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Women Are Sharing Their "You Should Be Speaking To Me, Not Him" Stories, And To Say I'm Fuming Is An Understatement

"I had already sent more than one copy of his death certificate. The agent told me it didn't matter; they still needed to speak with my husband."

If you're a woman, then you're probably aware of how annoying it is to be ignored or dismissed by the person (and by "person," I mean "man") you're talking to — particularly (and this is the real kicker) when a man ignores you to speak to another man who is totally irrelevant to the task at hand.

So, inspired by u/teacherspet5859438e's question — "Women, what is your 'I am the client, not my husband; stop ignoring me' story?" — we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their experiences, and, well, I now need a sedative. See for yourself:

1. "I used to work at my brother's store. He works with IT but also sells things. It was normal for everyone who came in to ask for my brother, but once, this old man came and simply refused to tell me what he wanted. Whenever I asked him if I could help, he said that he only wanted to speak to my brother. However, my brother was almost never there because he was always at clients' companies or houses. I had to call him to come, and this old man — I shit you not — waited two hours for him to arrive. When he arrived, he told my brother that he only wanted to buy a radio. My brother said I could sell him the radio and left."

"I've been with my brother while he works since I was a little child, so I'm pretty good at fixing things — cellphones, computers, etc. So I was in charge of whatever I could fix and sales."


2. "When I had my appendix taken out, I asked my doctor when sex would be okay again. He turned to my husband and said, 'Whenever you feel ready, you can begin sexual relations again.'"

"I don’t know if he was uncomfortable talking to me about it or was deferring to what my husband would prefer. Either way, it was strange."


3. "I had problems with my mortgage shortly after my husband's death. I called to fix the problem, but they told me that they couldn't talk with me alone because my husband's name was on the papers too. I pointed out that I had already sent more than one copy of his death certificate, and the person told me it didn't matter; they still needed to speak with my husband. I then said they would need to cover the return shipping costs if I sent them further proof, and asked for an email address to send them something. They agreed, so I sent them how much the return shipping and insurance would cost for two packages. The agent I was speaking with asked me what it was all about. I said that my husband was quite a large man, so I would have to have his corpse cut into two pieces, and I expected them to return him when they finished speaking with him."

"The situation magically cleared up, and the death certificate was proof enough."


4. "When I was little, we lived in an apartment. My mom once had to call maintenance because something was leaking under the carpet. The maintenance guy said there was no problem but had his supervisor check it out. The supervisor said, 'Are you sure it's not your dog?' My mom was like, 'Yes, this is an issue with the air conditioner, not dog pee.' He kept talking down to her, very sarcastically asked for a paper towel, and said, 'Air conditioner doesn't leak yellow.' He put the paper towel over the wet spot, and it came up clear."

"They ended up checking the air unit, and my mom was right."

Ask Aspie

5. "I was trying to collect a parcel from the post office that was addressed to both my husband and me. They told me that my husband had to come to collect it. I asked whether they meant both of us had to be there, and the response was no, just him."

"Needless to say, I was not happy. After a while of arguing, they gave me the parcel."


6. "The insurance company listed my 4-year-old son as the head of the household — even though I put down that I was. When I called to fix the mistake, they asked to speak to my husband, [insert son's name]. I told them that he was my child and even confirmed his date of birth. They then said there was nothing they could do until they talked to my husband. I'm a single mom. No husband. So I gave the phone to my nonverbal, autistic 4-year-old and let him scream into the phone for a few minutes. They fixed the information. The next year, the same thing happened: My now–5-year-old is the head of the household."

"Again, the company won't change the information until my 'husband' calls them. You can clearly see from the information that my kid is 5. They even confirmed that he is 5. But nope, he is the head of our household."


7. "My boyfriend and I were crossing the border, and the border officer kept referring all questions to my boyfriend — what's the license plate number, where were we going, how long would we be gone for, etc. — even though I was driving. I always answered, and eventually he said, 'Does she ALWAYS do that?'"

"Excuse me? Do what? Speak?"


