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how to decline men’s help carrying things at work

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A reader writes:

I’m a young (early 20s) woman, petite, and I’ve been at my current position about 8 months now. I’m generally very happy here, but I’m not sure how to deal with certain kinds of comments.

For example, part of my job requires me to carry large boxes and put large shipments into our storage room, which involves pushing carts and pallets with pallet jacks. I’m happy to do the work and it’s not difficult; I’m quite strong. Today I was unloading some boxes from a pallet, and two guys from IT walked by me in the hall. I wasn’t struggling in any way, but one of them saw me and said, “Are you sure you’re supposed to be handling that kind of equipment?” He said it in a friendly way, but I said no and (also in a friendly manner) and asked him why. He ignored the question and asked if I needed help. I told him no, I was fine, the boxes weren’t very heavy, and I’d be all right. He asked if I was sure and I said yes. Then he started picking up the boxes for me and asked if I minded if he helped me anyway. At this point, I wasn’t sure how to decline further without seeming rude, so I let him help.

I feel quite certain that if I were a tall strapping man, he would not have been so insistent. How can I deal with subtle sexism like this in the workplace without coming off as confrontational?

“I can’t let you help me with this — it’s a normal part of my job.”

Followed by, if necessary: “No, really, if I can’t do this, then I can’t do my job.”

And you say that last one in a serious tone and no smile. Inexplicably, people sometimes read a friendly tone and or a smile as “It’s okay if you ignore what I’m saying.” That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be friendly or smile at people — but it does mean that you shouldn’t do those things in a situation where someone has made it clear that they’re not taking you seriously.

And if that still doesn’t work, then you say (again, seriously and with no smile), “Fergus, I know you’re trying to help and I’m sure you haven’t thought of it this, but it’s really undermining to me if people think I can’t do this on my own.”

Some people will argue that that’s nicer than it needs to be — and that someone who has ignored several direct requests doesn’t deserve an “I know you’re trying to help” — but this is a colleague and helping people save face is good for your standing in the office. And frankly, you’d be doing the world (and him) a favor if you spelled out for him what the problem is what his behavior, and might decrease the chances of him repeating it with someone else in the future.

(I actually do think that a lot of men who ignore clear statements from women in these situations genuinely don’t realize why the women are taking that stance — which makes some of them more likely to get offended and huffy, the way you might if you offered someone a tissue and they threw it back in your face. I’m not saying that’s reasonable, and certainly they should think it through and figure it out on their own, but they’re up against centuries of cultural norms and those are powerful. So while you’re not obligated to explain it to them, I think it’s a kindness to all involved if you do — especially at work, where you’re going to have continued interaction.)

how to decline men’s help carrying things at work was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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Courtney
2 hours ago
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...and women ARENT up against centuries of cultural norms? I still think the men are the one making it weird, and it's not up to women to make them feel okay about it.
Boston, MA
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1 public comment
pfctdayelise
6 hours ago
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excellent response!
Melbourne, Australia

fanoffandom:hanierose:lackthelighttoshowtheway: This sort of...

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fanoffandom:

hanierose:

lackthelighttoshowtheway:

This sort of behavior used to irritate me until I learned about how invasive paparazzi are in America. There are no laws against it.
I’ve also realized, that by flipping off the camera, the pictures can’t be sold to magazines because of “profanity”. So really, she’s just protecting herself.

i did not know that.

Reblogging for the frightening amount of people that this is new information for.

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Technicalleigh
4 hours ago
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Hmm. That makes sense. Well, more sense than America's insatiable appetite for personal details about people we've never met, at least.
SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
ryanbrazell
4 hours ago
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I love her.
Fredericksburg, VA
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It's my birthday today

3 Comments and 4 Shares

[hides in a scarf]

…hi followers. I am not sure why there are so many of you, but I’m glad you like looking at the things I like looking at, it’s cool hanging out together here. We don’t chat much but that’s okay, I’m not very outgoing online these days. But I think I’m gonna have a nice day today, I hope yours is lovely too.

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ryanbrazell
8 hours ago
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Happy birthday, Courtney! Thanks for taking the time to share what you like with the rest of us, and for making the internet a better place in the process.
Fredericksburg, VA
smadin
8 hours ago
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Happy birthday, Courtney!
Boston
vpatil
8 hours ago
Happy birthday, person I don't know but who always shares the best stuff!
Technicalleigh
4 hours ago
Hear hear!
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RedSonja
9 hours ago
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I always forget I share a birthday with Courtney! Happy birthday, internet friend! Clearly today was an amazing day in history.
smadin
8 hours ago
Happy birthday!

Q&A Wednesday: What’s On Your Running Playlist?

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1604899611_72500ee826

Q: Do you have a go-to work-out playlist?

The post Q&A Wednesday: What’s On Your Running Playlist? appeared first on A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss.

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Courtney
10 hours ago
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I'm not into pole "workouts", but that running playlist omg
Boston, MA
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Costco Announces New Credit Card Partnership With Citi, Visa

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It seems Costco is not one to sit around pining for old flames very long, as the shopping club announced today that it’s rebounding from the end of its relationship with American Express with a new partnership with Citigroup and Visa.

Costco has dubbed the two companies as its new credit partners starting in April of next year, reports the Wall Street Journal. Previously, only AmEx credit cards and debit cards were accepted at the wholesale retailer.

This means only Citi will be able to issue Costco co-branded credit cards, and it will make Visa the exclusive credit-card network for Costco’s stores. While it’s clearly a big win for Visa and Citi, Costco hasn’t revealed any financial terms of the deal.

It would seem that whatever the agreement involves, it’s more favorable for Costco than the arrangement it had with AmEx: Costco had been trying to come to new terms in its AmEx deal, but the two sides couldn’t reach a mutually beneficial decision, the company said. Instead, Costco said that ending its relationship with AmEx was about saving money for customers.

As of March 31, 2016, AmEx Costco-branded credit cards will be useless, giving customers just over a year to make the switch — if they want to. Customers can still use debit cards from either Visa or MasterCard, as well as Costco cash cards, which can be purchased online.

Costco Names Citi, Visa as New Credit Partners [Wall Street Journal]

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Courtney
23 hours ago
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PRAISE JESUS
Boston, MA
ryanbrazell
1 day ago
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Hooray! And, finally.
Fredericksburg, VA
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Google talks about offering its own cellular service

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Google Senior VP Sundar Pichai today discussed a possible wireless service that Google could launch in the next few months.

"We don't intend to be a carrier at scale, and we're working with existing partners," Pichai said in a public Q&A session at Mobile World Congress, according to The Verge. "You'll see some of our ideas come to fruit in the next few months." Pichai oversees Android, Chrome, and Google Apps.

The Information reported last month that Google plans to become an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator), reselling Sprint and T-Mobile network capacity to consumers rather than building out its own cell towers. "Google is preparing to sell mobile phone plans directly to customers and manage their calls and mobile data over a cellular network, according to three people with knowledge of the plans," the site reported at the time.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Courtney
23 hours ago
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"We don't intend to be a carrier at scale" if you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you
Boston, MA
smadin
1 day ago
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yes, sure, let me make sure literally all my communications go through google.
Boston
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