So, I was leaving the office and walking down the hallways. I work in an engineering department and I believe in my area there are 4 women at most. Upstairs in Finance and Marketing, there are a lot more, but down here – not so much. I hear someone walking behind me and it was one of those awkward moments: should I turn around or should I keep walking? What happens when I reach the door to the outside? Is the person close enough so I hold the door open or not, and what is the cut-off line between rude and over-eager?
Well, at the door I was fairly sure the other person was close so I opened the door and turned around. It was one of the other female colleagues – a software developer who has been with the company just as long as I have (which is about 12 years) – and while we are not friends, we are certainly friendly. She looks at me and says “Oh, I didn’t know it was you”, then she started to think for a second and said “Did you get a haircut?”
So yes, I did get a haircut so we talked about that, she said “Cute”, I said “Thanks” and we both walked to our cars separate ways. In the car, it started to dawn on me – I am one of 4 women in engineering, I am one of 4 fat women in the whole building – she didn’t know it was me. I think from behind I just didn’t look like one of the fat women anymore, because in all honesty – I am certain I am/was always very recognizable as a fat person, no matter what my hair looks like!
Now, I keep wondering if she just said haircut because she didn’t want to say “I didn’t recognize you because you are not super fat anymore” or if she really couldn’t put her finger on it what was different about me. In the end, I think it is great and makes me very happy!