Real Stories About Condescending People Getting Put In Their Place By Experts
37. Try To Teach Me How It's Done? You'll Find Out I'm Way Out Of Your League
“I am a professional artist. I frequent a coffee shop I’ve been going to for over a decade. A friend of mine from pool wanted to set me up with a friend of hers. As per her, ‘You like art and he likes art.
He’s also super nerdy, you guys should get along pretty well.’
So, I meet this guy at said coffee shop and we start talking about comics and anime. Immediately, I get gatekeeping vibes. We were talking about Brian k. Vaughn, one of my favorite writers, and he starts saying phrases like ‘wow, I’m impressed you didn’t have to Google that,’ and ‘most girls don’t know that.’
I’m already turned off.
At this point, a couple of the baristas are eavesdropping with twisted grins on their faces. They can tell he is digging himself a hole.
Then, this jerk proceeds to tell me if I love anime so much, he can teach me how to draw my own characters.
I kid you not, he takes out his sketchbook and starts breaking down a general bust gesture for me. Like, he’s giving me a tutorial on how to make dragon ball-Z style faces (one of the simplest, blockiest anime styles, IMO).
Poorly. Then, he passes along his sketchbook and encourages me to try.
In a fraction of the time I draw a much better original character, complete with my own style and much better proportions than this pleb.
Then, I told him if he’d cared to listen for more than five seconds, he would have caught that I am a professional, and way out of his league.
I ordered another beer and bid him adieu. The baristas lost their crap.”
36. Think You're So High And Mighty? Your Ego Is Going To Cost You Big Time
“I’m an application engineer for big plants and mills and such (power, paper, chemical, etc.) My specialization is to make sure that, given process data, their pumps, pipes, valves, and controllers (Pneumatic, pressure-operated physical part) all work nicely with the DCS (digital control system, electric part) so nothing breaks or explodes a tank or whatnot.
I had an old-school ‘professional’ engineer at a power company come to me and hand me a valve with a hole in it and basically tell me to fix it. Let me explain, valves don’t just magically get holes in them, that’s a very strange mode of failure, and your newly-religious valve’s not going to get fixed, you have to get a new one at that point.
This is about about a $30,000 USD valve, too, not cheap.
I tactfully explain that he needs a new one, and we redo the data, everything checks out, and we relay this to the PE, stating that he should recheck his process.
He scoffs, saying, ‘All of OUR data is correct. It’s YOUR valve that broke’ – okay, not technically wrong, but we size using conditions GIVEN to us by the facility. He is going on and on about how I’m, ironically, not a professional (technically I’m not a PE).
Generally, ticked off about 30 grand.
Forgot to mention there were four identical lines going to a boiler. Identical valves. $30,000 USD a pop. Sent the findings to the failure analysis team, and they came back saying the damage is consistent with low flow (i.e.
dude gave us the wrong data, then insisted we were wrong and insulted me in the process).
It’s their fault, and they’re paying $120k for replacements.
IT GETS BETTER
Mr. High-and-mighty doesn’t want to buy new, then buys from a reseller (fine and cheaper if it works).
Resellers don’t size, they just try to match and sell, and this is a very particular application. Using MY work, he sends the bad data to the reseller, got refurbished valves for cheaper, and installed them…..Destroyed his multi-million dollar boiler in two months.
Never felt bad for the guy.”
35. Doubt I'm The Top Player? I've Got All The Proof You Need
“I play a lot of video games in my free time and tend to focus and specialize in strategy and card games these days. Ten to fifteen years ago I was competing in the FPS MLG circuits and practicing my APM for Starcraft Broodwar, but now I mostly work, and play to keep my brain active.
Despite that, I am consistently global best, or top 10/100 for most of the strategy games I regularly sit down for. Hearthstone would be the one that most people would recognize and I’ve also done Rank 1 Challenger for the 3v3 bracket of League of Legends, but I also have some 300+ hours wrapped up in a little game called Cards and Castles.
At one point I was sitting at the global Rank 1 position by a landslide. No close second. My original decks were defining the meta and the game’s staff themselves had awarded me badges for both of these things which I still have.
One thing that is interesting to note about this particular game is that it automatically records the matches of games at the highest ELOs and stores them to be watched by the player base to see how the best players play – it’s called ‘Cards.TV’ and on this particular season every single game I played was automatically uploaded and featured for viewing because of the ELO difference between rank 1 and 2.
As a result – my replays made up between 90% to 100% of all viewable games at the time.
Another piece of background for me is that at one point I was a game theory professor.
I used to hang out on the game discord chat channels where I would chat with people about strategies and give advice on improving.
The staff would sit in there and talk to me about balance or gameplay. It was a good time. After providing some feedback on a particular card that someone asked me about, someone else in the channel was like ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about.’
And I was like ‘huh? How do you mean?’
They started explaining how all of my points were just speculative, and that the decks I was talking about wouldn’t work.
The card counters could simply be shut down by x, y, and z. And I’m totally cool with constructive criticism and feedback but the guy was being a serious jerk. Really condescending.
And I was like ‘man, I’m not trying to be rude, but I’m literally the highest-rated player in the world by a landslide playing these decks.
So which do you think is more likely? That all of the rest of the world has been oblivious to these obvious counters you’ve suggested, or that maybe your math is a little off. Like I don’t think there is another player in this game who is literally more qualified at the moment to voice this position.’
He said, ‘well I highly doubt that you’re the top player.’
Other people laughed.
Someone else said ‘dude, the tags ‘Rank 1,’ and ‘Deck Master’ are right next to his name.’
You could tell this shook him a bit and he said ‘Well…well I saw on Cards.TV’ to which I interrupted and said, ‘I AM THE T.V.!’
Everyone laughed. Even him. And that earned me the nickname ‘The T.V.’ in that Discord channel. Good times.”
34. Looking For The Expert? She's Right Here!
“I’m a chick who used to work at an outdoors store. I was one of a handful of girls working there, and most of the girls held just sales positions or worked registers. We had one shoes manager and a women’s clothing manager who were women, but the rest of the employees were these burly guys—a few of whom had hiked the full Appalachian Trail, and all of whom looked like they would be glad to eat a wolf heart torn out with their bare hands as a celebratory meal.
I have an awful memory for everything except useless knowledge, so the job of being the gear manager was perfectly suited for me. I could remember all the different stats for all the gear, like R ratings for sleeping pads and the processes used to make the different types of steel for all the knives we sold.
My only problem is that I can never remember the names of anyone or anything (I am also slightly face blind so I don’t recognize people very well… makes life uhh… interesting, but that’s another story).
So, living in Georgia, there’s a fair number of customers who come in to look at the knives specifically.
We had mostly Benchmade brand knives, including ones like the Pagan and Infidel, both of which have automatic action (the blade pops out when you slide a button). We also had a bunch of stupid novelty knives, like a $30 ‘Italian classic pocket knife’ and a bayonet and a 1.5’ novelty machete.
The teenage boys always loved those stupid, bulky knives and I had lots of people coming in trying to argue that they needed the 4.5” Bushcrafter to go on a one-night camping trip in their grandparent’s backyard. Had one guy tell me he was going to hike the Appalachian Trail through while carrying that 7oz knife…
I laughed until I realized he wasn’t kidding.
Anyways, I had lots of older men ask me to open up the knife case for them, and I had these curated spiels about each knife to explain the benefits and cons of each knife and the different mechanisms. Often I was told, ‘that’s very interesting ma’am, but I’ve got a few questions for the knife expert here, could you grab him?’
It was always so exciting when I got to tell them that I was the gear manager.”
33. That Time My Father-In-Law Thought He Knew More About Breastfeeding Than Me
“My ex-father-in-law was the most arrogant know-it-all I have ever met. There was never any subject you could discuss within earshot of him where he wouldn’t interrupt the conversation to tell you how he wrote the book on that topic. Of course, 99% of the time he was talking out of his butt.
It drove me crazy.
Anyway, when my daughter was about six months old we were at my in-laws’ house. After we had finished eating dinner, my daughter became hungry and I excused myself to go nurse her.
Everyone was sitting at the dinner table and I took my daughter to a corner of the living room and began feeding her.
After a few minutes, my ex-father-in-law walked into the living room and sat down at his computer. I was a little uncomfortable, but whatever. I covered myself a little better with my daughter’s baby blanket.
Then my ex-father-in-law said, ‘You do know you’re doing that wrong, don’t you?’
I was confused.
‘Doing what wrong?’
‘Breastfeeding,’ he said.
I had no idea what the heck to say to that. I have been told many times that my face gives away everything I’m thinking, so I’m pretty sure he was getting a disgusted ‘you’ve got to be freaking kidding me’ look.
He took that as a cue to mansplain to me how to breastfeed my infant daughter. You know, because he had breastfed so many babies! He picked up a pillow off the couch for demonstration purposes and said, ‘See, you’re holding her like this, but she should be like this, with her head this way! That’s how she can get more milk.’
I was just stunned.
‘Thanks, Bob, but we’re doing just fine the way we are.’
I stood up and carried my daughter into another room to finish feeding her meal in peace.
I have had a lot of instances of mansplaining professionally, but somehow, none of them can top an ignorant old man whose children weren’t even breastfed telling me I didn’t know how to nurse my baby.”
