Gay? Who the fuck is gay?
I was just out of college and I needed a job. Up until that time my job was to be a student. But now I had to strike out on my own. I had sponged off my parents long enough.
So I decided to seek my fame and fortune elsewhere and I headed for Atlanta, where business was booming. Even with a degree in business and an MBA I could not find a job. I was only twenty four and had done three years in the Army until they told me I was no longer needed on active duty, something about RIF [Reduction in Force]. Actually that was pretty good because as an officer I owed them seven years from the last college class they paid for, so I got college at their expense and then they told me to play in the reserves. Prospective employers either told me I was over qualified, or did not actually fit their management team. "Did not actually fit" I had come to understand means not the correct color. I could do many things but changing color was not one of them.
After almost a month I was ready to head home to Montana. I had been staying at the YMCA and had to leave anyway. Now for a country boy just out of Montana, even if I had spent time in the Army, that was an eye opener. We all got along well enough, but not that well, if you get my meaning. But I did make some friends that were pretty nice guys, strike pretty nice and insert good, when they were dressed like guys. They even seemed to be protective of me when some of the other guys came around. I was not to be bothered was the word my friends put out.
So I am at a Starbucks getting a coffee; ok it was one of those Froufrou designer coffees with mocha vanilla foam crap; but it still tasted pretty good. There were a group of guys sitting there drinking coffee and talking about this PA job in the next building over. I thought, why not, I could do that; it might be a step in the right direction. So I listened in and they were talking about interviews all day long. I headed back to the Y and went to put on the only suit I had; it was nice looking dark grey with light grey pin stripes. I polished my shoes and as I was getting it all together after hitting the shower one of the "guys" asked what was going on and I told him about the job. He had a bit of a laugh at it and then told me I had to change a few things.
I am five foot ten, slight build, I am called wiry, but with muscles. I run every day and I like to stay in shape. I keep my hair cut short, because I don't like to have to deal with it when I take a shower or after, probably came from the military and working on the ranch. So he gives me a sort of pink shirt with this hand painted tie from Hawaii with some kind of flower on it. He tells me I look perfect and laughs again. What I am is a hick from Montana and he is a drag queen, so I figure he knows more about dressing for the location than I do; at least he did not try to put me into a dress. He tells me to trust him, he knows about the job and I am dressed perfect for it.
Before I headed back down to the job site with resume in hand I jump onto the net and find out about the business. It is one of those all female black owned and operated businesses that deals in clothing; sports, casual and some more formal stuff. But they also engage in manufacturing for other companies.
I got a once over as I found the receptionist and told her I was here to be interviewed. She did have a surprised look on her face but she gave me the initial application and I turned it back in with my resume. It was about noon when this stunning black woman who had to be six foot seven or eight, without shoes on, walked past all of us sitting there and gave us a quick once over. She had to have on three or four inch heels and she was a giant. I smiled, why the hell not, she was fucking gorgeous, but she sort of scoffed at me and walked on past. Well, so much for charm.
The interviews went on and on and by three o'clock there were only three of us left and each of us had talked with three other interviewers. I was the last of the three to go into "The Room". The other two had gone in and after ten or so minutes each one had walked out of the room and out of the office. I was the last one called and with a little hesitation I went in.
Behind the desk was the African Goddess I had seen before but now that she was sitting I could see just how good looking she was. I had never been "into" black women but there was just something about her, something that really got to me. She did not smile she just looked through me. The other two did the talking. "What do you think your job entails?' was the first question.
"While I will leave it up to you to tell me the specifics, I believe that my job will be to make sure that all of the things you don't need to be involved in, the so many little things that take up a good part of your day, are handled for you in a matter you would want them taken care of. My job, if I may be so bold, is to free you to do your job, which is run this company, develop new business, see to it that your business plan is being implemented for the business you have. If you don't have the time to do your job, then none of us have a job. I hope that I can help with that." I thought it was a pretty good answer. Oups, wrong again.
"So you want to make all the decisions, you want to run the business while we are just figure heads, do I hear you right?" This one came from the second lady in the room.
"No Ma'am, I did not mean that at all and I am sorry if my answer implied that. It was my fault in not being specific enough. Every day I would watch what you did and how you did it. Those things that seemed to be taking too much of your time and appeared to be repetitive and not worthy of your time, I would ask if I could handle them for you and by then I would already know how you did those tasks. I would be an extension of what you wanted done, not what I wanted done. I would prepare a one page summary of what I did every day and let you look at it the next morning and let you decide if I handled them correctly, listen to your correction and then make sure I would do it according to your instructions. I would include those things on the daily report until you told me you did not need to see a specific event again. I would also prepare a weekly report in more detail with everything, including the things that you had already excluded from the daily, just to keep you informed of what was happening, in case you wanted to change the policy about something. I feel it is important to keep the commander informed as we used to say in the Army. It would be my hope that the time it took to see the daily would be insignificant to the time it would take you to do those tasks yourself." I thought it was a pretty good answer without being obsequious.
Now the Goddess herself spoke. "Will you be able to work for a woman? Do you see any problems with that and with being on call 24/7?"
"No Ma'am, I see no problem with that at all. I am currently staying at the YMCA and I will seek a place to stay close to the office or the person I am to be the PA for so that I can perform as needed."
I was told to wait outside and I could hear them talking. They needed a PA but they also had some EEOC problems and a white man would be prefect. They would have a man and one that was white plus I was just out of the military; and my being gay was a plus too. I was to be their token gay white man vet; wow, three stereotypes in one hire. I had to laugh but I was serious when I was called back in after five minutes.
"Gay? Did they say gay? I sure hope they mean happy," I thought.
I have the job but I would have to be more fashionably dressed when I worked here. Another PA, Dorothy, would take me shopping immediately, and I would have to be appropriately dressed by eight tonight. There was an event at the Hilton and I would attend, making notes of discussions. I was not an attendee I was working. I was told I would have a room at the Hilton for that evening.
Dorothy took me out and with a company credit card we went to a nice store and I was fitted for half a dozen pair of slacks, half a dozen sports coats and six suits. They even bought me two dozen shirts and ties. I was taken to the hotel and as I dressed for work, which was a black suit for me, black tie for the guests, I was handed an iPhone and a new iPad. They are "the tools of my trade," so I was informed. The iPhone was already loaded with phone numbers and the iPad had preloaded websites and business information.
Dorothy was very helpful and I thanked her. She smiled and told me not to thank her yet. At ten minutes to eight I was downstairs waiting at the entrance when the phone rang, it showed a picture of my boss, the Goddess. "Where the hell are you Steven?" my boss demanded.
I am in the lobby waiting for you Ma'am. Just then the elevator door opened and my Goddess boss walked out with a tall black man at her side and I fell into step with them. I later learned his name was Russell. As they went through to have their passes checked I just followed her in. One of the men was going to ask for my pass but realized I was just one of the many drones, even if I was white. Everyone at the event, except a few other drones and some staff, was black.
.... There is more of this story ...