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Snao Cone

When businesses assume you have a spouse

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Snao Cone

I got a call from my bank the other day, pretty much veering on the edge of telemarketing. The person who called me was telling me about an offer if I switch my mortgage to them. I went through a mortgage broker who also happens to be a family friend, and he found me the best rate and that haopened to not be through my bank. Anyway, I couldn't switch for another three years even if I wanted to.

 

The entire conversation, though (which dragged on to telling me to make an appointment with their investment people to change to more aggressive mutual funds at my age - you can see why I'm posting this in Oldies, since young folks likely haven't gotten dragged into this world yet :lol: ) this person was referring to "you guys" - as in "if you switch your mortgage to be with us, you guys will get $500 in cash" or "to make sure you guys are getting bang for your buck". All of my accounts are for me only. They probably have record of my marital status. Yet it's assumed, by this person at least, that I'm part of a couple.

 

It's not hard to avoid this mistake. "You" pronouns are both singular and plural. There's no excuse for not using that whenever it's uncertain. If only one person's name is attached to an account, it's safer to assume they're single because there's evidence to back that up. Do people just assume that a 30-something woman must not be alone? Do people worry that addressing her as single will upset her? Clearly this person wasn't into formalities, as indicated by the pronoun of "you guys".

 

So, arg. I don't see these things very often. I think they're wisely avoided for the most part these days. But this person let the continued underlying bias some people have rise to the surface. <_<

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NerotheReaper

I personally would be amazed they think someone would want to date me or even marry me....

 

Ok on a serious note, I see the frustration you have not sure why businesses or people always assume everyone goes with the traditional way of doing things.  

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Snao Cone
19 minutes ago, NerotheReaper said:

I personally would be amazed they think someone would want to date me or even marry me....

This person should've known that there's no financial incentive luring mates towards me. :P

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Scottthespy

They MIGHT have meant 'you guys' as in 'you people living in the house'. Its not likely, but it's possible. People refer to my house situation as 'you guys' even though I'm the single owner of the house, and the couple that lives here is my renters who are also my dad's girlfriend's son and his wife and kid.

 

That said, I know how it feels to be assumed. Any time I'm out with a male friend people assume that. It makes sense if I'm like...going to the park with my brother-thing and the kid...here's a man and a woman about the same age who look nothing alike and are sitting together and answering the same kid, it's not unreasonable to expect those people to be a couple, even if the kid is calling 'auntie anda', not mommy. The worst one was when I went to Mexico with a good friend for two weeks. Some people would ask, 'so, are you two together...?' and we'd say no. But other people..."So your boyfriend was telling me..." "So I was talking to your wife yesterday...". 
The assumptions were so overbearing that it was hilarious. We even had one guy (who turned out to be a real weirdo), ask us RIGHT after the introduction, "So where's your little ones?". Dude, what? I just said "...and this is my buddy..." Why would you assume not only marriage, but also that we have kids? 

 

People will assume all sorts of crazy stuff. These days I just shake my head and marvel at the way their minds work. I try very hard not to make assumptions in my daily life, but sometimes it seems like the rest of the world is jumping to conclusions like its an Olympic event.

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Allegra

I absolutely hate when that happens, and when people assume your assumed spouse is of the opposite gender. The worst for me was in a cab going home after I got the last two wisdom teeth out, and I could barely talk, and the cab driver said, "Your husband will be happy tonight!" Which was also awful because he assumed that this hypothetical husband would be happier with me practically silent. :angry:

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Snao Cone
2 hours ago, Allegra said:

I absolutely hate when that happens, and when people assume your assumed spouse is of the opposite gender. The worst for me was in a cab going home after I got the last two wisdom teeth out, and I could barely talk, and the cab driver said, "Your husband will be happy tonight!" Which was also awful because he assumed that this hypothetical husband would be happier with me practically silent. :angry:

Wooooow. I wonder if that cab driver has watched any TV from the past 50 years, because it seems he has a sense of humour that predates that.

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borkfork
3 hours ago, Allegra said:

I absolutely hate when that happens, and when people assume your assumed spouse is of the opposite gender. 

