Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

L is for Lowly

36 Comments

I am but a lowly member of society. Lower than a proletariat – I’m not even working-class. I’ve been judged for the way I look, the way I dress… or at least I suppose that is why I was judged. I resemble a plebe.

It was about 21 years ago. I’d just moved into my own house, miles away from where my mother was trying to sell hers so that she could be closer to me. Since I was already in the area, I was shopping around new subdivisions for her. For a while we were considering sharing a home–a big one–so I went to my local bank manager to see what I could get pre-approved for. He gave me a number and so out I went.

I walked into one sales office and was looking over floor plans. There were two sales people, a man and a woman; both smiled at me and let me look, which was fine I supposed. Then a couple walked in. Both sales people pounced. Now here was a sale!! I waited patiently for the other potential customers to leave and then finally I guess the sales lady got tired of seeing me there (or assumed if she didn’t talk to me I’d never leave – I might even scare away real buyers!) and came over to ask if she could help me.

“This one,” I said, pointing.

“Yes, that’s a very nice house. The second largest.” She smiled, humoring me.

“I’m thinking about buying one. Can I see your lot layout?”

She stared at me.

“I’ve been pre-approved for $250,000…”

Never seen anyone move so fast in my life.

I took the information and left. I didn’t go back.

Among the synonyms for lowly, are average, dutiful, humble, modest, and unpretentious.

There are also these: common, inferior, poor, submissive, and unassuming. Ah, how ironic.

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

36 thoughts on “L is for Lowly

  1. I love walking out on salespeople who prejudge me. I remember a car salesman who wouldn’t let me test drive a car because he didn’t think I was “serious” about buying it. He offered me a brochure instead. I told him I didn’t need a brochure as I had the website of the manufacturer with all the specs. I told him I would never buy a car I hadn’t driven and that I had to get to work. He asked what I did. I told him I fly jets. D’oh!

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  2. Ah, yes, I can relate to this. I purchased a car at a second garage because the first place was “telling me what I should have and like”; the other place was calm, respectful and agreed with my likes and dislikes and got the sale. In the ’60’s my mom was not allowed to bid on our house that was auctioned off; funny she was the one who always paid all the bills but still in that era, men were the breadwinners.

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  3. People habitually look over me because I wear a hoody, T-shirts, and I am obviously a poor minority. I never return if I don’t receive the time of day. We may not all be of the same “class,” but we all deserve to be treated with some class. -OM

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  4. I have gone to 5 star high class hotels in my scooter and my way too simple clothes , when everyone comes in their costly cars all decked up and have laughed at the way people look at me. Because they can’t stop me from entering as I would have been on my way to a company sponsored meeting or lunch and they look more surprised that I work in such a big organization to start with πŸ˜‰

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  5. So strange. I had some of these same thoughts today and was going to write about it. This reminded me. I’ve always loved the idea of assessing a business by how they treat people based off appearance. Some of the richest people wear the most average looking clothing, whereas some of the poorest wear all name brand. Never judge a book by its cover.

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  6. I must say, having worked at a bank, I did quickly learn that you cannot judge the amount of money by the look of the person. It actually runs quite opposite of what people assume. People who have money often have it because they don’t spend it on stuff that makes them look like they have money. πŸ˜‰

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  7. πŸ™‚ Reminded me of a couple of friends of mine from high school who loved to ‘go shopping’ for some big item they had saved up for wearing their rattiest, stained t-shirts and jeans (you know, the ones you wear for doing yard work and oil changes on the weekend in – )
    I would tag along to watch the show, looking slightly better in my jeans/flannel shirt, but not much –
    They would always take cash for what they wanted – One had finally saved enough to buy the leather jacket he wanted – went into the store, where the clerk followed him around as if he were a shoplifter –
    Picking the one he wanted, he tried it on, then carried it to the register and in reply to the rather cold, “And just how will you be paying for this?” he dug into his jean pockets and pulled out several crumpled100’s and 50’s and started sorting them on the counter – It was comical how quickly she became ingratiating and eager to show him other ‘accessories’ none of which he bought and as he walked out he said, “You know, she was kind of rude, don’t think I’ll shop here anymore….” Ahh…the things we do to entertain ourselves when we are young… LOL

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  8. some of the synonyms are the literal latin meaning of my name, hehe

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  9. I completely get this. When M was younger and I would go to stores with him, people made assumptions because I looked like I might not be old enough to have him. I would be very honest with the cashier when someone would try to claim a sales commission when they ignored me in a store the entire time “no, I wasn’t helped by anyone…do you want the commission?”

    PS–I immediately thought of Richard Scarry’s Lowly Worm with this post title. πŸ˜€

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  10. I had a similar experience when I went into a boutique on the Upper East Side in NYC. I was subletting an apartment there at the time. The two sales ladies looked at me in disgust when I entered after a day at the office. Must have been the couture I was not wearing. They fawned over other women who entered, who obviously were of the “right” class.

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  11. I had that happen for a TV. But I did not have a quarter million pre approved πŸ˜› That is awesome, though. I’m betting I dress similar to you, because despite having the money to do nice things, people look at me as if I can only afford a 20″ tube TV.

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  12. That is a good feeling when you are ignored and then get to stick it to the ignorer. My wife and I were looking to buy a new van and we dropped by a local dealer (Chrysler) to check them out. We got an old school salesman who was an idiot. We asked the price (and we were ready to buy)and he wouldn’t tell us. I was flabbergasted, and asked why. He said that we would just take his price and go to another dealer to get a better price, so he wouldn’t tell us. He seemed quite proud of his logic. We just laughed in his face, got up and left. He chased us out into the parking lot asking why we were leaving, while the other customers and salesmen watched through the window. We went to his competitor and bought a van that day.

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  13. I would not have quietly just never returned. Depending upon my mood (I’m always much more brave here behind the computer), I think I would have confronted them with, “I saw you ignoring me. It obviously was a chore for you to come over here, finally, after everyone else left. Now you’ve learned you misjudged this book by its cover. I hope that’s a lesson you’ve learned and you’ll treat others without the rudeness. You’ll not get my business nor my family’s business.” Then leave. (Hopefully gracefully, without bumping into the potted plant.)

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    • Haha! Yeah, that would have been me, rolling down the steps tangled up in a fake fern. πŸ˜›
      You’re right, I should have told here where she could stick her house. Hell, I should have organized a parade and a plane with a banner. πŸ˜‰

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  14. That kind of judgement really makes me mad! I’m glad you didn’t give them the sale!

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