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"My pronouns" at CVS today ...


SKL
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29 minutes ago, pinball said:

I almost wonder if he was trying to provoke a response...

Or maybe the CVS person doesn’t use the male pronoun, and makes a point of not using gendered pronouns for anyone else?

I have no idea. But it sounds like the person was definitely making some kind of statement. I would have thought nothing of it if the person used “they” at first and then switched to “she” after SKL referred to her dd with feminine pronouns, but keeping it up multiple times afterward seems a little odd to me. 

Honestly, I think it’s also a little rude. It’s like if someone accidentally called my ds a girl, it would be no big deal, but once they knew he was male, it wouldn’t exactly be polite to keep referring to him as “she” or “her.”

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3 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Or maybe the CVS person doesn’t use the male pronoun, and makes a point of not using gendered pronouns for anyone else?

I have no idea. But it sounds like the person was definitely making some kind of statement. I would have thought nothing of it if the person used “they” at first and then switched to “she” after SKL referred to her dd with feminine pronouns, but keeping it up multiple times afterward seems a little odd to me. 

Honestly, I think it’s also a little rude. It’s like if someone accidentally called my ds a girl, it would be no big deal, but once they knew he was male, it wouldn’t exactly be polite to keep referring to him as “she” or “her.”

Yep. It’s one of those things that would annoy me a bit but cause neither of my children to batt an eyelash. I think that’s a sign that I’m calcifying.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, KSera said:

Chances are far, far greater than not she feels just fine about it. I don’t think the pharmacy counter at CVS is a meaningful place to address it anyway, if not. Would be far more appropriate in the setting of a pediatrician or other doctor’s office, or with someone else the child has a relationship with. I think adults are making this issue a lot more complicated for young people than it needs to be. And again, I’m saying that as a parent of a non-gender conforming kid I love to the moon and back. 

It's great that you love your kid and all. And you are correct that it most likely doesn't matter most of the time. But to a kid who doesn't get that kind of support normally, imagine how it might feel to them to be acknowledged. It's a tiny wording thing that could make a world of difference. 

And I don't think you are correct that adults are the ones making it more complicated than it needs to be. My daughter, 15, is always correcting me when I use the wrong pronoun in reference to anyone. It matters to her friends as well. (And yes, I do slip up but I am very grateful when my daughter corrects me. That's how we learn). 

Edited by OH_Homeschooler
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Today it is hard to know what to make of it.  I have found that some people will us "them" to refer to a third party to maintain some distance.  Perhaps because it was medical information related, the clerk felt that using "them" was less personal and wasn't even thinking about it.  It seems that a 14-year old could answer questions about her name and birthdate by herself; so it might have been a bit of an awkward situation that the clerk was talking to one person asking questions about another person who was standing there.  

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1 minute ago, Bootsie said:

Today it is hard to know what to make of it.  I have found that some people will us "them" to refer to a third party to maintain some distance.  Perhaps because it was medical information related, the clerk felt that using "them" was less personal and wasn't even thinking about it.  It seems that a 14-year old could answer questions about her name and birthdate by herself; so it might have been a bit of an awkward situation that the clerk was talking to one person asking questions about another person who was standing there.  

This was my thought too. My DD, at age 12, speaks for herself at appointments. 

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2 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

Today it is hard to know what to make of it.  I have found that some people will us "them" to refer to a third party to maintain some distance.  Perhaps because it was medical information related, the clerk felt that using "them" was less personal and wasn't even thinking about it.  It seems that a 14-year old could answer questions about her name and birthdate by herself; so it might have been a bit of an awkward situation that the clerk was talking to one person asking questions about another person who was standing there.  

The OP said the daughter was in another room at the time.

So, the clerk (to answer some other posters above) wasn’t supporting the daughter by using “they” since the daughter wasn’t even there. She was in another area getting the shot while her mom answered questions.

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6 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Yep. It’s one of those things that would annoy me a bit but cause neither of my children to batt an eyelash. I think that’s a sign that I’m calcifying.

Come sit by me. I’m right there with you. 🙂 

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1 minute ago, Garga said:

The OP said the daughter was in another room at the time.

So, the clerk (to answer some other posters above) wasn’t supporting the daughter by using “they” since the daughter wasn’t even there. She was in another area getting the shot while her mom answered questions.

