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The Invisible Client

by swateemittal

She gets out of the car and hurries towards her husband who was speaking with the real estate agent. She did not want to miss out on essential details about this property just like the previous two. Her sandal gets entangled in her saree. She struggles to keep up with them wishing she had worn her denims today!

To be fair it was her idea. They were house hunting and she knew traditional attire would almost always invite looks of approval from prospective landlords. She did not remember when or who taught her these ‘useful women tips’, felt like she had known them all her life.

Both men have already gone inside the property. She follows after them.

The realtor is already in the middle of a conversation “......after the lockdown. Look sir, here is the master bedroom, attached balcony, this is the pooja room” saying he moved into another room.

Trinnnng Trinnnng.

The husband stays back to receive his phone call.

While she continues to follow the realtor who’s waiting in the other room. The two of them just stand there in awkward silence, waiting for the husband.

Once the husband joins them the realtor resumes.

She thinks to herself, had the realtor waited for her if she had received a call instead ?

This was her third property of the day and the realtor didn’t make a single eye contact.

The lease was going to be on both their names, she will be sharing the rent equally. Yet in every discussion she was present, she felt invisible. As if she was just a ‘plus one’ not a prospective client.

She was deep in brooding when her husband came back looking for her, ‘Hey! He’s showing the kitchen, check it out. I don’t want to hear any complaints later.’

She slowly followed him into the kitchen. They did remember her after all. Her opinion definitely mattered in the kitchen!


A Note to Men

Next time if you see this happening, take a stand to include her in the discussion, by simple steps like asking her opinion, making an eye contact.

Waiting for her if she takes a moment tending to a child and allowing the discussion to continue only once she has joined back.

Isn't it time for our service industries to become more gender sensitive and inclusive in daily functioning? Even if that requires having to "de-condition" previous mindsets ?

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Mon Mar 25, 2024 2:47 pm
Ashitaka says...

I just know from the stores told by my mother how it is to Achieve so many,in dedline.She shared them with me.So it's a Story i relate with. Keep it Up:)

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113 Reviews

Points: 9356
Reviews: 113

Mon Mar 25, 2024 5:48 am
Ley wrote a review...

Hello! Ley here to leave a review on this amazing piece!

I had to click on this as soon as I saw the description, because as a woman in her early to mid twenties I've been treated invisible so many times when looking to make big purchases. I remember when I went to the dealership to buy a car, the salesman asked me if I'd like to 'call my husband' to talk about finances. I responded with 'I'm perfectly capable of making my own decisions, thank you very much."

But anyways, let's get into the review:

I couldn't find any grammatical errors with the short story, so that's good! The only thing I did see that I think is worth mentioning is the changing tenses, but I see that Pixel8ted already covered that.

As for the content, it was super relatable! I found myself nodding as I read, and that's a good thing. I could feel the woman's frustration throughout the whole thing, and it actually made me a little upset xD. But, by the end I was eased when he asked her to come look at the kitchen. The only thing at that point that kind of irritated me was the fact he said: "I don't want to hear any complaints later," but I'll save the rant.

My favorite line had to be this one:

The lease was going to be on both their names, she will be sharing the rent equally. Yet in every discussion she was present, she felt invisible. As if she was just a ‘plus one’ not a prospective client.

Not only did this bring some introspect to the piece, but it also explained to the reader why this was so important: to be seen, heard, and listened to as an equal.

Overall, I really liked this piece, no matter how short it is. :D

Happy Writing!

With Love,
Ley <3

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Points: 896
Reviews: 4

Sun Mar 24, 2024 11:09 pm
Pixel8ted wrote a review...

Hello Swateemittal!

I found your story very thought provoking. It makes a powerful point! I agree that women should have a say in discussions such as these, and it can be so frustrating to see them left out.

I particularly like how you show that the woman felt invisible e.g the men enter the property without her; the realtor does not make eye contact with her; the realtor waits for her husband but does not wait for her; her opinion is only considered important when it comes to inspecting the kitchen, and even then it is only so that she will not make any "complaints" later; you don't mention her name, which serves the purpose too. The detail about her choosing a "traditional attire" over jeans is very well chosen. I could almost feel her frustration over being left behind when her sandal got tangled up!

A few points:

You seem to jump between tenses throughout the text.
You write:
"She *gets* out of the car and *hurries* towards her husband"

and yet also say that her husband
"*was* speaking", and she "*did* not want to miss out".

The rest of your story is mainly in present tense, but there are a few other places where you use past tense, such as when the woman "followed" her husband into the kitchen. I advise you to chose one tense and stick with it, as this would make the story easier to follow.

The sentence: " She did not remember when or who taught her these 'useful woman tips', felt like she had known them all her life" would probably work best as two sentences.
For example:

"She did not remember when of who taught her these 'useful woman tips'. She felt that she had known them all her life."

This would make a bit more sense.

In the same way, you could rewrite "She thinks to herself. Had the realtor waited for her if..." as:
"She thinks to herself. Would the realtor have waited for her if..."
This makes more sense.

There are also a few places where you could insert a comma, such in the last sentence of the first paragraph:
"She struggles to keep up with them, wishing she had worn her denims today!"

A good way to find where commas are needed is to read through the story out loud. That way you can listen for natural pauses in the text, and insert commas there.

Overall, I really liked your story, so keep writing!

Lily you are my fig father
— Elliebanana