8. "My mom's car broke down in this desolate area, so she proceeded to call AAA to get the car. My little brother and I were in the car. The man on the phone with my mom said, 'Ma'am, we cannot come out to fix your car without your husband's permission.' She was confused and asked why, and he responded with, 'We see the car listed under [my dad], and because it's not [my dad's name] calling, we cannot help you. This may be a stolen vehicle.'"

"My family is very well off, and my mom is a stay-at-home mom. She doesn't take shit, and once he threw out 'theft,' she blew up on him. She finally got the man's supervisor — who was a woman — on the phone. The supervisor immediately apologized and sent out AAA."

Taylor Bafus

9. "Both of my pregnancies nearly killed me, so I tried to get my doctor to tie my tubes. They refused to unless my husband gave his approval because he might want more kids in the future. The argument was that I was under 30. Therefore, I wasn't capable of making these types of decisions on my own. My husband was deployed, so I couldn't have the procedure."

"It's been 10 years, we haven't had more kids, I'm over 35, and they still won't tie my tubes unless my husband gives his permission. I've been waiting my whole damn life to have agency over my own body, and it still hasn't happened."


10. "I had been going in circles with installers that my insurance company hired to replace the floors in my house. Because of a flood, I'd been living with a cement floor for three months. I finally did a three-way call with my husband and the installation company to nail down when they would come out. After about 20 minutes of back-and-forth, the owner on the phone said, 'Oh, honey, why don't you calm down and let the men work it out?' I blew a gasket! I then called my insurance company, explained what happened, and let them know in no uncertain terms that those installers were not to do any work in my home."

"My husband had said, 'Man, you just screwed yourselves!' The day after, I had a new company call. A week later, I had my floors done. In all, it took three and a half months."


11. "I had to replace all the windows in our house. My husband works all day (and hardly answers his phone), while I'm at the house with kids. Therefore, I was doing the research and having people come out for estimates. This guy from Home Depot said they didn't do estimates during the day 'because your husband needs to be on board to pay for it.' For some reason, I still let him come out. While in my home, he kept asking my husband for his contact information because he 'would be the one paying for it, since [I] didn't have a real job.'"

"Couldn't kick the guy out fast enough."


12. "I grew up playing softball and played competitively through college. The summer after my first year in college — having been the starting third baseman for a Division III team — I worked a summer job and joined the company's intramural, co-ed softball team. We were playing in an 'all-star' game against the local radio station with a coach from one of the other teams who hadn't seen me play. It was my turn to bat soon, and the coach came up to me and said, 'You're on deck; that means you bat next.' I responded, 'Okay, thanks. But if I happen to hit the ball, do I run to that base' — I pointed at third base, then pointed to first and continued — 'or that base?'"

"I didn't bother telling him I had just gotten an NCAA award for leading the nation for all Division III schools in triples percentage."


13. "I ordered a grill from Lowe’s for curbside pickup and called my best friend with a truck — who is male — to drive. The Lowe’s dude took forever before coming outside multiple times to let my friend know the grill is missing, give him status updates, and apologize."

"The whole time, he's looking my friend in the face and ignoring me. Every single time, my friend says, 'Talk to her. I’m just the ride.' Women are allowed to make purchases. We like food, too. Friend earned major additional kudos that day for calling out the Lowe’s dude’s sexism."


14. "My mom needed a hysterectomy due to a large tumor and endometriosis. The insurance denied her at first because they wanted to 'preserve her fertility.' She was 54, and both of her kids were in their mid-20s."

"The family and doctor had to lobby the insurance to change it."


15. "I went in to buy a TV, and the salesman asked, 'What size does your husband want?' I looked at him and asked, 'What size does your wife want?'"

"Then I walked up to a saleswoman and told her which TV I wanted. It was in my car within 15 minutes, and she joked about how that guy pisses people off all the time."


16. "I can't make any changes on our bank account; it has to be my husband (or basically a male voice on the phone). It was originally my account; I just added him to it when we got married."