The daughter being talked about was there.  OP’s other daughter was in another room. 

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9 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

How many of us have received things in the mail with "Mr?" Many companies default to assuming a male gender because they assume a male would be more offended than a female. No one cared about customer service then. 

 

Because the vast majority of that sort of stuff is junk mailers handled by computer in some random office millions of miles from our actual homes, and the sort of situation we are talking about is a retail environment where the customer is right directly in front of the individual....your comparison is invalid. 

 

Having said that, yes, if you are talking about about actual businesses that I am an actual customer of, such as my dentist's office, intentionally defaults to sending MY bills to "Mr. Kim Smith," then yes, that actually is poor customer service.  

I have worked in customer service for the vast majority of my working career and for me, poor customer service is a huge pet peeve of mine.  Good customer service should not be as difficult as it seems to be.

And in general, I find that *most* situations such as this are a result of either genuine mistakes or actual incompetence, rather than intentional offense.  In general, I tend to find that intentional offense is much less common than genuine mistakes or actual incompetence. 

 

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13 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Or maybe the CVS person doesn’t use the male pronoun, and makes a point of not using gendered pronouns for anyone else?

I have no idea. But it sounds like the person was definitely making some kind of statement. I would have thought nothing of it if the person used “they” at first and then switched to “she” after SKL referred to her dd with feminine pronouns, but keeping it up multiple times afterward seems a little odd to me. 

Honestly, I think it’s also a little rude. It’s like if someone accidentally called my ds a girl, it would be no big deal, but once they knew he was male, it wouldn’t exactly be polite to keep referring to him as “she” or “her.”

Or maybe CVS wants to have a new policy to refer to everyone as “they” And this worker doesn’t like it. 

And so to protest, he keeps referring to people as “they” even after it’s made clear that the person prefers some other pronoun bc he hopes that the person will go to his boss/management and complain...

and then, when his boss tells him about the complaint, he can say “I told you this is a bad idea!”

and then he walks out. And everyone claps. 

Im going with this. This seems plausible. 

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I think many people just don't know what to do with English-langauge pronouns at this point.  Last year (pre-Covid) I was working on a project for a camp with a colleague.  We were to the point of assigning rooms and my colleague was adomant that a male and a female could not have a room on the same floor.  I asked how we knew who was male and female because the application did not ask that question.  My colleagues response was "If I can't tell from the name, I look at the letter of recommendation and see if 'he' or 'she' is used"  Ironically, this was a colleague was was actively promoting a radical Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion proposal on campus--she didn't have a clue regarding the issues.  

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Posted (edited)

My guess is that this is a carry over from the uproar over the "sex at birth" question that CVS originally had required to register for the COVID vaccine back in April.  They had so much negative feedback that most stores removed the question and went to gender neutral pronouns unless they know the patient.  That was about the same time they got hit with a lawsuit for gender bias. Toss in pride month and I'm guessing you'll hear "they" much more often. 🤷‍♀️

Quick fact, people having trouble with "they" in place of "he" and "she" are usually over 35. 😁

Edited by melmichigan
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53 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Or maybe the CVS person doesn’t use the male pronoun, and makes a point of not using gendered pronouns for anyone else?

I have no idea. But it sounds like the person was definitely making some kind of statement. I would have thought nothing of it if the person used “they” at first and then switched to “she” after SKL referred to her dd with feminine pronouns, but keeping it up multiple times afterward seems a little odd to me. 

Honestly, I think it’s also a little rude. It’s like if someone accidentally called my ds a girl, it would be no big deal, but once they knew he was male, it wouldn’t exactly be polite to keep referring to him as “she” or “her.”

I have a daughter with a gender neutral, but often assumed to be male, first name. If I am setting her up with a new doctor's appointment, every provider assumes male. Some are so stuck in their "work script" that it becomes he/him with me answering "She's a girl. She is...", that the conversation ends up very similar to SKL's in the OP. It can be a very jarring conversation, but I've never run into SKL's exact situation. I've gotten off the phone a few times and told DD, "Well, we'll see if they notice you're a girl once you're in the office." 

 

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I think it's most likely to just be a script he follows without thinking about it.  I worked retail for years and saying the same thing over and over and over again all day long, you tend to go into autopilot regardless of anything else going on.  

