I’m a woman who knows that the pay gap persists in freelance design, so my business has a non-gendered name that doesn’t include my personal details. Normally this is fine, but occasionally it really throws people. This happened a year ago, before, you know, everything.
Me: Hi, Walter? I’m with [my business], pleased to meet you.
Client: Oh! I thought your boss was going to meet me.
Me: I am the boss.
And, in truth, the only employee.
Client: Oh, right, yes, well…
Experience has taught me that at this point, the client is grappling with either recognizing their own prejudice or just getting mad at me for “deceiving” them (when of course, I haven’t said anything about my gender to this point – they just assumed). I just push forward asking questions about their pain points and they calm down, but jeez I wish I didn’t have to.