"This was even the case just to enroll us in the points program to earn free rewards."

Mrs. Smith

17. "Our dental insurance is in my name. The flex benefits card we use to pay for our deductibles is in my name. However, when I had a root canal, they sent the bill to my husband and listed him as the guarantor. At the next appointment, I told them they needed to change it immediately if they wanted to get paid, as I handle all the bills. My husband literally has to ask me how much money we have available in the bank because he keeps locking himself out of the bank app."

"Another thing: Our house is in my name. When I communicated with the town about our dog licenses and signed the check to pay for them, the licenses came with only my husband listed as the owner of the dogs."


18. "I manage a store with a comanager who is male, but I'm technically his boss. When inventory comes in, we have to check it in and make sure everything on the invoice is there before accepting it. One of our vendors is the worst to check in because of the way they pack products, so I've relegated it to him since I don't want to deal with them and generally have more important things I can be doing. One day, my comanager was on vacation when the delivery came in. The driver walked in, saw me, and said, 'The boss not here today?' I deal with these microaggressions from customers and vendors daily, and that day, I just snapped. I said, 'The boss is right here, and she's not in the mood to have a misogynistic moment right now, so let's just not, okay?' He turned bright red, started backtracking, and said he didn't realize I was my coworker's boss, and how 'cool' that was."

"It's 2021, sir. It's not cool. It's how the freaking world works. Get used to it.

"For context, my comanager and I share an office and split most of the day-to-day duties. However, I do all the hiring/firing, do the scheduling, make financial decisions, and handle anything that requires access to money."


19. "Once, we had to call the maintenance guy for my apartment. When he got there, my roommate's boyfriend happened to be there. The maintenance guy only spoke to him even though he neither lived there nor paid rent. He couldn't possibly fathom the idea of four girls knowing what needed to be fixed in their apartment."


20. "I have a 14-year-old daughter. I've also been living with my boyfriend for about seven years. I list him as an emergency number at her school should they not be able to get ahold of me. Instead, they automatically call him. Mail about her comes in his name too, as if he's her father. Every year, I have to call the office and let them know that I'm her mother, he's not her father, and correspondence and phone calls come to me first."

"He's a great stepparent, don't get me wrong, and he loves her dearly, but he respects that she's my daughter."


21. "I have a chronic pain disease that runs in the family. I noticed that my father and male relatives have no problems securing pain meds, but my doctors would never give me any — even though I clearly indicated how much pain I was in."

"So I started bringing either my father or my husband to my medical appointments (which is hugely intrusive), would have them repeat how much pain I was in, and lo and behold, suddenly I got pain medication."


22. "One time, I described my car problem to the desk guy at the auto shop as a 'clicking' when I turned the key and asked if they'd check the timing belt. He said I'd have to leave my car there, so my husband arrived 10 minutes later to pick me up. The mechanic came out and asked him what was going on with the car, never looking at me."

"I finally asked if he'd checked the timing belts as I'd asked the guy at the desk to do. He had not. Gotta say, mad turned to cocky when it turned out to be the timing belt. This happens a lot with auto repair."


23. "I once caught some hunters trespassing on my property. I wasn’t rude to them at all, I just waved from the other side of the field. The next day, they showed up at my house. One gestured toward the police car in the driveway and asked to speak to my husband about hunting in our woods."

"I was like, 'You can talk to him if you want, but that’s my cruiser, and this is my land, not his.' They still insisted on getting permission from my husband."


24. "I made an appointment for taxes and communicated in advance of that appointment. I was a new 1099 worker and had a lot of questions. Every time I asked one, the accountant addressed my husband."

"My husband has always worked a W-2 job, had very few questions, and does not take care of our finances. All of the paperwork was under his name, and the accountant only addressed him in emails. Fuck that guy."


25. "When my house caught fire, the firefighters kept talking to my boyfriend about the house instead of me — even though I was identified as the homeowner. It's my house, in my name, that I paid 100% for on my own. I'm the one who told him to get the fire extinguishers, got the kids out of the house, called 911, and shut off the breakers."

