I sat gazing at the locker in front of me. I had just a few minutes before my supervisor would return and I had some difficult decisions to make. Though at first things had started out pretty much as expected, today was not proceeding according to plan. After leaving the hotel I had gone for some breakfast and then taken the cab ride to the hotel, which sat on the edge of town. The changes in my social ‘status’ were quickly becoming apparent. While not staring too much, it was clear that people had noticed the brown girl walking down the street. In the restaurant I was sat towards the back of the dining room, just a coincidence maybe, but I was hypersensitive to anything that felt ‘different’, reflecting any potential shift in my. Was it me? Or did the waitress seem almost bothered to be dealing with me? No smile. None of the pleasant chit-chat to which I was accustomed. Perhaps she was always like that?
Either way, my own sense of who I was and how I should behave was in tremendous flux and my hands almost shook as I reached for my knife and fork. It felt good to eat. I was hungry, but also food often acted as a great source of comfort to me and, right now, I was in need of a little hug. As I ate, I caught my reflection in a side mirror, making me to a brief double-take. Taken in isolation, my short, cropped hair would have been enough to startle me, but the cheap clothes and of course dark skin marked me out for all to see.
I looked at the other patrons in the restaurant and wondered how they saw me? This set off a storm of delicious feelings in my stomach and groin. Whatever they saw, it was not Katherine Webb, heiress to a multi-billion dollar fortune. I was an immigrant maid in cheap cotton leggings, a loose fitting baggy top, sneakers, no makeup and glasses. The fake teeth protruding a little from beneath my top lip, helping detract from any remaining beauty I may have had till that point. Was this what I had sought? To be shifted from my life of comfortable anonymity to social outsider?
When I gave a tip, the waitress cracked a smile and, for a moment, I saw some empathy. After all we both had cruddy jobs with miserable hours. I smiled back at her and left to take my cab to the hotel.
I am not sure what I really expected on my arrival at the hotel. Certainly it would be nothing like the welcome Katherine was used to, with various sycophants running around taking care of her every need. That said, the correspondence had clearly stated that Marta should have a private room and that she was a respected employee. As such I had expected some space in which to manage my experience. A place to hide in, if I needed it. But life has an unexpected quality to it. The manager I had been writing too, a pleasant enough man in his late 50s was not there. To my shock he had resigned at the end of last week and been replaced by the young blonde woman standing in front of me.
Upon discovering this news, my first instinct was one of near outrage: why had I not been informed? Katherine had to know these things immediately. As I reached inside my bag for my phone, the second unexpected turn of events took place.
“Staff are not allowed to use their personal phones during work hours. Please put that away and follow me to the changing rooms.”
I was lost. I had to check my phone, but was trapped for the moment. I had little choice but to follow her. Though no-one around me could have guessed what was going on inside my head, they all saw me being led through the hotel and turned to look. Was I in trouble? Who was I? I could feel my cheeks burn, a warmth that turned into an inferno as I stepped past what appeared to be a meeting room. Inside, one of the girls perked he head up and looked at me. My god! It was an almost perfect role reversal from myself a few weeks earlier, when I had seen that dumpy maid that started this all off!
My pussy lips moistened within an instant and any semblance of the outrage I had felt subsided away to depraved sense of humiliation. All I could do was picture the scene as they saw it: I was clearly in trouble, or new here. Either way, I was far beneath them. I was beneath everyone here.
By the time I was led to the locker room, more of my plan had unravelled. There were no private rooms left and I would have to share with other staff; the uniforms had arrived, but not all of them, so I would have to use an old, used one until they did arrive; and over half of my meagre pay would be in the form of food tokens, in accordance with some local law I had not accounted for.
By the time the manageress had left me alone to change, I was in a daze. The morning had most certainly not panned out as expected and I had to decide what to do.
I had only just pulled the drab, plain uniform over my head and the manageress was back in my face. She directed me to place all my belongings in locker and, with it, any connection to my past life. All that was now locked away, out of reach. My head spun. Was this allowed? Had I approved such a draconian rule? I felt foolish and out of my depth, but literally had nowhere to run and with all Katherine’s belongings out of reach, I had no choice but accept the role I had given myself – that of Marta.
I was beginning to get the feeling that the manageress did not like me. She spoke to me in a condescending manner, like I was some kind of simpleton, totally oblivious to highly expensive education I had received. The flat, sneaker-like, shoes I had to wear made me much shorter than her in her stylish 3-inch pumps. In fact she looked immaculate. Almost emblematic of our new positions, I padded silently behind her, while her heels clacked loudly and imperiously down the corridor, announcing her approach to all staff.
All the while, my body was in utter turmoil, riven by pulsing waves of humiliation, while being equally terrified that, somehow, I may have trapped myself too tightly. My wandering attention was suddenly captured again as she glowered at me: “Did you hear me? I said you will take lunch in the kitchen. You are not to enter the restaurant”. I had to pay attention to what I was doing, to make sure I got through the day unscathed and then figure out how to fix this mess. “Yes.. Miss.. I hear”.
Even so, the fact that I still did not even know the name of the manageress worried me. She had not seen it necessary to even tell me that. She seemed to think she was above me to the extent that even basic pleasantries were not necessary. The brief flicker of anger I felt was soon extinguished by one look at her. The more I looked at her, the more I noticed just how well she was dressed. Her skirt, a knee-length pencil skirt, fitted her perfectly. Her silk blouse enhanced her feminine lines and curves perfectly. And the hair: long, luxurious and lightly toned. It was strikingly similar to the way my hair was styled. Indeed, I would have been happy to style myself this very way. My eyes were cast down towards her heels as we reached our final destination.
The maids’ room was a large windowless space where all the carts and various bits of equipment of my new trade were kept. The room was buzzing with activity, but as I stepped in with the manageress, everything fell silent and a sense of unease gripped the room. Another weakness of my plan was soon made abundantly clear to me: jealousy. It only struck me now. But the ‘privileged’ status I had given Marta and the requirements made for her – totally unfulfilled of course – had unwittingly placed her on a pinnacle. I was to discover that this was rather a lonely and difficult place.
“Okay ladies, this is Marta Fernandez…. The award-winning cleaner commended to us by head office.”
My senses immediately detected a note of sarcasm. What was she trying to do? There was a faint ripple of laughter. I felt so uneasy and all eyes were on me. I had never in my life been faced by such a situation. Usually I was secured behind the facade of respect my family’s status had given me. This was something wholly alien to me and I had no idea what to do. In response I simply smiled and blushed in front of the whole room. At that moment they all saw I was easy game. They all saw a shy, timid, immigrant, one they could pass on their dirtiest jobs onto. Someone to be teased and bullied, and certainly not a star employee to be looked up to.
Though later I would masturbate frequently to this memory, at the time I was frozen in terror as my plan seemed to be careering out of control. It was a make or break moment. I had to get a grip and somehow take control of events, but shorn of my privilege I had nothing to offer. My dreams of a quiet, sordid seclusion were dashed, instead it felt now like I would be lucky to get through this experience unscathed.
The silence continued a moment too long to be anything but uncomfortable. Fortunately, the manageress broke the tension and directed me to the head maid, a large woman, bordering on obese, with bleach blonde hair tied tightly in a bun atop her head. Her thick-rimmed glasses made her otherwise small, piggy eyes seem larger. Her round features, not ugly, but hidden under a layer of fat and some very slight facial hair. Without saying a word, she nodded sullenly at the manageress and led me from the room to my first job.