32. Insist You're Right? I Have An English Degree, I Think I Know What's Grammatically Correct
“When I first started a new job some years ago, part of the training we took was in writing letters to policyholders regarding approval or decline of their medical benefits. One of the popular medical benefits we approved was adult diapers, euphemistically characterized as ‘incontinence supplies.’
I wrote a letter declining these supplies, then submitted it to my trainer for review, as was the usual procedure.
She read it over and told me it was fine, except that I needed to change ‘incontinence supplies’ to ‘incontinent supplies.’
I stared blankly at her.
‘That’s what they’re called,’ she said. ‘Incontinent supplies.’
I said, ‘Well, that would imply that the supplies themselves are incontinent.
And that doesn’t sound right.’
She repeated, ‘Well, that’s what they’re called. So you need to change the letter.’
I am a grammar nerd and have an undergraduate degree in English. While those may not be the most impressive of credentials, they were enough for me to get on my high horse and absolutely balk at her suggestion that I change the letter.
I tried to explain to her the difference between ‘incontinence’ and ‘incontinent’ – that one is a state of being, and the other is an adjective.
She would have none of it. In fact, she was so obstinate about it that she reported me to HR for insubordination.
If I had had even the slightest doubt about whether or not I had been right, I would have been terrified going to speak to the HR rep. As it was, I went with a light heart, knowing that it wouldn’t even matter what the rep said – I knew I was right.
The HR rep essentially blew off the complaint and told me to go back to work. I never figured out if it was because she thought I was right, or because the complaint was frivolous, or both. The trainer disappeared sometime after that. She likely transferred to another department, but all I know is that one day she didn’t come to work, and no one ever mentioned her again.”
31. Trust Me Sir, I Know How To Handle This Animal Far Better Than You Do
“I am an animal control officer. What that means is that I am commissioned to enforce laws that pertain to animals in my county/city (I have jurisdiction in both). I also rescue animals, impound animals, catch animals, etc, etc, etc. One of my many tasks is to impound sick or injured wildlife.
We receive calls from the public via 911 (carry a radio and have a dispatcher) and our phone number.
One day we received a call about a squirrel that was injured and caught in someone’s live trap. I was dispatched to the call.
I arrive and a man greets me and takes me to his garage. I see the trap and the squirrel and come up with a way to get the squirrel out of his live trap and into my mobile carrier, so I can take it to get help.
Removing an animal from a live trap is a fairly easy process. However, transferring the animal from the trap to another cage (especially an angry animal) is something that takes a small bit of experience.
As I proceed to remove the squirrel from the trap the man stops me and tells me how to remove it (incorrectly).
He also explains to me that squirrels have teeth and it could bite me. He was speaking to me as if I was a 5-year-old that didn’t speak his language.
I am pretty certain that this man has had very little to no experience handling wild squirrels.
I on the other hand handle all types of animals all day long. I have also handled many squirrels. On top of that in my spare time, I volunteer at a wildlife rescue and have vast experience with native wildlife (including squirrels).
I can only assume that because I am 5′4, 115lbs, wear makeup, and have pretty nails that my badge and official uniform meant nothing to him.
This is just one example as I have had many. Including a UPS driver that felt the need to pull over and yell at me while I am catching a 15lb raccoon with signs of distemper. He was giving me directions on how and what to do. Yelling at me from across a busy street. Raccoons and bats happen to be my specialty, I knew exactly what I was doing.”
30. Complain To The Medic That I Stole Your Thunder? I'm Actually His Boss
“One day after work I was walking through the mall around Christmas time, I had a long wool coat on, and had only left work like 20 minutes earlier. I needed to get some last-minute shopping done, so to the mall I went on the way home.
Well, I came across a man who had fallen and was seizing. A man had grabbed him and was trying to jam a pen into the seizing man’s mouth, ostensibly under the old delusion of sticking something in seizing people’s mouths to keep them from biting their tongue off.
I jumped in and pulled the man’s hand away, cleared and opened the man’s airway being careful NOT to get my fingers near his mouth.
The man shouted, ‘who the heck do you think you are, my (some family member I don’t remember) had seizures and this is what we always did.’
I told him, ‘I know what I’m doing sir, please step back.’
The guy was obviously ticked off, and started mumbling not so much under his breath things like ‘guy tells me off, if he dies it’s his fault.’
The man was in no danger, the laceration on his head wasn’t bad, but a person at the kiosk there handed me a towel and I held it against the man’s wound while keeping his airway open, he wasn’t having any trouble breathing and waited for the appropriate personnel to arrive.
A cop comes over along with two medics, Mr. know-it-all, jumps in front of the cop to complain about me and my ‘behavior.’ The cop is pretty much ignoring the guy. I stand up while the man is coming around, we move the man to the stretcher and put some gauze pads on his head wound, he is going to be okay and transported to the ER where he will be evaluated and get a few stitches it looked like.
The man finding no purchase with the cop starts in on one of the medics. ‘I tried to get something in his mouth but this guy wouldn’t let me, he thinks he is special or something.’
To which the medic calmly says, ‘well he should, he is my supervisor.’
The cop is hiding his laughter well, the man just storms off, and I get to go scrub blood off my hands, lol.
It was a very satisfying wash however.”
29. You Know Jimmy? Well, You Shouldn't Because He Doesn't Exist
“I worked as a PI for bail bonds companies for nearly a decade in TX.
Anybody that’s ever been arrested apparently knows more about bail or criminal justice than me, but one of my favorites was when some wasted rando at a bar proceeded to tell me he was a bounty hunter who had caught ‘hundreds’ of the baddest criminals.
Here’s the rub: bounty hunting is 100% illegal in TX. Fighting and detaining wanted people is kidnapping. And incredibly stupid.
So I asked him if he knew Jimmy from A1 in Abilene, knowing there is no Jimmy or A1 bail bonds.
‘Heck yeah! Jimmy’s good people.’
‘Jimmy isn’t real dude, neither is A1.’
He pulls out his phone to try to prove me wrong, scrolls through some Google searches, muttered something about ‘some bullcrap,’ and left.
Anti-climatic, but oh so satisfying.”
Another User Comments:
“I’m not surprised. I worked as a case manager for people on probation and have had people on probation, meeting with me in my office, and telling me how the law and criminal justice system worked.
I get that I’m young, and I’m not an expert in criminal justice or law, but I at least know what I’m talking about and where the limits of my education are and I am definitely not committing treason by telling this person that they can’t drive and their license is suspended because they can’t stop drinking and driving. Not like the guy assigned to your probation case knows anything about licenses and OWVIs.” The_Ninja_Nero
28. How Does Someone Like Me Know That? Um, It's Kinda My Job
“I worked in a jewelry store, specialized in vintage, and this 50+ yo man with a much younger woman dangling from his arm asked me to pull out a few pieces, shushed me when I tried to present the products, and went on a pompous rant about ‘and you see, darling, in the middle ages doctors would grind precious stones, like emeralds, to dust, and make it a drink for their patients as a remedy, they called it ambrosia.’ He turned to me, grinning, and added ‘but I bet you didn’t know that?’
I just said, in the meekest voice possible ‘I’m sorry sir, I think you mean électuaire.
Ambrosia was the drink of the divinities in Grecian mythology.’
His mouth just dangled open for a couple of seconds before snapping audibly shut, and he barked ‘and how does someone like you know that?’
Still with the meekest voice possible ‘Because that’s my job, sir.
Sorry, sir, but you asked, sir.’
I don’t know if it was the utter powerlessness on his face or my very serious eagerness to please the customer face, but his girl just started to gleefully laugh at him, and he just turned his heels and power walked out of the shop.
Guess I lost a sale but hey, he did ask me!”
27. He Forgot He Was Diving With A Literal Scuba Instructor
“This is something that happened to my stepmom about a decade ago. My mom is basically a Bond girl minus all of the weird misogyny. She’s smart, sassy, ridiculously capable, and fearless. There are few things she hasn’t tried and even fewer that upon trying she hasn’t mastered.
My stepmom is who I want to be when I grow up (and I’m already 35).
She spent a long time as a scuba instructor. This is the highest level of certification you can get aside from technical diving which you really only need if you plan on welding pipes at 200+ feet down.
She has thousands of dives under her belt and has certified hundreds of students, including me. My dad is also a diver (it’s how they met. She was a dive master on a boat he was on when he was a noob).
Some of his work friends decided they also wanted to get certified so they could all go diving together. At the time my mom no longer was teaching but was still by far the most experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled diver in the group.
Everyone knows Dave. He may have another name in your friend group. He might be a Bob, or a Kevin, possibly a Steve…but ours is Dave. Dave got his basic open water certification so he can dive to a depth of 60ft without supervision.
Yay Dave. Dave then went out and dropped thousands and thousands of dollars on the fanciest equipment available and he could not help but tell you this every time he saw you, whether you were a diver or not.
My dad organized a weekend dive trip off of a rented sailboat.
We were going to go out to Catalina Island, do 3 dives a day, and just relax.
First dive: Dave gathers all of his expensive equipment, ignores all of his training, and does an improper water entry with lots of flailing and cursing.