"Only the battalion chief started talking to me once he realized I was the one who owned the house and had the information he needed. I was almost as irritated at being ignored as I was over the cause of the fire. (Luckily, the damage was pretty minimal, and the only thing I really lost was the air purifier.)"


26. "I am not affected by caffeine, and my husband is. I order regular coffee and my husband prefers decaf. Almost every time, the server gives him the regular coffee and me the decaf."

"The server who gets it right gets an extra smile with my thank-you."


27. "We were buying a new mattress. It was a joint decision for the feel of it, but my decision regarding the price point and warranty because I was paying for it. I noticed the salesperson talking to my husband more than to me (the one with the money), but I'm used to it. Then my husband wandered away as if he'd never seen a furniture store before."

"Weird, but okay. He came back and said, 'Hey, can I have some money? I'm going to go check out the [insert dumb little decorative thing].' I was weirded out because I have never seen him care about even a lamp enough to go examine it on his own. But I said sure and handed him some cash.

"The salesperson immediately stopped paying attention to my husband. Suddenly, in his mind, I was wearing the pants. He started asking me what I did for a living and whatnot, and I was able to negotiate for a slightly lower price. I love my husband so much. He knew exactly what he was doing."


28. "When I was a baby, I wouldn't 'latch on' when my mother breastfed me, so I wasn't eating well. The doctor completely ignored my mom and only talked to my dad because she was 'too hysterical.'"

"He was on the verge of finding out what that looked like."


29. "When I purchased my first home, a neighbor came to introduce himself while my parents were visiting. We started talking about water quality, and he said, 'There’s something called sulfur in water. You probably don’t know what that is,' then turned to my father and went, 'You know what I’m talking about.'"

"My dad had no idea. But I sure as hell knew what that was, and let him know as well."


30. "I was sitting in a medical gown, and the male doctor walked in, greeted my male fiancé, and asked about the reason for our visit. I stood up — my gown falling open to reveal my nakedness — extended my hand, and said, 'Good afternoon. I'm here to have some moles removed, and you have one chance to correct that lovely dose of everyday misogyny before I make a scene.'"

"The doctor swallowed hard and looked back at my fiancé. I cleared my throat as my fiancé tipped his head toward me. The doctor apologized pretty damn quick."


31. "When I was in the hospital, the psychiatrist asked to speak to my father on the phone about whether or not he was comfortable with me being discharged — despite my saying I was 24 and didn’t live with my dad. He also hadn’t asked me how I felt about being discharged."

"He just asked to speak to my dad."

—Sophie, Facebook

32. "My old teacher, a woman, told me a story about a cold caller in the '80s or '90s. He phoned asking to speak to the man of the house about changing suppliers for something. My teacher told him that her husband was away on a business trip and to call back the next day."

"He called the next day, again asking for the man of the house. She informed him that her husband had been delayed and to call back the next day. He called the next day, and she informed him that due to bad weather, his flight had been delayed until later on that night, so please call back the next day.

"He again called the next day, and she put her husband on. The man asked about changing to his company's service. The husband informed him that his wife dealt with all the bills and asked that he please talk to her. My teacher took the phone, said, 'No, thank you,' and hung up."


33. "I'm a female Marine Corps veteran. I have 'Marine veteran' license plates on my car. When I got a speeding ticket a few years ago, I showed the highway patrolman my registration and USAA insurance. He — no shit — was surprised and said, 'Oh, the car is registered to you?!'"


34. "I'm a pilot. One time, I flew my boyfriend and myself out for lunch. I sat in the left seat, typically the captain's seat, and my boyfriend sat on the right. As I parked, the gentleman approached my boyfriend, asking what services he needed. He said, 'I have no idea; she’s the pilot.'"

"Now I fly private jets, and I’m constantly mistaken for the flight attendant. When telling people I’m a pilot after they ask what I do, I’ve been asked, 'Do you mean flight attendant?'"


