I assisted a woman and her friend at work the other day. Her friend I only mention because she stood there and watched the whole time, while the woman was... not the most pleasant person. And I could understand why, to a point. She had left her requirements to the last minute, and on top of which had taken no time to think about what she needed. Urgent and uninformed. Yay.
And to ice the tasty little cake she'd made for herself, I was the only one available to help her, and I have the ageless quality of Amanda Bynes (you know, she looks the same age from her tv show to her movies: twelve). Some people feel an innate distrust of receiving help from someone who looks too young to understand the importance of what they're selling.
Not that these are good enough reasons in my book to be so caustic to another person. If you're in such a rush, why ask for help and then not listen to the answer? If you don't understand your different options and want someone to hand it all to you, why growl and roll your eyes when they ask questions to make sure they'll be handing you the right thing? I felt like she wanted me to be deliberately withholding the best product from her in order to cheat her out of her money, perhaps so she had a real excuse to be nasty. Half an hour after the office had closed I was still trying to help her, enduring her looks of disdain and snapped responses, so she could go home with her mind at ease.... or at least go home.
Then in the last ten minutes of the transaction, I realized she was hirsute. Her skin was dark so it was not quite so stark and noticeable--and to be honest her sour mood made it intimidating to look her in the face very often anyway. The hairs were about half a centimeter long, but dark and coarse and all over her chin, and blunt like they had been trimmed or shaved several days ago. I don't think I'd ever seen another woman in person with obvious hair on her chin. I was all at once excited.
And then she shot me another burning look and my empathy all but evaporated. Hirsute or not, she was, first and only, a person in a very bitter mood who was treating me like the dirt she'd just trod into the office, and I couldn't wait to finish the transaction so she could go and be miserable somewhere else, and I could get home to my family. It was just an unexpected reminder that the person you are overpowers the way you look.
That was the last day I worked. I've been sick most of last week. You know when your joints ache and your skin gets hot and tight as a drum, so every bit of stubble on your body tortures you like a million tiny needles? Yeah, that was me. I now have about four days worth of growth on my face because I've been in bed for that long. I'm not used to it being this long and I keep stroking it like I'm hatching an evil scheme or something. But I'm on the mend. And the next time I shave is going to feel amazing.