EXCUSE ME? Are You Certain That Is What You Meant To Say?

I had an encounter today that I was truly surprised by given all that is transpiring for women in the United States and around the world.  I recently contacted a company in order to get an estimate for some work that I would like to have done in my backyard.  They called me back today and the representative told me he would be happy to set up an appointment and send someone out. 

Here’s how our brief conversation went: 

He started off asking me if I was married or the homeowner.  “Hmmmm" I pondered this question for a brief moment, not only because why would he care, but because I am currently completing a very amicable divorce.  I answered, "I am married and I am the homeowner as well."  He replied "great then we like to schedule the estimate with both you and your husband present.  We offer a lot of incentives and discounts for married couples."  EXCUSE ME? I thought.  Ok, maybe I am misunderstanding the conversation.  “We both work so it is unlikely that you will get both of us”  I replied.  “Not to worry we can schedule for the weekend,” he told me.  I took a breathe, “Yeah, that’s probably not going to work as well.  Let me ask you a question.  So, people who are single don’t get any discounts?”  He immediately responded, “No, we offer different incentives.”  I just could not help myself at this point, “So, is it better to be married or single in terms of these incentives?”   He stopped talking for a brief moment then said: “I just book the appointments our representative can give you and your husband additional details when he comes over to give you your estimate.”  I began to conclude the conversation at this time by adding “Really?  That seems a bit confusing to me.”  He jumped in and said, “not to worry we can wait until your husband is available” (like somehow I was having trouble understanding - which I guess I was.)  I concluded, "I’ll have to get back to you after I check his schedule.”  Joyfully he responded “Ok, great.  Here’s our phone number.”

My thoughts:

Even if I completely misunderstood the conversation - the bottom line is there are different incentives for married people and single people when buying ARTIFICIAL TURF.  Yes, fake grass.  So, why would a company selling fake grass not want to meet with just the wife?  (I am just pondering here.)  Could they possibly be concerned that the wife does not have the ability or permission to make a/the decision?  Or maybe, they believe she does not handle the finances in the home.  Therefore, it would be a waste of their time to pitch just the wife?  I wonder what happens if they are soliciting a same-sex couple?  It would almost be worth the effort to make the call and try out the scenario.

It’s not like I haven’t run into these situations before.  My husband and I went to buy a car years ago.  I had done all the research on the two different cars we were interested in buying.  I had a list of questions (yes, a physical list.  It was our first car purchase.)  I would ask the salesman the question and he would look at my husband and answer.  When the salesman popped the hood detailing the engine’s capabilities, my husband did me proud.  He looked at the salesman and said “if you want to sell this car you may want to address her.  I know where the gas goes.  That’s about it.” 

Recently I contacted a major credit card company to inquire how to remove my soon to be ex from our joint credit card and make certain all the accrued points (that we use for flight upgrades or ticket purchase) were moved over as well.  This was something he and I had easily agreed upon.  The woman representative said to me “Well, your husband has to call regarding taking his name off of the card" (OK that seems logical to me) "and the points cannot go with you as he is the primary on the card.”   “I did not know there was a primary on the card, but if there is one it is me” I replied.  “No, he is the primary” she quickly countered.  “He can’t be.  I owned the card years before I even met him, as the company I was working for asked me to obtain this card for reimbursable business expenses.  After we were married I added him to my account.  So, this was my card first which makes me the primary “  At this point, I could tell the woman on the other end of the line felt sorry for me.  What she said next I will never forget “Sweetie, I get it.  I can’t explain it and even if I could I am not sure I would want to.” 

So, why was he made the primary?  Was it because he made more money than I did?  Or because he was my husband?  They made him liable for something we shared.  They also put him in control of something we shared.  When I order him that credit card twenty plus years ago - he was just beginning his career.  At the time my income exceeded his.  Not by much, but I had the more established career at that point.  Fortunately for me when I told my husband of the conversation we immediately came up with a solution that worked for both of us.  

But seriously, “What the F$@k” ?

Being a woman?

Being single vs married?

Being of a certain age?

As a business owner myself I have to admit I do market towards certain people; people who workout, people who buy clothes, people who do yoga, pilates, run, bike, dance, box and lift weights.  Yes, there are few more categories that I target.  So, I am going to apologize to anyone I have left out of my marketing parameters.  When creating an ad “they” make you define your audience.  I would make my audience to include everyone, but I would never have the $$’s needed to place that broad of an ad.  So, please accept my apology for anyone I have left out.  BUT I MAKE YOU THIS PROMISE… IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE FROM MY WEBSITE, I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE A MAN OR A WOMAN, MARRIED OR SINGLE, OR YOU PREFER PURPLE OVER GREEN… I PROMISE, IF I AM OFFERING A DISCOUNT, EVERYONE AND I DO MEAN EVERYONE, MAY APPLY AND RECEIVE THAT DISCOUNT.  

The same discount for everyone.

In the end, let's remember, I was just trying to buy some fake grass for the backyard.

Wishing you an equal opportunity day,