Hey, my lovely slaves. It's Fluffernutter again.
is retail hell oriented because it mostly happened at my local S-bux- where the
baristas are friendly and prompt, and my overly caffeinated needs are met- but
it's in a different vein than my previous post. Sure made *my* day, though, so
I thought I might share it with all you overworked folk. :]
As some of you know by now because of my various comments,
I'm a single working mum-in Reception Desk Hell. As you may also have gathered
from my manner of speaking- I'm also a pretty alternative, albeit
well-educated, individual. I dress professionally and speak articulately, but I
have a tattoo, obvious facial piercing, my hair color is pretty vibrant and
changes often. Naturally, I get a lot of stigma from people who don't know
about my community service involvement, reputable employment, applications to
grad school for my PhD, etc, at first glance.
This story is about one of those ignorant people, and a
retail slave/fellow retail customer who MADE MY DAY.
Walking down to the coffee-shop early in the morning, I
encounter an older, larger woman on the sidewalk. Smiling at her fluffy rotund
dog (because it reminds me of a similarly square-butt one my grandparents
have), I step aside for her to pass and comment, "cute dog, ma'am!".
Scowling and jerking at the collar of her snuffling animal, she silently
sidesteps so I have no choice but to scurry past her... while she glares at my leather jacket, my boots, my lip ring and wild hair.
My place of employment has no problem with my self-expression
because of my education, my experience, my work ethic. But this strange, bland,
angry woman does- because of the giggling, freshly bathed, just fed, clothed
& be-hatted baby strapped in a papoose firmly to my chest. I do not conform
to her idea of What A Decent Mother Is, apparently, and so she Is Judging Me.
Quickly leaving her behind, my son decides making "hee hee hebb fiiibbbb
ggiibttt pppfftttt" noises is a Good Idea.
Entering the shop, I eye the menu sleepily while standing in
line a dozen people deep. ~60 seconds later, I'm ordering caffeine with extra
caffeine and thanking the very obviously Irish/flame-haired woman behind the
counter, tipping an extra $1 for efficiency, waiting for my drink.
Behind me, a
quiet, sweet voice inquires: "How old is your... um, girl/boy?"
Turning, I see a a fair woman with worn jeans, a sensible hair bandanna, and
"8 months", I say.
"His name is Arthur."
Sunlight glints silver off her eyebrow stud as she smiles- "That's
wonderful. Congratulations. I have a four year old."
My drink arrives. I
murmur thank you's to the probably Irish lady (who pipes up to say she has a
little girl as well), and this strange beautiful woman who lifted my spirits.
"Have a great day", I tell her. "You too," she says.