Luckily I wasn’t the one who had sprayed my hair until it could walk on its own. But my silk blend blouse gave the men in the shop a stroke. Sparks. All it would take was one wayward spark to make its sneaky way towards us and set us on fire. Who would have thought?
So to be one of the interpreters in this program, I must wear a formless leather jacket, a cap, safety glasses, leather gloves, clunky steel-toed work boots, and worst of all, leather chaps. None of these pieces of fashion are made for women. Women do not need chaps to have a baggy codpiece in the front. There is a bonus though: there is a double guarantee that sparks will not ignite around anyone.
Sure does take the fun out of a day.
Every morning I spend an hour getting ready for work—hair dryer, curling iron, eyeliner, mascara—that kind of thing. And when I arrive, I change into my get-up tucking my hair into my cap, and stuffing my feet into those silly boots. When my turn is up and I pass the baton to the next interpreter, my hair style is ruined, flattened against my scalp. I do have my priorities straight.
Fashion isn’t the issue. It’s really being in this predominately all alpha male world. The other day, I wondered why these alpha males were giving me such attitude when I was dressed to look like them. Apparently, I wasn’t playing the part well enough.
My coworker told me my communication style is like I’m asking these alphas to join my kumbaya circle. She has cracked the alpha male code. She said if you speak to these alphas as a reporter, then their invading feather receptors will return to normal. I tried it. I clomped up to the alpha males, and reported the facts of the day.
I learned the proper response. Nodding. Not just any nodding, but one nod, no smile. In alpha male language that is being agreeable. Yawn. Makes me understand why men fall asleep so easily.
This is going to be a very long year.