Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Confirming the Stereotype

Andy wanted an external hard drive (EHD) for Christmas. Easy.

I went to our local Apple store and made my way to the back corner where the EHDs live. I stared at the huge wall of multiple brands and sizes trying to make heads or tails of what I was looking at. 500GB, 750GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, Iomega, Western Digital, LaCie, G-tech, Porche… I was overwhelmed.

As if sensing my distressed state (or perhaps just seeing a girl staring at a wall), an employee approached me.

“May I help you find something?” said Scott with a sympathetic smile.

I continued staring, baffled, at the wall of possibilities. “Um, I’m not really sure what I’m looking for.” I immediately hate myself for not doing some homework about these little boxes and how many I would have to choose from.

“Well, you’re standing in front of the EHDs”.

“Right. That’s what I need but I don’t know much about them.” SHAME.

“Ok, well, what size do you need?”

“I don’t know.” SHAME.

“How much memory is on your computer currently?”

“I don’t know.” SHAME.

“What kind of computer do you have?”

“A black one.” SHAME.

“A black one. What year did you buy it?”

“Uh…five years ago maybe? Four?” SHAME.

“Was it four or five years ago?”

“I don’t know.” SHAME.

“What will you be storing?”

“Music and pictures.” AHA! I knew this one.

Scott grabbed a 500 GB EHD and began telling me about how it was his favorite brand and it rarely had problems. I held the box and stared at it waiting for it to tell me that it was just what I was looking for. I turned the box around in my hand pretending to look for something and trying to seem interested in what Scott was saying. At least, I think I nodded my head in the correct places.

“So, when I say we’re storing music, I’m talking about hundreds of albums” I challenged Scott. “Do I need something bigger than this?”

“Oh” said Scott. “A lot of music. Ok.” He took the 500 GB EHD out of my hand and replaced it with a 1 TB EHD. He thought this would hold us over for a while.

Unfortunately they didn’t have this size in his favorite brand, but he thought this other brand would be ok.

I thanked him for his help and checked out. Leaving the store, I hung my head in shame as I had just confirmed the stereotype that women know nothing about technology.

Thank God women like my sister are in the world to prove this stereotype wrong.

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