Don’t ask us this question

Please don’t ask us for a male QuizMaster. Or a female one. Or a fat one. Or an old one. Or a gay one. Or a non-[enter name of religion here] one. etc. etc.

We’ve written about this before.

We have, perhaps half a dozen times in the last 10+ years that we’ve been running quizzes, been asked “Please can we request a male QuizMaster – we don’t think a female quiz host would be suitable for our event because of [xyz]?”

The problem is, as soon as the question is asked, we are put in a horrible position.

We have to politely and forcefully explain that this isn’t appropriate.

And we have to politely and forcefully explain that this isn’t how we work. All our QuizMasters are highly trained professionals, and their attributes other than how good they are at being a QuizMaster are irrelevant – we allocate our QuizMasters to quizzes according to a blend of, amongst other things, experience vs event complexity, client relationships with QuizMasters, subject matter compatibility and individual availability.

It’s our job to make sure our events are superb, and we hope our clients will trust us to get this right – and we do: our client approval and rebooking rate is as close to perfect as we think is achievable in this kind of industry.

Back to the main topic: once we have been asked for a male QuizMaster, it is difficult for us. We could just say “Sorry, with that question we cannot do business with you.” Maybe we should. But we are a small business, and we generally need to be able to ride difficult situations if we can. So, if we then persuade you to retract the request, do we then send you a male QM anyway? Or a female one to prove you wrong?

Or what if your fears about having a female QM are because you are worried your group can’t be trusted to behave and will cross a line of banter into unacceptability and potential misogyny or harassment? If the group is so awful/sexist then we shouldn’t really be sending anyone. But let’s say we do. Then what will happen? More than likely everything will be great, our QM (male or female) will entertain and control the participants really well. But just possibly something bad might happen. Our staff might complain (and we’d always encourage them to speak up if anything at a quiz made them feel uncomfortable, or worse) and get you and everyone in trouble (rightly so). And then where does that put us as an employer having sent female staff (perhaps not just the QM but also one or more female quiz assistants) into a situation which we could have anticipated would be inappropriate (or worse)?

So, please don’t ask. There are many reasons why we operate as we do (i.e. sending the best person to be the host of each quiz). Luckily the reasons explained in this blog post are only a very small part of why we operate this way – the main reasons are to be efficient and excellent in everything we do.

All QuizQuizQuiz QuizMasters are created equal, as long as they are brilliant at their job – and that job includes being able to adapt to vastly different audiences and rabble rousing/crowd control situations in an appropriate way to ensure the event is awesome.

So please don’t ask.

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