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Forum topic by Betsy posted 09-07-2016 03:33 AM 1806 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3394 posts in 5141 days

09-07-2016 03:33 AM

A woman who can work wood;

A woman who knows the difference between a screwdriver and a wrench;

A woman who can swing a hammer better than a big percentage of men;

A woman that knows how to figure board feet and knows the difference between lineal feet and board feet;

A woman that can actually replace a sink disposal all by herself;

A woman that can hold a conversation about remodeling;

A woman knowing you’re trying to rip her off by saying you need a new air filter for your car even though you replaced it yourself before you took it in for a standard brake job;

A woman that can tell when a man has no bloody idea what he’s talking about but because you’re a woman he thinks you have no idea that he has no real idea;

A woman who enjoys making sawdust more than she enjoys cleaning it up; but she does both because she should;

I could go on … but dang, I’m getting tired of dealing with men that think because I’m a woman and in his store’s tool world that I don’t have any idea what I need, or worse that I have no idea “he” as in my significant other needs.

So what started this rant—- I go to box store, go into the tool world section I’m looking for two simple things, a 12” hack saw blade and 6” adhesive backed sandpaper for my bench sander. Of course they move things around a lot so if you are not shopping there every day you may need a map. So I ask an associate where I can find the hacksaw blade and sanding discs. He took me to the blades and asked me what “HE” needs the blade for. That’s a legitimate question of course, but sure would have been nicer for him to ask “what do YOU need the blade to do for you instead of making it sound like I’m just on an errand for some male person in my life. I let this first one slip, but when we went to the sanding discs – all i wanted was to be shown where they are, I can certainly pick out what I want – I can read after all. But no…...the associate asked me again “what is it that HE is making and are you sure HE needs the circular paper for bench sander or would HE really need paper for HIS palm or ROS sander. He fell off the ledge of my patience and i admit that I got miffed with him.

what I basically told the guy is the blades and paper are for me not for some male figure you think I’m shopping for. And he should take into account that many more women are doing their own home improvements or repairs and are building things in many different styles etc.

Oh well – I have this happen to me at least once a year, I should be used to it and not let it bother me – but I also feel the need to educate some of these sales folks that women build things, fix things, remodel things, etc; Just because we are in a hardware store or an auto parts store does not mean we are running an errand for the main in my life.

Okay – I’ve ranted, I think I should have been more direct with the guy but dang all I wanted was the blade a pack of paper. I didn’t think those two things would lead to this consternation.

Okay I feel better.

What do you think your significant other would have done?

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

36 replies so far

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 4313 days

#1 posted 09-07-2016 04:28 AM

I feel your pain, truly. And, as much as I believe we have progressed beyond the sexism of the ‘50s … we’re not all there yet.

We had a very similar experience when Mrs M needed to buy a new car, and I went with her – in the back seat – to make the purchase.

Her. Car.

Read about her experience on my blog: That Horrible Need To Talk To Salespeople.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View TravisH's profile


782 posts in 3180 days

#2 posted 09-07-2016 05:28 AM

My wife would not go.

If it makes you feel better it happens to me daily with the women I encounter when at the grocery store, or when shopping with my daughter or my two boys, when i show up for school plays, when they ask for some “Mom’s” to make treats for the school, when I go to Muffins for Mom at the elementary, any thing I ever did when the children were babies, when I point out to the lady at Joanne’s I want the same dye lot on skeins of yarn, etc…

Yep some women have just as much trouble accepting a man can or knows about such subjects. Doesn’t really bother me as I had a teacher long ago point out that ignorance is a common denominator when it comes to humans.

View BurlyBob's profile


9340 posts in 3511 days

#3 posted 09-07-2016 06:35 AM

Betsy, you it today’s world are a rare gem! Sadly most women out there know more about Kim Kardashian and who ever the hell is the social media current flash in the pan than the real world. If it ain’t on their cellphone they are hopelessly lost. Sad but true.

View Vjeko's profile


135 posts in 4660 days

#4 posted 09-07-2016 06:49 AM

I’m not a statistician for the employment bureau ( nor a sales person
in a box store) ;), but I suspect there is still a bias in employment of
men/women in certain branches of industry due to like/dislike,
need for physical exertion and a multitude of other reasons – and the
woodwork branch is probably the same – so I wouldn’t worry to much
about the “behavior” of that sales person you encountered – he
most probably wanted to help you like he did with some other women
who didn’t have a clue what they should buy (just like men (me also ;) )
who need to buy something they don’t have a clue about). It’s nothing
unusual – what is “unusual is if the salesperson is “rude” about it even after
you give them a hint that that is your field of work (then it’s a problem
with the sales person man or woman). I wouldn’t worry about it.

-- Vjeko Balas - Croatia

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4678 days

#5 posted 09-07-2016 11:07 AM

So here’s my story….
I was looking for a 2 1/4 inch forstner bit and went to the Blue Borg. A quick perusal of the tool section and no large bits. So I asked this “tool man employee” (actually, more of a “tool boy” – he was about 25 yrs old) if he had a 2 1/4 inch forstner bit. I got the deer in the headlights look back (sheer panic on his part). Then I asked him if he knew what a forstner bit was… his response was “no m’am, I just started here today”. I took him over to the bits and showed him what a forstner bit looked like with a polite “now you know” from me.
I often wonder what happened to him.