I was being interviewed for unemployment benefits by the government one time and the person on the other end of the phone asks me, "How much does your husband make?" I was taken aback. Not only did they just assume I have a spouse, but that my spouse is male. I actually said "You just made two bad assumptions in one sentence." Which veered into "no, I'm straight (I was 23), but I think that is insensitive to gay people and this is California." We had just had the prop 8 disaster before which a lot of couples got married. My friends' anniversary is 8/8/08. :P

 

But really that should have been:

1. Are you married or in a civil union? (CA started doing the civil union/domestic partnership thing the 1970s! Get with the times!)

if yes 2. How much does your spouse or partner make?

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Semisweet

Many moons ago (before I had caller ID), I got a call at home from a telemarketer who asked me "if you and your husband would like to buy aluminum siding for the house." As I was renting an apartment at the time in addition to being single, and I'm not a fan of siding regardless, the assumption about my marital status was the least of what was wrong with the caller's question. :P

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SaturnOOO
21 hours ago, Allegra said:

"Your husband will be happy tonight!" Which was also awful because he assumed that this hypothetical husband would be happier with me practically silent. :angry:

WTF. This just made me furious :mad: 

 

@borkfork good for you for calling them out on that. I feel like I would be taken aback and not think of a good response until mulling it over later, so kudos to you for thinking on your feet.

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chandrakirti

There's nothing worse than the assumption that in this day and age, a business transaction isn't valid unless a husband is involved. 

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chair jockey
On 5/22/2017 at 11:52 AM, Snao Çoñé said:

This person should've known that there's no financial incentive luring mates towards me. :P

I'm assuming that's sarcasm. In today's urban world your permanent, full-time job, ownership of property, level of sophistication etc. put you almost in gigolo territory.

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Snao Cone
39 minutes ago, chair jockey said:

I'm assuming that's sarcasm. In today's urban world your permanent, full-time job, ownership of property, level of sophistication etc. put you almost in gigolo territory.

While it's sad that could be true for some people desperate for stability, I'm really nowhere near sugar mama levels. Maybe the bank employee thought that at my level I would need a dual income household.

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chair jockey
7 minutes ago, Snao Çoñé said:

While it's sad that could be true for some people desperate for stability, I'm really nowhere near sugar mama levels. Maybe the bank employee thought that at my level I would need a dual income household.

You don't live in Toronto, do you? Lots of people here of both sexes and all genders are struggling so badly that they wouldn't be after vacations on the Riviera. They'd be satisfied with a private residence, freedom from an hour and a half commute to a part-time job, and a decent-quality non-shared kitchen and bathroom. (I have those things unless you consider my father and brother to be my roommates, which they really aren't, but MANY people in Toronto don't have those things.)

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Snao Cone
37 minutes ago, chair jockey said:

You don't live in Toronto, do you? Lots of people here of both sexes and all genders are struggling so badly that they wouldn't be after vacations on the Riviera. They'd be satisfied with a private residence, freedom from an hour and a half commute to a part-time job, and a decent-quality non-shared kitchen and bathroom. (I have those things unless you consider my father and brother to be my roommates, which they really aren't, but MANY people in Toronto don't have those things.)

If I did live in Toronto I would be in the same boat as them. A friend of mine in Vancouver couldn't afford to live on his own in a central area until he was 39 years old and making over 5x as much as I am now.

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Tystie

A number of years ago, I was faced with redundancy. Without the job, I couldn't pay my mortgage. Faced with financial necessity, I decided to sell my flat. When a (male) colleague heard of my plans, he said something along the lines of, "But surely you've got a partner who can help you out."

 

Now, we'd worked together for four years by this point, and I was really stunned by his words. Did he really know me that little? Did he really assume that I had a man who was the main breadwinner, and my salary was a nice little extra? Yes, he did. (I'm getting annoyed, just thinking about it, even after all this time!)

 

So, yes, I sympathise with you, @Snao Çoñé.