35. "When I was in the Air Force, I had to bring my cat to the vet. He ended up needing expensive medication and staying a couple of nights. I asked the vet if there was a military discount. He said yes, but the active-duty member had to be the one paying for it."

"He thought I was asking for a discount on behalf of my husband or boyfriend. I quickly let him know that *I* was the active-duty member, and *I* would be paying. He apologized real quick."


36. "I was at GameStop to buy video games with my boyfriend. I was ignored until I asked for a game that I'd been looking for. The sales guy said, 'Yeah, this one's a first-person shooter — that means it's in the player's perspective. We have a lot of female-friendly games over there, though, since I'm sure this is too violent for you,' and proceeded to show me Cooking Mama."

"This literally happens to me all the time. 🙄 Men really can be the worst."


37. "When we were having our house built, the woman helping us kept saying that the house would have Wi-Fi on all three floors. We asked to have ethernet cables run to certain rooms, and she laughed and said, 'Well, he can have one run to his office, but you'll be fine with Wi-Fi.'"

"I was like, 'No, I would like one as well.' We both play games online, sometimes MMOs, and wanted hard lines run. She just couldn't understand why a woman would need anything other than Wi-Fi. It made me angry for her to make the assumptions.

"My husband is awesome and regularly tells contractors to speak to me about things. My dad was a machinist, and my mom worked for a tool company. So my husband handles the car, and I handle the house — divide and conquer. 😁 It's so frustrating when people assume I don't know anything about repairs or tools. I'm just glad my husband is very supportive and knows I am capable of doing things." 


38. "I went to several doctors for consultations on breast implants. One of them looked at the (male) friend I'd brought for moral support and asked him what size he was interested in!"

"It was infuriating."


39. "I was trying to buy a TV, and my boyfriend came along to help carry the box. Every time I asked a question, the employee would answer by turning to my boyfriend and talking to him. Even when my boyfriend said stuff like, 'I don't know, it’s her TV,' the employee still faced and made eye contact only with him."

"I was getting pretty irritated. The last straw was when I was handing him MY credit card, and he turned to my boyfriend to ask if he wanted the two-year warranty. Finally, I snapped at him: 'IT'S NOT HIS TV! I AM BUYING THIS TV! STOP TRYING TO SELL IT TO HIM!' I was pissed, and it was the most irritating and sexist customer service I’ve ever experienced."


40. "We took my daughter to urgent care for stitches. My husband was holding her, and I checked her in at the front desk iPad. The front desk man looked at my husband and asked for the insurance card. We’re on my insurance, so I handed him the card. Next, he told my husband the copay — looking at him behind me — when I was the one standing at the damn desk."

"I pulled out my card, with my name on it, and paid. Asshole."


41. "I took my colleague out to lunch. When the bill came around, the waitperson gave it to him because she assumed he would be paying."

"He wasn’t a subordinate; he was at the same level I was. However, I was given a company card and he wasn’t because of the nature of our jobs. He graciously grabbed the bill and gave it to me, saying, 'She’s the boss.' Smart move: It made me feel validated, and he got a free lunch."


42. "I work as a figure skating coach, and I took a really bad fall one day — massive bruises and swelling on my knees, broken right elbow, sprained left thumb, and bruises on one side of my face. My husband went with me to urgent care, and the orthopedist who delivered the news that my elbow was broken spoke only to my husband. He didn’t examine any of my injuries. His only comment to me was, 'It might be a good idea to find another hobby.'"

"To say the least, I went for a second opinion the next day to a different doc, and it turned out, there was even more going on with the elbow that the first guy didn’t catch. Always worth the second opinion from a doctor who is not a useless, sexist piece of trash!"


43. "When I bought car insurance, I told the insurance agent that my husband didn’t need to be on the policy because he didn’t drive. They made me bring in a copy of his state ID to prove that he didn’t have a license. They admitted that they wouldn’t have required my ID if the positions had been reversed."

