Those who were around in 2009 may remember my nearly constant problem of getting mistaken for a woman on the phone.
I call it getting "Ma'am-ed."
Well, last week, I hit an all-time low. By now I'm used to hearing "ma'am" all the time, but this time, I called the LDS distribution center.
This is a store where Mormons can pick up Mormony things, like scriptures, hymnbooks, pictures of temples, etc.
I wanted to know if they had a particular book in stock.
You know when people are really happy and peppy on the phones?
Whenever I'm confronted with someone like this, who probably has a massive sugar high from eating a dozen jelly-filled donuts, I unconsciously try to match their energy level.
My voice inflection becomes like a roller coaster at Disneyland, and my volume rises to the point that I sound like I'm stuck in a wind tunnel.
Well, this lady was EXTREMELY friendly, and I didn't even realize how enthusiastic I had gotten on the phone. I'm surprised the world didn't implode from the joy of our little conversation.
This may or may not have had something to do with what happened next.
When she got back on the phone, she said:
"Okay, Sister. It looks like we have several in stock."
To fully understand the crippling embarrassment of this word, you have to understand Mormon culture. In the Mormon church, Brother and Sister are used as prefixes, just like Mr. or Mrs.
In the many years I've been getting Ma'am-ed, I've never been Sister-ed.
Now I'm going to go console myself with a dozen jelly-filled donuts.