 

I have to deal with a lot of weird assumptions, not least because I use the title, Doctor. This is partly because I don't like to advertise single female living alone, but most because I hate the minefield of female titles. Miss, Ms and Mrs all come with baggage that I can avoid by using Doctor. However, people more often than not assume that I am male. Sometimes this can be very funny, but mostly it's downright annoying. It amazes me sometimes how we still live in a society that assumes male, even when females can be every bit as qualified and able.

 

About a month ago, I filled in a form, asking about a holiday package. The form asked for my title and my name: Dr XXXX. So, what did I get back by way of correspondence? Dear Mr XXXX. I found it a huge turn off, and it's one of the reasons why I haven't pursued that particular holiday idea.

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chair jockey
29 minutes ago, Snao Çoñé said:

If I did live in Toronto I would be in the same boat as them. A friend of mine in Vancouver couldn't afford to live on his own in a central area until he was 39 years old and making over 5x as much as I am now.

Fair enough. I guess you're smart to live in Winnipeg instead. :)

 

Come to think of it, I should relocate to Cobalt, Ontario. Population of 1,000 or so, private residence for less than a storage locker costs in Toronto, and snowed in eight months a year so lots of opportunity to stay in and use the computer. But my place would be condemnable under the Building Code and all my neighbours would be druggies, so....

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Snao Cone
40 minutes ago, Tystie said:

Now, we'd worked together for four years by this point, and I was really stunned by his words. Did he really know me that little? Did he really assume that I had a man who was the main breadwinner, and my salary was a nice little extra? Yes, he did. (I'm getting annoyed, just thinking about it, even after all this time!)

Wow, some people can be so far up their own ass that they don't even know when they're being incredibly presumptuous like that.

 

27 minutes ago, chair jockey said:

Fair enough. I guess you're smart to live in Winnipeg instead. :)

Partially lucky to be born here, though many people from my town like to think they're too good for it and move to places like Toronto and Vancouver where they have to make that trade off. There's definitely a difference in how much economic trends have affected my age cohort in different cities, and really anyone who wasn't in a position to buy real estate when it was "affordable" or secure a job when jobs were secure.

 

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

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chair jockey
12 minutes ago, Snao Çoñé said:

Wow, some people can be so far up their own ass that they don't even know when they're being incredibly presumptuous like that.

 

Partially lucky to be born here, though many people from my town like to think they're too good for it and move to places like Toronto and Vancouver where they have to make that trade off. There's definitely a difference in how much economic trends have affected my age cohort in different cities, and really anyone who wasn't in a position to buy real estate when it was "affordable" or secure a job when jobs were secure.

 

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

I'm chuckling bitterly, but not at anything in said.

 

When i reached age 16 back in 1981, some boys were quitting school on their 16th birthdays to find unionized jobs in factories. I was totally unaware at the time that such jobs paid twice as much as their bosses' jobs did, and things like overtime increased their income to upper-middle-class levels. There was a general bigotry that people in such jobs were "low" and not to be associated with. What was trumpeted at us in every class and on every streetcorner was that our goal must be finishing university and getting "a good job" at a desk in some office. Of course, those men who quit school at 16 to take unionized jobs in factories are now filthy rich, while some of the rest of us discovered two years into our university studies that we're not academic material and quit to join the workforce--and were still so misinformed that we sought slave-level jobs in offices that only enabled us to live from paycheque to paycheque.

 

Part of the reason for this is that our parents were often poorly-paid blue-collar employees who had this bigoted fantasy that having a university degree and a desk job in an office would make us "an important gentleman." My parents having lived in Communist East Europe until they were about 30 was particularly harmful to me in that regard, because of the endemic corruption in such political systems, which they had no reason to suspect was any different in Canada. But educators also saw it as being in their self-interest to maximize the number of students in high schools and post-secondary institutions because it increased their job security and political power. Some educators believed their own fanatical propaganda about "higher education" and some still do. Others, however, were cynical hypocrites who just didn't want younger people making more money than they did.

