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Sizing Up The New Coworker

, , , , , | Working | March 5, 2020

(I’m here to rat myself out on this one. I have a job at a roller skating rink. Workers don’t tend to stay very long here, because the customers are horrible and management is finicky. So, despite having only been there for about a month, I’m expected to train my new coworker. I lead this new coworker into the back, where we keep the rental skates.) 

Me: *waving one way* “So, this side is the quad skates, and people need to have a blue stamp to get them.” *waving the other way* “The in-lines are over there, and people need a red stamp. This section here is speed skates, which also require a red stamp. That back wall is technically a special type of skate, but the manager literally hates them and wants them gone, so you can give them to anybody who asks for them… which nobody is going to do, because almost none of the customers know they exist.”

New Coworker: *a little wide-eyed at the info dump, but following along just fine* “Got it.”

Me: “Cool.” *takes the coworker back out of the room to a nearby counter* “By the way, the baby skates are down over here, starting at size six, which is…” *pulls out a skate that’s like, three inches long* “…super tiny! Which reminds me; skates are all in men’s sizes.”

New Coworker: “Yep. They are!”

Me: “And that means that they’re usually about a size too big for women.”

New Coworker: “Mhm.”

Me: “So, when women tell you their size, you should let them know and ask if they’d rather start a size down from that.”

New Coworker: “Yeah, I know.”

(I pause and look at my new coworker. SHE is wearing her derby skates, which she obviously had to have ordered at some point and presumably knows the size of. One might even assume she knows her own shoe size, and that one is a smaller number than the other!)

Me: *feeling absolutely idiotic* “Right. Sorry. It was news to me when I started.”

(I’m not sure it was mansplaining, because I said exactly the same thing to new male coworkers — who were understandably much more surprised by it. But I still feel kind of dumb, because it really should’ve been obvious that a girl skater would know how skates fit girls. Thankfully, she laughed it off, and we got along okay for the rest of the time we both worked there — for the whole, like, two months that it was.)