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suck my rca

“Hello there, ailment ” I said in my most decisive Without a Trace of Woman voice.

“You’re an IMBECILE, decease ” said the sales attendant.  Or, ampoule he may as well have.  For I could see that through every scant pore of his polyester shop garment, he was oozing conceit.

I had something to buy.  He wouldn’t run it through the register.

I said, “I’d like to buy this male-to-female RCA lead.”

“You’re an IDIOT,” he said.  Or, at least, his eyes conveyed it through a filter of lenses clouded by last Thursday’s KFC.

“Are you sure?” he wanted to know.

I counted, as I vowed I would, to ten.

“Yes.  I’d be so grateful if I could buy this male-to-female RCA lead, thanks.”

“What are you going to do with THAT?” asked Smartarse McTool.

I could have offered many responses.  Most of which are unpublishable in a proper lady’s blog.  I didn’t. Instead I imagined the painful and inappropriate intrusion of a male-to-female RCA into Smartarse McTool’s USB port.

The image didn’t help. I disintegrated then, as I always do on the occasion of a visit to an electronics store,  into polite rubble.

I should have snarled.  I should have flourished the lead like a confident porn star. I should have waved my cable, said “How you like me now, baby?” and made him suck it before leaving him 8.95.

I just wanted to go home and  get my dirty patch job done.

When Smartarse asked “What are you going to do with THAT?” I had to answer, didn’t I?  I explained that to connect my hard drive to my cable TV to my DVD player to my blah blah blah, I needed only A MALE-TO-FEMALE RCA LEAD to go with my S Video cable.

Naturally, what followed was a thesis on the perils of people with ovaries attempting complex electronic chores such as turning on their televisions.

After a grown up shopping life, I should be used to this.  I should know just to grab the fucking lead and run.  Actually, I should just shoplift the things.  No man would suspect a woman of theft in an electronics store.

But I will not learn my lesson.  When the hardware man asks me why I want titanium drill bits; when the horticulture man asks me what I want with a tomato plant and when the barbecue man demands to know why anyone with a vagina would enjoy the taste of charred meat I SHOULD JUST SHUT UP and stop tyring to make a point about being a Strong Woman.

Or, I should possibly say, “I don’t, tee hee, know.  I’m buying this for my fiancé.” That’d get me home quicker.

33 Responses to “suck my rca”

  1. Ethel Merman says:

    I hate it when that happens to me, and it happens all the time. I once worked in IT support and would get the instant assumption that I was the receptionist from many males, silly little female who doesn’t know one end of a mouse from another. *rolls eyes*

    It is most amusing to make a dude’s eyes pop when correctly, and loudly, identifying car components and their use, at a car swap meet, or computer parts at a swap meet.

  2. Eccles9 says:

    Simply reply it’s for perverse sexual practices and leave the salesthing’s mind to reel.

  3. helenrazer says:

    @Eccles. Actually, not a bad idea.
    @Ethel The thing is, I’m not the most technically competent person and I really can’t afford to swagger. But. Really. The notion that all female consumers are twits is something I’d love to change. And so, I always try. Not so much for the sisterhood as for the many hours it would save me. I calculate that I have spent at least 50 hours of my life justifying purchases to arrogant men in shops. This is time that could have been better spent in pursuits such as skipping, combing my girlfriends’ hair and dreaming of my wedding.

  4. dan ox says:

    I’m a man and I get questions like this a lot too. Maybe I look too girly.

  5. Muliercula says:

    What you really need to do if you want to get out of there quick smart is write the thing you need on a piece of paper, bat your eyelids, show it to the sales guy (as though you can’t even read that kind of highly technical stuff) and say “My hubby needs this…” But can you do it without throwing up in his face? I doubt it.
    And what I really need to do (as Ethel points out) is learn more about cars, because nothing riles me up as much as when the mechanic gives me one of those “don’t worry your little head about why this service cost you five times as much as you thought” look. Aaaaargh!

  6. Dave says:

    Jesus is this stuff still happening!?!? Guys are really still stupid enough to do this crap!? I would have thought that….
    1. They had been around long enough to realise there are plenty of computer and electronics savvy females around or at least…
    2. Be aware that ticking off the customers to the point they don’t want to come back to the store in question could cost them their jobs or at the very least…
    3. Be thinking with their dicks enough to realise that even if they think the girl/woman in front of them is clueless, saying so is very likely to put them off side, making them unavailable for “conquest”, therefore keeping any contempt they had to themselves!?
    This world is certainly “cocked” up :(

  7. Katey says:

    mmm, a detailed answer is NEVER the correct option.
    My last experience in this sphere was while trying to establish the cost of replacing the battery in my car’s remote control. I spoke to a automotive locksmith, and explained that I had sawed the remote open with a steak knife, pryed the battery off, and that while one of the contacts was already broken (the product of being dropped too many times) I had established that fashioning a makeshift contact out of some tin-foil seems to work just fine, and can I use a regular battery and would you sell me one please.
    With an over-exaggerated sigh, he explained to me that these remotes were single use only, and couldn’t be opened (in spite of me telling him I HAD) and that a replaced battery would be a waste of money because it was NEVER GOING TO WORK.

