Misogynist car salesman shames woman for wearing pants to job interview: 'You need to apologize for not wearing a skirt'

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

As a bank teller, I often wore skirts or dresses to work. I hated wearing skirts and dresses to work, mostly because I hated wearing pantyhose, which was a requirement when wearing skirts and dresses.

The moment I got home from work, I always peeled off my pantyhose and got into a pair of pants. I felt much more comfortable that way.

I didn't particularly enjoy working as a bank teller for reasons beyond my hatred of pantyhose. I began searching for a new job and found an interesting opportunity at a car dealership across town.

After I submitted a job application, the general manager called me to come in for an interview. There was just enough time between the end of my shift at the bank and the start of my job interview for me to go home and change my clothes.

In a hurry, I changed out of my skirt and pantyhose and into a nice pair of trousers and low-heeled shoes. I arrived just in time for my interview, but the interviewer kept me waiting.

While I waited, more than a few car salesmen approached me to ask whether I was there to buy a car. I explained that I wasn't looking for a new car. I was looking for a new job. After I gave my line, the salesman would laugh and walk away.

It happened more than once.

The last man to approach me didn't laugh at my joke and walk away. Instead, he appraised me from head to toe and asked, "Why didn't you wear a skirt for your job interview today?"

I hemmed and hawed and tried to explain that I didn't really enjoy wearing skirts and I hadn't realized it was necessary for a job interview since I was wearing a nice pair of trousers.

It was like he didn't even listen.

"Here's what you do," he told me. "When you go in there," he said, gesturing toward the manager's office, "you need to apologize for not wearing a skirt. Tell him you came here directly from work and didn't have a chance to change your clothes."

"But I did go home and change my clothes," I protested. "I wore a skirt to work today, but I wanted to wear pants to my interview."

He repeated himself more slowly to make sure I understood. "Just make sure you apologize for not wearing a skirt. Tell him you came here directly from work and didn't have a chance to change your clothes. Promise me. Okay?"

"No," I replied. "I'm not going to apologize for not wearing a skirt." I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

In the end, I did have my job interview, and I didn't apologize for not wearing a skirt. The manager offered me the job, and I decided against taking it.

It may sound like the plot of a 1950s sitcom, but this only happened a few short years ago. The man also told me I should have worn high-heeled shoes.

What would you have done? Comments are welcome.

Why would you want to Buy Me a Coffee? I am a full-time writer and a full-time unpaid caregiver to my 82-year-old father, who lives with Parkinson's. 100% of your tip or donation goes toward paying for my dad's groceries. Thank you.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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