Thursday, 15 July 2010

Avril's new waiter

Ian Goode, a tall, slim youth, waited in line at the unemployment benefit office. It was a soulless, depressing place where the stench of failure permeated the very walls.

Ian had been coming to this place since he had left school, four years ago. It was staffed entirely by women in smart business suits to deal the "clients" as the benefit seekers were euphemistically called, with other women dressed as security guards to deal with any "client" who tried to cause any trouble. There was generally at least one incident per visit, as a youth frustrated at the system or being told his benefit was being stopped, would threw verbal abuse, or his fist at one of the staff. The end result was always that the offender was easily overpowered by a single, muscular security officer and handed over to the police, who were nowadays invariably female.

The "clients" were males. Unqualified, unemployable males. In the distant past, only males went on to college and university and held the most prestigious and highly paid jobs then, gradually women began to appear in ones and twos, then their representation steadily grew until one day, male graduates and male executives were in the minority and then their representation diminished in direct proportion to the rising number of women. Nowadays, it was almost unheard of for a boy to go on to further education as girls always got the best grades and degrees.

Women's success in the education system was translated directly in the workplace, with women replacing men as executives, managers, doctors, lawyers, police officers and even in the military. Men's career options were severely limited without good qualifications. They either filled the jobs that women used to do such as secretary, nurse, nursery nurse or cleaner, became long term unemployed or, if they were lucky, found a successful woman, married her and became a househusband.

Ian's life mirrored that of a typical male. He had been one of two children, and the eldest at that, but he had struggled with school, messed about and gave up trying to be a good student, leaving school with a few certificates and going straight on the benefit queue. His younger sister, by stark comparison, was an academic star. Top of the class in most subjects and always winning prizes. She now attended one of the top universities and was tipped for a glittering career as a barrister. Ian, still living at home with his parents at the age of 20, was acutely aware that he was an embarrassment to them. They were always talking of their brilliant, clever daughter and looking with pride at the academic trophies she had won. Ian had never won a single prize in his life.

His parents had tried to help him, to encourage him to find work. His mother, who was the primary breadwinner in the home and who was friends with some rich and successful businesswoman offered to put in a good word for him. His father, happy to be the supportive spouse, but who had nevertheless worked hard as a labourer until age and ill-health had forced his retirement, also offered to get in touch with some of his old contacts. Then found that all of them had either retired or been bought out by a acquisitive businesswoman.

Ian could have probably handled being a labourer. It was one of the few areas where a man could still be a man in the old fashioned sense. Wearing a hard hat and jeans. In offices and shops however, males occupied subordinate roles to women and were often required to wear skirts, high heels, make up to please their female bosses. To become feminine. Ian had been determined to remain masculine and so shunned opportunities that came his way to go on a nursing course or become a secretary since he would have to wear skirts.

"Next, please!" Ian's mind was ripped away from the past and he had to concentrate on the present. It was his turn. The woman in the blue suit and name badge that told everyone that her name was Ms Eva Sheard and that she was a Client Relations Manager was waiting expectantly. Ian had dealt with her many times before and found her efficient but reserved.

Ian took his place in the empty chair and mumbled his name. Eva typed rapidly and brought up his record. Her normally calm face was suddenly creased by a frown and she addressed Ian. "Mr Goode, it says here you've been a client since you left school some years ago". Ian confirmed that was correct, wondering where this was going. He was going to meet a mate in the pub once he had cashed his benefit cheque and wanted to be out of this place as quickly as possible.

"It also says that you have turned down every opportunity to re-train and to attend interviews for jobs we have matched with your skills and experience". Ian affirmed that that was also right. The training courses offered had been a secretarial course, a hairdressing course, a nursery nurse course and a make up consultant course and the job interviews had been for roles as a cleaner or trainee hairdresser. These were not training courses or jobs for a man!

"Well, I'm sorry" said Eva "but you've been claiming for four years now and I regret to say that we won't be making any more benefit payments to you".

"You can't be serious!" Ian said, almost bolting out of his chair "What am I supposed to live on?"

Eva looked at him sympathetically "I'm sorry, sir, but that is not our problem. I have to ask you to leave now. We are extremely busy today". Shaking, Ian, stumbled out of the office, unable to believe that his income had been cut off. He drowned his sorrows at the pub with his mate, spending the last of his money, getting drunk and then getting into a fight. He ended up being arrested for being drunk and disorderly and spent the night in a police cell.

