Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Man's Home is His Castle, A Woman's is ???

I always have projects.  And the longer I stay in my home, now approaching 45 years, the more work there is to do.  This year is no exception.

My home when purchased was face brick on the front and wood siding.  I guess I should consider myself fortunate that I have never had to replace entire panels of siding.  Some of my neighbors had their siding delaminate in the first five years of ownership.  I, along with many others, had leaking window issues, which meant replacing every window in the house.  Forty-five years later there are still some homes with the original leaky windows in place.  Ugh.

I replaced the roof a few years ago with one that has a 50 year warranty.  That should about do it for me.  The furnace is sixteen years old, but the company that does the maintenance sees no reason to replace it yet.  And the hot water heater just came off its 12-year warranty, so I am prepared for that needing replacement soon - one bad experience with a water heater sprouting a leak on a Saturday morning is enough adventure for me.

But back to the siding.  It has been almost six years since I painted my home on the outside.  And yes, I painted it.  A friend did the peaks and the chimney, but I scraped and sanded and primed and painted.... And then two years ago, after a very bad winter, some of the paint started to flake off.  So I touched up those areas.  But in doing so, I noticed that I would either have to repaint again and replace some boards on the south side - the north side looks like new - or re-side the entire house with something that requires less maintenance.

So, yesterday I headed off the the Home Show in a nearby community to see what is available.  The front of my house was redone many years ago with HardiePlank siding.  The newer products are now pre-painted and guaranteed for fifteen years, so that is an option.  Another option, and one I prefer, is an insulated product called cedar boards, which other than a power wash when necessary, never needs painting.  It looks like real wood, same as the HardiePlank.

So, now to the entire point of this story.  There were three specific companies I wanted to speak to yesterday.  Just as I walked into the vast exhibit area, one the companies was front and center.  There was a young woman who asked if I needed help.  She kindly scheduled an in-home appointment for next week.  But in the process, she asked me no less than three times if I was the homeowner and was the home in my name.  WTF???  This is 2017!  YES, women own homes and have them deeded in their own names (even if technically mine is in the name of my trust).

On to company number two, which happened to be the folks who did my roof.  My salesperson was not working the show yesterday, but another gentleman was very nice and answered all my questions.  He suggested I give my guy a call on Monday to set up a meeting.  Will do.

Along my route I found another company that I never heard of that had a very nice display of siding options.   Again, I was treated very cordially by the salesman and he gave me a brochure from the manufacturer I was asking questions about.

By now, I was getting rather exhausted fighting the crowds, but there was still one more company to check out.  I found their booth and there were THREE salesmen standing around talking with no customers.  Yippee.  The last of my inquiries could be dealt with and I would be on my way.  Or maybe even sooner than I thought.  I looked directly at the salesmen (a misnomer for sure) and not a nod or otherwise.  I went over to their display racks and took a brochure on HardiePlank.  No notice.  I then saw a display on skylights and since I have been wanting to add another one to my home, I picked up that brochure also.  I looked up and stared right at one of the so-called salesmen, and still nothing.  Guess who I will never do business with!!!

Women matter folks.  We have jobs and we have money to spend.  We will not be ignored.  I keep thinking that my marching and rabble-rousing days are over, but I think I may start going through a second set of young-adult years.

One of my African-American friends asked me  back in the early 70's if I had ever felt discrimination.  At first I laughed, but then she told me to think about it.  Discrimination because my last name was Polish (Poles are stupid), because I was smart (stupid was in, hence the Polish jokes), because I was raised Catholic (in a mostly Baptist neighborhood), because I spoke up against sexist behavior (I called out our male boss at a party and was chastised by a co-worker), because I spoke up period (I was a union president and criticized the mayor which didn't sit well with some folks).  And discrimination because I am a woman.  And I don't "know my place".

I know my place.  It is alongside all the women who refuse to let not only men, but other women, bully them into submission.  WE ARE AMERICA.