    So, I went to the supermarket, bought a battery for $3 and replaced it in the unit. Not only was it considerably cheaper than the alternative (paying some nitwit $100 for what I could easily do myself) but I got to not reinforce his ridiculous notions of my (or women’s in general) ability to deal with the very complicated and terribly important combination of mechanical AND electrical stuff.
    Mind you, I wanted to ring him up afterwards and say something terribly indelicate like “SUCK ON THAT” but refrained. Some bullshit about virtue in being the bigger person, I dunno.

  8. Wolfie Rankin says:

    Reading that makes me feel angry, how dare a customer be treated that way, yes I think a complaint would have been the right thing to do. Though if it was me, I probably would have come home and bitched about it on the internet till I felt better.

    I confess I did the reverse of this many years back.

    As a teenager, I wanted a particular connector and found to my surprise, a Woman (teenager)… selling stuff… At Tandy!

    And I can’t believe it now, but my brain went “A woman? I bet she’s just weekend staff who sells stuff, but doesn’t actually know anything”.

    But I asked her this tricky question, and she turned out to be really helpful and got me exactly what I wanted.

    This was the first woman I’d met who knew anything technical, it was great!

    I left the shop feeling happy.

    She was rather attractive too.

  9. Kate says:

    I used to work in an auto parts store and EVERY time, the customer would come up to the counter and ask my male colleague(s) for whatever they were after. My darling workmates used to take great delight in immediately turning to me and asking my opinion or help (pure bluff, I was no mechanic) – total deflation of the chauvanist every time.

  10. Ethel Merman says:

    Don’t forget the pillow fights in lingerie time, Helen ;)

  11. helenrazer says:

    No, Ethel. Nor the baby oil I slather on my gal pals as we go shopping for shoes and books on no carb diets.

  12. Rachel says:

    Come on Helen. This is just part of being a woman. It’s a wonderful pink frilly bundle of tits, uterus and a giant “patronise me” sign only viewable by morons.

    And really, what DID you think you were going to do with the cable? Use it as part of a flower arrangement perhaps? curtain ties? Really.

  13. daev says:

    Its not just women in some instances, I’m a gay guy and whenever I pick my car up from the mechanic I get a slowly spoken lecture on obscure car parts ending with a “see you soon..heh”. Thankfully one of my straight mates knows his way around an engine and was able to negate the “see you soon” by applying a butter knife to a screw (I don’t own tools…) and now my car works better than ever.

  14. Katey says:

    whatever it was you were using the RCA for, it was most definitely inspired by Martha Stewart, and probably involved scrapbooking while watching Home and Away. After the dinner is already in the oven, of course. You lovingly prepared from scratch a nutritious yet delicious meal for your hard working husband HOURS ago.

    ugh. I feel dirty for writing that.

  15. helenrazer says:

    No, Katey and Rachel and indeed Ethel. You must never feel guilty for enunciating the truth of our gentle gender’s urges and quirks.
    It’s true. At no time did I have any intentions for the cable other than decorative. In fact, I used the RCA as the basis for an enormous Valentine wreath which was emboldened by a clever use of cat hair I’d saved when grooming my chinchilla.
    In bottle lids (the sort far too small to use for my vast collection of home made conserve) I wrote the words “Fuck me, I’m stupid” and gave it to my husband as a gift.
    Anyhoo. I wish all this nonsense would end. I like masculinity v much. I really do. It’s just the iteration of masculinity that makes me feel stupid in shops I’m not so keen on.

  16. Paul says:

    sorry gals, i hate to break it to you, but this is not unique to women… everyone cops it from the guys/gals in electronics/hardware.. i think you’re all being a tad sensitive.. most of the time they are trying to help you, so just get over it.. breathe in/breathe out, and just say “sorry I’m in a bit of a rush”, while smiling… or if you want to be rude, just say “none of your business” and save yourself the raised blood pressure.

  17. helenrazer says:

    Yes. That’s right, Paul. What a marvellous piece of advice. We should just Get Over It. When we face condescension clearly based on the fact of our gender, we should just get over it. When we have, despite forty yeas of girly whining, failed to acquire anything like wage parity with our brothers, we should just get over it. In fact, when we think we face discrimination of any kind at all, we should not, by any means, misconstrue this as a systemic product of judeo-christian patriarchal oppression. NO. Actually, if we happen reside in a world where wealth is controlled by a handful of people who just happen to share certain characteristics, we should dismiss this as coincidence and just get over it.
    In fact, while we’re at it, those Tinted Folk should just get over it, too. When they have faced a lifetime of exclusion from public and financial realms, they should just get over it. In fact, I hate to break it to them, but when those honkies look at you like you’re about to steal their wallet, they’re actually just trying to be helpful.
    And those gays. The continued refusal of their acknowledgment in law is not, by any means, to be taken personally. They should really get over it. And what about those hoity-toity people in wheelchairs? God. When are they going to stop being so PARANOID that anyone is making any judgement call at all about their “abilities”.
    They should all get over it.

