Nasa / Space

Electronics Stores Treat Women Like Geek-Idiots


I love shopping in electronics stores.  Seeing rows of hardware gets my mouth watering.  I enjoy researching which parts would best suit my personal needs, and the specs of my machine.  I can spend hours hopping from web site to web site making sure that I have found the best match.  So, what is my big complaint about electronics stores?  Their staff.

On nearly every occasion that I have purchased from local electronics stores, I have had a friendly, but pushy, salesMAN try to change my mind about the hardware I have selected.  And it has never been a subtle thing either.  It always comes down to him thinking that he knows better what I need than I do.

Why do store personnel think they can diagnose my hardware issues without ever seeing my machine, but at the same time think that I cannot diagnose the issue when I have the machine in front of me?  Oh yeah, I forgot, I have breasts.  And having breasts is somehow inconsistent with being able to construct a computer from parts and make it run efficiently.

Let me just sling these bad boys over my shoulders and get down to brass tacks.  I know what I am doing.  I have built many computers from scratch.  I have refurbished tons of older machines so that they would still be usable; mostly for pre-schools running older software, but also for Linux-distro firewalls (being on the core development team does have its advantages.)  I have replaced CPUs, hard-drives, floppies, NICs, modems, opticals, MB batteries, and memory (yes, even the old spider memory in my Dad's 8088).

Back to the electronics stores.  There are ways for women to get past this male-centric "help".  The first way is to out talk the salesperson.  Basically, I keep getting more and more technical until I pass their understanding threshold, and they suddenly remember a shelf that needs restocking.  While very effective, this sometimes takes time, and I don't usually have time.  A common Geek failing is that we try to get more done in 24 hours than is humanly possible.

The second, and sometimes best, way to get around the male-centric help is to play dumb.  Yes, become what they believe you are, but with a twist.  "I know you are probably right that this Ess-Ay-Tee-Ay <giggle> is the best drive to get, but I spoke with the SYSadmin at work, and I really have to just get an Ay-Tee-Ay with THESE specs.  The SYSAdmin said it is the only thing that will work on that particular machine.  I know you have adapters, but I really don't want to get on the SYSadmin's bad side, or the next time my desktop breaks, I may have to wait forever to get it fixed."  Notice that I don't admit *I* am the SYSAdmin, and that I always fix MY machine before I fix anyone else's.  <grin>

I know, I am perpetuating the stereotype that breasts and computers can't go together.  But you know what, I don't care.  It gets me out of the store faster and back to my java and Civ 3.  After all, anything that gets me back to my morning cup of life can't be all that bad.

 

80 comments
troisj
troisj

Reading the female comments (supported by some guys' testimonies) and my own observations, it's clear that women: 1) are looked at by male salespeople -regardless their breastsize - but so are they in the grocery store, at the gym and in class; 2) are often not taken seriously when it comes to typical 'male-territories' - like computers; but then, I don't think a woman is being taken seriously at say a car- dealership either - sure, they will show her the luxurious interior, but stay away from the engine, horsepower, mpg etc. So, basically not really news in what started this threat (which is why my first post wasn't that serious :-)) However, you can also read the (almost) total lack of manners, skills and knowledge of so called salespeople at the tech-chains: young guys that will beat you at any 3D game, but have no clue what machine they play on. Or how to fix it. Yet, they are supposed to 'help' clueless(?) customers. They get no proper training: why? It costs money and also, time is money. So, they go into the deep unprepared and untrained and only the smart ones will survive on the commissions they make. Who's to blame for that? You yourself. You want it cheap and corporate America cuts each other's throats only to be cheaper. I bet they would hire illegal Hispanic farmworkers if they could - but they can't, as they will stand out too much in a hi-tech store. I'm not anti-capitalism, nor anti-USA, but this (economic) system drains people, resources, quality and service. And you\we are all part of it, as in our own positions we do the exact same: cost cutting, 'efficiency', economies of scale - you know the buzzwords. By supporting smaller, local shops, you get better service, at usually a bit higher price. But you\we rather drive 10 miles to the big mall, than 5 to that local corner shop. Convenience comes at a price. So does service and quality. You choose - and based on the ever expanding chains, you clearly choose based on price only. So you (don't) get what you pay for...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]By supporting smaller, local shops, you get better service, at usually a bit higher price. But you\we rather drive 10 miles to the big mall, than 5 to that local corner shop.[/i] Only 10 miles to the mall? The closest mall to my house is 33 miles, most of it 2-lane, and the last stretch of 4-lane is littered with strip malls, chain restaurants, Wallyworld, Target, Old Navy, and unsynchronized change-on-demand stoplights. It has taken up to an hour to get to that mall, with half that time spent in the last 2 miles. Other malls are over forty miles, usually with equivalent traffic. I shop locally whenever possible because it's just too far to drive. When I calculate how much gas I saved by not bucking all that traffic, I'm actually coming out ahead.

