Almost every day I perform the counter to my genders ‘norm’ because of my job. At the age of fourteen, I was lucky enough to be hired at Great Candian Oil change. I first began as a greater but worked my way up to become a technician. I am the only women hired at my job and the only employee under the age of 25. Because of this, I stand out to customers. Throughout the years, I have been discriminated both negatively and positively at my job. I remember one very distinct moment when I was discriminated in a negative way because of my sex.
It was a Wednesday night and I was working a short four-hour shift. I had a great day that day and was in a great mood laughing and joking around with my coworkers. We began to get busy and before we knew it our line outside had grown from 1 car to 2 cars until we were lined up to the street. The buzzer that alerts us that someone new pulled around keep buzzed constantly and with each buzz there was a sigh from all of us workers. I have always loved when we get busy. The smile grew larger and larger on my face until one car rolled into my bay.
At first, she was nice and informed me that she just needed her oil changed and tires check, which was as easy as it gets for us. I typed in all of her vehicle information and was about to get working on her vehicle when she told me that she would not allow me to work on her vehicle. My heart felt as though it dropped into my feet. I began to panic and the only word that came out was “why?” She then began scrambling by saying that she needed someone with more experience. This came as a shock to me as I was the most experienced working that night and had been there for five years. I explained to her the situation and that there was no one else as experienced as I was working at my moment. She continued to scramble then stated, “I want anyone but you to touch my vehicle”.
That is when I realized that it was because of either my sex or age. I was in shock that someone could be so rude and blunt about discriminating someone else. In the moment I did not know what to do. I could feel my heart beating, a lump had grown in my thought and I could feel the tears coming on. I ran as fast as I could to the back room and broke down. My manager rushed after me and asked what had happened. I informed him of the situation and he forced the women to leave our shop and told her to never come back. I was always aware of the fact that I stood out at my job and some people may discriminate me because of this. However, I never imagined someone would deny my service because of this. I know that because of my social position at my job I am vulnerable to discrimination. However, I am proud that every day I perform an act that is counter to the ‘norm’ of my gender and I hope I can be an inspiration for other women to challenge those norms and act opposing them.