I wouldn't think anything of it (and I am well over 35, LOL), but when I first read the OP I did think it could have been in protest over a new policy that he didn't agree with.  

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Separate from anything else in the thread, that sort of default is poor customer service. 

Not today it’s not.  Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what pronouns a person prefers and honestly sometimes I really don’t know if it’s a guy or a girl.  Maybe I’m okay using ‘they’ as a default because many times my sister is called sir or he and she’s not a guy. Her name is Chris so yeah that can be for a guy or a girl. And she wear’s men’s shorts and t shirts. But she’s not gay or anything. Just a 68 year old lady who evidently looks like a guy. 
So you might think it’s poor customer service to default to ‘they’ until a preference is clear, but I don’t agree.

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I have two dc. One is transgender and the other is non binary (prefers they/them but is ok with she - I use dd here usually to avoid confusion). Both dc would be just fine if everyone used ‘they’ until they knew preferred pronouns, so it’s also what I use until I know for sure what someone wants. I would have been fine with it but I can understand the frustration that it was still used after correcting. 

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24 minutes ago, Annie G said:

Not today it’s not.  Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what pronouns a person prefers and honestly sometimes I really don’t know if it’s a guy or a girl.  Maybe I’m okay using ‘they’ as a default because many times my sister is called sir or he and she’s not a guy. Her name is Chris so yeah that can be for a guy or a girl. And she wear’s men’s shorts and t shirts. But she’s not gay or anything. Just a 68 year old lady who evidently looks like a guy. 
So you might think it’s poor customer service to default to ‘they’ until a preference is clear, but I don’t agree.

When the customer is literally in front of you, saying "her name is" and you *still* default to the scripted line, that's poor customer service.  What you describe is different than the situation being discussed. 

 

 

One way to think about it is the title Ms.  It's a general title meant to refer to a woman without regard to her marital status.  Some women don't care what title they are addressed with, others care very deeply.  If a retail business were to create a script where use Ms. for all women, not poor customer service.  However if the employee addresses the customer as Ms Smith and she then turns around and says something like "I am here, I am Mrs. Smith" then the employee so then use Mrs.  They should not continue to default to Ms. just because the script says so. 

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I'd be inclined to extend some grace to a service worker who has to ask the same questions all day long.  Nobody wants to have to label your kid and get it wrong. (Or maybe the guy had baggage and would have loved for someone to call him "they" despite what his mother insisted.)  I can absolutely see why a person would default to a neutral.  I probably would have gone with "the patient," but whatever.  If the service I went in for was provided efficiently and professionally I have no complaints.  I can't fathom feeling unsafe because of this word choice, but I am determined to remain a person who embraces change and is willing to do the mental work.

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3 hours ago, SKL said:

Well I think since I am her mom and was speaking for her (she was right there) and I made it very clear she is a she, that counts as informing him she is not a "they."

I’m with you. What you’re describing is odd. There’s simply no reason at all to persist in using they/their once it has been cleared up. I think it is as rude in that direction as it would be if a trans person corrected one's usage but they doggedly stuck with the gender they assumed. Like this:

CVS person: “What is her name?”

Mom: “THEIR name is Sacha.”

CVS person: Does she have ID?”

Mom: “THEY don’t have an ID; the child is 14.” 

I mean, for real. I’m a lady. If someone kept trying to gender-neutralize me after I already made it clear that I am a lady, then that’s one weird agenda. 

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11 minutes ago, Quill said:

I’m with you. What you’re describing is odd. There’s simply no reason at all to persist in using they/their once it has been cleared up. I think it is as rude in that direction as it would be if a trans person corrected one's usage but they doggedly stuck with the gender they assumed. Like this:

CVS person: “What is her name?”

Mom: “THEIR name is Sacha.”

CVS person: Does she have ID?”

Mom: “THEY don’t have an ID; the child is 14.” 

I mean, for real. I’m a lady. If someone kept trying to gender-neutralize me after I already made it clear that I am a lady, then that’s one weird agenda. 

Some people use “they” for everyone not because they are assuming or trying not to assume anything about the person they’re talking about but because they think that being forced by linguistic convention to specify whether every person they talk about is male or female every time they refer to them is dumb.
 

I have a lot of sympathy for that position.  Okay, actually I agree with it whole-heartedly, but don’t do it myself because it’s not a habit I’ve made an effort to change. I wish the English language didn’t normalize sorting everyone into male and female as primary categories when it’s irrelevant to the situation.  