 

Which brings me to the fact that education still suffers most from cynical hypocrisy on the part of older generations, especially among educators. We know that today's kids are better off going into trades apprenticeship programs or practical-skills community college programs, but we are competing with those kids for jobs and other resources and want to hamstring them in order to have a competitive advantage over them, so we lie through our teeth about the primacy of university degrees and how superior having one will make those kids, when we know damned well that it won't. I wonder how many educators are consciously guilty of this.

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Snao Cone
11 minutes ago, chair jockey said:

There was a general bigotry that people in such jobs were "low" and not to be associated with. What was trumpeted at us in every class and on every streetcorner was that our goal must be finishing university and getting "a good job" at a desk in some office. Of course, those men who quit school at 16 to take unionized jobs in factories are now filthy rich, while some of the rest of us discovered two years into our university studies that we're not academic material and quit to join the workforce--and were still so misinformed that we sought slave-level jobs in offices that only enabled us to live from paycheque to paycheque.

 

Part of the reason for this is that our parents were often poorly-paid blue-collar employees who had this bigoted fantasy that having a university degree and a desk job in an office would make us "an important gentleman."

Yes, that is definitely a major factor in how things have turned out. Tertiary sector jobs were touted as higher status because they took less physical toil and were indoors. Yet sedentary work lives have greatly affected our overall health, on top of the broken promises of better economic lives. The problem with backtracking and getting more young people to work in the trades is that the number of unionized factory jobs has gone way down, and other physical labour jobs, like in construction, can be feast or famine. Additionally more hands-on public service jobs, like waste management and road maintenance, are oursourced to companies that don't offer the security and union membership that those jobs had when employed by the government.

 

One thing that makes me cautious about major pushes for everyone to learn to code, or go into STEM fields in general, is that those markets will saturate and degrees in those fields won't cut it on their own anymore, much like what has happened to liberal arts and social science degrees. Tech businesses can easily go bust, as we've seen before. Science jobs require funding, which can fluctuate depending on the direction of political and corporate interests. Finance sector jobs will crash and burn as the financial sector is prone to do. There are few promises of stability with work anymore, so it will become ever more rare for people to land a job that they can count on being there in five years. This is yet another barrier in people affording home ownership, and what's basically further extending our "youth" as requiring multiple roommates might deter a couple from living together and/or getting married, and certainly from having children. I find this is less of an issue among my friends who have stayed here (or moved here from elsewhere), and more of an issue with friends who live in larger cities. I have even known people to move to Toronto and move back when they are ready to have a family, since it's more affordable to raise them here.

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chair jockey
8 minutes ago, Snao Çoñé said:

Yes, that is definitely a major factor in how things have turned out. Tertiary sector jobs were touted as higher status because they took less physical toil and were indoors. Yet sedentary work lives have greatly affected our overall health, on top of the broken promises of better economic lives. The problem with backtracking and getting more young people to work in the trades is that the number of unionized factory jobs has gone way down, and other physical labour jobs, like in construction, can be feast or famine. Additionally more hands-on public service jobs, like waste management and road maintenance, are oursourced to companies that don't offer the security and union membership that those jobs had when employed by the government.

 

One thing that makes me cautious about major pushes for everyone to learn to code, or go into STEM fields in general, is that those markets will saturate and degrees in those fields won't cut it on their own anymore, much like what has happened to liberal arts and social science degrees. Tech businesses can easily go bust, as we've seen before. Science jobs require funding, which can fluctuate depending on the direction of political and corporate interests. Finance sector jobs will crash and burn as the financial sector is prone to do. There are few promises of stability with work anymore, so it will become ever more rare for people to land a job that they can count on being there in five years. This is yet another barrier in people affording home ownership, and what's basically further extending our "youth" as requiring multiple roommates might deter a couple from living together and/or getting married, and certainly from having children. I find this is less of an issue among my friends who have stayed here (or moved here from elsewhere), and more of an issue with friends who live in larger cities. I have even known people to move to Toronto and move back when they are ready to have a family, since it's more affordable to raise them here.