His regulator (breathing hose) hits the water and starts free-flowing. All you need to do to stop this, which he would have learned in his first pool session, is turn it upside down to stop it. Instead, he’s flailing and thrashing and screaming that his reg is malfunctioning and he’s going to die.
My mom swims over and inflates his BC (buoyancy control, the vest that keeps you from sinking and manages all of your hoses) so he can stop flailing and flips his reg over. Problem solved. You would think he would be happy.
But not Dave.
Dave now insists that his gear is faulty and unsafe and that whatever my mom did to fix it likely broke it because it should only be handled by a licensed technician (she is one, but I guess that part didn’t occur to him).
With the aid of about 4 people, we managed to get him out of the water at his insistence while he spouted off about sending her the bill for the repairs.
Shockingly, his licensed technician found absolutely nothing wrong with his gear and the guy asked him if he had tried turning his reg over to stop the flow…
No one dives with Dave anymore.
His new thing is sports bikes, something that no one has had the heart to tell him that my mom also knows a lot more about since she’s been riding motorcycles since she was 7 and she got her first dirt bike.
She’s also a skilled mechanic (again my mom is goals). She told my dad already that she will not go riding with him if Dave is there unless she’s on her bike (sometimes she’ll ride on the back of dad’s but she has her own) and can leave him in the dust if/when something goes wrong.”
26. Don't Ask Me For Help With Your Car If You're Going To Then Question My Abilities
“Cars are my favorite. My dad was a mechanic and wanted me to learn it, and I was into hanging out with dad and did enjoy learning the mechanical aspects of cars. I could care less about them otherwise. Still I’ve done almost all my own car work my entire life, it saves a ton of money, and tbh if you have the time and tools, it’s a fun activity.
Car engines are fascinating. So, I know cars.
But I don’t look like I know anything about cars and guys love to try to mansplain cars to me. They always get so arrogant about it and patronizing (how I see it, they probably think they’re being nice to some silly girl who needs ‘A Man’).
This literally just happened last weekend. I was helping a neighbor in my apartment to jump his car. Simple stuff. He was peacocking around sweeping me aside while I was trying to pop the hood of my car so he could do it.
He was all like ‘this stuff is complicated and I would hate for you to fry my car by doing it wrong honey. If you don’t do it just right it can be really bad.’
‘Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing.
Just stand over there.’ All while hitting on me at the same time and trying to flex his car knowledge (you asked me for help dude).
So I just stood back and bit my tongue. First, he couldn’t find the battery in his own car.
I just watched. Then he went straight to the wrong terminal first (there’s an order of operation for the positive and negative terminals and even dead versus charged battery that’s specific). Then I watched him cross-wire the two terminals from positive to negative and was about to negative to positive.
This is where I finally stopped him and corrected it and told him my dad was a mechanic, you’re doing it wrong and I don’t want you to fry my car. He was so frustrated and deflated.
I have lots of stories about guys mansplaining cars to me through the years.
Mostly mechanics trying to scam me out of hundreds of dollars and me knowing that the fix is actually gonna cost me around $20 and two hours of work.
Thanks dad! You sucked in a lot of ways but I appreciated that time in the garage.”
25. Think I'm The Coffee Lady? Back Of The Line You Go!
“I used to work in an air traffic control tower – we would fairly often have new pilots visit and see the airport and what happens from the air traffic control side of things.
I was on a break when a particular pilot was visiting; and was the only female air traffic controller in that workplace.
The visiting pilot finishes his cup of coffee, hands me a mug, and says ‘wash that would you love.’
By the time he’d returned to his aircraft, my break was over. He unfortunately found himself at the back of a rather long departure queue. I wanted him to have some time listening to the frequency and absorbing the fact that if a woman is in a professional environment she’s probably not the freaking tea lady.”
24. Ma'am...Cheese Doesn't Come From Birds
“Long ago I worked as the cheese guy at Whole Foods, where we were trained that NO MATTER WHAT the customer is always right.
A lady came up to me, critical that I didn’t have the ostrich cheese prominently displayed.
Ostriches are birds.
Cheese comes from milk… milk comes from… nothing like getting called an idiot and societal scum who probably can’t read by a woman who thinks ostrich cheese exists.
I had just graduated from a top university and was working at Whole Foods briefly after some crazy crap went down in Katrina.
What a wild ride.”
Another User Comments:
“House of Cheese Ostrich Pâté. Maybe she’d had that or been told to get it and assumed Pâté is cheese…?
The optimist in me wants there to be a real answer here, like an Austreich label cheese.” Holmgeir
“Sadly I didn’t think of that and she was likely crazy so when I said ‘like from a bird?’ She said yeah and then we had our problems. I don’t think we carried östereich or I might have thought to offer that and diffuse it.” this_will_go_poorly
23. Try To Look Like A Big Shot By Undermining Me? I'm The Person You Should've Been Sucking Up To
“My background has always been in tech (20+ years) which most people glaze over once it’s mentioned – family and friends especially.
I was working for a start-up that was developing an anti-fraud solution (details blurred for privacy) and was working as the product lead before product management was a proper thing.
This meant doing a very deep dive into the standards, the tech, the industry etc. etc.
The team I led produced a few really cool pieces of work and I’m named on a number of patents as a result as well as industry publications etc.
As a result of this in-depth knowledge I was honoured to be asked and so consulted with law enforcement agencies (nationally and internationally) on anti-fraud initiatives for over a decade, worked on over 300 criminal cases, attended court as the state expert witness in dozens of cases – you get the idea – I had a bit of a clue.
Cue a couple of years after leaving that space (fraud doesn’t pay well for honest people) and I was invited to attend the leaving party of a senior banking guy – he ran retail fraud for one of the biggest high street banks and I’d made him look very good over the years.
Of course I’m not in the game anymore so not everyone would recognise me so I’m chatting with the people I know and making my way around the room as per normal until it gets to the circle of the guest of honour.
I’m greeted with a big handshake and a bit of banter – the usual ‘what are you up to these days etc.’ and I’m introduced to the group by my new role (completely unrelated industry).
One guy in the circle is middle management and is obviously using this party as a networking opportunity with the ‘higher management’ and is a bit put out so I’m guessing that I’m probably interrupting his flow.
For whatever reason, he decides that the way to make himself look better is to compare the state of my new industry to the bright and shining new financial tech world.
He waxes lyrical about how all of the new tech solutions were making everything so responsive blah blah blah and being a bit of a jerk to be honest so when he mentioned fraud rates I decided to steer him down that path…
Suffice it to say he described how the bank had internally reviewed its approach to how fraud was proactively managed, how the new systems were developed and how his teams were industry-leading etc.
He proceeded to tell me that I could learn a lot from everything that they’d done as my current role and company (top 3 global pharma company) was obviously in the dark ages in comparison and that I could personally learn a lot.
At this point, the retiree was almost in tears and nearly fell over when I turned and asked him directly ‘So that transformation programme is still delivering the expected results?’
That was the point Mr. Jerk found out that I was the programme director that ran the 8 teams of internal resources and external vendors for 14 months and delivered his world.
Not sure he ever properly recovered professionally from screwing up in front of his senior management.”
22. My Edits Don't Sound Right To You? Ok, But Don't Throw Me Under The Bus With You
“I am in marketing – I write a ton of copy and create ads of various sorts. I am a native speaker of English.
I had a co-worker ‘Dan’, whose native language was not English, ask me to proofread something for him before he sent it to the printer.
I was happy to help. There was a grammatical error in one of the sentences, one that wouldn’t be immediately evident to a non-native speaker. I marked the change and gave it back to him. This was on a Friday at the end of the day, so I left after giving it to him and think nothing more of it.
Well, fast forward to Monday afternoon. It ends up the printer printed the piece over the weekend WITH THE ERROR. Dan’s boss Allie was in his office and she was LIVID because it would need to be reprinted to the tune of several thousand dollars.
She asked him if he had it proofed and he had the nerve to say ‘Yes, Lena proofed it before I sent it.’
Oh no no no…. I went in at that point and said ‘Hey, Allie, I did proof it, but Dan opted to print it WITHOUT making the change I noted.’ Allie said, ‘Dan, is this true?’ Well, knowing he was called out, he said ‘Yes, Lena did mark the change, but it just didn’t sound right to me.’
What the heck, Dan? Anyway, Allie turned on her heel and walked out at that point, as she was walking out she said ‘Dan, have that change made NOW and see how quickly you can get the piece back on press. Going forward, you pass any printer proofs by ME before going on press.’
Needless to say, I never, ever proofed anything for Dan again. I sent him elsewhere because I refused to be thrown under the bus again.”
21. My Answer Is Wrong? I'd Check Again
“This happened when I was in nursing school.
We were learning dosing calculations and how to measure drip rates for IVs.
My professor was asking students to go up to the dry-erase board and figure out the answers. Afterward, she asked that you explained how you came up with the answer.
It was my turn. Now, I’ve always been good at math. Heck, I even had to go to a school for gifted kids, solely for math. This simple math didn’t faze me.
I went up to the board, listened to her describe a medication scenario, and set off to find my answer.
She tsked me when I finished. ‘Wrong answer! Go back and check your math!’
Embarrassed, I erased my answer and started all over again. Same answer.
She shook her head ‘no’ slowly as she sucked on a cough drop. (She always had a cough drop in her mouth.
