I work in a male dominated industry and five of the six sales reps that report to me are men. This leads to some very interesting conversations once in a while. One of my reps was in my office talking about a deal he was trying to close with an association in DC dedicated to stopping teen pregnancy.
“They need some references from us,” said Tom*** (Names changed to protect the innocent.)
“Who do you have in mind?” I asked.
“Well, one is definitely going to be that association customer of ours, the one that was formed to prevent AIDS,” he replied.
“Hmm, that’s probably a good idea, they’re both in the same prevention business,” was my response.
“Did you know in the lobby of the AIDS prevention association they have bowls full of free condoms?”
“Oh my God, you’re kidding, really?”
“Yes, except they are purple and on a stick. They look like lollipops. I grabbed one while I was there and was trying to unwrap it when I realized what it was so I just put it in my pocket.”
“Good grief, you mean they’re lollipop condoms?” I asked.
“Yes, I still have it in my desk drawer. Do you want to see it?”
“Tom, I appreciate the offer but I can’t think of one single situation where it would be appropriate for you to show your female boss a purple lollipop condom. Not one.”
“Hmm, I guess I see your point.”
“But thanks for sharing, Tom.”
“No problem Kelly.”