A Letter To The Client Who Called Me A “Bitch”.

The mature and well-thought out response….

Dear Client,

Your behavior towards me was unacceptable. It was rude, unprofessional, and uncalled for. But, aside from all of the obvious reasons you shouldn’t have called me a “bitch”, a word, for the record, that I don’t use, there are deeper and more profound reasons why throwing that word at me was completely unacceptable.

You put me in the postion of being “The woman who cried “bitch””, which is to say, I had to report the incident to my boss and suffer through endless questions that all seemed to be geared towards “Are you sure you aren’t being too sensitive?” “Is it possible he called you a “witch” and you misheard?”.  Despite the fact that I was the one who was insulted, I was the one being doubted. Yes, that blame falls on my boss, but you put me there. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, once you admitted to my boss that you had, in fact, called me a “bitch”, you put me in the position of being a “damel in distress” to which both my boss and your boss rushed to my aid, they were indignant on my behalf, they yelled at you to protect my honor, they forced an apology out of you, and then they patted themselves on the back from “saving me”.  This is all absurd. I handled the situation myself, did the right thing by reporting it to my superior, and then I’m still treated like a weak woman. No. No. No.

By calling me a “bitch” you put me in a losing positon. No matter what I did, I was the victim. There was no vindication. No acknowledgement that I did the right thing, the logical thing, the “by the book” thing. No. No. No.

I accept your (probably insincere) apology for calling me a “bitch” but you owe me apologies for so much more than that. The worst part is, you have no idea, no concept, of how far reaching the consequences of that word are for me and women like me. For all that, I don’t accept your apology.

Mae.

 

My first response….

Dear Client,

This is some bullshit. SOME MAJOR BULLSHIT. Grade-A highest level of BULLSHIT. This is some sexist BULLSHIT.

You’re an asshole.

Mae.

 

How would you respond to being called a “bitch” at work?

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42 thoughts on “A Letter To The Client Who Called Me A “Bitch”.

  1. I would probably open up a can of woop-ass because I have not filter. Way to be mature. If ever I am unjustly, or even justly, called something like this or as heinous, I’ll take a chapter from this post.

  2. It really shows the power of words to subordinate women. I would hope that I could stand up right there and tell that person that they cannot degrade me using that word, but I might have just been brave enough to tell my boss like you had to 😦

  3. I’d stare at them for a bit and then say, loudly enough for other people to hear, but not yelling, “Really? Did you really just say that? Did you *really* just call me a bitch?” with a shocked look. And then I’d wait and let the silence get as long and uncomfotable as necessary until they gave up and apologized.

    Sorry that happened to you at work. Sometimes I despair for the shittiness of the world.

    • That is a pretty spectacular response. I would love to see you do that sometime, although, of course, I hope you never have to.

  4. Wow. I luckily haven’t actually been called a bitch/other sexist pejorative at work, but I have been subject to quite a lot of sexist teasing, either directed at me or to my boss about me in my presence. I usually deal with it by letting my annoyance show and telling them that they’re being rude. It hasn’t led to any epiphanies yet, but they stop teasing me.

  5. “that’s all you got? i’ve been called worse by hormonal teenagers. use your grownup words and tell me the real problem.” too harsh? probably why i don’t work in an office.

  6. Bitch is pretty harsh. A woman would REALLY have to be behaving like an obvious grade A bitch for me to even consider calling her a bitch. Even then, that’d only be in a saloon or something, never at work. And of course, I’d protect my man parts while I said it and hide behind my wife.

      • Being confrontational is hard. I guess one needs to go into any potential argument armed with key words that are both offensive but not too politically incorrect. Obviously, bitch is harsh, as is that dreaded C word. You don’t want to be correct in the argument but lose style points with onlookers because you crossed some line of decency to make your point.

        My family is from northern Italy, so when I’m sure that I’m arguing with another Italian, I ask them if their family came from Sicily, that gets em every time, especially if it’s true!

        Maybe you should write a follow up post about proper etiquette when arguing. It could be loads of fun!

  7. As a Brit, I’d probably just do nothing. Possibly have some passive aggressive thoughts in my head. But that’s as far I’d go, I think! Such a lamer.

  8. I get yelled at a lot at work. I`m usually very polite and make the customer understand that calling me names won´t get them anywhere at all. Most of the time that works out just fine. Twice, I had to throw customers out. Luckily, I have a boss who leaves it up to me to call the shots. And whatever I do, he supports me.
    I´m sorry about how your boss handled the situation.

    • No worries! I don’t work there anymore. 🙂

      Glad you have a supportive boss but sorry you get yelled at all day!

  9. Wow I feel for you. Nobody deserves to be called a bitch. I probably would have said “if you want to call someone a bitch then you should go look in the mirror you punk asshole”. But hey thats just me.

  10. I think it would depend if it was after or BEFORE I do their hair. Revenge might come in the form on a bad hair cut :):)

    Obviously I’m joking! I hopefully would have some really witty remark, or now I’ve read this, point out how sexist that word is and how they are doing a injustice to women-kind and that they are really letting the side down.

  11. I’ve been a high school teacher for 28 years, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I’ve been called a bitch more times than I can count . And it usually comes after I’ve held someone accountable for their actions and won’t back down. The first time it happened, I was probably pretty hurt. Eventually, I realized that kids would say that when I was doing my job despite their best efforts to prevent it.
    That being said, I still don’t take it. I calmly swoop down LIKE A BAT and get the offender to the office. Zero tolerance. If someone at my job calls me by ANY derogatory name, I’m going to make sure they have to repeat it in front of my superiors and his/her parents. I’ll shame the crap out of a kid or co-worker for being rude and disrespectful to me or anyone else.
    I don’t want an apology; you can’t take that shit back.

    • I have to admit when you said” swoop down like a bat” I pictured Severus Snape.. 🙂

      Also, yeah. People lash out the most when you’re calling them out on their actions.

  12. The one and only time (that I remember) ever being called a bitch was by my ex-husband when I wasn’t giving in to whatever it was he was demanding.

    I calmly looked at him and stated, “If you want to continue calling me that, I will oblige you by acting like one”.

    He hastily corrected his terminology and backed off – he’s never called me that again. He knows I wasn’t acting like one, have never acted like one, but knows it’s in me to be one.

  13. Appropriately treat them like children, since they’re acting like it. “Do you need to take a time out to think about what is upsetting you, so that you can come back and explain it using an appropriate and respectful vocabulary? Because I don’t have uncomfortable conversations unless they are somehow productive. You’re also free to file a complaint, although I would suggest using your grown-up words while doing so.”

  14. Pingback: Being called a Bitch at work - why the woman can't win .

  15. You could ways use one of my personal favorite lines and respond saying “hang on, wait, I could swear I just hallucinated that you called me a bitch, but im sure that couldnt possibly be right….”(annnnddd awkward silence usually brings that “bullshit” to a screeching halt 😉

  16. It really wasn’t that serious for them to call you that. My first response in my mind would be to slap the crap out of that. My first response in reality would be to tell that I’m sorry you feel that way, perhaps I can get someone who would better handle your concerns. I don’t think I would have taken it to my boss because I wouldn’t want to seem like a whiny woman. I would probably have just kept it to myself then complain about it later to my friends at home for some time, then get over it. If they called me a b## again, I probably would tell my boss. Some things, we just have to let go… no matter how much we don’t want to….

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