It’s clearly something I’ll always remember because it’s been 22 years now and here I am complaining about it.) ‘Check your math again!’
I stepped back, looking for my mistake. Nope. Same answer.
My professor started, ‘It’s still wrong. I’m looking at the answer right here in my book.’
My embarrassment changed into anger.
My answer was right.
‘The answer in your book is wrong.’
Turned out, she was looking at the answer to a different question. Seems as if she didn’t even know how to calculate dosages and drip rates herself. And her butt was teaching the subject.”
20. Say You're Not Going To Pay? Ok, I'll Call The Cops
“In the Netherlands, we have different-sized glasses for our pilsner. They all have different names. The smallest, 0,18L is called a Flute (Fluitje), the middle a Vase (Vaasje), and the large, 0,5L we just call ‘half a liter’ or pint. Sometimes the bar has a medium of 0.33l as well, which doesn’t really have a name.
Anyway, most people drink Flutes or Vases. You’d order ‘a Flute, please’ or ‘a Vase, please’ and you’ll always be served the house pilsner (most well-known one is Heineken, of course) in the size you ordered.
As you might have guessed by now, I am a bartender.
I was at work in a bar and had a group of 5 dudes drinking Vases, a lot of them too. Thing is; if you order ‘a beer’, you’ll be served a vase of pilsner as a standard. Everyone knows this, it’s common knowledge (in the Netherlands) and no one ever objects to it.
These dudes had been ordering ‘5 beers, please’ the whole night. They were served vases (so 0.25L) the whole night. When the time came to pay, I gave them their bill and it said 35 X Vase pf Heineken.
Then they tried to argue with me that the glass I served them, the 0.25L one, is not a Vase but a Flute, that a Flute was 0,25 and not 0,18, and that a Vase is 0,33l.
I told them, dudes, I was not going to argue about something as ridiculous as this, as anyone who drinks beer in the Netherlands knows what a Flute and a Vase is, and everyone knows what size they are. But they refused to pay, so I told them to google it.
They did. They found a website that listed the sizes and names of the glasses, but they wouldn’t believe it because ‘the website must be owned by Heineken.’ Sure, a Flute and Vase conspiracy, that’s a new one.
They told me the bar next door serves a vase of 0,33l for the same price we serve a 0,25l one, so they weren’t going to pay.
I told them to cut their crap, that I work in that bar too (I do) and that the price of a 0,33 was higher than our 0,25, and that it’s not called a vase. He didn’t believe me and looked up their drinks menu (as if it would even matter what the prices next door were, even IF they would be lower).
He found out that, once again, I was right, but had some nonsense excuse as to why I was still wrong…
In the end, I told them to pay or I’d call the cops, so they paid but said they were going to write a complaint e-mail which I encouraged them to do.
At this point, even other customers were telling them to stop being ridiculous jerks. I kindly asked them to never return again. They came back a week later, but I told them they would not be served, they tried ordering drinks from my co-worker but he told them to screw off too so they just stood at the bar for a while and left. Freaking idiots.”
19. Refuse My Help? Ok, Have Fun Learning It Wrong
“I’ve been studying the Korean language for years and years. Last year, I moved to South Korea to take a one-on-one accelerated course with a Korean tutor. (I am hoping to someday adopt a Korean child (not an infant) and move him/her to the U.S.; therefore, I want to make sure I can fully communicate.) Because of this, I was pretty serious about paying the bigger bucks for a private tutor.
With her, I studied for an average of 20 hours per week, plus an additional 10 or so on my own time. I dedicated a lot of time to my studies, in addition to practicing newly acquired skills with the locals.
I would say I learned a lot.
When I returned to the U.S., I discovered my co-worker (who is one of those know-it-all, entitled people) started talking to me about how she’d taken up an interest in Korean as well. Mostly because of that one K-pop group.
Which is fine and all, cool. I really didn’t care.
But it’s when she started going off about how she learned how to read the alphabet but got confused with some of it that ticked me off. I literally took all of my lunch break to sit down and explain it to her—because I knew—but she kept telling me it didn’t seem right.
No matter how much I told her, she said it was wrong.
She’s the type who always has to be right. Even if she’s wrong, she’s right. Even her opinions have to be superior. Because I hate debating, I would usually just drop the subject.
But this time I was so… enraged. Which I never get.
After a few minutes of listening to her thinking out loud, I said: ‘Look, I went to this country, studied my butt off with a tutor, and you’re telling me it’s not right? Sure, go ahead and learn it wrong.
If thinking you’re right helps you sleep at night. . .’
We don’t talk about it anymore.”
Another User Comments:
“I had a similar experience with a woman who stayed with me for a few days. I live in a Central American country and speak Spanish. She THOUGHT she was speaking Spanish but really couldn’t be bothered to master the basic pronunciation of the vowels and just would NOT be corrected. After about 5 minutes, I gave up.” NoBSforGma
18. Go Against My Advice And Do The Renos Anyway? You'll Regret That
“I had a homeowner tell me I was wrong and the wall they wanted to remove was in fact not load bearing. It was a free consultation with no obligation. I was doing it for a friend of a friend. I pulled out my phone and recorded myself touching said wall and saying, ‘if you remove this load-bearing wall you’re going to have problems.’ Even though it was free the owner was a jerk and I had zero faith they’d not try to blame me for the dumb crap that would ensue.
I also filed our in-house paperwork, which we always do for every situation.
The best part comes now…
A week later in their DIY renovation he removed said wall and posted on social media after. The house didn’t come crashing down so he said something along the lines of, ‘so many engineers don’t know anything about buildings.
They sit in their classes and get fancy paper degrees. The wall is removed, the living room looks so much better and more open, and the engineer was wrong. Today’s a great day.’
Two days later a gas guy adding a line from the fireplace to the attic looked up and noticed some bowing in the ceiling.
(I’ve worked with the guy before so I trust his version of this event). He makes some excuse about a work emergency and he has to leave immediately and he’s terribly sorry. The owner was apparently livid but accepted the story and the guy left.
He went to the city building inspector’s office. And let them know there was a major situation going on. Now, he’s technically in deep crap cause he’s accepting work without a permit but he still makes the right call. They look up the address and there’s no permit on file for the home renovations.
(This is very bad) The building inspector tightens his suspenders and they roll out to the house. When they show up the building inspector knocks on the door and the man answers. After he says he’s a building inspector the gas buddy says the owner’s face went ghostly white.
After entering it’s easy to see which ceiling area is the problem. The inspector asks, you have no permit for renovation on file did you bother getting an engineer to see if you could even remove this wall cause it’s load-bearing?
The man had the audacity to straight lie to the inspector and said I said it was fine.
Inspector goes, ‘ok where’s your paperwork.’ Then he blamed me for not providing paperwork. Needless to say, I get a call inquiring about said job and paperwork. We lived in a pretty small area so if there’s an inspector making calls on-site it’s best to just go by and find out what is the problem.
I ask for the address and immediately recognize it saying I’ll be right there. I grab my paperwork I filled out for our in-house record keeping (which is time/date stamped) and checked my phone for the video, still there.
After I get there I tell the inspector, I was there.
I gave a free preliminary screening and said the wall was unfit for removal due to load bearing unless they wanted to place a beam. The man immediately is telling, ‘that’s not what you said you said we could remove it.’ Knowing it’s turning into he-said, she-said I pulled out the paperwork and my phone which shows the inspector exactly me saying don’t remove the wall.
Inspector looks at me, then the owner, then me.
‘How bad is it?’ If they don’t brace this and begin immediately salvaging this problem the 2nd story could collapse and essentially destroy the entire home. ‘What’s next?’ They need to hire someone to get in here and emergency support the floor above, even then it might not be enough.
The house may be unlivable. ‘We’d have to condemn the property then.’ Yes, it’s not great. This whole conversation is happening between me and the inspector, although he knows all this he’s just informally informing the owner how serious this problem is.
The owner goes, ‘can’t you fix it?’ Without hesitating I reply, ‘I believe my firm would be unwilling to take on a project where there’s no trust in the building owner and already harsh feelings regarding not taking our safety recommendations seriously.
You can call and ask the office but if they ask my opinion I will be a firm no on the topic.’
He calls, and our CEO straight says no. Pretty sure he did so cause I was on-site and didn’t ask myself to take the project so obviously I didn’t want it and that was good enough for him.
He was a great boss honestly. The owner feels a ton of panic and the building inspector gives him some numbers to call. Finally gets someone willing to come out and look. The guy sees me there (remember small area so small circles) and is giving me the casual what am I here for eyes.
I look up to the problem and smile and he’s like, ‘oh crap’ face. They had to remove the family, brace, and support, replace several ceiling joists that showed damage, place a massive beam, and several things. No one was hurt but the owner’s pride thankfully.”
17. Swear Your Phone Isn't Water Damaged? Literal Sand Poured Out Of It
“I work in a tech department at a major chain store.
I did an intake on a dude’s iPhone once, and it was really, really bad. I asked him all the pertinent questions, like ‘Has your phone ever gotten wet?’, ‘Has your phone been worked on before?’, etc, etc.
He responded no to everything, followed by ‘So what if it had been? It still works.’
I replied that ‘While the phone may still function, our company policy prevents us from ever working on a phone that has liquid damage or has been previously worked on by a 3rd party.
