At a party, my male friend introduced me to another man with, “You like to ski at S____, right? She did the environmental work there,” to give us a conversation starter.
Somehow, the other man only heard ‘environmental work at S____’, and began to describe the work that S_____ had done to do to improve their environmental impact. I listened and agreed, thinking somewhat confusedly that he was trying to compliment me by demonstrating his knowledge of my work.
However, he started to say things like, "Did you know that they…" and I would agree that, "Yes, we did.” I said this about five times in a row, trying to correct him. He simply did not hear me and continued to say, “They did this, they did that.”
My friend tuned back into the conversation to ask, “So, did you ask her for a free pass to ski at S____?”
The man said, surprised, “Oh, do you work there?”
Annoyed, I explained, “I’m an engineer, so I’m a contractor, not an employee. I’m the environmental engineer for S_____.”
Man: “Oh, did they let you come look at all that stuff we were talking about?”
Me: “No, I did that stuff. I own the engineering firm that performed the work. I wrote the plan of all of the environmental improvements, and then S_____ did them.”
He just didn’t get it. It never computed for him, and he walked away still thinking I was some sort of secretary who might be allowed to sight-see the project, if I was lucky. I never did get him some free passes.