sctang73
sctang73

I've worked for and with some talented women in the tech industry. They are deserving of their respective titles. I have also mentored/ coached/ trained some worthy female DIYers who could easily have entered the industry. Sadly, I have shopped with some of these ladies at BB, CC, CompUSA, and J&R (NYC thing). Of them all, J&R was the absolute worst. ALL of their sales staff were arrogant, lazy, incompetent and/ or more interested in reading their own catalogs than they were at helping you. Being female made things even worse, as the sales staff (almost all male) now had somehting new to distract their eyes with (breasts, legs, lips, etc). All in all, I have only had to "rescue" one of my female colleagues because she was too sweet & gentle to rip into the idiot sales guy for not listening. Moreover, I never had a reason to defend the pesky salesman that got his foot rammed down his throat by my colleague. For all salespeople - if you want a chance at making a sale, LISTEN to what the client has to say before offering up anything. You wouldn't want a doctor to say you need chemotherapy before you get a chance to tell him/ her that you only have athlete's foot.

Dr_Bill
Dr_Bill

I'm 58 and I look it and, although male, I frequently get the same crap from salesmen. I find it pointless to argue with them. I know what I want and I won't change unless they really impress me with a good suggestion. It hasn't happened yet.

mrkahatr
mrkahatr

Try reminding the big box sales dweeb that he is a replaceable $8 per hour cog in the machine who differs only from the McDonald's burger flipper in the color of the uniform they both have to wear. For that matter, I have never had the McDonald's kid recommend a Big Mac instead of the double cheeseburger I am ordering, so I suppose that makes them actually higher on the customer sat tree than the BB boys...

merlin7
merlin7

Maybe if you didnt make such a big deal of your bosom you might get treated with more respect.

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

I never said I make a big deal about the fact that I am a female or that I have bosoms. I said that in my experience, that must be the reason I am treated differently because that is the only thing that is different between me and my husband and he and I are NOT treatly equally in electronics stores. I am a size 8-10, but that wasn't always the case. Last year, I was a size 26 and about 260 pounds. I was treated the same way at that size as I am now, so size isn't the factor. I mostly wear polo shirts and slacks, with flat dress shoes or sneakers. So does he, of course his flats are male dress shoes, but that is the equivalent, so it is not the way I dress. I have a picture posted with my profile. That is a typical shirt for me. One inch below the collar bone. I do not routinely wear make-up. I don't wear heels (1 inch wedges are the most I can handle do to a back injury). I don't wear low cut tops. I don't wear high cut bottoms. Neither does my husband (not surprisingly), so it is not the way I choose to enhance (or not enhance) my appearance. The only difference between him and me is that I am a female. The point is that a woman shouldn't be treated as inferior. How we choose to dress, whether we are well endowed or not, whether we choose to have a fancy haristyle (I don't), or have our nails done (I don't), have a shapely figure or not, we are still human beings and deserve to be treated as such. We should be allowed to make decisions about what we purchase (whether it is "correct" or not. If we make a poor decision, we should deal with the consequences.