His mother came to collect him. She looked at him in sadness and disappointment. He was dirty and unshaven, his clothes had been torn during the fight he had started (according to the police report) and he had vomited over himself during the night and stank due to the amount he had drunk. Mrs Goode was able to speak to the station Inspector, a woman of similar age to herself and persuaded her to let Ian off with a police caution, rather than taking the matter to court, promising that she would not allow her son to have another brush with lawbreaking again.

Once the caution had been administered and Ian had promised to amend his ways, he was free to go. The desk sergeant, a compassionate mountain of muscle, even found amongst her stash of lost property some suitable clothes for Ian to wear to replace his rags.

Ian was driven home and once the car stopped, his mother bade him to stay put. She needed to talk to him. She and his father were very concerned about him. He was 20 years old and had no job, no money and no girlfriend and no prospects and was getting into trouble with the cops. Well, that was going to change. There was a job going with one of her lady friends who ran a classy restaurant in town, "Avril's", and she would speak with the propreitor, Avril Turner, and persuade her to offer Ian a job and he had better accept it otherwise....he would be turned out of the family home. His parents had agreed on this point. They had supported him for long enough. If he didn't accept, right now, he could pack his bags right away and leave and his parents would never want to see him again.

Ian did not want to be homeless. It was bad enough being unemployed. And he felt ashamed at the memory of his mother seeing him in a police cell covered in his own vomit. So he agreed and for the first time in a long time, his mother smiled at him in pride. It pleased him to please his mother, he found.

His father cooked them a nice meal and, for once , his parents spoke about him and their hopes that he would make the most of the opportunity that was being given to him.

The following day, his mother met with Avril and came home flushed with triumph to announce that Ian would start his new job tomorrow. Ian was amazed. After four years of drifting, he would be working at the city's most prestigious restaurant.

He reported for work at 8 am sharp, the earliest he had ever been out of bed in years. His mother had insisted that he shave and wore his best suit and shoes. The head waiter, a young woman dressed in a very smart suit that made Ian's own attire look shabby by comparison, welcomed him and introduced herself as Valerie or Val, as she preferred to be known. She had a strong handshake.

She looked him up and down, nodded in approval and gestured for Ian to follow her to the staff only area of the restaurant. Entering the area, Ian saw a group of employees. The women wore suits and the men wore a short pink dress with a frilly apron, stockings, high heels and make up. Their hair had been coiffed and styled in contrast with the cropped short hair sported by the female employees. Ian gaped at them in both fascination and horror that these men had allowed themselves to be reduced to this. In the roles and dress formerly assigned to women!

"Max!" Val called to one of the mini-skirted males and a tall, slender man, minced over with dainty steps "Yes, Ma'am?" he asked in a whisper, his eyes cast down in a submissive attitude to acknowledge the superiority of the woman before him in terms of both her status and her sex.

Val waved an unmanicured hand towards Ian "This is a new starter, Ian". The man's shiny red lips worked themselves into a smile and he said "Hi there Ian". Ian mumbled a reply, trying to associate the feminine figure in front of him with masculinity. He couldn't do it. Max seemed more female than male, not just in dress but in mannerisms.

"Max, I want you to mentor Ian and show him how to be a good little waiter, just like you are". Max's rouged cheeks went slightly redder at the compliment and he simpered "Ian, if you've any sense you'll pay attention to everything Max shows you. If you do, you will become an asset here. If not...." Val chose to leave the sentence unfinished.

"First things first, Max. You'd better sort him out with a uniform". "Yes Ma'am" Max whispered. Val turned on her heel and left Ian alone with Max.

"Please follow me, Ian" Max said and led him to a row of lockers. Max opened these up to reveal rows of uniforms like the one he wore, but in different sizes. He pulled out a dress and held it up against Ian "That looks a reasonable fit. Try it on".

Ian's impulse was to refuse. But he thought about it. If he refused, he would no doubt be fired before he had even started, his mother would be furious and he would be homeless. Reluctantly, he took the dress from Max and went to a changing area. Once he was inside, Max passed him some other items. A suspender belt, a pair of thick black stockings, a pair of black high heeled shoes, a frilly cap and a pair of black lace knickers.

Ian's face grew red when he realised that he would be wearing all these feminine garments and be seen in public wearing them! Instead of changing, Ian sat down, trying to come to terms with what he was being asked to do.

"Are you alright in there, Ian?" Max called from outside "Please hurry, we have a lot to do today". Ian couldn't answer him. His mind was in turmoil. Getting no answer, Max risked sticking his prettified face through the curtain to see the boy on the verge of tears.

"What's wrong Ian?" he asked, his voice filled with genuine concern at Ian's plight.

