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Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Baby steps

Yesterday we found ourselves (again) in one of those big soulless shops that sell everything from sinks to lawnmowers to light switches.

Marek had to buy his Dad an aerial cable ending, and couldn't find the one he needed. 'I'm going to find someone to ask' he muttered as he walked away, past two women who worked there and were chatting in the curtain section.

'Er, you just walked past two people who could help you,' I pointed out, 'why don't you ask them?'

'But they just deal with material,' he said, 'I'm looking for a guy to ask.'

Now, bear in mind that this was the day of the Miss World competition, we'd been through the 'women are more than objects to look at' argument and I'd already ranted about Polish gender stereotyping several times that day.

I gave Marek the kind of look that, by rights, should have melted the flesh clean off his face. 'Because they're women they just deal with curtains?' I asked, trying not to shout. 'They work here! You can ask them about their products; any of them. If they can't help they'll get you someone who can.'

Marek, very sensibly, didn't react to my agitation but approached the nearest woman and explained what he was looking for. She led him off and for an awful moment I thought she was looking for another employee. It turned out she was just getting the right aisle.

I followed and tried to control my grin as she talked him through the different aerial endings. He asked a couple of questions, picked out the one he needed and thanked her.

As we walked to the checkout Marek smiled at me sheepishly, 'it just didn't cross my mind to ask her' he said.

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