"Institutional sexism is still here. Just because it isn’t as bad as it was in the '70s — when my mom once had to walk home from the oil fields because she wouldn’t blow her boss — doesn’t mean it’s gone, or, really, that the 'Blow me or walk home' stuff doesn’t still happen."


44. "I used to travel extensively with my career (125,000 miles/100 days). With this came significant perks with airlines and hotel chains. However, whenever we would travel for pleasure, without fail, the gate agent, hotel desk clerk, etc., would look directly at my husband and thank him for his loyalty."

"He rarely traveled unless it was with me on a family vacation. The worst was when the the airline upgraded him to first class and not me. He politely said, ‘No, thank you, I think you’ve chosen the wrong Smith.' Grrrrr."


45. "I was getting an estimate to have the hardwood floors redone in the house I have owned for 25 years. I was in the kitchen with the floor guy, and my boyfriend was watching TV on the couch. The man kept speaking to my boyfriend, who never took his eyes off the TV and kept saying, 'Her house, not mine.'"

"Of course, I’m used to this type of treatment. It took him going off about politics for me to finally say buh-bye."


46. "In college, I went into the Apple Store to get a new laptop that I’d saved up for. My mom was visiting that weekend, so she came with me. The sales rep said it came with a printer, but the wireless one would be more expensive. Before I could reply, he said, 'As long as we are spending Daddy’s money, we might as well go for the wireless.'"

"My mom and I agreed to leave and go to a different Apple Store to give someone else the sale. She told him as much when we left, and why."

—[deleted user]

47. "My husband and I are renovating our house. We went over everything we wanted, and I set everything up. One company came out for a quote, so I met with the guy and explained everything. He came back out to go over the laughable quote — he literally just wrote a number down on a piece of paper, without anything else written — and said, 'I'll just give you a quick rundown, and I can come back when your husband is available. We’ll go over everything then.'"

"Needless to say, he did not get the job from us."


48. "I was dating someone for less than a year when I had to get an emergency hysterectomy. They asked him if he was okay with it."

"Like, they needed his permission first."

—Cecile, Facebook

49. "I'm an Army veteran. My debit card is with a military-affiliated bank. Every time I pay for dinner at a restaurant, they bring it back, set it in front of my husband, and thank him for his service."

"My husband was never in the military. The card has my name on it, and sometimes, they've even watched me pull it out of my bag!

"I have also been by myself somewhere, paid for something with the card, and had the person who sees the card look at me and say, 'Oh, was your husband or dad in the military?' Um, no. No, they were not. I was. Thank you."


50. "I took my car in for an oil change and tire rotation at a Sears. The mechanic told me one of my tires had stripped bolts. He said, 'Don’t let your brother or boyfriend work on this car anymore. They’ve stripped the bolts.' I was going to let it slide, but he said it again before I left: 'Remember, don’t let your brother or boyfriend mess with the car. I don’t want you to have to pay for their mistakes.' I finally snapped back, 'The only two places that have worked on my car are you and the dealership, so I’m betting you stripped the bolts. It’s great that you assume I have a brother or boyfriend working on my car when I could just as easily be doing it myself.'"

"I’d already been teaching myself to do light maintenance on my car at that point. But that was when I started working hardcore — doing everything possible with my car myself — just so I could rub it in men’s faces when they assumed I couldn't work on a car."


51. "Occasionally, when my husband and I go out to eat, I'll order steak and he’ll go for the fish. The server (who took our order) nearly always gives the steak to him. I've even had a server move the steak knife from my side of the table to his, then put the fish knife next to me."

"Then they'll apologize for the mix-up with the utensils. It makes me want to punch them."


52. "I went to a doctor to have my broken ankle repaired after a bad surgery, and my dad was the only one available to drive me. The doctor acted as if I wasn’t even there, directing comments and questions to my dad, who finally went, 'It’s her broken ankle, man, ask her.'"

"Mind you, I was almost 30 and married, and the doctor knew both of those things."


Are you as pissed as I am? Please commiserate with me in the comments below. Or, if you have your own experience to share, let us know!

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.