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3 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

When you're been running through the same questions all day long at work, it's pretty easy to get on autopilot and miss a cue like that.  

 

Kinda like calling someone who presents as female "she" or presents as male "he" because you're used to that and you're on autopilot? I assume we get grace for that too?

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40 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

When the customer is literally in front of you, saying "her name is" and you *still* default to the scripted line, that's poor customer service.  What you describe is different than the situation being discussed. 

 

 

One way to think about it is the title Ms.  It's a general title meant to refer to a woman without regard to her marital status.  Some women don't care what title they are addressed with, others care very deeply.  If a retail business were to create a script where use Ms. for all women, not poor customer service.  However if the employee addresses the customer as Ms Smith and she then turns around and says something like "I am here, I am Mrs. Smith" then the employee so then use Mrs.  They should not continue to default to Ms. just because the script says so. 

Oh I agree that to continue is rude. I thought I made that clear in my post. Sorry 

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2 minutes ago, Danae said:

Some people use “they” for everyone not because they are assuming or trying not to assume anything about the person they’re talking about but because they think that being forced by linguistic convention to specify whether every person they talk about is male or female every time they refer to them is dumb.
 

I have a lot of sympathy for that position.  Okay, actually I agree with it whole-heartedly, but don’t do it myself because it’s not a habit I’ve made an effort to change. I wish the English language didn’t normalize sorting everyone into male and female as primary categories when it’s irrelevant to the situation.  

I also think it would be handy if the English language had a good, thoroughly-used set of neutral pronouns. But it doesn’t.

I often wonder if French-speaking people are dwelling on this issue, because in the French language, everything has a gender and if you give a noun the wrong gender, you are saying the word wrong. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a car or a dog or a table or a restaurant, you have to say it’s a feminine car and a masculine dog and so on or you are saying the word wrong. 

I wonder if there are French people trying to call cats by a neutral pronoun because they resent that some arbitrary word police decided long ago that cat is masculine. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

Kinda like calling someone who presents as female "she" or presents as male "he" because you're used to that and you're on autopilot? I assume we get grace for that too?

Yes, of course.  

If someone asks you to do differently, of course you do your best to change it.  

But every nonbinary person or transgender person I know is careful to make their wishes known, because that's the polite thing to do.

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50 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

When the customer is literally in front of you, saying "her name is" and you *still* default to the scripted line, that's poor customer service.  What you describe is different than the situation being discussed. 

Yes, it is.  Ideally, the employee would be present in the moment, and paying attention, and would have caught that SKL used a different word.  I agree. 

But to jump to the idea that it's wasn't someone who wasn't paying full attention and made a mistake, and instead was some conspiracy to deny people their right to be called "she", when you haven't even tried a polite "Please call my daughter 'she'" is just weird.  

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1 hour ago, melmichigan said:

My guess is that this is a carry over from the uproar over the "sex at birth" question that CVS originally had required to register for the COVID vaccine back in April.  They had so much negative feedback that most stores removed the question and went to gender neutral pronouns unless they know the patient.  That was about the same time they got hit with a lawsuit for gender bias. Toss in pride month and I'm guessing you'll hear "they" much more often. 🤷‍♀️

Quick fact, people having trouble with "they" in place of "he" and "she" are usually over 35. 😁

Gender is irrelevant in vaccine contexts. Biological sex, otoh, isn't. It's important to be able to have data on uptake, effectiveness and side effects by sex. 

Making it difficult to gather this data is not progress. 

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Posted (edited)

The way to have made the preferred pronouns clear would be to say, "Her preferred pronouns are she, her, hers" or whatever they may be. 

Even better, the teen in questions would say it for themselves. I can't imagine why a 14-yr-old is not answering such innocuous questions such as whether they have ID or how they spell their name. My kids would have been speaking for themselves in this situation at a much younger age. It doesn't matter if the worker  starts off by asking the parent; as, the parent, simply refer them to the child that is sitting right there. With daughters, I think it is even more important to always remind them that they have a voice and should use it to speak for themselves.

Edited by katilac
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4 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Yes, it is.  Ideally, the employee would be present in the moment, and paying attention, and would have caught that SKL used a different word.  I agree. 

