"I'm considering sending him an email to thank him for calling me bossy. Now I realize it was a compliment that shows I was just doing my job."
A large auto dealership hired me on contract to do public relations and community events. Sometimes I stopped in to the dealership, which was male-dominated, to talk briefly with the general manager, give progress reports, ask a few questions or request for approval on a project. Each time he would stop, pick up the phone and say, "Hold all my calls and tell President Obama I will call him back. Tell him Karen C. is here." He always told me, "You're so bossy," and also told our colleagues that I was "so bossy."
I would laugh, but as time went on I noticed there was always a certain amount of disrespect with it. Also the little sly remarks grew and spilled over to some of the lower managers, who were all male. I knew I was not being bossy; I was simply stating a need, like when I needed the maintenance man to gather tables and chairs. But nonetheless I would reply with remarks like, "I'm not being bossy," or "Maybe that's cause I was a mother for so long," or "But I always get the job done."
The dealership was sold and so I no longer work there, but I'm considering sending the former general manager an email to thank him for calling me bossy. Now I realize it was a compliment that shows I was just doing my job.