Every once in a while, someone comes out and says what the others are thinking quietly. They do it with such grace that you cannot particularly be offended.
I ran into one such character today… a bank manager wanted to know what I did for a living. Having been a client of the bank forever, he needed to update my details as a part of the new program. I told him I’m a photographer and I work for myself.
He continued to fill in my details for a few minutes and then ventured that question that was obviously bugging him – please don’t get me wrong but isn’t it tougher for a woman to get assignments in photography, it being such a male dominated field?
In his mind, he couldn’t recall a photographer as a photojournalist. He would not think of me a food photographer, interiors or any such thing. To him, photograph instantly brought to mind wedding photography and that meant difficulties for a woman. He was truly curious about how I got my assignments and how people treated me. Over a cup of tea, I explained to him that me being a woman actually had its advantages to get assignments, since I had a different perspective into weddings and could hang out in the bridal room without people feeling conscious.
He brightened considerably at that thought.
A moment later, he asked – how many times have you been cheated?
As a bank manager, he is too well aware of the kind of swindles people can pull. He explained that for some reason people think it is easier to swindle women. We were out of time and I didn’t really want to explain my business model to him. But it did get me thinking – do we face more con artists than a guy? I’ve faced my share of people who have refused to pay. As have my colleagues.
But is this a gender thing or is do con artists see no gender?