But to jump to the idea that it's wasn't someone who wasn't paying full attention and made a mistake, and instead was some conspiracy to deny people their right to be called "she", when you haven't even tried a polite "Please call my daughter 'she'" is just weird.  

I disagree. One should not have to point out they want to be referred to as female, when they have already indicated they are. 

I mean, I don’t get why it’s taboo to actually wish to be identified as the gender you are. 

How is it any different than, say, calling a person by their correct name? Like if I meet a person from Nigeria and his name is Chukwudinma, I’m not going to say, “Hey, I’m just going to call you Chuck, because I can’t remember that name.” That would be rude! I am going to put my prodigious brain power into learning to say the man’s name, lol! Now - if he says, “Hey, I know my name is difficult for people, so just call me Chuk,” then that’s different. But the onus is not on him to correct me when I keep obtusely calling him Chuck; it is on me to learn to say his name the right way, or as close as my English tongue can manage, unless he gives me an out early on. 

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6 minutes ago, katilac said:

The way to have made the preferred pronouns clear would be to say, "Her preferred pronouns are she, her, hers" or whatever they may be. 

Even better, the teen in questions would say it for themselves. I can't imagine why a 14-yr-old is not not answering such innocuous questions such as whether they have ID or how they spell their name. My kids would have been speaking for themselves in this situation at a much younger age. It doesn't matter if the worker  starts off by asking the parent; as, the parent, simply refer them to the child that is sitting right there. With daughters, I think it is even more important to always remind them that they have a voice and should use it to speak for themselves.

 

2 hours ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

It's great that you love your kid and all. And you are correct that it most likely doesn't matter most of the time. But to a kid who doesn't get that kind of support normally, imagine how it might feel to them to be acknowledged. It's a tiny wording thing that could make a world of difference. 

And I don't think you are correct that adults are the ones making it more complicated than it needs to be. My daughter, 15, is always correcting me when I use the wrong pronoun in reference to anyone. It matters to her friends as well. (And yes, I do slip up but I am very grateful when my daughter corrects me. That's how we learn). 

So, here's an interesting question with these two posts together....

 

Is a 14yr old allowed to choose whether or not she wants to be vaxxed?

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1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

 

So, here's an interesting question with these two posts together....

 

Is a 14yr old allowed to choose whether or not she wants to be vaxxed?

Legally, or is the question whether the parents should allow them to decide? 
 

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4 minutes ago, Quill said:

I disagree. One should not have to point out they want to be referred to as female, when they have already indicated they are. 

I mean, I don’t get why it’s taboo to actually wish to be identified as the gender you are. 

How is it any different than, say, calling a person by their correct name? Like if I meet a person from Nigeria and his name is Chukwudinma, I’m not going to say, “Hey, I’m just going to call you Chuck, because I can’t remember that name.” That would be rude! I am going to put my prodigious brain power into learning to say the man’s name, lol! Now - if he says, “Hey, I know my name is difficult for people, so just call me Chuk,” then that’s different. But the onus is not on him to correct me when I keep obtusely calling him Chuck; it is on me to learn to say his name the right way, or as close as my English tongue can manage, unless he gives me an out early on. 

Agree. 

 

4 minutes ago, katilac said:

Legally, or is the question whether the parents should allow them to decide? 
 

Legally of course, teens have to have parental permission.  But should they?  I mean the presumption seems to have been than 14 yr olds should be able to determine their own pronouns, even if their parents disagree.....if that's the case, can they determine whether or not they receive the covid vaccine, even if their parents disagree?

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10 minutes ago, katilac said:

I can't imagine why a 14-yr-old is not answering such innocuous questions such as whether they have ID or how they spell their name. My kids would have been speaking for themselves in this situation at a much younger age. .

To expand your imagination, I will share that I have a teen with selective mutism. Not all teens are comfortable or even able to speak for themselves in situations like this.

Hopefully now you can imagine not casting judgment on a teen who doesn't speak up or a parent who speaks for them.

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3 minutes ago, Quill said:

I disagree. One should not have to point out they want to be referred to as female, when they have already indicated they are. 

I mean, I don’t get why it’s taboo to actually wish to be identified as the gender you are. 