If we do open it up, and this is found to be the case, we will be unable to work on the phone.’ He signed on the dotted line agreeing to the terms, and I took the phone in the back to open it up.
Now the man had mentioned he was military multiple times (he really wanted a discount, which I, personally, would be happy to provide for customer service’s sake, but our company does not have a military discount offered), and he had just returned from Iraq, or Kuwait, or somewhere in the middle east, where he claimed the phone had been repaired, but at an actual Apple store.
I took note of that when he came in, but when I opened the phone, I was not prepared lol. An actual pile of sand poured out, mixed with internal screws of various sizes. Almost half of the screws were actually missing, both the battery, and the entire screen assembly (glass, digitizer, and LCD) were not stock, and every single watermark was triggered the brightest shade of red it could possibly get.
I let the manager know, and warned him this dude had a self-righteous, know-it-all attitude when he came in (he was very rude coming in, and was even rude to the 16-year-old high school girl cashier on the way out, just because she told him the same thing I did about the military discounts, despite the fact that she took 50% off the soda he was buying anyway to calm him down), so he should probably be on-call when he came back.
I gave him the call, and over the phone, he seemed very understanding, with his wife and kids in the background and all. He came back alone though, and OH BOY was he not understanding. He was legitimately cursing out the GM, accusing us of discrimination against him for everything from his profession in the military to his age (he couldn’t have been more than in his mid-20s, same as me), who simply stood there, listened to him, and was like ‘sorry, this is our policy, have a nice day.’
I absolutely dread like 60% of phone repairs now, because you can pretty much tell when a customer is going to be like that, and it’s far more common than you’d think. It’s absolutely wild how people will just flip out over their own inability to understand the situation at hand.”
16. Claim I Lied To You? Yeah, You Actually Have No Idea What You're Talking About
“I work in information security. We had a customer who was deploying a whole new network security infrastructure. I was there to support one of the appliances specifically, as the company couldn’t find anyone internally and didn’t want to spend the money training someone.
This is normal. Happens a lot. That’s basically my company’s bread and butter: being external, short-to-medium-term residence SMEs.
So here I am, about a month into this project, being told that the director of IT security was not happy with what I had been delivering, and claimed that I had lied to the company about key features of the product I was supporting.
For reference, the appliance does, but is not limited to, web content filtering and SSL/TLS decryption. It is important to note that this means that it can block content that comes (or is ‘downloaded from’, this distinction, though technically unnecessary, is important in a second) from HTTPS websites.
I am called into a meeting with the director of network security, a couple of people with VP in their job titles, and the POCs that I’ve been working with at the company, along with a sales engineer from the vendor of the appliance.
For context, it’s kind of like you’re called to the principal’s office, and the superintendent for the school district, your teacher, and the people who make your textbooks are there. Director immediately starts going off about the fact that this product doesn’t do what it’s advertised to do, and that the Vendor has lied to them, and so has the SME that was brought in (yours truly).
Specifically, he said that the appliance that I was supporting ‘could not possibly block or even detect downloaded content.’ Remember, this is specifically what it’s designed to do. Why can’t it do this?
‘It only decrypts HTTPS.’
The room was silent for a solid ten seconds.
Director had just said, unequivocally, that it couldn’t do something because it can do one of the necessary steps for doing that thing. For you non-technical folks, that’s like saying ‘this oven cannot bake a cake because it heats up.’ Literally nonsense.
SE, who is one of the best, most intelligent people I have ever had the privilege to work with, calmly asked Director to explain what he meant. Director responded with the words ‘Are you freaking stupid?’
I went off! Okay, no, I didn’t yell and scream and do everything that everyone fantasizes about.
But I asked, in probably the most professional but least friendly way possible, if Director could explain to us exactly how he thinks the process of web filtering happens within the context of encrypted traffic.
He got things. . .wrong. To say the least.
But it all culminated in his saying ‘And then the browser uses FTP to download the content from the website, and the appliance doesn’t scan FTP!’ Not only is that statement wrong (you download things from websites using HTTP, whether or not it is encrypted.
This is why URLs on the web invariably start with ‘HTTP’), but he’s also incorrect: the appliance can actually apply policy, scan, and block FTP traffic.
Again, for the non-technical of you, he essentially said ‘This oven cannot bake a cake, because it can only bake cookies.’
Now it was my turn to be as professional as I possibly could.
I explained that that was not how the process worked at all and that, although irrelevant to the conversation since you don’t use FTP at all, the appliance did actually have that capability.
When Director smugly (emphasis for just how smug he seemed) turned to POCs and VPs, all but saying ‘See, all lies!’ the main POC spoke up and said ‘Yeah, that’s how we have things designed, and why we bought this specific appliance.’ Then one of the VPs decided to end the meeting.
Director doesn’t work for that company anymore. I’m not sure if it was how poorly he handled being lied to (even if we had been lying his behavior was atrocious), or if it was due to having no technical understanding, even at a basic level, of the systems he was supposed to be, well, directing.”
15. Don't Think I Know What I'm Talking About? Let's Take Another Look At Those Images
“I worked in orthopedics as a medical assistant for over 13 years. In the last practice I worked there was a surgeon who was always right and could never admit to being wrong about anything. He also always had to point out if someone else was wrong; you know the type.
I had worked up a patient and took her history regarding her hip issues. If a patient had any prior x-rays or other images we would pull those images up on the computer. This lady had previously had a fluoroscopic hip injection so I pulled up the images from that procedure and documented it in the office note.
After the doctor in question had seen the patient he was at the computer workstation making more documentation into her record. I was standing there at the desk along with a couple of other medical assistants. The doctor says, ‘oh by the way that lady has not had a fluoroscopic hip injection so I took that documentation out of her note.’
As I said earlier I had been working in ortho for 13 years and I knew a little bit about it.
So me being the hard-headed person I am, began to argue with the doctor that yes indeed this woman had had that procedure. He argued right back. I said, ‘I pulled the images up in the exam room.’ He said, ‘sometimes you can confuse a hip injection with an SI injection.’
No, you can’t. You can literally see the needle going into the hip joint. And….it was also labeled.
So then he said, ‘ok let’s go back and look at those images and I’ll show you.’ So we went back to the exam room and I pulled the images back up and he sat down at the computer to look at them.
I stood there and watched him look at those pictures for at least a minute as he realized he was wrong and didn’t want to admit it. He finally stood up and said ‘you were right, I’ll add the documentation back to the note’ and he stormed out of the room without another word.
I hated that jerk!”
14. A Girl Couldn't Possibly Know Anything About Guitars? Think Again
“My friend is a guitar teacher, has been playing for most of her life and is quite simply one of the most talented guitarists I’ve ever had the fortune to meet.
Every time we’ve ever stepped foot in a guitar store she gets talked down to like she’s a child.
She’s a woman, therefore she can’t possibly know anything about guitars.
I remember one time she was trying out a 335 acoustically, just to see if she liked the feel of it…and a sales assistant came over, and from across the aisle I actually heard him explain to her that with electric guitars you also needed an amplifier because ‘the sound doesn’t actually come out of the guitar.’
I turned around just in time to see her sweetly say ‘Really? Can you show me how it works?’
With a crap-eating grin on his face, he took the guitar over to an amp, plugged it in, hit a few basic open chords, and said ‘You see?’
She took the guitar from him, looked at it for a few seconds like it was some alien object she’d never seen before…
then proceeded to shred like a motherfreaker… she really let rip. I mean, I’ve been playing for twenty years, but what she was playing may as well have been magic to me.
About a minute later, she finished her face-melting solo, handed the guitar back to the assistant and looked at the amp, and said ‘…and this is called an am-plee-fyer you say? Do you have any pink ones?’
Guy just looked dumbfounded. We went somewhere else to buy her new guitar.”
13. Try To Scam Me? I'll Let Everyone Know Not To Do Business With You
“I (female) had bought a used motorcycle that I negotiated a great price for but it was not a brand/model that I really knew mechanically. Nor am I that mechanically inclined. Since it was winter & snowy & bike was going to be stored for a few months, I decided to pull the battery and put it on a charger.
Followed a YouTube video and removed it with no problems in <5 minutes.
Come spring, I reinstalled the battery <10 minutes but it is not really holding the charge. I go to a motorcycle repair shop and ask for a cost estimate to go over the bike and replace the battery.
The owner gives me a ridiculous quote based on an outlandish number of labor hours.
I ask for a breakout starting with installing the battery. He proceeds to tell me that it is a 1 to 1.5-hour job and goes into great detail about all the steps involved including a few that he ‘invented’, safety precautions needed, that he needs to put his best mechanic on it due to the difficulty, etc.
Basically, it was talk to the stupid female like she was a 6-year-old because she wouldn’t know better time
I start laughing and ask if he thinks I’m an idiot. He looks puzzled and I said that he needs to hire a better class of mechanics since it only took me 15 minutes to pull and subsequently reinstall a battery while watching a YouTube video.
He got annoyed and asked if he was getting the job. Lol ‘Bite me’ was my response while his mechanics laughed at him.
