Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Can I help you, Miss?

Hecate goes ammo shopping, resulting in the following exchange:
Mr. Helpful: "Can I help you find something?"

Me: "Yes, thank you, I'm looking for .45 ACP."

Mr. Helpful: "Now are you sure that's the kind of ammunition you're supposed to get?"
I feel her pain...

At least someone asked her. I will never forget the time I stood at a gun counter with a fat wad of Ben Franklins burning a hole in my pocket, just waiting for someone to stop talking about bass fishing long enough to sell me a Kimber CDP. I never got helped, and they never got the money.


Anonymous said...

Hell, if I worked a gun counter, I'd be trippin over myself to help a lady.

And screw fishing. Guns are where it's at.

Anonymous said...

Hope you waived that wad of Franklins as you were walking out the door. It's always better to let 'em know they've missed an opportunity. Asshats.

Tam said...

Actually waving the money and saying (loudly) "Hello? I'm trying to spend some money here!" is a habit I've developed since then.

Anonymous said...

It's not a totally gender-based problem. Age(or apparent lack thereof) is sometimes a contributing factor.
Back when I still had hair, I went into a local chain sporting goods emporium, now since gone from my little corner of the world, and asked the
elderly sales person(about the age I am now) for a #11 shell holder. He handed me a #11R.
One was for the priming tool, the other was for the press. When I politely said it wasn't what I wanted, the sales guy sort of chuckled and
said "well, son, that's what you asked for."
It wasn't. I thanked him and left without buying anything.
Nowdays, I might politely inform the gent that I wasn't his son, and I resented the familiarity.

SpeakerTweaker said...

I can barely believe that in The Lightbringer's Age that people are still so condescending;)

I mean, if he felt the need to confirm the choice, howzabout, "Sure, ma'am! It's right over here! So, you shooting a (1911, Glock, etc.) because we also have (insert accessory here) for those..." and let the conversation develop from there.


I vowed never to spend a dime at a local gunstore after an exchange with a commando who refused to show me an AR-15 until I told him exactly what I was going to be shooting at and how.

He still refused when I told him that I had a great deal of money to spend and I wanted a 16" AR.

I walked. And told his manager on the way out why.


Julie said...

the gun shops i go to are beginning to get to know me, so most of the time i do actually get served now without having to "make myself noticed!".

staghounds said...

Maybe he was the clerk who was fired from Wal Mart for selling a lawyer the wrong kind of 357...

When I'm dissatisfied with the store, I hold the cash out and say, as I walk out, "See this? It's part of your paycheck, leaving because (reason)."

I always felt like helping customers was my opportunity when I worked in the store, and that started by making sure they knew I respected them.

Anonymous said...

Hell, I asked for 45ACP, had to point to a OLD box of Remington Green box to have the guy get it.

Only when I was half way home did I notice that the fella sold me 45 auto rim!

When guys at the gun store don't know 45 ACP from 45 auto rim we're in trouble.....


Tam said...

If you got it at ACP prices, I'd say you're ahead of the game. :D

Fletch said...

Whenever that happens, you've got to send them a copy of the receipt with a letter explaining why they didn't get the sale!

The Raving Prophet said...

To be fair, I read numerous stories online about people having reliability problems when it comes to running .45GAP through their .45ACP pistol, so the salesperson could be trying to make sure that's what is needed.

Still, though, it would be pretty darn rare for somebody asking for ACP to need GAP or LC. I'd think it would usually be the other way around, so it really isn't that much of an excuse. Besides, the tone counts for a lot on this, and I wasn't there.

Anonymous said...

Lergnom +1 - not gender based, if you're not one of "the gang" you don't exist in some shops.

Anonymous said...

Shop culture: some of 'em are great ambassadors to new or prospective firearm owning.

A few are such bitter misanthropes, that I'm surprised anyone ever enters the door.

All of 'em have casts of characters, equaled only by the public in all it's multi-faceted glory, which they must face across the counter.

Still and all, I'm always kinda disappointed to find clerks that never availed themselves of all the good tech literature in the book and magazine rack.

After all, if a clerk acts like it takes a decoder ring and secret handshake to enter the secret society, the least the rude axxhole could do, is be informed about the products.

J t R

Anonymous said...