How is it any different than, say, calling a person by their correct name? Like if I meet a person from Nigeria and his name is Chukwudinma, I’m not going to say, “Hey, I’m just going to call you Chuck, because I can’t remember that name.” That would be rude! I am going to put my prodigious brain power into learning to say the man’s name, lol! Now - if he says, “Hey, I know my name is difficult for people, so just call me Chuk,” then that’s different. But the onus is not on him to correct me when I keep obtusely calling him Chuck; it is on me to learn to say his name the right way, or as close as my English tongue can manage, unless he gives me an out early on. 

Honestly, though, it's not taboo to wish to be identified with certain pronouns.  If it was we wouldn't see a million signatures that say she/her/hers.  

I have a dog who is constantly misgendered.  He's pretty and fluffy and somehow people think that means he's a girl dog.  I also happened to give him a name that isn't really clear.  If people come up to me and say "Your dog is so cute, what's her name?" and I say "His name is Snickedoodle (Not dog's real name)", I can almost guarantee they'll say "What a cute name how old is she?"  It's not that they think calling dogs by male pronouns is taboo.  They're just not really paying attention to anything but the info they asked for.  

Now, if it's a random stranger, I don't care, but if it's someone we'll be seeing a lot, I figure it might get embarrassing if my dog rolls over and they realize their error so I'll say "Actually he's a boy.  His name is Snickerdoodle" and then they don't get it wrong, because I drew their attention to it.

Similarly, I have a kid with a name that sounds a lot like another name.  Let's say he's Francis, and people call him Franklin by mistake.  If someone says to me "What's Franklin up to?" and I say "Francis is playing a lot of soccer these days", half the time they'll say "That sounds great, what position does Franklin say."  Again, they're not opposed to Francis, they just aren't focused.  If I want them to change, I have to say.  Actually it's Francis, like the Pope.  

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I would assume this was just an awkward person being awkward. I would consider that misgendering if it was pointed out... but also, I can't get fussed about the gender neutral pronoun getting used. I think some people think it's more polite. It is more polite if you're talking about an unknown person. But when the person is standing right there telling you their pronouns... well, common curtesy and all that. But... also, awkward bureaucrats being awkward.

As the parent of a boy who was really gender nonconforming when he was little, IME, many adults are absolutely tone deaf in dealing with kids and gender even if you take any transgender issues totally out of the equation. Like, if my cis male kid is standing there saying, "but I'm a boy" then you'd think someone would get it. But I'm telling you, a lot of adults don't listen to a word children say even if they've literally been conversing with them and asking them questions. I think my kid could have been screaming, "my mother was just hit by a car outside!" and they would have been like, "that's nice dear, I like ice cream too."

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10 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Honestly, though, it's not taboo to wish to be identified with certain pronouns.  If it was we wouldn't see a million signatures that say she/her/hers.  

I have a dog who is constantly misgendered.  He's pretty and fluffy and somehow people think that means he's a girl dog.  I also happened to give him a name that isn't really clear.  If people come up to me and say "Your dog is so cute, what's her name?" and I say "His name is Snickedoodle (Not dog's real name)", I can almost guarantee they'll say "What a cute name how old is she?"  It's not that they think calling dogs by male pronouns is taboo.  They're just not really paying attention to anything but the info they asked for.  

Now, if it's a random stranger, I don't care, but if it's someone we'll be seeing a lot, I figure it might get embarrassing if my dog rolls over and they realize their error so I'll say "Actually he's a boy.  His name is Snickerdoodle" and then they don't get it wrong, because I drew their attention to it.

Similarly, I have a kid with a name that sounds a lot like another name.  Let's say he's Francis, and people call him Franklin by mistake.  If someone says to me "What's Franklin up to?" and I say "Francis is playing a lot of soccer these days", half the time they'll say "That sounds great, what position does Franklin say."  Again, they're not opposed to Francis, they just aren't focused.  If I want them to change, I have to say.  Actually it's Francis, like the Pope.  

I agree with you in those casual settings, but professional and customer/serviceperson relationships call for a level of attentiveness elevated over calling a dog “she” because of fluffy fur. 

It seems pretty likely from SKL’s story that the employee was doing this for a reason and not just a type of inattentiveness. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I would assume this was just an awkward person being awkward. I would consider that misgendering if it was pointed out... but also, I can't get fussed about the gender neutral pronoun getting used. I think some people think it's more polite. It is more polite if you're talking about an unknown person. But when the person is standing right there telling you their pronouns... well, common curtesy and all that. But... also, awkward bureaucrats being awkward.