Bill Ward
Bill Ward

As Rebecca's HUSBAND, I have deep, personal knowledge of how much of a deal she makes about her bosom. I can assure you, she makes much more of a deal out of MANY other issues than she does of her breasts. More to the point, she makes a bigger deal out of the fact that she wants to be treated respectfully as a person. When you get done gnawing on your kneecap, you might want to pull your foot out of your mouth.

Tig2
Tig2

I figured you to show up at the party! Throwbacks like that nutjob are the exception, not the rule... thank heaven! Being a woman- and I think that Rebecca will agree with me- I have no way to know if it is the fact that I am a woman that causes inappropriate sales behaviour, or if it is the fact that there are many in Sales who shouldn't be (incapable of hearing, and therefore meeting, customer needs). For many women- myself included- it is easier to presume that it is gender. As this came up at Christmas time, I had an opportunity to see if my partner was being treated any differently. What I have seen is that sales people get a "no" from me and they will continue to hammer. In general, when my partner says "no", they back off. But that is a generalisation and not always the case. I think that women are more sensitive to it than men- especially women in "non-traditional" roles. Oddly, male nurses that I have asked say that they have a sense of gender bias in the workplace and believe that the causal factor is that they are men in "non-traditional" roles. Interesting topic... despite our Neanderthal poster.

Tig2
Tig2

Those of us missing those parts (see icon) DON'T make a big deal of our bosoms. We get treated the same way. Has nothing to do with breasts. Although I can see where a throwback might see it that way.

Maevinn
Maevinn

If you were a woman, you'd realize that my treatment of my breasts is completely irrelevant to how others react to them. If you were a woman, you'd realize that comments like this reveal you to be an ignorant ape, still pounding his chest. If you were a woman--you'd be smart enough to change your ways because you behave the same way as the sales reps.

portable
portable

That is like saying "she dressed nice so she invited rape!" If a woman with a professional job shops at lnch, or right after work, by your "logic" she should go home and change into sweats first?

DanLM
DanLM

Maybe this person thinks that women shouldn't work or be allowed out of the house? Otherwise, they are promiscuous. Oi Dan

melfinatheblue
melfinatheblue

Well, all women (except those who have suffered injury/accident) have breasts. Men don't have to dress a certain way to go shopping, so why should we? Should I put on sweats to go shopping cause I'm a young woman? I work in IT and answer the phone for my dept. 9 times out of ten, the person on the other end assumes I'm a secretary. They just go by the female voice and the fact I've answered the phone. Boy are they surprised when I tell them how to fix their server, or that I'll be walking them through the install. There is a stereotype that women and older people don't know about technology. Stupid as it is, it persists. Until such time as our society gets over this, some salesbots are going to buy into it. Buy local, buy online, or prove the salesbot wrong.

TheTinker
TheTinker

We, the straight ones anyway, are completely powerless to stop admiring a pretty lady. Oh, some of us try hard to hide it simply because we know how it is often preceived by said pretty lady, but despite our best efforts she is quite aware of our "attention". Unfortunately some poor saps, usually the immature zit covered children, working at these stores are farther back on the evolutionary scale and instead try to "impress the pretty lady" with their "knowledge" of technology. "Mmm. Pretty girl. Show girl me big, tough, dominent male. Me can take care of pretty girl." It is kind of the equivalent of stone-age guys demonstrating they can run faster, jump higher, etc than the other guys around. Followed by a friendly game of "who can lift the biggest rock" and if that fails finally resorting to beating the crap out of each other with the idea that the last man standing gets the pretty lady as their prize. All it takes is the pretty lady laughing at them and beating them at their on game to send this neandertal back to his cave. So, forget the sweats, forgive the ones who are truly trying to overcome this genetic weakness, and humiliate the rest. Besides, a chick in sweats is hot ;)

