do you need help with that?

This past week I’ve been grasping at straws for an idea. The topics I have on my list and snippets of posts written all seem, blah. But then the other day at work I was struck with an idea after some comments by a coworker.

I work as a detailer in a repair shop. I clean cars for a living. And I love the fucking hell out of it! I get to be on my feet, moving around, free from a desk, and sweating balls in a hot ass shop. I’m dog tired at the end of the day and don’t have to talk to assholes on the phone. It’s amazing!

Naturally, I’m surrounded by men. Which doesn’t bother me at all. In fact the guys at the shop have been very welcoming and I’ve had some really good conversations with them all. There is another woman, but she works at the front desk. She’s very nice and loves to chat.

Now, I’m no stranger to hard work and labor. My dad is a tile man and I’ve frequently joined him on jobs since I was 6 years old. As I’ve gotten older my jobs while working with him have intensified. I can obviously lift more weight, do more tedious tasks, and can work independently. He even lets me use the assortment of power tools without fear that I’ll run off and start anarchy in the streets, though I have those thoughts daily with out without the power tools.

You’re probably thinking, “Jess, where are you going with this?” Well, kids…I’m getting there.

So…at the shop there is a unisex bathroom. As I was making my way from the back to the front to use the restroom, the one guy makes a comment that almost had his ass on the floor.

He turned to me and said, “You know there’s a bathroom in the office. It’s a little more private for you ladies.” I stopped in my tracks and just stared at him as if he grew two heads.

Folks, I’m no stranger to comments suggesting I shouldn’t be doing the work of men. Working with my dad as much as I have, I hear it a lot from the people he works with. “Do you need help carrying that”, “Do you know what you’re doing”, or my personal favorite “Do you even know how to use that”.

Yes, I do know how to use and operate every tool my dad has because he taught me. He made sure I knew what every saw and drill was for; even down to the types of screws, bolts, and when to use them. He taught me well and I’m proud to be a tile man’s daughter. And yes I have thrown my knowledge in those idiots faces when they make their remarks. My dad is extremely proud of me and how I stand up for myself in those situations. He calls me the ox since I’m so strong.

However, I’ve never had a comment about my bathroom usage. Apparently now I can’t use a unisex bathroom because it doesn’t have privacy! No matter how you try to phrase it, it sounds absolutely horrible. Just because I’m a woman working in a typically male dominated field doesn’t mean I should be treated differently. I do NOT want special treatment. I understand where he was going, but dude, come on! He made it ever worse by going on about how even those there is a stall in there, what would happen if I came out and one of the guys were in there.

In my head, I’m laughing my ass off and making all kinds of nasty remarks like “well I’d get a free show” or “it would be the start to a bad porno”. Instead, I said nothing and walked into the bathroom. I did walk out and said, “It’s a fucking bathroom. I don’t care who uses it. I work here too.” Of course, he had no further comments.

My point is simple, I am not afraid to do what men do. Shit, I am considered “one of the guys” by a lot of my friends. My friends tell me when I’m having one of my “dude moments” and enjoy them as well. I am genderfluid and see myself as both male and female. Comments like the ones mentioned really piss me off as, in my mind at least, I am a guy, even though biologically I don’t look like it.

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