Our vendors think I’m a prank caller and everyone else thinks I’m a dude…

Benjamin entitled this one "Babe The Builder" LMAO

So, if you’ve read “Ringin’ in the ’12” you know that I jumped the social work ship to dive head first into wholesale fencing. And you also know that I love it. And that I’m pretty good at it. Weeeellll….that last statement requires some amending. It should read: “I’m really good at it when I can get people to listen to me and not freak out that I speak Spanish. And that I’m a girl.”

These are my biggest barriers. Because my name is Jamie, and I speak Spanish, and I make people text message me – it’s sometimes a bit of a shock for people to walk into my office and see a small woman with sea anemone hair. In their mind, and in their defense because this would be the Occam’s Razor conclusion – I was a spanish-speaking dude. And somehow my overuse of emoticons does not deter them from this conclusion. Almost everyone that comes in that hasn’t spoken to me directly on the phone does one of these two things: (a) Look around, and even behind me, and ask if they’re in the right place [By the way – there’s big hunks of fence bits on my office wall and my door opens to a warehouse full of fence shit] (b) Freeze in my doorway, before trying to recover and act like nothing happened. It is ridonkulous. And I have stopped trying to play it off like nothing happened. I just look them straight in the eye, smile, and say, “I know you thought I was a dude named Jaime (pronounced Hi-meh) but I am, in fact, a nice lady [most days] that happens to know a hell of a lot about fences. And sí, yo hablo español. I apologize for the confusion. How may I help you?”

This usually elicits a laugh. Unless the person I’m speaking to doesn’t speak Spanish. Which has happened lots, because a

The day I got my digital micrometer. I can now gauge steel posts like nobody's business y'all.

shocking number of people that come through my office door don’t speak Spanish. At all. Not even something as basic as “Yo hablo español”. In Texas. Seriously? How does that make any sense? So, when the occasional testosterony, non-Spanish speaking dude comes through treating me like little girls can’t run fence companies, I throw in some extra Spanish words here and there just to emasculate them a little bit. Additionally, I sometimes say this to people who happen to speak only Portuguese. And although I’m trying to be helpful, and make communication easier, they do not laugh. Not because they do not understand me, but because I have mistaken their nationality. Which is not fair on my part, and then it’s my turn to feel like a douche and apologize. Lovely. I am learning though!! And verb conjugations are a bitch in Portuguese – fo sho.

Also – when I call vendors to order materials – they think I’m a prank caller. Not only am I a lady, I sound like I’m 8 years old. I cannot fathom why I wasn’t blessed with a gorgeous, throaty Demi Moore voice, but there you have it. In the Lucy Loves Tea video you hear my deepest I-Have-A-Cold voice. Which is 11 octaves above anyone else’s voice ever. Dogs wince. It’s totally sad. So it takes me FOREVER to build a relationship with vendors. The first time I call, this is the standard conversation:

Ass: “I will have to speak to my manager to determine if we can provide that material to you”

Me: “This material is listed on your website. There’s 182 pieces to a bundle, and you have 1493 in stock. I would like this delivered please.”

Ass: “Ma’am, I will have to speak to my manager”

This is the look I get on my face when people are being patently stupid. Or arrogant. Or rude. Ye have been warned.

Me: “Do you ask your manager before all sales? Because you could totally hire me as a consulting efficiency expert. I have a really good idea that should save you millions of man hours.” (usually this joke goes completely unacknowledged)

Ass: “What is your contact information ma’am? I will call you back after I have spoken with him.”

Me: “Oh no thank you very much. I’ll hold. Go ask your manager if you’re allowed to sell people material that is regular stock, listed in your inventory, and marked available for shipping. I can wait.”

*tick tock tick tock tick tock*

Ass’s Manager: “This is Ass’s manager – how may I help you”

Me: “Hi. I’m the Executive Vice President of a wholesale fence company. I’ve been in and around this business my entire life, and I am 32 years old, not 10. My name is

Nice lady face. You get this one for using your manners and treating everyone the same. Well done!!

Jamie, and I will pay you in full. In cash. On the day of purchase. Now Mr. Manager – are you willing to ship me that material, or do I need to go give your money to someone else?”

Ass’s Manager: “I’m very sorry for the confusion. Evidently our computer was having some difficulty pulling up the most recent inventory. From what I’m now seeing here, we are able to ship any quantity you may need. Immediately. What is your preferred delivery date?”

I’m not even joking. Some version of this conversation happens EVERY TIME I call a new vendor. So I’m logging a book of snarky comments and replies for dillholes that lose their damn minds when they get a squeaky-voiced woman on the phone  (so much so that they try to hang up on me when I’m offering cash money y’all). So what’s your best? What would you say?

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About TexasFenceSupply

Texas Fence Supply is a supplier located in North Dallas; contact us for information on our wood and chain link products, as well as our modular fence system.
This entry was posted in Adventures, Behavior, We're All Guilty of It, Demanding Accuracy, Languages of the World, Learning stuff is muy bueno, Stuff I do...Or like...Or think about, Who? Me? and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Our vendors think I’m a prank caller and everyone else thinks I’m a dude…

  1. lgalaviz says:

    This is awesome! I am totally going to buy a fence now. You will know it is me because I’m going to specifally ask for a dude named Jaime. I cannot WAIT to get ‘the look’!

  2. I consistently get callers asking to speak to my dad. High-pitched voices do not mean we are children. Gah!

  3. Pingback: Nose…Grindstone…Aaarrghh « I Thought This Would Be Easier

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