As the parent of a boy who was really gender nonconforming when he was little, IME, many adults are absolutely tone deaf in dealing with kids and gender even if you take any transgender issues totally out of the equation. Like, if my cis male kid is standing there saying, "but I'm a boy" then you'd think someone would get it. But I'm telling you, a lot of adults don't listen to a word children say even if they've literally been conversing with them and asking them questions. I think my kid could have been screaming, "my mother was just hit by a car outside!" and they would have been like, "that's nice dear, I like ice cream too."

Yup.  I have a non binary kid, but my female kid, when she was younger, had a short hair cut, and got super pissed off by adults referring to her as male and kids insisting that she had to be a boy, despite being in dresses and her yelling, "I'm a girl!" after the third or fourth time she corrected a kid.  She actually got mad enough that she pulled down her pants at the park to prove to a boy that was super insistent that she was a boy that she was, in fact, a girl.  

 

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5 minutes ago, Quill said:

I agree with you in those casual settings, but professional and customer/serviceperson relationships call for a level of attentiveness elevated over calling a dog “she” because of fluffy fur. 

It seems pretty likely from SKL’s story that the employee was doing this for a reason and not just a type of inattentiveness. 

 

So, maybe my experiences with CVS are atypical, but I have never, not once, gotten the impression that anyone there was paying profound attention or that they had a political agenda.  My main impression has been that they are exhausted and trying to survive.  

If I was at CVS with my non binary kid, and the pharmacy person referred to my kid as she, I would say something like, "THEIR name is X."  If my kid was addressed, they would probably just answer the question.  None of us would get all that stressed about proper pronoun use in a stranger that we were having a two minute interaction with.  Now, if it was somewhere like the dentist or someone who we were going to be dealing with longer than two minutes, I would say, "Actually, x is non-binary and prefers they/ them pronouns."  

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2 hours ago, melmichigan said:

My guess is that this is a carry over from the uproar over the "sex at birth" question that CVS originally had required to register for the COVID vaccine back in April.  They had so much negative feedback that most stores removed the question and went to gender neutral pronouns unless they know the patient.  That was about the same time they got hit with a lawsuit for gender bias. Toss in pride month and I'm guessing you'll hear "they" much more often. 🤷‍♀️

Quick fact, people having trouble with "they" in place of "he" and "she" are usually over 35. 😁

Ah,  your explanation might make sense.  I haven’t heard about any of that (well,  except for pride month, LOL). 
 

I’m guilty of being over 35 😳.  I have no difficulties at all with singular they except at times with my own kid. It never causes confusion if I’m referring to someone else’s, but we do indeed frequently have situations where it’s ambiguous or we have a misunderstanding in the house because one of the other of us didn’t understand which person or people was being talked about.  Even my younger kids who insist that it’s never a problem have times where they misunderstand who I was talking about.  Perhaps it’s a bigger issue in our house because my two oldest are often a pair doing things together, so it’s frequently misinterpreted when I say “they”  that I meant both of them, rather than just one of them.  In any case, all that to say that that is why I just think it would’ve been nice if a different singular neutral pronoun had been agreed-upon. But it hasn’t been at this point,so it is what it is. 

40 minutes ago, katilac said:

Even better, the teen in questions would say it for themselves. I can't imagine why a 14-yr-old is not answering such innocuous questions such as whether they have ID or how they spell their name. My kids would have been speaking for themselves in this situation at a much younger age. It doesn't matter if the worker  starts off by asking the parent; as, the parent, simply refer them to the child that is sitting right there. With daughters, I think it is even more important to always remind them that they have a voice and should use it to speak for themselves.

My two oldest would have had trouble with that at that age. They both had high anxiety and one is on the spectrum. The oldest would be just fine with it now, but my kid with ASD absolutely would not. I still have to deal with all that kind of stuff for them. So, there’s another couple reasons that might be the case. 

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5 hours ago, MissLemon said:

I'd guess they are used to defaulting to they/them/their as a neutral choice.  I wouldn't spend a single minute thinking about this. 

I would assume that the employees are working from a script or procedure and that the script defaults to "they" as the now-accepted neutral pronoun so that employees can focus on doing their jobs without taking time to evaluate or judge other human beings and without risking offending anyone by getting it wrong.

