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A Matter of Time

by jaclynsmyth

A Matter of Time

He was just finishing a course to become a legal assistant. "It's a great idea, honey," said Julie, his wife. "You'll be able to get out of that terrible factory job and save your back. You've made so many job applications, I know someone's got to call you soon." Wayne wanted more than anything to get out of the plant. He was a fish out of water there. He had a college degree but answered to people there who had less than high school education. They were quite abusive. Besides, he wasn't a big man and he found the work very hard on his body.

"Hello, is Wayne Smith there?" "Yes, speaking." "Hello Wayne, it's John Garish from Garish and Garish. We've received your application for a legal assistant position. I'd like to set up an interview with you. Are you free Wednesday morning at 10?" "Let me think. Yes, yes Wednesday morning is great." "Fine. Do you know where our office is located?" "Yes, two blocks up Main and make a left onto Wineva Drive." "That's right, 379 Wineva Drive. See you Wednesday." "Great, see you then." Wayne immediately called his wife at her work. "Honey, I have an interview set up for Wednesday morning. Garish and Garish, a small law firm over on Wineva. I can't wait. See you when you get home. Love you, bye."

Wayne arrived at the Wineva Drive office a bit early. Sitting in the reception area, he took in the office. Richly appointed, it breathed success: black leather furniture, oak panelling and a large crystal chandelier completed the atmosphere. The receptionist was nice enough but there was something different about her; he couldn't quite place it. He saw lots of women, focused on their work walking by. They all wore blue outfits. "Must be a popular colour here," he thought to himself. "Mr Garish will see you now," the receptionist said to him. "Wayne Smith? John Garish, have a seat," Garish said, meeting him at his office door and shaking Wayne's hand. "Have a seat. I've been looking over your resume. This is a career change for you, isn't it?" "Yes, it is," said John, nodding, "I need a change." "What's going on with Dexter Industries?" "I took the job because it paid well but the work is very physically demanding. I thought I could adjust but it's not working out for me." "Well, we won't ask you to lift a barge or tote a bail here but we do work hard, make no mistake. Our success is built on hard work and the spirit of teamwork." "Great, I used to play football in high school. I was a receiver. Got a wonky knee to show for it." "Really? I played tight end. Loved the game, still do. Well, when can you start?" "What? Just like that, I got the job?" "I'm a good judge of people and I think you'll do fine here. Is $42,000 enough for starters?" "Th-that's great! I've got to let them know down at the plant but I can start in two weeks." "Great. Look forward to seeing you, let's say 2 1/2 weeks, start you on a Monday." "Thank you," Wayne said, standing. They shook hands. "Glad to help someone looking to make a real change in their life. See you in a couple weeks." Later, John told his wife all about it. They went out to dinner at the local steakhouse to celebrate.

Two and a half weeks later, Wayne arrived for his first day. The receptionist showed him to his desk. It had a company brochure for new employees. In it, company policy on various issues was laid out. John noticed there was a dress code; all staff employees had to wear blue. Wayne thought nothing unusual about it; he would have to pick up a navy suit. He began going through the computer, logging on with the user name and password he was provided with. The receptionist was very helpful. "Did you read the new hires brochure? You know about the dress code?" "Yes, blue. I have to wear blue." "Please make sure and read all of the brochure. It's very important." Garish dropped into his office just before ten. "I hear you're studying our policy brochure. Good, I want you to know about everything that required of our research staff here." "It all seems pretty straightforward, nothing surprising. I'll have to pick up a blue suit." "Yes, and one other thing, said Garish with a serious face, "All our staff here wear skirts." "What? You're kidding, right? Some kind of joke?" "No, it's a requirement of the job. It helps us to maintain a healthy sense of order, we're very busy here. Lawyers wear pants, staff wear skirts." Wayne couldn't believe it, Garish was serious. "Look," said Garish, "I don't care what you wear outside of this office, but in here, you wear a skirt." Wayne was dumbfounded. A million things went through his mind. He and his wife had just celebrated this great new job which was going to bring in all this money. How could he explain this to Julie? "I know, I'll think of it as a kilt," he said. "That's the spirit, team spirit," said Garish. "We need more people like you." Wayne went about the rest of his day in a daze, wondering how he was going to get a blue skirt to wear in the office. He began learning the company procedures for submitting legal research and so on.

