This past month has been one of growth and self-realization. At this point I have now worked in grocery retail for 18 months, or 1.5 years for people without children, began a grocery blog, and opened a twitter account. This past month I also landed a promotion, raise, and transfer to a new store location. What started out a part time gig to let me pay the bills while I focus on my acting and improv career is quickly consuming my life. Because I am also a full-time grocery employee, I get 40 hours of exposure to customers and their stories – stories that consume my brain cells.
To be sure, I am waaaay behind on sharing with you the nutso’s I’ve encountered. Last night, for example, was classic. At 9:40pm, while I am attempting to close the department and finish ordering for the week, a young man (who didn’t need help finding anything or have merchandise related questions) proceeds to consume all my time with ranting about how corrupt the world is with people selling their kidneys on the black market. You know who suffers the most? Orphan children! They have prime kidneys for the picking, and WEEEEEEEEE (He pointed back and forth between my chest and his.) need to do something to STOP IT!
By the time he left I was exhausted. I’m not saying he’s wrong; I am always simply amazed when people get on a soapbox with a stranger, because that is completely opposite of my personality. But this post isn’t about him! This is about another young man I encountered a few weeks ago. It wasn’t a funny or weird encounter, instead it was thought provoking to the point I had to discuss with a few trusted coworkers how they would have handled the situation. In reflection of the situation, this post won’t exude my usual wit, charm, or humor as all my other posts.
“Her posts aren’t that funny to begin with…”
A few weeks ago I attempted to assist a young transgender man (female to male) dealing with his own growth: Candida, aka: Yeast Infection. Talk about touchy. Any customer interaction involving yeasty subject matter automatically becomes delicate: hushed tones, talking in euphemisms, and gentle bedside manner. You add that to a very personal and sensitive subject of being transgender? Hellooooooo… Forget walking on eggshells; I was tap dancing barefoot on shards of glass.
What made this interaction difficult is Candida isn’t gender specific, nor is it vagina specific. However, it appearing as a vaginal yeast infection is the most common occurrence, and when he approached me asking for help he said, “I need a product to help with chronic yeast infections, uh, I mean Candida.”
Knowing two transgender people in my life, in addition to being aware of those in the media, I know the number one thing you NEVER ask about is about the equipment they got going on down there. I mean, that’s just rude in general. Try asking your boss if they have a penis, and see what happens. I would definitely punch someone in the face if they randomly asked me about my ladybits, and it’s not a sensitive issue for me. That said, I found myself wanting to grab his shoulders, look him in the eyes, and say, “PLEASE JUST TELL ME IF YOU HAVE A VAGINA. THEN I’LL KNOW HOW TO HELP YOU.”
Alas, I refused to ask the question, and he refused to volunteer the information. So round and around the gigantic, flaming elephant we danced – me giving vague suggestions and general recommendations and him vaguely responding.
In the end I sighed a huge sigh of relief when he provided the red herring of also needing toothpaste. Toothpaste? Yes! Of course we have toothpaste! …Just one question: “Does your tooth have a penis?”