Construction in Toronto is not feast or famine but a nonstop gluttonous orgy that will continue until Toronto looks like Manhattan. Real estate values are insanely high and climbing, so creating real property is currently the single best investment in this city. Yet there is no room left to build more single-family houses where the real estate values are high enough, and condo towers offer more bang for the buck anyway. Some experts have expressed fear that real estate prices will crash, but there are enough rich people around the world to keep buying Toronto real estate indefinitely (unless I've missed some news about Toronto imposing a penalty on foreign absentee ownership the way Vancouver did).

 

In the last few months I've been seeing groups of two or three young professionals being shown around this building, obviously by the property manager for the purpose of renting an apartment as roommates. If young professionals are looking to rent in this dump, then it won't be long before people like me are priced out of living in Toronto altogether. Maybe we'll all move to Winnipeg and give you a housing crisis! :D

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Midland Tyke
1 hour ago, Snao Çoñé said:

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

Very clever, given the topic under discussion

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Snao Cone
1 hour ago, chair jockey said:

Maybe we'll all move to Winnipeg and give you a housing crisis! :D

You might be able to stand the winters, but I don't know if Torontonians can stand the international mockery. :P

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Allegra
1 hour ago, chair jockey said:

Construction in Toronto is not feast or famine but a nonstop gluttonous orgy that will continue until Toronto looks like Manhattan.

Seriously, every time I visit family it's like going to a new city! 

 

Haven't paid enough attention to condo prices there to make a fair assumption if it's worse here (Vancouver) or there. But there's a reason I live on the edge of Vancouver in a small one-bedroom and not in my favourite neighbourhood. 

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Allegra
3 minutes ago, Snao Çoñé said:

You might be able to stand the winters, but I don't know if Torontonians can stand the international mockery. :P

I personally doubt I would be able to stand the winters. I'm a crappy Canadian that way.

 

(Couldn't figure out how to add a reply in an edited post.)

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chair jockey

On a related note to this topic:

 

I once registered a business name. It's done online, although I forget the website name, and then you can print off a Master Business Licence with all the info you need, plus it's proof that you "have a business" for most purposes, including opening business bank accounts.

 

Somehow that resulted in a few years of me occasionally getting telemarketing calls from various companies that provide services to businesses, and I think I still get an annual mailing of a catalogue for buying business equipment and supplies. :D

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Snao Cone
Just now, Allegra said:

I personally doubt I would be able to stand the winters. I'm a crappy Canadian that way.

 

(Couldn't figure out how to add a reply in an edited post.)

That's the British Columbian way. :P

 

Actually, the friend of mine in Vancouver was here one year for Christmas, and as a smoker he needed to spend a few minutes at a time outside. It was in the -30s pretty consistently the week he was here, but he was fine with the cold, as long as it was sunny. You can warm yourself up with layers and a heater, but you can't quite compensate for dreary grey clouds.

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Allegra
Just now, Snao Çoñé said:

That's the British Columbian way. :P

 

Actually, the friend of mine in Vancouver was here one year for Christmas, and as a smoker he needed to spend a few minutes at a time outside. It was in the -30s pretty consistently the week he was here, but he was fine with the cold, as long as it was sunny. You can warm yourself up with layers and a heater, but you can't quite compensate for dreary grey clouds.

It was very easy to acclimatize to BC!! I grew up in Toronto and then spent six years in Montreal, and honestly, I loved Montreal and would've stayed if the winters hadn't been so awful. True, you can dress warm, but I still haven't grown to hate rain the way I hate snow and cold. Plus those Montreal heating bills were just ridiculous! 

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Megane

not sure if this count but yesterday i was doing training for what i hope is my new job as a night auditor at a local small inn. the person training was asking me thing for a fake reservation so i could see how the system work he as me if me and my boyfriend needed one or two beds i joke and said two because i throw him out of bed all the time (which is kinda true) but it jsut made me more self conscious to not do that to someone else. ive recently gotten really tough on myself to used the world s.o or partner versus boyfriend or beau

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Blitzentan

My son and I recently remortgaged the the house, everyone seemed to assume we were married - same surname so I suppose in a way it's understandable - though the age difference is somewhat...extreme :D

 

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SilverFlower

The single discrimination that bugs me is the travel industry's practice of quoting prices "per person based on double occupancy" and then charging huge "single supplements".

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