I am active in the local biker community..I made sure that all the female clubs and several of the male clubs knew what he tried to do. He lost a lot of business”
12. Phone My Clinic Just To Tell Me I'm Wrong? Lady, You're The One Risking Your Pet's Life
“I’m a veterinarian, so long hours of study and hard work to learn about animals. I deal with people and pets and I consider myself if not an expert at least sufficiently knowledgeable about canine reproduction.
Brachycephalic breeds (dogs with flat noses like the bulldog, particularly the Old English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, etc.) are prone to difficulty giving birth.
The puppy’s head is too big to fit through the mom’s pelvic canal. All this means is that 85 – 90% of pregnancies for these breeds will require a c-section.
A woman phoned my clinic because her Old English Bulldog has been in labor for the last 8 hours without delivering a pup.
She is calling because she needs help. I advise her of dystocia (difficulty giving birth) is common in this breed, and that if we are going to help we will need to perform a c-section. She informs me that I’m wrong.
‘This is an Old English Bulldog. She does not need a c-section. She just needs help to deliver the pups.’
I explain again that to help her I need to perform a c-section.
‘No. She is an Old English Bulldog. You just need to flip the puppy and she will deliver it.’
I explain that is not possible.
The only thing I can offer to help her dog is to perform a c-section and the sooner the better especially since the dog has already been in labor for the last 8 hours.
‘Listen, my dog is an Old English Bulldog.
She just needs you to reach in and flip the puppy. I have been trying but I can’t do it myself so you have to.’
Again I’m trying to explain this known problem for the breed of dog she has. Unfortunately, it’s known to happen, I’m willing to help but all I can offer is a c-section.
It was during this third round of explaining what I can do that she interrupted me again to tell me that I obviously don’t know what I’m doing so she will find a competent vet elsewhere.
I feel very sorry for that dog and I hope that her owner took her to someone who was able to convince mom of the truth of what is needed to save her dog’s life.”
11. You've Worked With Several Of These Systems? Well, Not As Many As I Have
“I do tech support for a medical equipment company. Let’s call it Acme. We techs handle issues with the machines themselves, the computers that run the system and allow the doctors and staff to view the test results, and some of the networking that allows all of the pieces to talk to each other.
About 4 years into working for Acme, I get a call from an IT guy about a mutual customer having a problem with the Acme computer not communicating with the equipment or the other computers. IT Guy isn’t at the customer’s office, so we conference in a woman at the office who uses the equipment.
We’ll call her Tech. Tech tries to connect the Acme computer to the internet, so I can remote in, but the computer isn’t getting any network connection at all. I run through some basic physical troubleshooting with Tech, doesn’t fix the problem.
I start walking her through looking at the network settings on the Acme computer.
Now, little side note here about Windows and networking. If you’re not a geek who wants to do all the individual settings yourself, you can choose between 2 basic settings, public or private.
Public has a higher level of network security, for when you’re in a public place, like a hotel or the airport, and don’t want other computers to be able to connect to you. Private is for when you’re on a private network, like at work, and you do want to interact with other computers.
Some people find it counter-intuitive and think that private means ‘keep the computer private, don’t let anyone connect’ and public is ‘let other computers talk to me.’ I’m sure you can see where this is going.
So I walk Tech through pulling up the network settings, and it’s set to public.
I say, oh, that needs to be private. And IT Guy starts arguing with me. I try to explain the difference between the 2 settings and of course, he won’t listen to me. We go back and forth a few times, and finally, he says ‘I’ve worked with several of these Acme systems’ in this smug ‘I’ve put you in your place’ tone of voice.
I tell him ‘not as many as I have, and I was trained by the company that makes them.’ Tech started laughing. I said, ‘Tech, click this, click that, choose Private, click okay.’ She does, then says ‘That fixed it,’ checks the Acme machine, and that’s working too.
Great, we’re all set. It would have taken me 10 minutes tops without IT Guy’s ‘help’. He starts muttering about how his notes say something different. I told him he might want to fix his notes. Sadly, he’s not even the only guy who tried to tell me I was wrong about how our stuff works and touted his experience with our machines as proof.”
10. Question My Reality? I Think You're Just Jealous You Haven't Had The Same Life Experience
“Here’s an example from back in my college days.
Context: I minored in Japanese, and took part in various East Asian culture and language clubs. I had also been to Japan and South Korea, several different towns in both, and stayed with my family alongside some Japanese students and a South Korean couple (in a friendly but professional ‘boarding for a conference’ type context).
Had great local food, and some touristy-type food for fun, but basically stuck to Japanese and Korean food, given the rare opportunity. Some of this food included giant steamed buns, specific types of sushi and ice cream (red bean and sweet potato flavors were common in both countries, as well as Macha), and excellent versions of rice porridge.
Anyway, during one of our club meetings, we got talking about Japanese (and other East Asian cultures’) food. And I, having mentioned being to Japan and South Korea before during our ‘why are we interested in this type of club’ intro speeches, mentioned wistfully that I really was craving one of the aforementioned giant steamed dumplings/buns, red bean ice cream, and a type of porridge.
I had pictures of myself and my family eating these things. I had bought a serviceable version of the dumplings at an East Asian market in the town where my college is. I knew these things existed, and I wanted them.
And a boy, a freshman boy (I was a…Junior? Senior?), who was not Japanese or Korean and had never been to Japan or South Korea, sternly piped up: ‘Those don’t exist. That’s only in anime.’
Me, slightly baffled: Well, they are in anime, but they’re also real.
I’ve had them.
Boy, more sternly: Yeah, stuff like it, but not giant like that. And not with those ingredients.
Me, bewildered and annoyed: But I’ve had that. I’ve literally eaten these dishes.
Boy, indulgently: Oh, like at an anime con? That makes sense.
Me, very annoyed: No. I just ordered it from a food stand. And I had the porridge in someone’s home.
Boy, indulgent: So they made it for an event, like on campus?
Me, very done with this: No, I got them in Japan and South Korea.
I ate them there. Multiple times, from different restaurants.
Boy, annoyed: Ok, fine. I just thought you were talking about anime.
Now, I can’t and don’t claim to be an irreproachable expert on Japan and South Korea. So if we had been having a discussion about misconceptions or clarifying things as a group, there’s no problem with someone voicing their own experiences or knowledge about it.
But that wasn’t what happened here. This guy was so very convinced that I had made up or imagined the actual existence of this food after watching anime, or mistakenly thought anime reflected real life, and therefore he just had to correct me.
No amount of me gently explaining that I was reminiscing about the food I had personally partaken in could convince him that I wasn’t imagining anime food as a real thing.
I had, at this point, spent 3–4 years studying Japan and South Korea, including courses specifically designed to juxtapose real-world culture and practices against the presentation of Japanese culture in anime, and I was therefore aware that anime is not an accurate reflection of Japan and South Korea, and mistaken belief that ‘Japan= what I see in anime’ is very annoying to the citizens and academics in East Asian studies.
The boy had never been to Japan or South Korea, and wasn’t very involved with East Asian studies academically yet, which is obviously fine. It was no secret that I had been to those countries, and that I was an upperclassman with experience in East Asian Studies.
But he was still very convinced that he knew: 1) what I meant, despite my words, 2) that I was wrong about it, and 3) that he knew more information with which to correct me. He was wrong on all counts but was so resolved to correct my mistaken girlish mind that he only backed down after I bluntly said he was wrong and reminded him that I had real-world experience, and then he got annoyed about it.
A younger coworker of mine, 18 to my 25 at the time, really wanted to sell me a stock opportunity. Which he tried to do at a work event, surrounded by mostly women. The exchange went thus:
Him: You should invest in This stock.
Me: Thanks, but I don’t think I have the funds for that right now.
Him: No no, it’s really easy! You buy low prices, and then the value increases!
Me: Yeah, but it’s a gamble, and not one I can afford. (Instead of ‘I don’t want to or care, go away’)
Him, pulling out his phone: No, no, see, you buy low and increase the value.
Then you can sell when the price is high.
Me: Uh huh, I know how stocks work. I don’t really want to invest right now.
Him, shoving his phone in my face and pointing: No, see, if you buy when it’s low, like here, you can sell high, like this point.
Me: Yup, I get the picture. I’m not going to.
Him, pointing at a valley and peak on the graph: See, low here, high here.
Another coworker: Oh my God, shut up, she gets it, she knows what numbers are.
Now, I’m not a mathematician.
But I can read a freaking graph. I can see the difference between a low point on it, and a high point. I also knew at least as much practical information about stocks as this kid. But he has to make sure my little brain could handle the concept of high and low numbers. Until someone else, another woman, begged him to stop. It was the most ridiculous exchange I had had in a long time.”
9. Try To Mansplain My Job While Being A Bad Employee? Good Luck With That
“A few years ago, I was a research engineer at a medical device company. It was my job to find new ways to detect medical conditions and make existing devices smaller, more accurate, or more reliable.
I had both a desk and a workbench.
I spent a good deal of time in meetings where idea people would regularly discuss the state-of-the-art and opportunities for R&D. A guy named Ivan was often invited since he liked to read popular science magazines and propose working with the latest discoveries or inventions.
He was good at sounding smart.
Everyone assumed he was qualified, and he often agreed to take on some pretty advanced research. I liked him well enough.
One day, I was at my bench tuning an RFID antenna on a prototype sensor patch as Ivan walked by.
