"You're so bloody young, I could still wipe the after-birth off you!"
Umm. Yeah. Phrases one does not expect to hear at work first thing in the morning. Just one of the many perks that come with a profession that's semi-dominated by gay men, I suppose. Another perk? I don't have to worry about getting sore arches from my high heels anymore, since after 3 days of following the Toni&Guy 'no sitting' rule, my feet are officially wrecked. And oh, my gosh.
I have never felt pain like this in my life. Although to be honest, it fluctuates. Daily, I go through four stages of what I like to call 'foot grief'.
Stage One: First Thing. At 7 or 8 in the am, they don't feel too bad. Sure, I have to fight the urge to scream when I first put my shoes on, but as I'm walking to work I get used to it.
Stage Two: Mid Morning. A dull aching sensation begins at around 11. At first I attempt to combat this by only walking with one foot at a time - or pretty much, hopping - but I don't think the clients appreciate this too much, especially if I'm bringing them hot tea or coffee. I usually end up hiding behind the broom cupboard for 5 seconds at a time, leaning against the doors and lifting my feet off the ground to relieve the pressure.
Stage Three: Lunch. Oh how I look forward to these precious 30 minutes. Not only because they give me an opportunity to recharge on Red Bull and jelly beans, but also because I get to enjoy them alone. As much as I love the people I work with, having to take separate lunch breaks means I don't have to be embarassed at all about what I really want to do - which is sneak a large chai latte into Lane Cove Library, curl up on a couch in the reading section and sandwich my feet between two cushions. Oh, but then comes...
Stage Four: Closing. By this time, my feet are on fire. No, it's worse than that. It's like they've been chopped off, sewn back on, and then lit on fire. By a surgeon who doesn't hold a medical degree. At this point, I'm seriously considering lighting some other part of my body on fire, just to distract myself from whats going on below my ankles. I'm literally hobbling from one end of the salon to the other - and making sounds similar to that of a wounded bush pig as I go.
Aaah. If my boss ever lets me go early, I'm half sure it's because she likes me, half wondering if it's only because I'm freaking the fuck out of every client in the place. And to be honest, the latter is probably more likely.