College kid who worked for me had just got a .38. So off to the ammo shop for us, yeppir two boxes 38, then to the range.

Hoodathunk a local hunter's store would even have .38 Police Positive? Or that the clerk would chuckle and say "You didn't ask for .38 S&W Special."

We were both large, tall male men.
This is not a "just a girl" issue.

Tam said...


If someone asked me for ".45", I would generally ask "ACP? Colt?..." for clarification while my hand hovered in the general area of the calibers. If they looked even a little confused or hesitant, I'd ask "What gun is it for?" (And I kept ACP on one shelf and GAP and Colt on the next down so as to avoid mixups on the part of the sales staff)

Even without tonalities, however, the guy's response of "Are you sure that's what you're supposed to get?" is %$^&ing moronic on two different levels:

1) The idiot is assuming she has been sent to get ammo. Presumably by menfolk.

2) His question doesn't clarify anything for him either. Suppose she said "Yes, it's for a .45 Glock" and really was buying it for someone else and the clerk handed her a box of ACP to take home for a Glock 37. Epic Fail.

The clerk was a tool. I'd have chewed him a new asshole if he'd been working for me.

Anonymous said...


Someday I'd like to see you address the question of why, when a woman complains of truly obnoxious and obvious sexist treatment in a gun shop, so many otherwise nice guys are so darn quick to jump in with comments implying that 1) it wasn't sexism, and 2) she's being hypersensitive -- when these guys weren't even there!

What causes that, do you think?

Word Verification: estras. No, I'm not making that up. ;)

theirritablearchitect said...

How about the other side of that coin, with a similar axxhole asking for, "a box of .300 Magnum?"

I mean really, what can one do in an instance like that? Tell the dullard to bring the farking gun in?

It's the only way to keep your ass out of litigation.

Tam said...

"How about the other side of that coin, with a similar axxhole asking for, "a box of .300 Magnum?""

Oh, been there!

What's best is when they leave in a huff, loudly proclaiming you to be an idiot for having had the temerity to ask "Winchester or Weatherby?" (Since you assumed they didn't mean anything 'Short', 'Ultra', or 'Holland & Holland'...)

Anonymous said...

God, I wish I was a woman or black or something so that I could assume that I was being ignored because of my sexual organs. Instead I have to assume it's B.O. or something.

Tam said...

If you're being ignored, it's probably your B.O. ... that or the sales staff is a bunch of fricken' incompetents. (Incidentally, during the Kimber CDP episode I ref'ed, plenty of other folk got helped before I decided to leave. Coincidentally, they were all pointers and not setters.)

If you're being condescended to before you open your mouth, it may be because you are a member of a demographic that Cletus thinks isn't as knowledgeable about guns as he is.

If you're being condescended to after you open your mouth, it might just be because you're a retard with the social skills of Napolean Dynamite.

Does that clarify things for you you cute little thing, you?

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Well, this is certainly a helpful thread for the eve before I set out with a scribbled post-it to buy my very first non-22 ammo!

Given that I shall look hesitant, out of place, consulting a post-it hurriedly scribbled on lunch break, and have the bonus points of being a cute, injured (lame), well-dressed female, I'll start the bets now on how much condescension I'll rack up!

I'm especially hesitant since I like specifics when dealing with unknown. All the owner of the Sten and the Uzi would give me for guidance was a big grin and "9mm anything. As for how much you ought to bring to shoot - as much as you can carry!"

This is going to be fun? I hope?

wv: centy. Um, I expect the ammo with be more dollary, myself.

Anonymous said...

*laughs* Yeah, it does.

Anonymous said...

The range I go to most often are knights to my wife. Her very first time out with her spiffy new S&W 640-3 was all on her own. I had to stay home and mind the youngin'.

This is her first revolver to boot.

My recommendation to her was to get a box of everything they had in .38 special and .357 magnum and see what she and the gun liked best.

When she asked for that, the counter guy said, "New gun, huh?" and sold her about ten boxes of ammo.

We've since looked around at the other female type shooters and customers there. As far as we can tell, my wife is the only girl who goes there alone. I think the staff really digs the novelty of a woman who is there to learn and doesn't contradict them with, "But [insert big strong man here] says..."