He said, ‘Hey Kenzi, what are you working on, a hobby project?’
This confused me a bit, as it was the middle of the day and I was at my own workbench with the usual piles of dismantled medical devices and company-stamped schematics.
‘I— what? This is my desk. I’m just doing my job.’ I gestured to my name tag on the desk, ‘I’m tuning this antenna on one of our prototypes.’
This got his interest. He came over and looked at the layout. ‘Oh that looks like a spiral antenna.
Antenna tuning is a black art, it’s very difficult to do right and it depends on what kind of antenna it is.’
I put down my tweezers, looked him in the eye, and said, ‘Yes. I know. It’s a loop antenna, not a ‘spiral antenna’.
See, there’s a via to the other side that closes the loop.’
He squinted at the circuit and disagreed, ‘noo, I’m pretty sure that is just a spiral. That’s how it picks up radio, you see…’
I cut him off. I knew this game well enough, he was completely not registering anything I said, that I was 3 times his senior and 10 times more experienced.
This kind of conversation happens fairly regularly; I don’t look anything like the 10 other gray-haired white male engineers in the department, so I get a lot of men who assume I am a lesser engineer or can’t believe I’m an engineer at all.
‘It isn’t a radio antenna. It’s inductively coupled, and it uses backscatter to communicate.’
‘Nooo, Kenzi, that looks like the loop is open…’
‘Look. Ivan. That’s my name on the schematic. Same name as is on the desk. I designed this circuit, I know what kind of antenna I chose and how to tune it.
I’ve built and tuned several of these already and they work.’
I guess he snapped out of it and realized what he’d done, ‘okay Kenzi, have a nice day!’ And he walked out of the building. It was midday and he was carrying his backpack.
Apparently, he had a habit of leaving early. I had no idea he worked in IT at the time, but he was so obsessed with R&D that he got himself transferred to an R&D office on the other side of the country.
He ended up working for a friend of mine. He turned out to be an extraordinarily bad employee, taking an entire month to move and producing zero work for a few months after. It turns out this is why he was transferred — no manager had ever seen him do any actual work.
So I told my friend the mansplaining story. He decided it was better to just fire Ivan than pawn him off on another manager. And from that day on, I put my name directly on the final PCB designs so there is no question it was my design.
Unfortunately, mansplaining isn’t always obvious like this. It’s lots of little time wasters because men tend to talk down by default before they even consider what I already know. It’s excluding and talking over me because they jump straight to answering novice questions they expect I will ask.
To avoid mansplaining, consider two questions:
- How much does she know about it?
- How much explanation does she actually need?”
8. Force Me To Explain What's Wrong With My Car? I'll Get The Repairs For Free
“I’d just bought a new car and it was pulling to the side when I accelerated.
I know a little about cars and knew it was torque steer.
I took it to the shop and explained what was going on. And then launched into a 10-minute-long condescending argument with the guy.
First, he wouldn’t even believe that it was pulling. He kept trying to say that, because it was new, I just wasn’t used to driving it yet.
After I finally got him convinced that it was pulling, he started insisting that it was a tire/alignment problem.
I finally convinced him that I already checked that, and then he got even more condescending when he explained, like one would to a 5-year-old, that torque steer only happens in front-wheel drive cars, and since mine is four-wheel drive, I’m just obviously wrong.
He even literally laughed at me.
And then I got a little annoyed. So, as I am occasionally wont to do, I ramped up my own condescension to a 10.
‘Listen, precious. It’s not a 4-wheel drive, it’s a part-time all-wheel drive. And since you obviously don’t understand the difference, I’ll tell you that it operates as a front-wheel drive 90% of the time.
Believe it or not, my womanhood does not suck out my brainpower the way your manhood apparently sucks out yours. So just check the darn thing. Or let me back there, I’ll check it myself, and you can do something useful, like make me a sandwich.’
I was pretty proud of my little rant.
And it had the effect I was going for. He finally took it back and checked it, and sure enough, the computer was sending the wrong amount of power to one of the wheels, causing a torque steer.
Wow, really? You don’t say.
And the best part was that there were a couple of other customers in the lobby. One of them was this professional-looking guy in a suit. It’s a small lobby so he had heard the whole thing, and he suddenly spoke up and said, ‘So the repair is free then, right?’
The guy behind the desk was like, ‘What are you talking about?’
‘She was right, and you spent more time arguing with her than it took to check her car.
So because you wasted her time, the repair is free, correct?’
And he basically bullied the guy into fixing my car completely for free.
Which was awesome as heck. I mean, I was just happy knowing I was right and had embarrassed the guy in front of a bunch of his customers.
But then to get the car fixed for free was even better.
I offered to buy the guy a drink to thank him and offered him my number, but he only shrugged and said that thanks weren’t necessary. He didn’t do it to try and get anything out of me, he did it because, in his words, ‘being a jerk should have consequences.’
I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who restored as much of my faith in humanity as that guy.
Yes, the car is under warranty.
At the dealership.
Almost an hour away from my house.
As long as the repair cost wasn’t astronomical, I was willing to pay for the convenience of not having to make that drive.”
7. Pretty Bold Of You To Say That Women Can't Drive When You Don't Know How To
“While I was in college, some of my friends and I went for a trip to a beach town. It’s common to rent Vespa-like two-wheelers and drive them around the city as it offers the best scenic views along with the added bonus of avoiding traffic.
So, we were six people, two friends of mine and I were driving, all seated in pairs of two. Riding pillion with me was a guy (a friend of mine) who was supposed to be navigating for me.
Now, the vehicles we had rented were not in great condition, because these are used by tourists every day and ours kept dying down sometimes if I didn’t accelerate for a while.
This was while it was dark out and street lights were minimal.
Some of the terrain was quite hilly, and we were coming down just one of these slopes when I stopped accelerating (because otherwise I’d be too fast) because of this the two-wheeler sputtered and died, which meant that the headlights also got switched off with that.
We were still at a fair speed though, as we were going downhill, and within seconds, there was a blind turn in front of us and we almost crashed into a car that was coming in from the other side, without any signal.
The car driver sped by and cussed me out for being an incompetent woman.
So, this guy who’s sitting behind me suddenly pipes up that, even though the car driver was in the wrong ‘right now’, he was still right about the fact that women couldn’t drive.
And he followed that up with advice about what I should have done (I don’t remember what he said). You may ask, why it was that he was sitting behind me then, if he knew it all so well? Of course it was because he couldn’t drive, never had driven a vehicle in his life!
So, let’s get this again – this guy, who couldn’t drive, decided that it was OK for him to tell the woman who was driving the vehicle he was sitting on, that women couldn’t drive and he knew better just because he was a man.
This was the most egregious example of mansplaining that I remember facing, and I’ve faced this multiple times in similar contexts (driving) because unbeknownst to me, driving requires the involvement of genitalia in a way that I’d never even considered (how could I, silly little woman that I am?)”
6. I'm Not Allowed To Leave? I Think I Know Better Than You
“Back in the ’90s, I was transferred to a ship that was preparing for a Defense Nuclear Surety Inspection.
During an observed operation on a missile, we experienced an equipment failure. An air hose fitting broke. My workers got the deer in the headlights look.
I closed my WP 50 and exited the security area. I turned off the valve to make everything safe and told the Air Force colonel that I would return. Colonel sanders shouted at me that I was not allowed to leave, because I was the man in charge.
I told him that not only was I going to leave, but he was directed to come with me.
Needless to say, there was a thing going on. I called my department head and CO to the area, first on the SWS announcing system, and then directed one of the armed guards to prepare for a Nuclear Weapons Security Violation.
My CO and Department Head showed up very soon after along with the entire inspection team. My O-6 and the inspiration O-6 also Navy asked me what was going on. My reply was that I was trying to explain the O-5 to E-6 relationship.
My skipper asked what happened and I asked that inspector go first.
The lead inspector and a Squadron Monitor were scribbling furiously in their notebooks. To his credit, the inspector was spot on in his description and very close to verbatim about my discussion with him.
When he finished, my CO asked me if all of this was true. And of course it was. The lead inspector, My CO, and the Squadron Monitor all left. My department head was horse-laughing the entire situation.
We had one change to the inspection itinerary.
I had to teach a standard lesson on how to recover from equipment failures and mistakes. Colonel sanders was my sole pupil.
I introduced myself as a newly reported member of Ships Force, I came directly from the training facility where my responsibilities were to instruct COs, XOs, SWOs and SMOs, plus had provided personalized laboratory exercises to prospective Engineering officers who were also required to know how to launch weapons (though there was no curriculum for them yet).
The Squadron Commander had arrived by then. While we were debriefing our Flawless Inspection, SQDN called me to the front of the meeting and introduced me. He told everyone that I didn’t write the books on Nuclear Weapons Safety and Security, I tech edited all of it. My CV at the time was pretty extensive.
As a side note, my next shore tour included Other Service Officers and Senior Enlisted Training and lab exercises.”
5. Yeah, You Really Don't Have To Explain To Me How To Clean Cat Litter
“One of my dad’s caretakers thinks he knows everything. He has never ticked me off more than when he stared at me as I was cleaning out the cat litter, then decided to mansplain to me how to clean cat litter.
