I’m compelled to post regarding the woman who called in to the show asking how to command respect at her mechanics’ shop, especially in the presence of her boyfriend. The thing is, asking her boyfriend to wait outside or politely remind the mechanic the car is his girlfriend’s isn’t going to cut it. It’s well-intentioned, but bad advice.
The answer is this: when the mechanic starts talking to her boyfriend and not to her, she needs to stop him, look him in the eye, and say, “Excuse me, the car is mine. I’m paying for the repairs. Please address me and not him.”
If the mechanic continues to speak to her boyfriend and not her, she needs to say, “Hi - talk to me. Not to him.” If, after these reminders, the mechanic continues to ignore her, she can say. “If you don’t address me and not my boyfriend when you talk about the car, I will take my business elsewhere.”
Then, if the dumb schmuck STILL doesn’t get it, she needs to make good on her word and take her car someplace where the mechanics understand that they speak to the car’s owner, gender notwithstanding.
The more people who do this means the more people will come out of the dark ages and into the 21st century when dealing with their female clients, as you do. And indeed, all of their clients.