay them in tampons.


At 12:11 PM, Blogger 32poems said...

I've heard of people claiming to sell windows coming to give an estimate when they really want to case the inside of a house. I guess these people are legit since they didn't want to show up there without your husband...just something to keep in mind in case someone else calls and is a crook.

I always prefer to have DH around because I don't want to be in the house with a man I don't know unless I've REALLY perfected all of my kungfu moves.

Sorry they were jerks.

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Harrlynn said...

they weren't jerks; it had nothing to do with reb being a woman. it's a pretty common practice, especially with the kind of company reb was dealing with. bottom line is this; never do business with somebody who calls you up.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Reb said...

I was on the phone with them, they were jerks and I don't believe for a second they'd insist on my presence if they were dealing with my husband. I've had countless estimators come to my house and was never required to have anyone else here. But you're right about not doing business with people who call and I took a page out of my husband's playbook and filed a complaint with the do-not-call registry.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Harrlynn said...

well, reb, what you believe, and what is the truth, are two different things altogether. it doesn't make sense for them to discriminate against a woman so blatantly, especially when they could've had somebody out to your home in a heartbeat, trying to sell you, a woman, all kinds of stuff. i mean, really, what salesperson, doesn't love to see a woman coming.

i think some companies, like the one you dealt with, and a few that i've dealt with (yes, i have more experience in these matters, accept it), just prefer to have the household partners on the same page at the same time. that way there's no argument later on in the process. no do-overs when chris comes home and decides he hates what you've done to the place. it's always offensive, but they've chosen to do their business this way, to insulate against the dreaded do-over.

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Reb said...

Well thank you ever-anonymous Harrlynn -- how could anyone question or disagree with your righteous wisdom? Thanks for stopping by and continue on with that happy and fullfilling life you have.

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Harrlynn said...

oh, and reb, one other possibility here, is that it might be against the law not to get consent from both household partners for this kind of contract work. and this company probably wants to move quickly, to get your decision and then sign the papers all at the same moment. they are not coming out to sell to you, so much as seal the deal. if your husband isn't going to be there, they can't move fast enough. it's all about high pressure, high prices, get in, get out, make the contract, and send out their crew of eastern european immigrants who will do a pretty decent job.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Harrlynn said...


At 6:32 PM, Blogger Harrlynn said...

so, essentially, they were jerks, just not for the reasons you originally thought. tapos na ako.

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Harrlynn said...

and surely you can feel the joy i get from helping you sort out your life.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Abulsme said...

Brandy got this quite a few times from contractors while we were in Florida. I let her deal with all that stuff. She is better at it than I am. If I was there I'd just tell them to talk to her anyway and go hide somewhere.

Best example: We got a new pool pump. It was already installed and everything, but part of the "service" was that they would give us a lesson on the proper care and cleaning of the pump and associated filters, etc. It took quite a lot of convincing for them to agree to show BRANDY how to do those things rather than showing me. (I was at work or what not and not available, and would probably get confused by the blinky lights and knobs and things anyway.) The only possible reason not to show her was that they felt like she wouldn't get it and they needed to show the man cause he would be dealing with all that manly stuff anyway.

Best answer by Brandy to "Well, we need your husband to be there too.": Well, I might be able to arrange for my boyfriend to be there, but it it will be hard to get my husband here too, and it would probably be a bit awkward to have them both at the same place anyway. So lets just say it will only be me. [Responded to by quite a few seconds of silence.]

(For those that don't know me, Brandy and I have lived together for several years, but she has not yet ever gotten legally divorced from her husband who she has been seperated from for nine years and hasn't seen in eight.)

At 10:40 PM, Blogger randatola said...

You lost me at "I told him yes."

Why would you do business with unsolicited phone spammers?? You're part of the problem.

It's hot out.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Reb said...

R -- yes, it was a moment of poor judgement and weakness because I really wish I could open a window right now.

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Helen Losse said...

Reb, you tell a wonderful story teller when you are pissed. You are my favorite rant writer!

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Reb said...

Well they called again Saturday morning hoping to get Chris. "We'd really like to speak to your husband" as if he would tell them anything different. I guess they need "both homeowners" to tell them to go fuck themselves.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Kevin Doran said...

Oh my god! Actual proof! Not empty rhetoric! Proof, i say!

Well, i would've put the name of the company all over your blog, and advised everyone who reads not to deal with them.

My English teacher once told me that she signed and sent a check for a bill, and the receipt was addressed to her husband; but this is Ireland: we're a little behind.


At 6:23 AM, Blogger Kevin Doran said...

Harrlyn has a point, but if that was the case (needing both people present), why didn't they just say it?

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Kevin Doran said...

Oooooo, sorry, Reb, my dad's worked in window companies all his life, and he said the same thing as harrlynn, even citing a case where a woman asserted that the decision was up to her, only to say, 'Okay, i just need to ask my husband, now', after my dad went out and gave her a quote.

Just another case of paranoic projection.

Let me know if you ever find proof of modern-day gender inequality, male oppression, and male 'unacceptance'.



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