Genderally Clean

| Working | October 10, 2014

(We finish working in a refinery at 13:30 and rush out still in our work clothes so we can eat at a local diner. I go to the toilet first. I’m wearing blue overalls and carrying a sack with my clean clothes; my hair is stuck and spiky from wearing a hard hat all morning and I have grease smeared on my nose. In the corridor leading to the ladies’ toilet, a cleaner armed with a mop confronts me in a broken Italian.)

Cleaner: “You no here! Here is ladies!”

Me: “I know.”

(I try to pass but she cuts me off with her mop.)

Cleaner: “HERE IS LADIES!”


(She gives me the stink-eye and lets me pass. After a wash and a change into civilian clothes, I meet her again on the way out.)

Cleaner: “Oh! You are lady.”

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