October 4th, 2009

planet

get technical skills! (for your husband, of course)

There's this commercial on the radio these days for Vatterott College that goes something like this:

Lady on the phone: Is this Vatterott College of Wichita?
Lady 2: Yes how can I help you?
Lady 1: I just wanted to thank you for your seminar on saving energy and home efficiency, my husband is so excited about it!
Lady 2: Well then he should check into our HVAC curriculum, he can finish a degree in less than a year and make money doing what he loves!
Lady 1: Well we both love it when he makes money!

Wait whaaa? If you're paying for airtime and every second counts, wouldn't it be shorter to make this story about two characters? Why couldn't they have just had the guy calling for himself? Then I never would have noticed anything wrong, it would have seemed perfectly logical. Or even better... they could have had the woman call up and say she was interested in an HVAC program. Is that so crazy? Why did they take extra precious seconds to make it clear that the woman was calling for her husband?

Most days, I go to my fun engineering job thankful that good feminists in the 60s and 70s paved the way for women in technical fields. Then I hear something like this and think the road isn't so much paved as sort of mowed down and marked with a flag every five miles. "Ladies, welcome to the 21st century! You don't have to wait passively while men learn valuable technical skills, you can call the tech school for them to help speed up their enrollment. What more could you possibly want?"