Ian struggled and finally manage to summon up the power to speak "I'm not sure I can do this - wearing a dress and stuff. I'm a man"

Max put one of his arms around him "Of course you can do this, Ian. Men wear the skirts here. That's just the way things are. There's no shame in it. If it'll help, let me tell that before I took this job I used to be a soldier. Yep, I wore combat fatigues, did route marches and even saw action and won a decoration for displaying exemplary courage under enemy fire. When I got this job, the last thing I wanted to do was put on a dress, but then I thought, I have a living to earn and the job means I have to wear a dress and that is that. Come on, once you've got dressed you'll soon get used to it and will even stop thinking about how odd it is to dress this way".

Ian had to admit that if a decorated ex-soldier could wear a dress then he certainly could. If he wanted to earn and keep a roof over his head he would at least have to try. He found the energy to smile at Max.

"Attaboy!" said Max, clapping him on the back "I'll tell you what, these things are no doubt strange to you, so I'll tell what I'll do. I'll stay and give you a hand"

Ian got undressed, strangely less self conscious than he expected in front of Max. Max appraised his naked body "You have nice legs, Ian. But they're hairy. The stockings will hide that for today but you'll have to shave if off before you report here tomorrow. And your arms too. Staff policy for male employees. The customers don't like seeing body hair".

Max helped Ian into his suspender belt and showed him how to roll the thick stockings up his slender legs. Ian could manage everything else himself and, blushing, slipped on his lacy knickers, put on the short frilly pink dress that had "Avrils" emblazoned on the left breast in gold stitching, and the matching lace cap and the high heeled shoes that caused Ian to wobble about all over the place.

Max was very patient and helpful. He gave Ian a crash course in how to walk in high heels. Ian to his surprise, picked up this new skill very quickly and found that he could either prance in them or effect tiny dainty mincing steps. His new uniform felt very strange. Frills and lace and the colour pink were constantly in his field of vision to remind him of his new feminine state, he felt very exposed and vulnerable with his long legs on display and without the benefit of trousers. The swish of his puffed out skirts and the click of his heels on hard surfaces were new experiences for him.

Max complimented him on his appearance. "You look really good in that, young man. You'll need to let your hair grow longer but once it does you will make a real pretty waiter. We need to do something about your face though".

Max went to his handbag and brought out some items. A lipstick and other things that Ian did not recognise. Ian knew what was coming. He was going to have to wear make up. Max proceeded to apply a thick layer of foundation, black eye liner, mascara to volumise Ian's lashes, blue eyeshadow to his eyelids , rouge to Ian's cheeks and finally a deep red lipstick to his lips.

Ian submitted to this, feeling foolish. It felt very strange to wear a mask of cosmetics. The texture and smell of them assaulted his senses. Max held a compact with a built in mirror and held it up to Ian's face.

Ian almost fainted at his own image. It was unrecognisable from his usual image. A pretty face stared back at him, his cute mouth open in surprise and bewilderment "You are pretty!" said Max with a smile "The customers are going to love you".

Ian felt ashamed and self-conscious to look "pretty" but soon had little time to even think about how he looked. Max got him a name badge that read "Hi, I'm Ian" and pinned it to the right breast of his uniform. Val came back to see how things were going and saw her new waiter "Hey, Ian, you look great! I can see you're going to do well here. Most boys we get run a mile as soon as Max pulls out the dress. Their poor little fragile male egos can't handle having to accept the new status of males in this world. Good to see you have some sense!"

Ian then had to spend the day shadowing Max as Max went about his waiting duties.

The customers were both men and women, but it was the richly suited woman who led her skirted partner into the restaurant, ordered food for herself and her partner and paid for it. The male partner remained silent and docile as his partner chatted with other rich, powerful women, usually about business or forthcoming social enagagements.

The job of the waiter, Ian observed, was to to anticipate and fulfil the needs of the female customer, be attentive to her, and blend into the background as much as possible. The female customer was not interested in a mere waiter and did not want her conversation stalled because a waiter brought the wrong order or dropped some cutlery. She wanted an attentive server who brought the food she had ordered and gave her all she needed, with no fanfare.

There was a definite art to it, decided Ian, as he watched Max simpering, speaking in a whisper, being submissive and pleasing to a dominant woman. Ian wondered if he could do it.

Finally, the working day was over and Ian was able to put off his uniform. With Max's help, his make up was removed and he was restored to his male clothes. Max kept his make up on and put on a flowery frock "I'm so used to dresses now that I find it easier just to do without trousers altogether" he explained "You did well today, Ian. Have a good evening". Max departed with a friendly fluttery wave.

