Saturday, 24 March 2012

Ladies and Gents

Yesterday I had my second interview since I started looking at changing my job. I'm hoping that it went well. It was a long day with a 2 hour drive to get there, which took a lot longer because of road works and detours and a similar drive back, but with an hour break while I stopped off to visit a friend.

I think the interview went well, hopefully I'll hear something early next week as I'm really keen on this job.

The interview was held at a Holiday Inn.

Despite having left with enough time to have arrived with an hour to spare I finally walked into reception 15 minutes before my interview time.

I approached the receptionist and told him who I was there to see. He looked at some paperwork and gave me directions to the meeting room that my interview was to be held in. After so long in the car I needed to make myself slightly more presentable and needed to powder my nose. I could see a sign for toilets in the direction that he was sending me. I asked if that was where the toilets were and he told me no, looked around briefly and pointed me in a different direction.

I looked across the lobby and saw two doors. One had a picture of a baby on it and the other, well it wasn't unisex and it certainly wasn't the men's.

I had been wondering what I was going to do when I arrived at the hotel as I really did need to use the facilities, sitting in an interview for at least an hour wasn't going to be comfortable if I'd not done something beforehand. The receptionist pointing me towards the ladies made life easier.

For most people visiting the toilets when out is something they do without thinking. For transsexuals and others presenting as female this can cause problems as you never know how other people might react. There are cases of people being beaten up after visiting toilets and I've even read comments on various websites from guys who say that if they ever caught someone using the toilets at the same time as their wives or daughters, that they decided shouldn't be in there, that they would beat them up. Sheesh! All we want to do is the same as anyone else, go in, use the facilities and carry on with our day without facing a trip to the hospital for our troubles.

My first experience of using the ladies' toilets was when I performed my burlesque routine at The Palace last year. Fortunately the pub wasn't busy and I went in with one of my friends who was going herself. Her only advice to me as we entered "make sure you sit down when you go".

Since I've transitioned I've not needed to pay a visit to the toilet while out and about. I've come close once in a restaurant and did give some thought as to whether to go or not, in the end I decided I didn't need to go.

At work we have ladies and gents toilets but also have some individual, unisex facilities. I use the latter, although (whispering carefully in case anyone from work comes across this post) I have used the ladies on a Sunday when there was very few people in and I was the only female.

The other week I had an interview in Bradford-on-Avon and again wanted to use the facilities beforehand. The car park where I'd parked had some public conveniences and although I was expecting there to be male and female facilities I found myself presented with unisex toilets. The recorded announcement that played when you entered was a bit disconcerting as it left you wondering if the door was going to spring open if you were in there too long!

So yesterday was the first time I've ventured into a ladies' since I went full time. Fortunately it was empty when I went in. While I was there one other woman came in. She left while I was touching up my lipstick in the mirror, making sure I was presentable, taking a deep breath and telling myself to stay calm.

Now I just have to wait until I hear whether or not I impressed enough at the interview to be offered a job. Whatever happens though, one thing is for certain. At least I wont be sitting around with my legs tightly crossed.


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