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

In that case I like my coffee hot & my bacon crispy in the morning :-)

TheTinker
TheTinker

Apparently a poor attempt at humor on my part. (see the winky?) Call it sarcasm, tongue in cheek, whatever. Several women have mentioned "playing dumb" or "dressing down" as means to avoid the crap from these loser salesdweebs. My point was that these tactics amount to an apology for being a female techie, or more generally for being an intelligent woman. These guys are just dumb, weak-minded saps if they can't wrap their mind around the idea of a woman who actually knows here way around the inside of server. I would actually probably put any lady on this discussions tech knowledge and skills up against any of the geek wannabes. I simply do not feel that a woman should apologize for being intelligent. Yes, I said that I can't help but notice a pretty girl. If that makes me sexist fine, but I assure you I have yet to try and strike up a conversation with a set of breasts. Believe it or not, a man can appreciate the beauty of the opposite sex AND realize there is more than just looks. Sorry for the offense.

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

the most sexist comment within the entire forum. Whay not practice what you preach fgs!!!! Honestly, some people.

Tig2
Tig2

My partner decided to get me a new lappie for Christmas. As we had just purchased one for his Mom (which I researched for features/price and then ordered) he figured it might be worthwhile to take me with him. So much for surprises... but I picked out HIS laptop as well as his brothers. After many years of building them and supporting them, getting all the required certs, getting the manufacturers certs, etc, I figure I have a pretty good idea of what I am doing. After all, I have been on the recommendation team for large scale corporate purchases and did all right. So we went to my favourite supplier and scoped out machines. In my criteria was that the machine be Vista capable but NOT actually preloaded with Vista. I found the perfect machine at a decent price point. First the sales guy- who at this point just needs to give me a provisioning number and send me on my way- tries to sell me the Vista upgrade on the "But it's only an additional $10 (US)" theory. I explained that when a flock of pigs flew overhead, I would CONSIDER Vista. After several minutes, he realised that I didn't want the upgrade. Then he explained the warranty. The machine is covered by the factory for only one year. But he could sell me a one, two, or three year warranty. I explained that I do not permit other people to touch my computers at any time so I would not require the warranty. He persisted. As this conversation was occurring, my partner- who had been doing some other shopping- came up. Salesboy figures out that we are together (gee, was it the kiss on the cheek?) and starts the same conversation with him. To his credit, my partner understood immediately that I had already gone over this ground and told the kid that since I am the hardware guru in the family, he would be very surprised if I suddenly decided I needed the additional coverage. Oddly enough, being told "no" once by a man was sufficient. Used to be that if a man patronised me, I would invite him to some target practise. I hold my own at it and often win. I understand that geek chicks are less populous than the guys but we ARE out here. Too bad the sales force hasn't figured that out yet.

CuteElf
CuteElf

Or maybe dressed too butch? LOL. Almost every time I go into a hardware (tech) store, I know where I'm going and what all I need. I went into a small parts shop one day and was asking about the newer AMD chips and prices/ boards. The guy was very helpful and nice, answered my q's about FSB and the chipsets etc. Not bad. Once I was in BB and was talking to a guy about hard drives, and asked, what's the brand of PSU's you carry here? He said he hadnt heard PSU for years. (still puzzles me) Most of the time I'm not wearing girly clothes; I'm going in w/ a leather jacket, jeans and a basic ponytail. BTW I've only caught storebots staring @ me boobs once or twice. CuteElf