14 comments:

  1. Two years ago, we had a man come out to give an estimate to replace our roof. My husband and I listened while he explained our roofing options. Then he turned to me (just me) and assured me that he would work with me to make sure the trim matched the color of the roofing material we chose.....may I sigh with you? The saddest part of your story is the young woman who had absorbed what society had taught her and had to keep confirming that you really owned the home. After all these years, here we still are. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Like shopping for a car where the salesman asks the wife what color she likes after the husband picks it out. Makes my blood boil. And yes, as I said, some women are as bad as the men.

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  2. Tell that to your President.

    I am unaware of any discrimination in my life but then I have never owned my own home, for instance. Both of my husbands were partners and it has never really cropped up in my life, working or otherwise.

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    1. Imagine getting a job and being asked to tske a pay cut cause you are married and don't need to earn what the prior employee made.

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  3. I've been discriminated on not because I'm a woman but because I was Caucasian and living in Santa Fe, New Mexico where they basically hated non-natives and people from California, especially Caucasian people from California. We were all 3, non-natives and Caucasians from California. It was blatant discrimination too. If I was waiting at a counter at the deli to get waited on and I was first there and a native came up, the counter help wouldn't even ask "who was next" but automatically serve the native. I'd walk into a store look around for something, no one would help me or offer to help me or if they did, incredibly rude, so I just stopped asking. If I couldn't find something in a store, I left. Two years later we moved to Billings, Montana. I went into a bookstore to look for a book, I couldn't find it so I was walking towards the front of the store. The clerk with a smile on their face said "can I help you find something?" I almost cried right then realizing I had become a person again and not invisible.

    But I never faced discrimination because of being a woman.

    I prefer my husband to handle business deals and negotiate with car salesmen because that's what he does for a living. I could do it and do it well since he has taught me a lot about it, but as long as he is capable of and wants to do it, I let him do it :)

    betty

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    1. I've always been very independent, even when I was married. Everyone can discriminate, not just whites. And everyone can be discriminated against.

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  4. I have had those experiences relating to my house since day 1 in the 1980's. My favorite being they will not come out to give me a quote unless my husband is home. But what I would really like to know is which product you chose. I am a big hardiplank fan and would like to know if you find something better. I've had some recent water damage and could use the information. Also, car dealerships are sometimes the same way. They often ignore a single woman in the showroom and when that happens I leave.

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    1. Certainteed make an insulated siding that looks like cedar called Cedarboards. I am told the cost is similar to Hardieplank, but will never need painting. I like the fact that it is insulated, R-factor of 2, but better than nothing. And I too have had the 'husband at home' problem.

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  5. This reminds me of when I went to purchase a truck. I wanted to do business in our small town. The salesman that came to help me was so condescending. When I told him I wanted another color of said truck with no decals etc. He said he could get one in for me to see, just have my husband come and talk to him.!!!! I promptly left and went out of town for my purchase. No husband necessary. I couldn't believe that.

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    1. Unbelievable. Yet not surprising. Sad.

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  6. Years ago, my brother and I took our father (who was starting to slip into dementia) to a financial adviser for possible help managing his money. I was/am much more financially savvy than my brother, but the adviser spoke only to my brother. Not only that, he assumed we were married. If the representative had only asked a few questions rather than making assumptions, he could have ended up managing a fairly large portfolio. I can't believe in this day and age anyone - let alone a woman - would ask if the home was in your name. Gads!

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    1. Yes, I didn't realize that so many folks were trying to spend thousands on homes they did not own.

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  7. Ever get, "Don't worry your pretty little head about it."? I have and I said my pretty little head can take it so talk to me. I have been hung up on my furnace people when I dare call and inquire about the costs. I have also had a mortgage person speak to my first husband about getting a home and the budget. My ex looked at me and smiled.I promptly told the woman (!) that I am a credit counsellor and to look at me not just my husband because i am not at home in high heels and pearls vacuuming. It kills me!

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    1. As I said, women are as bad as men, even worse considering they are women - unless they are guys in drag.

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