Friday, October 8, 2021

Woman at Work: What’s Normal?

In honor of our favorite holiday later this month, I will repost past Halloween posts on every Friday this month. 

The following repost is from November 1, 2012, the day after I made my first appearance at work en femme on October 31 without a safety net. My previous two Halloween appearances at work en femme (in 2000 and 2003) were under the guise of employer-sponsored Halloween costume contests. Halloween 2012, there was no contest – I was going in without cover and I’ll admit that it was a little scary. 

I was relieved that power was restored Tuesday night and I spent the evening getting things back in order after Hurricane Sandy blew through. (It’s amazing how quickly things get out of order when you lose electricity.)

It was bedtime when I finished and as I lay in bed, I realized that the next day was Halloween (and what was I going to do about it).

I had assumed that we would be without power for days. As a result, I did not prepare anything in advance for dressing up Halloween morning. But I wondered if I could I do it all in the morning and be out the door in time for work.

Considering everything I had to do, I determined that I could do it all if I got up early enough. So I set my alarm clock for 4:30 AM and I beat the clock waking at 4:15.

It had not occurred to me that making up every morning for a week at Fantasia Fair had accelerated my makeup routine. As a result, I was ready to go almost 30 minutes before I had to hoped for.

My wig was “Stacie” by Noriko, “a flirty hairstyle that has a wispy layered cut with flipped ends and swoop bangs.” My dress was the Ponte Heart Print Dress from Julian Taylor (via Shoes were my old reliable black patent sling-back open-toe platforms; they are beginning to show their age, so it is time to find a new “old reliable.” “City beige” thigh-highs, black watch and bag and silver necklace and earrings completed my outfit.

To kill time, I styled my wig, then I decided to leave even though it was too early. It was raining hard and still dark, so I thought I could use the extra time to drive slower and safer.

When I arrived at work, there were two cars in the parking lot. I knew they belonged to co-workers who worked on the east side of our complex. That meant I would be the first person on the west side (first person turns on the lights and makes the first pot of coffee).

I did not have to run far (in heels) to dodge the rain because I was able to park in the closest spot to the entrance.

After I dropped my computer bag and purse in my cubicle, I used the ladies’ room to check my makeup, then I took a deep breath to face the day.

The kitchen is next to the restrooms, so I decided to start a pot of coffee first, then turn on the lights. Coffee brewing, I left the kitchen and the lights turned on; somebody beat me to it.

That somebody came around the corner, saw me, and greeted me as one would greet a stranger.

I said, “Happy Halloween,” but he was still clueless and continued on to his office.

As other people filed in, I greeted them and most figured out who I was because I was in or near my cubicle and my reputation proceeded me. Nonetheless, they were amazed at my appearance.

By the way, I went all out. I did not hold back in order to cling to any shred of my male self. I was certainly not a “man in a dress.”

When my boss arrived, I made a bee-line to her cubicle, saying “Happy Halloween” as I entered.

I took about a half minute before she recognized me and she was ecstatic. She checked me out and gushed over my appearance.

“He shaved his legs.”

“He even did his nails.”

“I hate him – he looks better than me.”

“I want your dress when you are done with it.”

She took my photo and emailed it to some of our colleagues in our other facilities. Throughout the morning, she brought people to my cubicle to show me off.

I never saw her act like this before. She was enjoying my femulation as much as I was.

My boss also suggested I play a trick on our president’s administrative assistant, so when she showed up, I went into her office and said, “I am the new hire for receptionist and you are supposed to train me.”

She was completely fooled. She said that no one had informed her of my training, but she was ready to have at it.

Before it went any farther, I asked, “Do you know who I am?”

She shook her head “no,” so I confessed and she was absolutely floored! She confessed that she really had no idea who I was nor that I was a male.

Returning to my cubicle, I heard the voice of a female co-worker who I have known for 16 years, so I paid her a visit.

“Happy Halloween,” I said as she looked up without any sign of recognition, then she recognized me. After she stopped gushing over me, she said that when she first saw me, she thought I was a former co-worker woman. She said the resemblance was striking.

At 10 AM, I had to attend a meeting (a “gemba”) concerning a new product. I walked into the middle of ten engineers standing in a circular fashion for the gemba, said “Happy Halloween” and they all smiled and took my appearance in stride except one engineer, who was shocked. A couple of the guys admitted afterword that until they heard my voice, they had no idea who I was.

Another friend asked if he could take my photo sitting in his cubicle. I gladly agreed, he took it with his smart phone and sent it to his wife claiming I was his new administrator.

After his wife learned the truth, she replied, “OMG!!!!!!! That is soooooo funny! He looks really good as a woman. I don't want her sitting in your cubicle.”

Five co-workers took my photo throughout the day and graciously emailed me copies.

One co-worker said he was “speechless,” then added, “You missed your calling... you should have been a female impersonator.”

During lunch, I drove to the nearby Lowe’s home improvement store to get a replacement part for a piece of plumbing that failed during the storm. I now had no trepidation about going to Lowe’s and I found my trip very revealing.

Whenever I go to Lowe’s or Home Depot in male mode, I have to find and ask a store employee when I need help. Today, I had a male Lowe’s employee practically at my beck and call. When he saw me looking lost in the plumbing department, he asked what I needed and directed me to the exact location where the part was displayed. After I found what I needed, he came over and compared it to the old part I had brought along to make sure I got the right part.

That’s the power of a short skirt and high heels!    

Speaking of high heels, I wore them all day long (over 9 hours) and my feet felt fine. I guess sitting about two-thirds of the day helped. I did bring flats just in case, but I only put them on when I drove home.

After Lowe’s, I visited Walmart to buy some pet food and coffee. I noticed a few gents checking me out, otherwise, the Walmart trip was uneventful.

I also stopped at Dress Barn and bought nothing after perusing the racks.

I returned to work, ate lunch and felt tired; the 4:15 AM wakeup was beginning to take its toll.

I visited the two women in Human Resources who know about me being transgender. The HR woman, who is approximately my age, was enthusiastic and said I looked “great,” while the 30-something HR woman acted as if nothing was unusual and said nothing about my appearance.

Another female co-worker I have known forever stopped by my cubicle in the afternoon and said I looked “sparkling.” She also commented that I looked better than she ever did even when she went to the prom. She wondered if anyone at work had busted “my chops” and I happily admitted that no one had.

Except for folks stopping by to look and/or take photos, the afternoon was quieter than the morning.

Overall, I had a great day at work en femme. Not a discouraging word was heard; instead, I received a lot of compliments.

This was my third Halloween at work en femme. The first two times were in 2000 and 2003. About one-third of my co-workers were with the company back then, so they are aware of my preference for women's wear on Halloween.

I assume a few co-workers suspect that there is more to it than Halloween, but no one has broached the topic with me. If they did, I would tell them the truth.   

Thursday morning, my boss saw me and remarked, “Thank, God, you're dressed normal today.”

I responded, “What's normal?”

Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

George Hamilton femulating in the 1981 film Zorro: The Gay Blade.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post when you first wrote it and love it as much now. Your female co-workers - especially your boss - were gems indeed.