TechExec2
TechExec2

About half of humanity has a terrible affliction. They are unable to look at the other half straight in the eye during a conversation. This terrible involuntary vision problem causes many social problems for the poor afflicted soul. Many people mistake it for some kind of disrespect!! In fact, victims of this affliction report that they usually feel nice toward the other person at the time (this appears to be part of how the disease operates). People who have this insidious disease are often ridiculed in public, called bad names, and further victimized by violence. Fortunately, the violence is usually not fatal and often consists of blows to the face. But, the emotional scars can last a lifetime. This disease cannot be corrected without major surgery. The surgery is really not a good option because it has so many side-effects and leaves the recipient sterile. It often leaves them with low self-esteem and chronic depression that must be treated with powerful drugs. So, have a heart! Try to put yourself in their shoes and think about how it would feel to be so afflicted. Don't make fun of the disabled! :^0 :^0 :^0

Tig2
Tig2

Not terribly proud... but it worked. One of those guys who can't help making crass, ridiculous remarks in the presence of women- you know the type. On the order of, "Your breasts (paraphrase, not the word used) are your best feature". So I handed him one. Bad, bad Tigger! He figured out soon after that his mouth could, in fact, get him into trouble he didn't expect. He never again made that mistake in my presence.

TechExec2
TechExec2

Wow!! That guy is probably scarred for life!!

Tig2
Tig2

People like me, for instance. Unlike Cute, I can HAND a person one of the "girls". Only pulled that once. I swear the guy just shrieked! Frankly, inviting them to go shooting is probably better. Less emotional scarring. P.S. The one time I pulled that it was because the guy was acting like a MAJOR tool. Never again in my presence!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

At 6'5" (195 cm) I'm taller than almost every woman I've ever met. When we're standing face to face and talking, the difference between me talking to the person and talking to the "girls" is not a matter of degrees, but of minutes. I do my best, but often fail.

TechExec2
TechExec2

In the worst cases, this disease even operates in some way given a forum post!! Thinking of you fondly... :^0 P.S. Even though you all have "the girls", you always deserve socially acceptable behavior from those of us with "scrap metal" in our heads... All in good fun...

CuteElf
CuteElf

I respectfully must argue with your reply :P My girls are eye magnets, no more, no less.. It is a mechanical, physics based reaction. Since your head is full of metal, (scrap metal), it makes easy sense that your eyes would point towards me magnets. Now..you're going to have to work on your neck muscles to move your head from being stuck to my magnets. CuteElf (hee hee) They're torpedos, btw

portable
portable

My Daughter has a "nasty" reply when someone "talks to her chest"... "Don't talk to the girls, you WON'T be meeting them!"

I.T.Services
I.T.Services

try to make you think that they know more than you do. That is why I (almost) never use them. As soon as one walks up to me in a store I inform them that I do not need their help, unless it is to ask if they stock a certain item. I know what I'm looking for and don't need time to converse with the help, thank you very much.

rstcomp
rstcomp

try owning a retail computer repair shop, being the one who puts their money and reputation on the line with every decision that is made - yet every single MALE customer who walks through the door stops at my desk and asks me is they can speak to a TECH - like I am a secretary or receptionist. Even after my position has been clarified, and I have more than taken care of their problem, when I turn them over to a TECH behind the counter to handle the cash part of the sale, they still walk back across the room to me and ask if I am the cashier. Men do this on the phone also. I have owned this business for 9 years now and if I could find nothing but females to hire - I would - just so there would be a store that catered to the women in town.

Maevinn
Maevinn

I worked for the Game and Fish a few years back. It was shocking how many people would come in and actually ask if there was a male they could talk to instead of asking one of the women who worked the front desk. Once one of the IT guys was fixing a computer at the front desk and he had to ward off numerous people who walked right past the most competent person there...It was pretty funny to see the look on the hunters face when the guy said "Sorry, I'm just here to fix the computer. Donna will be able to answer any question you have."

troisj
troisj

Like you point out, you have breasts. Now these sales-guys notice that, and they start wondering. Just like we do here, reading your post. I think there must be something wrong with your breasts. Something that you don't want to share with us. Tech-sales-guys are really rational people, so it can't be that they are prejudiced, biased, ignorant or just plain rude & pushy. So, again, it must be your bosom. Really.

