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'Sexist' Man Demanded to Speak to 'One of the Boys' Instead of Woman Worker

In a popular post on social media, a worker shared his story on how he handled a "sexist" customer who demanded to speak to "one of the boys" instead of a woman worker.

Published on Reddit's r/MaliciousCompliance forum, a man under the anonymous username u/WoolliesMudcake shared his story and his post has received over 18,000 upvotes and 700 comments.

The original poster (OP) began his story by explaining that when he was 18, he worked for a popular automotive parts company. In the store he worked at, there was an equal number of men and women employees. However, the women employees would sometimes receive comments from both men and women asking if there was a male worker that could help them out instead.

While the OP was working in the back of the store, he had one of his female coworkers ask him if he could help a customer. He briefly explains that she had been working for the company for about seven years and he had only been there for a few months.

"Sexist" customer wanted a man to help
Above, a customer is angry at an employee. In a post published on Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum, a man shares his story on how he handled a customer who was being "sexist" towards his female coworker. tampatra/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The OP wrote, "I ask why she needs help because she usually knows more than I do considering how long she's been working here. She explains she was standing at the service desk and a guy came up and asked her to 'get one of the boys'. She tried explaining to him that she is more than competent to help him but he insisted that a man needs to help him. so After hearing this i decide f**k it I may as well have some fun. I tell her to follow me back to the desk where he was and to just let me sort it out.

"I get to the customer and ask what he needed. He explained what he was after so I kinda just stare with a puzzled look for a moment. Look at the customer and say 'I'm sorry I actually don't know how to help with that one' and turn to my coworker and say 'actually, shes an expert in that field she knows more about that than I do I'm sure she can help you'. He looks annoyed and asks for 'another one of the boys' and on cue one of my other male coworkers who had overheard the entire conversation walks over," he continued.

After some of the other male employees echoed the OP's words, the customer "begrudgingly" let the woman help him but eventually walked out of the store without saying a word.

Newsweek reached out to u/WoolliesMudcake for comment.

What is "sex-based discrimination" and how to handle it at work

As defined by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sex discrimination involves treating someone (applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person's sex, including the person's sexual orientation, gender identity or pregnancy.

Are you or someone you know experiencing sex-based discrimination at your place of work? Here's what you can do, via equalrights.org:

  • Review your company policies to see how it protects you.
  • Document everything by writing things down and keeping any messages or notes that can help you.
  • Report your concerns to Human Resources (HR) and have them in writing.
  • If you want to file a lawsuit, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
  • Discuss your situation with a lawyer.

Newsweek has published several articles regarding careers including a woman who was backed online after she refused to take care of her disabled sister and focus on her career, a mother applauded for making her teen quit their hobby and get a job to pay a $2,000 vet bill and a woman urged to contact HR after her "nepo-hire" coworker called her a "bimbo."

Redditor reactions

Many Redditors shared similar stories.

"I used to work for a large farm equipment company, Sperry New Holland. This was in 1980and I was around 20. We worked with farm equipment dealers all over our area. One day, one of those particularly ornery dealers called my area and wanted to talk to a man that knew something. My boss happened to be standing at my desk at the time so I tried to hand him the phone. He said, you tell that guy that there aren't any men around here that know any thing!! One of the best bosses I ever had," u/writer978 said.

U/Mjummotron wrote, "I used to work tech support for a major computer company about 15-20 years ago. It was almost 50/50 men and women staffing the phones. I was seated next to a woman who took absolutely zero crap from anyone.

"She got a call from a customer in his late 50s who kept demanding to speak to a male colleague since it was a tech question and he wanted to make sure everyone understood the issue properly. Her reply was 'I'm sorry, none of my male colleagues are available but if you get your wife on the phone instead I'm sure we can solve the problem.' One of the best laughs I had at that job," the commenter continued.

U/Competitive-Slice567 shared, "I run in an area as a paramedic where many of the population and even the EMTs are stuck in the 1950s. Had a crew ignore my female paramedic intern and give report to me cause the prevailing attitude was 'women can't be paramedics, let alone good ones'. I thanked them for their report, then said they could look at her and repeat the same report to her as she was in charge for the call and I was supervising. I swear you could've seen smoke come out of their ears, but they did as they were told and never gave me that attitude when I had an intern again."

"this crap is so goofy," u/rachel_higs commented, "when i worked in the automotive industry, the customer service team would always deal with that. men would get a female cs agent, demand the cs manager...who was a woman. then demand the cs/sales supervisor...who was a woman. then demand the director of operations...who was a woman. then demand the ceo...who was a woman. like bro, you're stuck with us...be a man [laughing my a** off]."