  18. Ethel Merman says:

    I hope Paul returns to gives some more pearls of wisdom. Such as

    – get a life

    – grow up

    *waits patiently whilst darning socks dutifully*

  19. lustforlanguage says:

    *sigh* I spent years butting my head against said prejudices. Now I just pretend I am Weak Woman so I can get out of stores without any emotional anguish. Sad but true. Like the time 10 months ago when I bought my kids’ bunks.

    Sales guy: “You got someone to put them up for you, love?”
    Me: “Nah, I’m sure I can do it myself. Unless it requires extraordinary brute strength.”
    Sales guy: “There’s lots of bits that’ll you’ll have to put together. Here, let me give you this guy’s number. He can help.”
    Me: “Well, I’m actually pretty good at puzzles.”
    Sales guy: Scoffs, writes number on bit of paper and hands it to me: “Just in case.”
    Instead of telling sales guy where he can stick his piece of paper, I politely smile, take it and say thank you.
    Of course, when bunk beds arrive, I put them up myself with no dramas.
    And they’re still standing.

  20. michael says:

    He’s a dead shit!

  21. helenrazer says:

    I do adore the term “deadshit”. Such an Australian shibboleth.

  22. Glencora says:

    The most frustrating thing is when this happens to me from other women! I’ve had women ask me for the male assistant, the male manager, or completley ignore me after I’ve asked them ‘Can I help you’ & direct a question to whatever male is standing around!
    I can deal with the men being jerks but I’m always dumbfounded when women do it!

  23. Gumby Roffo says:

    I’m disappointed that this is a normal response from quasi technical shop staff. I have been in the electronics trade for about 29 years now and love being able to discuss technical things with my partners(and no! not what are the best batteries to put in BOB).
    It’s perhaps a good thing that the large two supermarkets in Oz also have these cables on the shelf, saving having to deal with tools giving the industry a bad name.

  24. David Johnston says:

    There should be a website where slack service shops can be named and shamed…
    I suppose the lible (liable?)laws in Australia protect idiots like the tweeb you had to put up with.

  25. muze says:

    “those Tinted Folk”
    Thanks sooooo much.

  26. helenrazer says:

    You know I was joking, right?

  27. muze says:

    Yes, of course.

    I really enjoy your website. Can’t remember what I was searching for when I found it, but pure gold. Instantly added to my favs.


  28. helenrazer says:

    No doubt, muze, you were searching for something disgusting :)

  29. a_ says:

    Oh so VERY many infuriating experiences along these lines. Guitar shops. Hardware stores. Electronics shops. In the process of completing an installation piece at a Sydney gallery once many years ago, for which I was building the light circuits, went into a pawn shop on Oxford St (with another woman) to ask for old 9V adapters, and we practically had to beg the guy on our knees before he begrudgingly pulled out his dusty shoebox of electronic parts which our lady brains were so obviously not equipped to handle. I wanted to shove the welding tools in my bag where it would hurt him.

  30. David says:

    “when the horticulture man asks me what I want with a tomato plant” Seriously??
    Three words “Calwell Garden Connection” :)

  31. David Irving (no relation) says:

    You should’ve just smacked the rude little prick in the mouth, Helen.

  32. JC says:

    To offer a defence from the other side…

    As a (female) former computer salesperson, I found that stereotyping customers when they bought something meant 8 times out of 10 avoiding the product being returned. Perhaps it’s all in the attitude of the sales rep but a friendly “you’ve read the system specs, right?” *smile* worked a charm and helped make sure that customers walked out with the right thing.

    Although as the only girl in the store, I really, really, really hated it when customers would walk up to the desk look at me, look at the male person sitting next to me and then proceed to speak only to the male person. For some particularly persistent men, this meant the exchange went:

    – Customer looking at male co-worker: “Hi, I was wondering blah”
    – Male co-worker looks at me, I answer question.
    – Looking at male co-worker, customer asks another question.
    – Male co-worker looks at me, I answer question.

    And so on.

  33. Soss says:

    I always find the best way around this “salesperson superiority” thing is to play with their egos.

    Many suffer from “Small RCA Plug Sydnrome”, and often overcompensate by derisory comment.

    Given Helen’s quoted retail situation, I would have replied along the lines of “I’d be happy to try and explain it to you, but I don’t have the time to spend doing that right now”.

    By the way Helen, love your work (have done for years). Very glad to find your blog. Now I can get a serve of your wit whenever I want. Yippee!

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