There was a huge chunk stuck together so I didn’t sift it as I tossed it into the garbage. So he decides to explain to me how to sift cat litter. I was basically ignoring him and just automatically did a sifting motion for the first next scoop because…
you know.. I have three cats myself, have had cats for years, and have taken care of cats for years, and my life is basically a cycle of cats cats cats. My friend and neighbor recently took in a stray and he trusted me to give him the rundown on all things cat ownership.
A LOT of people I know come to me about animal-related things, to the point that I have to remind them, ‘you know I’m not a vet, right?’
But no, me sifting the litter was me taking his advice on how to clean FREAKING CAT LITTER.
I basically snapped and yelled, ‘I KNOW HOW TO CLEAN CAT LITTER!’
He was all, ‘sorry, I just didn’t see you sifting.’ Am I really expected to tell a man watching me while I sift cat litter – – when he had no other reason to be in the garage but to tell me how to do something – – that there might be a reason to not sift cat litter sometimes? Is this the life we live, now? No one asked him!
Anyways, he’s recently been subdued in his holier-than-thou attitude when I basically told him to stop convincing the other caretaker to not tell us things because HE doesn’t think something is wrong.
He threw a mini tantrum and said ‘fine, I’ll just never say anything again.’ And now he is just very subdued. And I probably wouldn’t have told him that if I weren’t so ticked off about being told how to clean CAT LITTER.”
4. Insult My Mother And Question My Intelligence? Oh, It's On
“My favorite is the guy who told me about this real witch of a math teacher at the local community college. He hadn’t taken her classes, but his friend did and hated her. That algebra class was just such nonsense and the prof was the worst.
You might wonder who the prof was. She was Mrs. (MyLastName), my mom. I took calculus from her and got AP credit which actually saved me money and time in college. Not too shabby for my podunk little hometown. Admittedly, I am biased, but she’s a darn good teacher.
Top 10 that I’ve had, easy. Masters in education, is dedicated to her students, National Board certified, and she grew up in the town she teaches in and I was raised in.
Anyway. I let the dude ramble and get his feet firmly in his mouth before I asked him if he knew my full name.
That was a mic-drop moment for my little hometown. Wouldn’t matter at all in a city of any size, but hey. A person’s reputation and family name matters more in a 5000 pop setting.
I probably shouldn’t care this much 10 years after the fact, but here we go.
I also mentioned to that same dude that I had a BSCE and was heading back for my Masters in the fall, and that I really liked structural classes. He decided to quiz me on ‘How are concrete slabs reinforced?’
That’s a nonsense question, on par with the trick question in My Cousin Vinny.
Slabs on grade? Slabs held up by beams and columns? Roads? Patios? Sidewalks? Foundations? What’s the climate? There’s no One True Answer.
I stared at him for a beat, then answered, ‘Well I’ll assume you mean a slab on grade here, in this climate.
Number four bars spaced about 9 inches on center to control temperature cracks and allow workers to step between the steel without pressing it down and leaving it too low in the concrete. Or, if it’s small, just use the welded wire grids.
If you mean bridges or multi-story structures, there’s too much variability to just spout something.’
Dude then told me some story about helping build a cutting-edge concrete house in our middle of nowhere go screw yourself county and how that made him an expert.
No. Just no. He had no goddarn idea what he was talking about.
Between the lies about my mother and his obvious ignorance of basic concrete construction methods, I knew he was a goddarn moron and made a game to get the most flagrant lies out of him for the rest of the summer.
My personal favorites were that he’d been bitten by 4 black widow spiders at once and didn’t need medical treatment and that he could hack any social media and learn anything about anyone. The fact that he never navigated around my blocking him… well. No one is surprised.”
3. Do I Follow? Um Yes, I Actually Know Everything You Insist On Lecturing Me About
“I once worked at a pharmacological lab located in a different building away from my usual lab at the university. I needed to extract some compounds from the leaves of my orchid plants, and the necessary equipment was not available at my lab.
Shifting to the new lab was akin to moving to a completely different world. It was a little intimidating. When I first got there, two male PhD students were already working at the lab. I made friends easily with one of them, a kind family person from Yemen.
He guided me through most of the extraction process.
However, I could not get off on an equal footing with the other guy, VG. He stared at me continuously the first week I was at the lab. Every ‘good morning’ and ‘hi’ I sent his way were met with a curt nod.
VG began getting very inquisitive about my work after the first week. He always had this air of hostility about him, and I think my friend sensed it too. VG would poke his nose into my experiments whenever my friend was guiding me, and spew his wisdom at us, despite our expertise in the subject.
I also have some knowledge of microscopy, and people from neighbouring labs used to visit the lab to ask my advice regarding the procedure. VG, sitting far away, would raise his voice to ask us about our conversation, and then try to cut me off by giving his opinion on the subject.
My friend and I would usually slink away or cut him off halfway by giving some excuse about finishing our work. My friend even apologised on behalf of VG one day, saying that I should not take his behaviour to heart as he has always been this way.
However, one evening, when we were deep in an experiment, VG decided to poke his nose into our work again. He began asking me basic questions about my compounds. I was not really paying much attention to him, when he suddenly said, ‘You know, I know about all these things.
I am a lecturer in my country. You should listen to what I have to say.’
I stared at him, puzzled at his hostility. My friend tried telling him that we already have knowledge of such things and were busy to boot, but he insisted on lecturing us, for the next 20 minutes, about plant secondary metabolism.
He went on and on about all the necessary pathways in the plant metabolic system, asking me ‘do you follow?’ intermittently. I was furious. I was torn between telling him off and keeping the peace. I was saved by a phone call.
I ran and left the lab.
I thought about the situation that night. I was new in the lab, and I did not want to antagonise people and jeopardise the relationships between supervisors and researchers in both labs. But I was not willing to put up with this behaviour anymore.
I then decided to stay as far away as possible from this person throughout my stint at the lab. It did not quite solve the problem I had with him, but it worked in keeping the peace in the lab.
But the situation did not last long.
VG disappeared in the middle of my stint at the lab, and I did not see him anymore thereafter. I later learnt that he returned to his home country due to a nervous breakdown. I hope he is well, wherever he is now.”
2. Call My Work "Weasel Words"? That's The Last Time I'll Be Helping You I Guess
“So I’ve worked as an advertising copywriter most of my adult life, and have written a ton of brochures and other materials — sales-related and not. For the past 10 years, I had worked for several agencies of record for large, consumer banking clients.
So I knew more than most people about how consumer financial products, like home loans and lines of credit, worked and how and to whom they are presented to potential customers, and why. (This was in the mid-90s when it was much harder for the average person to find and compare these products.
But I lived and breathed the stuff, as did the client, and I had the benefit of this ‘inside’ knowledge.)
So a male friend had been shopping around for a credit card, and I was excited to tell him about this one, a VISA which was a ‘loss leader’ being tested as a way to lure new customers away from competitor banks.
Note this client was (and still is) a MAJOR institution every American who uses banks will recognize.
I gave him the brochure I had written, and told him to check it out, that it was an unusually good deal as far as cards go, with all the bells and whistles he wanted.
‘I’ll look at it, Caroline,’ he tells me. ‘But you have to really be careful; these banks use a lot of weasel words to try and convince you it’s a good deal.’
But every single one of those ‘weasel words’ was written by me! And he was well aware of that, as well as my experience writing for the very product he was looking to buy.
My male friend did end up signing up for this card, and later thanked me for ‘bringing it to his attention.’ He’d gone to the freaking bank and apparently had a teller (probably also male) answer his questions about the offer — all based on the FAQs I freaking wrote for bank employees to answer customer questions. He actually brought this document home to show me, and I recognized my work.
I don’t blame him for verifying the information and terms. But I’m still a little ticked off at the ‘splaining.”
1. Don't Think She Knows How To Use The Machines? She Comes Here Often, I Think She's Good
“Today, a friend of mine seemed miffed throughout the day. Because I had nothing else to do besides revision, I prodded and poked her until she told me what was wrong.
Last night, she went to the gym as she did regularly.
Now it’s no secret that the expectations of a gym differ vastly from reality. A guy could go there to develop muscles and take smoking hot selfies; another could do it for stress relief; but most do it to instantaneously look stronger and fitter.
My friend has been working out routinely for several months, yet she doesn’t appear to have developed much as far as I’ve seen. She’s quite small for her age.
This must have been the case yesterday, because while she was there, some random ripped dude who’d clearly been there for some time came up to her and started telling her how to use the machines.
He even helped her off without asking and demonstrated for her, just in case she was new and wasn’t familiar with the place. He then went into a prolonged speech about how much it takes to improve yourself, how long you have to spend mastering the technique, and (from what I assume) every clichéd life advice answer on Quora.
Afterward, he wished her good luck and left, but kept lingering in the background as if preparing to spring to her aid at any moment.
This was all before she’d spoken a word.
I can imagine it now: this big brawny man, pumping away in front of a member of the opposite sex, saying in an egotistical tone, ‘So yeah, this is for, y’know, experienced types, which I’m sure you’ll eventually get the hang of it in due time .
I think he might have done it to be helpful, but simply assuming someone is inexperienced based on their physical attributes would be pretty frustrating for me. Especially if I just wanted to get on with things. It’s happened before, and always with people who think they know best because they’re ‘experienced.'”