Monday, July 23, 2012


Dear World:  Choosing to, for a time, stay at home and take care of my small children did not erase all my intelligence, capacity, and analytical ability.

We are having a major household mechanical/electrical item replaced next week.  In consequence, tradespeople and sales representatives have been in and out of my house all week.  There was one in particular whom I wished to take by the shoulders and gently inform that "look here, little lady" was probably the wrong tone to take with me, i.e., the person who was going to decide where to spend $$$$. 

I read somewhere that stay-at-home moms control about 90% of the household's finances, including major purchases.  Because we are the ones making all the purchases.  Because we are home to deal with it.  Because we don't have to leave work to meet the person at the house.

So seriously, tradespeople of the world: don't piss us off.  When I ask a question about the advantages, warranties, and durability of various systems, I don't know already know the answers, but I do expect a respectful answer.  And I have a finely tuned bullshit-o-meter from many years of working with scientists.*

*Last week I, passionately and with great conviction, informed my spouse that Road A turned into Road B at Intersection C.  In fact, they are four blocks apart and do not meet.  But I was wrong with emphasis!!


  1. If you're going to be wrong, at least be wrong with emphasis! I definitely make 90% or more of the purchasing decisions. I'm a big fan of getting Consumer Reports at the library and researching the durability and efficacy of various models. Then I hardly need to talk to salespeople and can tell which are trying to BS me. Of course, they don't review everything.

    Those salespeople will learn to be more respectful once they start losing the business of PO'd housewives!

  2. Alas, that this is a product CR does not review. But I am also into reading it via the library! CR helped me buy a new vacuum recently. :) The Internet told me a lot about my $$$$ purchase this time, but there's always something the Internet doesn't know that, perhaps, the guy who's been doing it for 30 years does. Plus, I find it a useful character review to find out who's going to TRY to BS me.

  3. When we bought our current dishwasher, I did all the research, and I'm the one who ended up buying the thing. Not only did I read Consumer Reports, I also looked at repair rates, etc, which CS doesn't seem to take into account as much as I want. When I went to the store to actually physically SEE the 2 I had narrowed it down to, I checked things like "can I reach the back of it without pulling the entire rack out?" and "does the silverware holder annoy me?" Then I talked to the salesperson, and the guy actually recommended the (slightly) cheaper one.

    He didn't talk down to me at any point. That made it worth it even more to buy from him.

  4. heh. i also specialize in emphatic wrongness. way to be.

  5. When we first moved to Spain, the guy in charge of setting up our electricity treated me like an idiot -- I hardly knew any Spanish, so clearly I had to be stupid. Unfortunately my Spanish wasn't even enough to complain about it.

  6. Anonymous12:48 PM

    ugh, i hate this. i make most of the decisions regarding the large purchases in the house AND i am the one home to see them delivered/ installed/ fixed because my schedule is much more flexible. and yet... despite the PhD am talked down to. I have no patience for the BS but find its much easier to call my husband & complain then give him the name & number of the person who was NOT LISTENING and have him call them & get things done. a total waste of everyone's time but seemingly the only way to get things done.


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