BurlyBob… I know you are trying to pay Betsy a well deserved compliment but you are painting most women with the wrong brush. We don’t look on most men as knuckle draggers who pat their beer bellies and belch so don’t assume that it is only women who watch TV and depend on a cell phone for everything!

We are seeing the division of labor lines blurring… and that is a good thing. We understand each other better with every instance where we share a common purpose.


-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26798 posts in 4351 days

#6 posted 09-07-2016 11:53 AM

Hi Betsy,
I really appreciate a woman who speaks the same language I do! It is great to have women wood workers to talk about the stuff my wife wants nothing to do with. I should have thought about that before I got married. It would make life a lot more pleasant to be able to converse in shop terms and get to spend time looking at wood related items while traveling.

Betsy you are a rare woman. I wish there were more like you!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View bigblockyeti's profile


7623 posts in 2966 days

#7 posted 09-07-2016 11:58 AM

I’m trying to teach my children that any of them can do anything. While I would never push any of them towards a particular profession, I will make certain that all of them have the ability to take care of many tasks for themselves that fewer and fewer people are able to do today without paying someone else to do for them!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3252 days

#8 posted 09-07-2016 01:54 PM

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View lew's profile


13427 posts in 5001 days

#9 posted 09-07-2016 02:01 PM

Ellen said- ”We are seeing the division of labor lines blurring… and that is a good thing. We understand each other better with every instance where we share a common purpose.”

That is so true. When I taught, girls and boys were treated the same and they all learned their trade equally well. Both genders went on to great heights not allowing society’s stereotypes to limit their success’s. I never allowed a student to believe they “couldn’t” do it.

A walk through today’s Vocational Schools shows an almost equal number of girls and boys in every trade- demonstrating what you said- a woman can do anything!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5360 posts in 5206 days

#10 posted 09-07-2016 02:17 PM

And another instance…..
My bride was shopping for HER new car. Not ours, HER’s.
The idiot salesman (hah) could/would not talk to her. He addressed every point to me. I even told him to speak directly to her. Couldn’t do it.
We left, and bought elsewhere.

-- [email protected]

View dbray45's profile


3414 posts in 4022 days

#11 posted 09-07-2016 02:30 PM

My wife and tools, hmmm. To be honest, when we go to a show, I tell her what I need and within a few minutes she has found them. She is incredible. She is not too keen on making sawdust but she knows what she wants me to make. When it comes to remodeling, she knows what she wants and has a good idea how to get there. Try to BS her and she will back you down in a heart beat.

When I was in the Navy overseas on a North Atlantic cruise, we were talking on the Mars Station (this dates me, I know) and she told me that the guy at the car dealer wants to charge her $200 to clean the carburetor and she thought it was too much. Back then, That was almost what what I made a month. I told her to call a lawyer first and then have the work done. She asked why the lawyer and I told that the charge was way too low since the car was fuel injected and didn’t have a carburetor so cleaning it would require buying it first. She was so pissed that they tried this kind of scam and she came up to speed real quick. I knew that I married up but had no idea how much until then. She is incredible.

I think it is wonderful and would not have it any other way.

-- David in Palm Bay, FL

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4958 days

#12 posted 09-07-2016 02:36 PM

I agree with your thoughts compleatly, but suspect most men , are governed by testosterone, inherited hardheadedness, and an inability to be more open minded. its going to be a generations long, tough fight.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 2144 days

#13 posted 09-07-2016 04:22 PM

Shave the sides of your head and sport a little bit of a mohawk,
put on a muscle shirt so that your New tats show and the problem will go away.
Also some black work boots will help.
hehehe :)

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12399 posts in 4674 days

#14 posted 09-07-2016 04:36 PM

I guess I’m lucky. I grew up on a farm where the ladies worked as hard and were as proficient as the men. And they also cooked, cared for the youngins and kept us in clean clothes.
Married a girl of the same ilk. Though she has a fear of using power saws, she has the ability and she uses nearly every other hand or powered tool in the shop.
We live in the boonies and most of the ladies around us are pretty darned handy, also.
So, I would never presume that a woman was ignorant of materials and tools.
Those who do are worse than merely ignorant.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View JayT's profile


6431 posts in 3456 days

#15 posted 09-07-2016 04:48 PM

I work in retail hardware. A few years ago I was visiting one of our stores and talking with the female store manager about some things when a middle aged male customer came in and walked up to us. He looked at her, then turned and addressed his question about some home repair task to me. My response was, “Lisa here can better answer that question. (turning to her) What do you think?”

The expression on the man’s face was priceless as she started explaining what all he would need and how to do the repair as she led him to the correct department.

Now, I knew the answer to his question, but deferred to the manager for two reasons. Since she was in the store every day and I was only there occasionally, she knew where the merchandise was better than I did. The more important reason was because of his blatant ignoring of her up front.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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