The Feminist Card

“You know me… I either bring the best out of people or the worst…” A mere musing to myself. But a few weeks later, the remark returned to me. Adversely.

Not only that but he played the feminist card. On me…

This person had hurriedly and thoughtlessly implemented a change that had adversely affected many external users.

And I found out about it. Not from the hastily composed email sent to everybody else. From the blizzard of phone calls asking what did you change without telling us?

I tracked down the email. When I read its contents it made no sense at all. Perhaps it needs rewriting, I thought. I decided to find the author and ask for clarification. Luckily he had returned to his office two doors down from me. 

My questions weren’t welcomed. The person when confronted denied all adverse impact.

I thought I’ll find out for myself. I phoned one of the affected external users. I asked if they had a problem. They said yes. With their kind permission, I took a leisurely walk to their offices and found out the truth first hand.  

Despite the inconvenience, they were gracious and grateful. I listened to them and wrote down what I saw and heard. Needless to say, it was different from the email.  I tried some workarounds, unfortunately, none of which worked. My notepad now full of scribblings and hand-drawn screenshots, I trotted back to this person with my new found knowledge.

He was even less welcoming than the first time. Perhaps I’m not bringing the best out of him, I mused to myself. Unlike the recently visited and previously trained external users.

When I told him about the shortcomings and showed him my notes, he got quite aggressive and said this is the only way it could’ve been done. He refused my suggestions, didn’t acknowledge how badly it was handled and then said he was too busy anyway.

We were two men having a robust discussion. Also known as a shouting match. Except I didn’t raise my voice over him. 

He asked me to send an email detailing my issues. He said he had to go. But then he played the last card…

He said, “You’re too emotional !” I was taken aback. What a sexist and demeaning remark!

“But, but, I’m a man,” I replied. He didn’t acknowledge my wit or marvel at the quote.

“You’ve played the feminist card on me, ” I said. He ignored that and left.

How could he say such a thing to me?

Me, a poet and writer! Me, a formerly unemotional man!

I couldn’t help myself after that. I laughed my head off.

An insult that became a compliment. Perhaps I did get the best out of him after all!