eaglewolf
eaglewolf

..they make eye contact while walking right by you. And then they keep walking. If you can snare one to help, they treat you like you're a three year old child. In an unnamed computer store recently, after said treatment, I asked to speak to the manager. After I listed my credentials in the computer industry, I told him of the actions of his young salesperson. I then told him I didn't appreciate the stereotyping on two counts: it didn't apply to me nor should *any* customer be ignored because of a sales clerk's 'perception' of a lack of computer knowledge. In reality, I've seen older men treated the same way. Some of them have been in computing since before the clerk's *parents* were born.

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

Just for Men, but that would not do any good I guess :-)

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

Yes, I am greying as well. Don't know how well it shows in the photo (which isn't all that recent either. Guess I don't spend enough time taking photos of myself.) My dad has the same trouble in stores. He typically buys a new computer every ten years. For what he does (mostly just email and checking his stocks), this is sufficient. The most recent game he plays is Railroad Tycoon.

IT cowgirl
IT cowgirl

Same boat here. Online shopping is sooooo much better! I cannot remember when I was last in an actual store... But, if I do have to go into the store I usually act like an Army Sargent and get what I want very quickly. Of course, if all my computers die at the same time, I might be forced to actually go to the store for parts! Wait, I have loads of extra parts I have from scrapped machines. I could probably build another machine or two with the parts. ;-)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Be thankful they are not working on commission as they do in some large consumer electronics chains here in the States. I can't tell you how many times I've had to say "watch my lips" to some salesperson who is trying to steer me toward the DVD players and widescreen TVs when I walked into the store needing CD blanks.

xartanius
xartanius

HAHA... very well put.. I love that expression but I'm with you on your quest... guys need to realise that just because fixing things for gals is fun for us, it doesn't have to be the same for the gals...! ;)

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

Glad you liked my phrasing. I had another one in the artical originally, where instead of talking about "diagnosing my computer" I refered to it as a "box". After a brief email from the guidance person here at GeekEnd, I decided that perhaps it would be misinterpreted, so I changed it, but to be honest, I do call my desktop machines "boxes", even when they are not Linux boxes. He just felt it may be misinterpreted due to the line before including the word "breasts" and since it was my first official posting here, I decided discretion was the better part of valor.

GSG
GSG

I get that all the time. My favorite is when I went to a large nationwide chain, that I won't name (But they start with a B and end with Buy), and this pimply child has the nerve to talk down to me. He explains very patiently that I don't want this type of RAM, because it's for older machines, and I need to have this, and explains what RAM does, etc... After about 5 minutes of this, and me repeatedly telling him to get me what I want, I ask him how long he's worked in the IT industry. Turns out his 3 weeks, and his 3 years of high school (so far) were trumped by my 8 years. I proceeded to tell him what I thought about his talking down to me, and that I'd take my business elsewhere. For a good experience, we have a local store that was created by a bunch of IT buddies that gamed together. They don't talk down to you, know what customer service really is, and are about half the price. Go local when you can!

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

I have seen this too. Many of the salesbots are very young (compared to me) and think their time creating a MySpace somehow trumps my degree and time with development teams. I also sometimes need "obsolete" parts for boxes I am creating for specific purposes (like IPCop firewalls or developmental machines to test newer websites to see how they perform on older machines. Maybe I will put in a blog about that at some point.) I have gotten to the point where I usually shop online unless it is something I need THAT DAY.

lindzz
lindzz

Wasn't that refreshing? I have had similar experience with 'Worst Buy' myself. Too bad I'm in California--I'd like to bring my business to your local store.

