10 Comments

This is so funny... 🤣.

1.) I don't think I would assume you're a woman from your voice, but I also can see that if you told me you were a woman, I would believe you and apologise for calling you 'sir.' I also don't make a habit of addressing people as 'mam' or 'sir' - I guess I never had to be customer service on the phone, and when I speak to clients I speak to them as equals. So I've minimised the chances of falling into that trap...!

2.) I would always be mistaken for a man when I'm on the phone to people in the Philippines (where I'm from). Whether I'm back home ordering a pizza, or I'm here in the UK dealing with customer service of some big company like Virgin. I don't know why - I guess Filipinas have higher pitched voices.

There was one instance that the customer service rep kept calling me 'sir' because of how I sound, but clearly my details are in front of him and it says I'm a 'Miss', so he kept correcting himself getting more and more stressed by the second. I told him I would forgive him for mistaking me for a man and not perform voodoo on all his loved ones (Filipinos are superstitious) if he would just please cancel my account. And that the reason, for the last time, is because I don't like them anymore and that that's a valid reason. And that I really am a witch, which is maybe why I sound like a man.

Eventually, he passed the phone to his manager and they cancelled my account.

I don't know how effective my threats really were, but I felt deeply desperate.

Expand full comment

I think people get stuck in habits of speech. I've been addressed as "love" , and "darling", by men, and I sound and look nothing like a woman!

Expand full comment
Feb 12, 2023Liked by Matthew Murray

Cute story! And, no, I would never mistake your voice for a woman's, Matthew. I wonder if some of the words you use are vocabulary normally used by women? Linguistically, there IS a distinction. For example: My friend's husband is from Costa Rica ( English is his second language) and he always says something is "adorable" or "sweet" or "darling". The words are technically appropriate for the context, but they are words not often used by men, so it sounds a little odd. I am sure he learned them from his wife's speech. Just a thought. I have never been mistaken for a man, but have often been mistaken for a child on the phone.

Expand full comment

Oh, I am laughing so hard at the poor Earthlink guy’s bad luck! And your mom--she will now be known as the woman who dropped an f-bomb on the EarthLink guy.🤣 You definitely do not sound like a woman, but I guess I get it since the account was in your mom’s name!.

Expand full comment
Dec 8, 2022Liked by Matthew Murray

Hilarious! When I was younger and would call my friends, their siblings would always say, "so and so! there's a boy on the phone for you!" I felt bad about it when I was younger but now I think it's hilarious.

Expand full comment
Dec 7, 2022Liked by Matthew Murray

Haha, great post Matt! No, from listening to your voice I wouldn't confuse you with a woman, but maybe the connections were funny and distorted the way you sound?

Or, maybe, they thought you just had a smoker's voice or something? Not that I think that, but you can never tell with some folks.

Expand full comment

Such a lovely post, Matt! It made me laugh at the same time as rolling my eyes about what you've experienced from people!

I've been mistaken for a man more times than I could possibly count - but that's because of my very masculine height and build. As soon as I open my mouth to speak it's pretty obvious that I'm female, though, because I've got a very young, very girly voice! A bit of a paradox!

Expand full comment