Queer Coworkers and the Passage of Time

Published September 30, 2012 by auddity


So this week kicked my butt. It was Community Helpers Week at the daycare (my job is adorable) so we had a lot of parents come in and talk, which means we crammed several visits into an already fully scheduled week.

BUT it was also a very eventful week, listen to this:

On Monday morning I found out one of my coworkers has a girlfriend. She mentioned it in passing when she and I were in the break room waiting to clock in. No indication if she identifies as gay or queer or whatever. She wears a ring on her left ring finger so I assume she is monogamous. For some reason I wasn’t surprised when she said it. I’d seen her get dropped off by someone and maybe subconsciously I knew it was her gf. We’re not super close so I didn’t find an opportunity to let her know I was family. Alas, another day.

On Monday afternoon one of my kid’s therapist came in for the first time this year. I don’t want to assume, but she rocks a Bieber-inspired hairstyle and was super-rockin a plaid button-down so I was picking up what she was putting down. She’s really nice and seems good at her job.

On Wednesday afternoon (this one was the real shocker and totally put me in my place), one of my coworkers mentioned her fiancé and I said, “Oh, what’s his name?” Without missing a beat she says, “Actually she’s a girl.” Nice one Aud, way to go. I felt like such a jerk – how hard would it have been to say, “What’s your fiancé’s name?” Gives her a nice non-threatening opportunity to let me know she’s gay. This girl did specifically identify herself as gay and I responded by identifying myself as queer.

It just goes to show that you can NEVER assume. Even queer gurus like me (jk) can slip up sometimes. I’d like to chalk it up to being on the defensive while at work. Having assumed that I was the only queer at my workplace, I’d already given up on finding a queer buddy at work and thus assumed my coworker’s straightness as a sort of self-preservation thing. Like, before I could be let down I filled in the blank myself.

So, in summary, two confirmed queer coworkers and one possible queer associate. Both of my coworkers wear engagement rings so, that’s still a clean sweep for monogamy. But yay! Not the only queer where I work.

Incidentally, working at the daycare has got me thinking a lot about the passage of time. Watching children grow literally right in front of you will do that I guess.

The new Mumford & Sons CD came out this week (?) and one night when I was cashiering after a long day at the daycare, a young-ish guy came through my line buying only the CD. The woman in front of him knew him and asked him “How’s the new little one?” My first thought was, “Hey new dad, what are you doing buying a CD when you should be buying diapers or socks or formula?” But then I realized, this guy’s still a guy, even though he’s a father. Becoming a parent may fundamentally change you, but it doesn’t eclipse your love for one of your favorite bands. Then I thought, “Oh my God, his kids could grow up listening to this CD, and I sold it to him.” Sometimes I don’t hate being a cashier. So, while I grew up listening to Sting, REM, Seal, and Hootie and The Blowfish because that’s what my father listened to when he was a young dad, Mumford may be this kid’s Sting. Not only does time seem to move fast these days, it also seems beautifully cyclic.

UPDATE: The therapist also wears a ring. Score five hundred million for monogamy.


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