portable
portable

While women ARE targets for sexism (witness the latest on a Nancy Pelosi speach that contained NO substance, and a great deal of blather about her outfit), it seems that one of the requirements for a sales person in *most* computer stores is no knowledge of computers. I wrote my first program in 1966, and have worked with the beasts, mainframe and PC, ever since. I still get people trying to sell me what I don't need or want. I can generally convince them to either get someone who knows or just tell me whether they sell MY part. Mostly by being excessively polite, sometimes by being male, 6'5", and 230 lbs. :-) I tend to shop local WELL STAFFED small stores, dedicated to what I want (computers, home electronics, etc.)

techrep.2.send-me-no-spam
techrep.2.send-me-no-spam

Your post sounds like it could have been written by me! Well, now I'll have to give away my big secret to you guys. My online profiles almost always identify me as male. I just don't have time or patience for the whole male/female thing. I learned this tactic pretty quick after my earlier experiences online - not that most people are bad but there are just enough nut cases out there to make me want to hide. Anyway, I don't have that option when in a store. I also don't have the luxury of threatening to go to another store, as there are few options where I live. I'm too old to play dumb female anymore, so I usually just start off asking a question that's far to technical for the salesman anyway. My biggest problem, is that most of the time, I have trouble getting any help at all in the geek shops. But that doesn't matter much, since most of the time, the only help a salesman can give me, is to go find out the price on something because they rarely mark prices on items. Maybe men have similar problems, but it doesn't seem so, when I can get my husband to go computer shopping with me. He doesn't have a clue when it comes to computers, but I can coach him on exactly what to ask for before we go in and it works much better than me trying to ask for the same thing myself. It's not just technical stuff either, same thing goes for anything financial & automotive.

gsquared
gsquared

It's definitely more common with female customers, but I have run into a lot of salespeople who think they know more than any possible customer, male, female or otherwise. Your best bet is tell them what you need, listen if they have a reasonable suggestion, and tell them "no" if they don't. If they insist, I tell them, "I need X. Are you going to sell it to me or do I tell your manager I'm going to a different store because you refuse to sell it to me?" I've only had to do that twice, and it worked both times. I have found that quickly going off the top of anything they might possibly know about the subject is quite fun, but wastes more time. Like, in the first 10 seconds of talking, start going into differences in core architecture, bus integration, RAM addressing methodology and virtualization, etc. Bring up various methods of benchmarking and concepts like statistical deviations and bell curves. Mention "entropic and negenentropic dissipative methods for electrofrictive byproduct surpluses" (cooling, in non-obfuscatory language). Ask whether the hardware runs well in the 280-314 Kelvin range. Of course, if you happen to run into a physics major who'se working as a computer parts salesperson to pay the bills while writing his doctorate, you might end up in a conversation that's much more interesting than the usual "You should get a faster hard drive than that". If you really want to make them uncomfortable, ask them directly, "Are you assuming I don't know computer technology because I'm a woman?" (I can't use that tactic, but you could.) That will, in today's political climate, immediately put them on the defensive. Of course, you shouldn't have to manipulate at all. That's why I stick to my first tactic, it's honest and open and direct. But if you want to have more fun, try something else.

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

I don't want you to come away with the impression that I always act the dumb female. I don't. I usually just grab what I need before the salesperson has a chance to say anything, or I tell them I have found what I need. I only pull out the stops when I am cornered and have no time to dilly-dally. In fact, more often I just tell them, "I want the WD 4830, either sell that to me, or walk away." But, there are times...

onbliss
onbliss

I loved the post :-) This was the first post I read this morning and it brought smiles. :-)

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

Your reply cheered me up on a day that everything (non-tech related) is going wrong - traffic, fast food gave me sugar instead of Splenda for my coffee, etc.) :)

onbliss
onbliss

Isn't sugar better than Splenda - taste and health wise? I myself prefer the taste of raw sugar :-)

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

my body just doesn't. End up passed out on the floor hoping my life won't slip away. Splenda doesn't have that negative side-effect.

Bill Ward
Bill Ward

Splenda is MUCH better when a person is a diabetic than Sugar.