(For the record, as an old-timey grammar snob, the "they" thing stuck in my craw for a long time, not because I was unsympathetic to humans who wanted/needed a neutral pronoun, but just because what I had been taught to consider a plural pronoun was being used in the singular. I will admit it still sounds "wrong" to me sometimes--and I kind of wish we had been able to settle on another option--but I've decided that making other humans feel accepted and whole outweighs the irritating little tickle in my ears at hearing or using "incorrect" grammar.)

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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5 hours ago, stripe said:

If it’s misgendering to call someone “she” if that person wants to be a “they,” then isn’t saying “they” repeatedly also misgendering? 

In most situations, "they" is accepted as a neutral pronoun, meaning it can be used for anyone.

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5 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

I would assume that the employees are working from a script or procedure and that the script defaults to "they" as the now-accepted neutral pronoun so that employees can focus on doing their jobs without taking time to evaluate or judge other human beings and without risking offending anyone by getting it wrong.

(For the record, as an old-timey grammar snob, the "they" thing stuck in my craw for a long time, not because I was unsympathetic to humans who wanted/needed a neutral pronoun, but just because using what I had been taught to consider a plural pronoun was being used in the singular. I will admit it still sounds "wrong" to me sometimes--and I kind of wish we had been able to settle on another option--but I've decided that making other humans feel accepted and whole outweighs the irritating little tickle in my ears at hearing or using "incorrect" grammar.)

If an employee is continuing to work from a script AFTER the proper address has been identified......they don't care about risking offense.  They are checking customer service training boxes, without actually caring about real customer service. 

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5 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

 if they believe misgendering is harmful, they should have no problem apologising to you for the harm caused by misgendering your dd. 

Again, "they" is considered a neutral pronoun. Although there are certain people who specifically prefer it, "they" can be used to refer to anyone. 

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4 minutes ago, Jenny in Florida said:

Again, "they" is considered a neutral pronoun. Although there are certain people who specifically prefer it, "they" can be used to refer to anyone. 

In some contexts. 

The funny thing about pronouns is that you're never there when they're being used about you. So it's odd, in a way, that they've become such a driving symbol of progress. 

So far as I'm aware, the neutral 'they' doesn't actually correlate with material improvements re sexism, so I largely consider them a trivial yet fashionable distraction.

 

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4 hours ago, OH_Homeschooler said:

One thing to consider is that even though you are the mom, and you are speaking for your daughter in this situation, the medical offices I've been in contact with start treating kids as autonomous beings when they reach around 12-13. For example, I still have to sign for my kids as minors, but I can't access my older kids' test results on the patient portals any longer. 

There are plenty of parents who deny the chosen gender identity of their children. So the person may have actually been trying to respect your child as the patient, rather than you as the mother. And since your child did not come out with a stated gender preference, it was safer to go with the gender-neutral term.

Yep, that, too.

One of my son's best buddies from childhood came out as trans in his early teens. One of his parents adamantly refused to acknowledge this and continued to refer to him with feminine pronouns and his discarded name for several years, causing the child a great deal of pain and creating a rift in their relationship that took time and work to begin to heal. 

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

That said, I was unimpressed with the whole experience and will never return to CVS given a choice.  We were treated like crap by both of the individuals who worked with us.  I'm tempted to respond to the e-survey they sent me.

Well, on that point we can agree. I pretty consistently find CVS customer service to be appallingly bad. I actually moved my prescriptions to Walgreens when Target allowed CVS to take over their in-store pharmacies--even though it was convenient to grab prescriptions while I was doing other shopping--because I didn't want to deal with CVS.

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26 minutes ago, Terabith said:

So, maybe my experiences with CVS are atypical, but I have never, not once, gotten the impression that anyone there was paying profound attention or that they had a political agenda.  My main impression has been that they are exhausted and trying to survive.  

They likely are exhausted and just trying to survive. The working conditions for staff at many of the major chain pharmacies are absolutely terrible. If you want to know what it’s really like, don’t just read this article, also read the comments. Personally, we use either a hospital based pharmacy or a locally owned pharmacy whenever possible. We are fortunate that our insurance doesn’t restrict us to one of the major chains.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/health/pharmacists-medication-errors.html

 

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