Ian was picked up by his mother. As he got into the car, his mother smiled at him in pride "I'm so proud of you. My son, earning his first paycheck ever! You know, when I dropped you off I waited half an hour, expecting you to come rushing out when you realised you'd have to be a waiter. I'm proud that you swallowed your pride and tried. Let's get you home for a well deserved meal".

After the meal, his mother asked him to follow her upstairs to his room, which still bore the traces of his boyhood. Laid out on the bed were various bags. What was this about? Ian wondered.

"I took the day off work to buy you some things" his mother explained. She walked over to the bed and pulled a suede brown long skirt out of a bag.

"That's for me?" asked Ian "Mum, I have to wear a dress at work. I'm not wearing one at home too!"

His mother looked at him "You will" she said simply "I paid good money for these things and you will wear them. Your old clothes, by the way, were in such a state that I got your dad to put them on the bonfire he has out back".

"You burnt my clothes! You had no right!" Ian almost shouted at her, but had the sense to hold back

"I have every right. I am your mother and the head of this family and you are here on sufferance. Please, don't ruin your good start today by asserting your male pride. It makes complete sense for you to wear dresses at home too. It will help you adjust to your new role and get used to wearing feminine finery. The clothes I have bought you are gorgeous and I want you to look pretty for me in them. Once you move out of the family home, you may wear whatever you wish, but whilst you continue living here, paying no rent and no bills and eating the food that my wage brings into this house, I might add, I insist on you wearing your new clothes".

Ian struggled with himself for a few moments and shrugged. He had to wear a dress at work so he might as well do so at home too. He held out a hand for the skirt.

"Good boy!" said his mother. Within half an hour, he was wearing the suede skirt, with a pink jumper and a pair of low heeled shoes. He wore silk underwear under the folds of his skirt. His mother showed him some of her other purchases, a make up kit, a handbag, a depilator, some jewellery and a mass of feminine clothes and underwear "The girl assistant who served me gave me some very strange looks as I picked out dresses and underwear for you!" said his mother, laughing "I explained that they weren't for me but I'm sure she believed me! She probably thinks I am cross-dresser!"

Mother took the last of Ian's original clothing and handed them to her husband, who nodded in understanding and went to put the clothes on the bonfire. Ian's parents heaped compliments on his improved image. Under his father's instruction, he used the depilator to remove his body hair and saw that his legs and arms looked more feminine denuded of hair. His father, who had adopted femininity some years earlier, also gave him make up tips and made him practise "putting on your face", as his father termed it.

The following day at work, Max was pleasantly surprised to find that his understudy willingly putting on his uniform, doing his own make up and being ready for work even before Max himself, the most diligent and conscientious waiter in the restaurant, had done so.

Today, it was time for Ian to come out from beneath Max's wings and actually wait table. Max would be nearby to observe, make suggestions for improvement and, if neccessary, intervene if Ian fouled up, but he doubted that would be necessary seeing the boy so well turned out and eager to work.

Ian worked hard all day. He mimiced Max's mannerisms and did his utmost to be the prettiest and attentive waiter. He felt some disappointment that the customers did not seem to even notice his efforts. When he mentioned this to Max, the other man chuckled and said "That means you're a great waiter! To be unobtrusive and unnoticed is the goal". Ian got changed into one of his new dresses and was about to leave when Val came in and called him over.

"Ian. I watched you today and I was impressed. You've picked the job up really well. Keep it up. Here are your tips by the way". Val slid a bulging envelope into his hand and laughed as she saw the confusion on Ian's face.

"I see Max didn't mention how the tips system works here" said Val "You get a small wage, which is paid into your bank account, but a waiter relies on tips and if a waiter pleases a customer, she will leave a very generous tip and it belongs to the waiter who earnt it, less a little for me as my perk for being Head Waiter. As you can see, you have pleased a lot of customers today!" Val clapped on the bag and walked away.

Ian opened the envelope. It contained more money than he had ever held in his life. He was buzzing with happiness as he went to meet his mother and talked to her about his day on the drive home.

Ian soon became accustomed to his feminine dress and behaviour and found that the more submissive and pleasing he was, the more he pleased the customers and the bigger his tips became. He was fast becoming popular with the regular customers, who loved his prettiness and willingness to run around after them in his frilly skirts.

Some customers were harder to please than others. A middle-aged woman in a dark tan suit, smoking a cigar, came into the restaurant with her daughter, a young woman in a shirt and trousers and ordered food. The customer was unhappy with the food and unhappy with the service, even though both were perfect and Val had to step in to calm the woman done and smooth things over.