The next morning, he asked the receptionist to go with him at lunch to pick out a skirt. He couldn't buy it himself, it just felt too weird. He gave her the money and she went into a local shop. "There you are," she said, handing him a bag from Lorraine's. They drove back to the office and he put it on. It felt weird for him to walk around in it, especially when he went to the men's room. "Hello, I see you've got your skirt," said Garish. "Yeah," said Wayne sheepishly. "You'll get used to it, it'll be no big deal after awhile. How are you coming with our submission procedures?" "Oh, I've almost got it down pat." "Good, I knew you'd be a great asset to our team. By the way," he said, "Do you think you could do something about those legs? The hair, I mean. Looks terrible." "Oh, yes sir." What was he thinking? How could he explain shaving his legs to Julie? It was bad enough he had to hide wearing a skirt all day from her, but shave his legs? "Uh sir, I-" "What, you don't like you new job?" Garish snapped, "Forty-two thou a year not good enough for you? Maybe we made a mistake. Maybe I-" "Oh no sir, I'm a team player. I'll do something about the hair. Really, I will." Later after work, Wayne went with the receptionist to buy some skin-coloured tights. The company had male employees before and she knew this was an acceptable solution.

The next day, Wayne went to work and changed into his new tights and skirt in the bathroom. He saw Mr Garish walking down the hallway. "Well, that's better," said Garish. "No more ugly hair to look at. Do you think, though, you could get a different pair of shoes to wear. Oxfords look really weird with the skirt you're wearing, I must say." "Yes sir," Wayne said. "This guy's a nutjob," Wayne thought to himself. "Where's it gonna end?" He went out at lunch with Elaine the receptionist. She picked him up a pair of pumps with a low heel. Later, Garish called him into his office. "You know Wayne, I really don't care what you wear or how you look outside this office. Inside this office, you must wear a blue dress or a blue skirt and blouse, hosiery and heels. If you want to wear makeup or don't want to, it's up to you, but you really should try to fi tin here. People have been talking about your poor attitude." "Poor attitude? But I'm just learning, I-" "No no. I'm talking about how you don't mingle in with the other girls here. Did you know they were all once like you, scared and shy about their new lives? Now, I want you to relax and be part of the team. Like I said before, what you do outside this office, I couldn't care less about. Now, if you have to get here an hour early to get yourself ready for the day, so be it. Now get out of here and get your files finished." "Yes sir," Wayne said, leaving the office. He couldn't believe it. "New lives," he thought. He asked the receptionist about it. "All the staff are full-time transvestites," she said, "And you'll become one too, dear. It's just a matter of time. You'll get tired of changing back and forth in the washroom, trying to hide it from your wife. Soon, you won't care any more. They always change over completely this way. Did you want me to do a makeover on you, to see what colours would look good for your makeup?" "No! I can't do this any more! This is ridiculous. I'm going to go back to my old job!" "The job that was destroying your back and underpaying you? Come on honey, it's just while you're in the office. Like Garish said, you don't have to wear it outside."

Six months later, Garish was walking down the hallway. He saw Jane. "Hi Jane. Gee, you're looking great today. I hear you're a research whiz." "Thank you, Mr Garish. I feel so much better now since I stopped all that changing-over nonsense in the washroom. I get hot flashes sometimes but it's probably just the hormones. I get along so much better with Julie now, too. We go clothes shopping on the weekend. Sometimes she comes over to my place for coffee. We never have donuts though, too fattening." "Atta girl, now you're talking. You never know Jane, you just might be up for a promotion soon."


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