by Tim Howard
A SIGN outside a Grafton paint shop advertising tailored invoices to match the price buyers have told their spouses they paid for goods purchased could be risky business in these gender-sensitive times.
What might have been another example of male privilege making another tired grab at relevance has been cleverly subverted by the majority female staff at Inspirations Paint in Pound St, Grafton.
Continuing the store's tradition of light-hearted street advertising, the latest offer reads: "For an extra $4.95 we will provide a receipt that matches what you told your spouse you paid.”
"It's not me, it's the girls,” said Andrew McLachlan, who co-owns the store with wife Erin.
"You will notice we've used the word 'spouse', so it can work both ways.”
Mr McLachlan finds him<HH>self outnumbered by "the girls” three to one every day.
"It might seem a bit odd in a trade-based store, but with Erin and the two girls, Teneille Burley and Alyssa Peters, we have a female- dominated staff,” he said.
Both owners said sexist attitudes by some customers could irritate the staff at times.
"We have the odd person who comes in for advice on some paint or a product we stock and they will umm and aah about it until they get the same information from Andrew,” Mrs McLachlan said.
"When that happens we just have to grit the teeth and keep it to ourselves.”
But the couple said the tendency worked the other way as well.
"If we get a wife in the shop looking at colour schemes, they tend to want to talk to the girls,” Mr McLachlan said.
"They don't trust a bloke to get the colour thing.
"And after some of my attempts at it, I would have to agree with them.”
And has there been interest in the offer?
"We had a bloke in yesterday,” Mr McLachlan said. "He wanted to know if we were serious about it.”