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How is it okay to call a woman with a random excuse because she has given out a number for business requirement? How is it that she becomes a bitch if she tells you upfront that she doesn’t appreciate calls from a stranger?
A woman accepted your connect request on Linkedin, yayyy!
You scroll through her profile, she looks pretty, or maybe just the fact that she is a woman gets you interested in her.
You browse through her current and past companies, somewhere in her profile, fifteen months ago she had requested for a motivational speaker to speak on Women’s Day; and given her phone number out in the post.
Of course you make a note of her number, and decide to call. Because why else would she put her number out there, if not for you to stumble upon it? It is pure serendipity!
You put your best, most authoritative voice on. Because this woman is not just a woman, but she is also an accomplished woman. She manages an entire business line for a top MNC.
She picks up the phone, of course she will. She knows no one calls for a lifetime free credit card past ten pm. There is ruckus behind her, her kids are fighting over who got more noodles in the Maggie.
But you, my dear men, obviously don’t give a rat’s ass about it.
“Hello,” you say. Your voice deep. “This is *Dr. Vashist, speaking.” With special emphasis on the word ‘Doctor’.
She is confused, she tries to recall if she’s ever met a Dr. Vashist. Could it be her children’s doctor? Or the vet?
She says, “Hi…” hesitant.
“Actually, I see that you work for XYZ company.” You say, pleased at her confusion. “There is an opening there for a Director and I called you to find out more about the work culture. Because you see, diversity and work-life balance is very important to me, so I will only apply if you give me positive reviews.”
“Ohkayyyy.” Her ‘Okay’ is too stretched for your liking. But you know that not many women can resist Dr. Vashist’s charm. “How did you get my number?” She asks, impatient now because the ruckus behind is making it hard to hear Dr. Vashist.
“We connected on Linkedin an hour ago,” you say, amused that she wouldn’t recall the name of the person she clicked ‘Accept’ for.
“Anddd…” She asks. Incredulous.
“And I wanted to understand the culture of the company you work for.” Your voice takes on a sharp edge. You don’t like being questioned on your ‘perfectly legit’ choices.
“Dr… Do you think it is appropriate to call me like this?” She asks.
You are about to say something, something insulting, something you tell your wife when she pisses you off. But you hold your tongue.
Instead you ask, “Is there a problem?” You voice is no more deep and serious, it is now matching the high pitched shrill of a crow.
“Because I am not comfortable with you calling on my personal mobile number. There is a messaging app on Linkedin, please use it.” She says, her voice a deep no-nonsense lilt to his high pitched shrill.
“Listen, Madam.” You say, now deeply offended by this woman who doesn’t appreciate you taking the time to stalk her, find her number and call her.
“Once you make friends on Linkedin, is that it? Our friendship should just lie there, in a corner?!”
“Stop screaming, please.” She says. The audacity of her, you think, she probably deserves the monsters her children are.
“Hey… listen, listen…” you try to budge in, but she doesn’t give you that leeway you deserve.
“I am not comfortable with you calling me randomly. Please get that. Also there’s Glassdoor.com, use that to find out about my company.” She continues.
You know she’s about to disconnect the phone and block you. You scramble your brain to find the last word, throw it in the door before she bangs it shut.
“Bitch!” You say, before the phone goes blank.
“Bloody bitch.” You say again, staring at your phone screen, your hands shivering.
But one rude, untamed woman isn’t going to stop you from your well intentioned connects, is it?
The next day you’re at it again, this time it is a Training Consultant and your excuse, a training program for your ‘non-existent’ team.
I have a question for you, my dear men.
How is it that you think it is okay to call a woman just because she has accepted your connect on a professional network?
How is it okay to call a woman with a random excuse because she has given out a number for business requirement?
How is it that she becomes a bitch if she tells you upfront that she doesn’t appreciate calls from a stranger?
Honestly Men, if you would like to get laid, get on Hinge or Tinder rather than Linkedin.
Author’s note: After having received three such calls in the past three days, I had to put one of the conversations out here. When I posted this rant on FB, I had a few well-intentioned friends message me to take my number off Linkedin and in their words, “Yeh sab toh chalta hai.”
No, yeh sab nahee chalta hai!
This is exactly why men have been getting away with different forms of harassment through centuries.
I cannot count the number of times, when I worked freelance, I have been called for a ‘business meeting’ only to find out that the ‘business’ was a lure, all these men wanted was a ‘date’. I have kept my mouth shut and walked off feeling like I wasted my time on some pervert. But no more, no more will I keep shut, instead I will speak up and they better hear what I have to say.
If you are a man and you’re reading this, YOU are the problem if you think that Dr. Vashist’s behavior was perfectly normal!
Image source: shutterstock
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