The single line of text stared me in the eye every time I looked back over the file.
“Don’t rule me out just because I am a woman.”
It was a simple phrase that left me rubbing the back of my stubbled scalp and shaking my head.
Construction is as tough a job as any you will find. Add in the height element of roofing and even some of the toughest guys I know mysteriously find their testicles in the icy grip of paranoid fear. I had come back to this particular resume at least a dozen times as I sat pondering the applicants I had gotten them from. A polite and simple cover letter came with this particular one and I had skimmed through the listed experience before I even looked at the name. I was subtly impressed by the credentials and then saw the name.
I had already been through a handful of young men who had done less than stellar work in their brief auditions. One even went so far as to tell me the reason he was quitting on his very first day was the simple fact he couldn’t locate my office even using the GPS in his car.
I looked at the cover letter and its message was simple. Don’t rule me out. It struck me as particularly well-timed and funny at the same time. Why had I never considered hiring a woman before?
To be honest, not many actually ever apply for a job in construction. The ones that do are usually petrified of heights and want to hang around on the ground or are looking for an office job. Neither of those are an option. So I sat staring at a candidate for a job that had all the requirements I had asked for. Except one seemingly unspoken one.
The lack of a penis.
Put down the sexist chant sheets and your over full glasses of wine, ladies.
I have seen the heat and sheer heavy lifting nature of the construction industry break many a muscle-bound meat head so I was naturally concerned. My brother, Dart, had taken her resume when she offered it and he passed it along to me with a wry smile.
“I have no idea what to make of this one.” Dart said as he showed me “She’s literally half your size.”
The idea of a hundred and ten pound girl throwing around bundles of shingles made me snicker a bit as they would represent almost eighty percent of her body weight but then I kept going back to the single simple phrase.
Don’t rule me out.
I didn’t hesitate for a half a heart beat. I sent her an email asking when she could start.
My phone buzzed not long after with her response and a request to pick her up at the end of my street on her first morning as she wasn’t sure where my office was. She was already a step ahead of the last Dildo Factory reject.
I was a bit nervous as I headed out to the truck the following Monday morning. Dozens of thoughts were rolling through my head in regards to my job site handling of a girl employee.
How would my team of foul-mouthed miscreants treat her?
How could I make vagina jokes without offending her?
What if she didn’t like getting dirty? What if she had PMS? What if she had to poop?
I saw a blonde pony tail sticking out of a baseball cap framing a face wrapped around a mug of tea bigger than a mini keg of beer. She waved and I slowed the truck down. I swallowed hard and thought if I had any reservations this was my last chance to turn back. She was shorter and skinnier than my daughter and there was no way she was going to survive her first day.
“Jack?” she asked as she flung the door of my truck open and hopped into my coffee cup strewn front seat.
“Mindy?” I asked in reply as I extended my hand. Mindy smiled and gripped my tanned hand in her slim white fingers. She flipped her sunglasses down and they were large enough that they looked like a child playing dress up. She turned to look out the window and pulled her phone out. She was texting away at a rate my thumbs ached watching.
We got to my office and she hopped out before I even had the truck in park to introduce herself to everyone. My guys were mildly dumb founded but they welcomed her the same way they did all new employees by making her clean out my mess of coffee cups and protein bar wrappers from the floor of my truck.
The job site wasnt far from my office but the thoughts continued to percolate. First and foremost being how long it would be before she sued my company for some form of sexual harassment followed by what I was going to do when it got hot enough out for all my guys to start going shirtless and how I was going to explain to my insurance provider that I had advised her against it but she wouldn’t listen resulting in her having nipples so sun burnt that she could no longer breast feed the child she was planning on having in the near future.
“Are you ready?” I asked her as soon as we pulled up to the house we had started the previous day.
“Are you?” Mindy asked with an almost imperceptible laugh.
“Ready as I will ever be.” I replied with a sigh.
Mindy hopped out of the truck and saw where my guys were setting up. She grabbed a shovel and made her way up the ladder. Her safety boots seemed miles too big for her and clunked with every step.
“Where did you want me to start?” Mindy called down to me as I grabbed my own gear. She had made her way to the ridge of the house and thunked the shovel down like it was made of solid concrete.
“Right there is fine.” I said and turned toward the ladder only to see something I hadn’t quite expected.
She started ripping shingles off like a badger with raging case of pink eye. What she lacked in size, she definitely made up in tenacity. I laughed as I watched her before the realization hit me that while she was small and testicularly challenged she was really just like the rest of us. All she needed was a chance to prove it.
Now all I had to figure out was what to do the first time she asked me to add tampons to the first aid kit.