Ian stood nearby attentively as the two women ate their steaks. The mother was evidently giving her young daughter the benefit of her experience "Olivia, let me tell you something about men" she said, her words barely audible since her mouth was full of prime steak "When I your age, men still ran the show. They wore trousers and I had to wear a dress, believe it or not. Can you imagine me in a dress?". The girl shook her head, trying to imagine her masculine mother in a frock. "Well, I had to wear one. All women did in those days. And high heeled shoes and make up and frilly underwear. And I had to work under men as their secretary. Most women did in those days. Men thought that they were cleverer and stronger than any woman but we showed them! We studied and worked and showed them that they were the weaker sex. We conquered the schools and universities and took all of the jobs, except the ones we didn't want, and there was nothing men could do to stop us taking whatever we wanted. We even took their clothes and made them wear the skirts, frillies and high heels!". The woman looked at Ian and said "You! Come over here boy!" she barked.

Ian sidled over, casting his eyes down submissively. "Look at him, Olivia, this pretty, submissive little thing, and others like him, used to run this planet. Now look at him!" she jeered and waved him away with a wave of her hand.

"So Olivia" continued the woman "surely you can see that entertaining any idea of letting your boyfriend wear trousers is absurd. If you let a man wear trousers he will get ideas above his station. He may even come to believe that he is the equal of a woman! A ridiculous notion! Keep him in skirts, Olivia, and in his place, and your partnership will be a happy one!"

Yes, mother" the girl sighed. Then she said "Mother, what was it like to have to wear a skirt? I have never ever worn one!"

"And you never will either young lady! Do you know, it's been so long since I had to wear a skirt that I just don't remember what it was like to have to wear one! Eat up, Olivia, I have an appointment to keep". The woman and her daughter left a few minutes later, leaving a miserly tip.

Ian, motivated by the prospect of tips, continued to work hard to please his customers and became the highest earning waiter at the restaurant. He found that his old resistance to femininity had vanished and had been replaced by a love of feminine finery. Now he had a good income, he spent freely on new clothes, jewellery and make up and became obssessed with looking immaculate. His parents were proud of their improved son.

One day, to Ian's surprise and slight discomfort, his parents visited the restaurant. But they were not alone, for they had brought with them Ian's more successful sister, Abbi. Abbi was dressed in a tailored suit with short blond hair and had an air of confidence about her that Ian envied. She had had that same air all her life and had sailed through school with an ease that hid the hard work she had put into her studies. She was destined for greater things than being a waiter, Ian instinctively knew.

His family sat down and asked Val if Ian could serve them. Ian waited on them attentively and treated them just like any other customer. Abbi spoke of how well her studies were going. She was top of the class, of course, and was running for union president and expected to win the forthcoming election easily. Ian envied her for her abilities but did not begrudge her her success.

Ian served his sister her fish course and Abbi noticed him for the first time and read his name badge "Ian. I have a brother called Ian" she said absently and turned to her parents "Where is Ian by the way? You haven't even mentioned him since I arrived home. Is he still unemployed? Poor boy".

Ian's parents smiled and pointed at Ian "There is your brother. He has done very well since you last saw him and is the most popular waiter at the city's premier restaurant" they said with a pride that made Ian's heart leap for joy. They were proud of him!

Abbi stared at him, open mouthed. For the first time and probably only time in his life, Ian had the advantage over his talented sister. When she could speak, she said "That's Ian? My brother? He looks prettier than most of the boys I've ever met!" She jumped up and gave Ian a hug "Hi bro, you're looking good" she whispered in his ear. Ian blushed and simpered. He accompanied his parents and sister home and they talked for hours. For the first time in a long time, Ian felt like he was part of the family again and was accepted by them.

Life was good, Ian decided. By embracing femininity, he had landed a good job and had a future. He even met, by chance, Eva Sheard, who complimented him on his appearance and congratulated him on his success and apologised for having to stop his benefit. Ian thanked her for doing it. It was the best thing that had ever happened to him!


  1. Outstanding! I absolutely loved this. Thank you for marvelous work that has so many delightful scenes and wonderful, memorable words such as, "Keep him in skirts, Olivia." Just wonderful!

  2. It's wonderful to see how women would take mens' clothes and make them only wear the skirts.

  3. I am very interested in the way the male-female relationship is seen in the 21st century. Clearly men stay at home and have what we today would call the "wife/female" role, whereas women have the more "male" role. But is this restricted to the work place and at home or also in attitudes? Will women have a faithfull "wife" at home but herself have lovers? Will they be abusive (like men can be) or more caring?