READER REPORT:

Men can't comprehend what I do

BRIDGET LONDON
Last updated 06:30 23/06/2014
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Fairfax NZ

NO BOYS TOYS: Bridget London found customers avoiding her at her electrical wholesale job.

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I've been working for an electrical wholesale company for over a decade and I'm not yet 30.

Daily I am confronted by men who just can't comprehend that a woman can do what I do.

I deal with it, I have to.

I think the electrical industry runs in my veins. As a child I grew up running round the empty cable drums in the wholesaler while my parents worked. They both work in wholesaling, and my brother is an electrician. I've known no different so it just felt right to do it as well.

I was 18 when I started full time running inwards goods for an electrical wholesale company. Yes, a girl can lift boxes, roll off cable, drive a delivery truck and do general 'boy' duties.

It was moving into counter sales when the real fun began.

Most of the sparkies are used to me now, it's all those men that walk in off the street and wonder how a woman can help them.

Customers avoided me, scanning the room hesitantly trying to find a man to serve them.

After over a decade working in the industry, I have gained a lot of respect from the majority of my customers. It's the older generation of men that think they know everything, but really know nothing that wind me up. They talk down to me, they treat me like I'm the stupid one because they don't know what they want.

I've learnt to laugh about these situations now. If you can't laugh you'll never survive!

The downside of working in a man's world is that I very much live in a compliment-free world, boys don't notice when you get your hair done, if you've got new shoes or painted your nails! They also don't notice when the last toilet roll has gone or the stapler is empty.

But the upside is, I work with a pretty awesome bunch of guys - 15 in fact.

Somedays I want to slap some of them, but every day is full of laughs and I know every one of them would have my back if I ever needed them.

I could never imagine myself in an office full of gossiping women.


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