The job basically seems to be all about walking men through how to grill while dealing with their crushing anxiety over adequately performing their perceived gender role.
At the Grilling Hot Line Center, Remaining Calm Under Fire - NYTimes.com
“Quick, I need to talk to a man,” he says curtly.
For Ms. Olsen, 67, it was yet another caller insisting that no woman could possibly grasp a grilling issue.
With 14 years on the job, she calmly but firmly explains that she will be able to handle the problem. If the man is especially upset, she suggests, “You might want to grab a beer — and just listen for a while.”
At the Weber hot line center here, this is the busiest week of the year, as thousands of befuddled grillers (overwhelmingly male) are being rescued by a team of about 40 grilling experts (almost all of them women).
Some questions are more tricky than others.
“So I’ve got this squirrel,” one caller informed Ms. Olsen. “So how do I cook it?”
Since squirrel-cooking is not in the Weber catalog, Ms. Olsen told the man he could probably find some answers online.
Ms. Olsen, who was widowed at 51 and has pictures of her grandchildren on her cubicle walls, does not rattle easily. “I’m good at what I do,” she said. “I don’t cry” — unlike some of her male callers — “though I have thrown a headset.”