Cat Six

Cat Six –

Whistling ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas,’ Scott approached a very plain door in the medical complex. Nothing seemed unique about it. No doorknob that could turn into Marley’s ghost. No fearful wretched masses at the door begging for his scraps so they might live another day. It was a plain door. Like any other door he had ever entered through in his life. However, going through this door, he would help others in ways he never understood before. It was still a plain ordinary door. But, it was a door to people’s future that he would help by his commitment to work the way he had been taught, with integrity and selflessness. And that made it an advent door worth opening.

Scott knocked on the door to the doctor’s new office. It didn’t even have the name on it yet. A woman opened it cautiously and peered up at him. She had a frock on and had clearly been working on painting and other workman like tasks. “You are?”

“Scott O’Brian. And this is Jack Fulton. We are from Magnus Electrical Service to work on your office. Here is the work order, Ma’am.”

He handed the lady the work order and patiently waited until she had read it over. “Oh good. It says here that you will make sure that we meet code, do all electrical work required to our specifications, and will be setting up networks and computers as well. Not bad. We don’t have to shop around to different companies then? Please come in.”

“Thank you, Ma’am. We find it works better that way. Computer networks are affected by electrical noise from devices you commonly use. Especially Cat Six Ethernet cable. So, having an electrician and network installers working together hand in hand solves all sorts of problems with electrical interference.”

As they entered the foyer to the doctor’s office, he could smell the new carpet and paint on the walls. There were ladies working behind the counter shuffling through filing cabinets while others unpacked furniture cushions and took shrink wrap off of couches handing the shrink wrap to another lady who would stuff it into a hefty garbage bag. It was what his mother warned him about. This was an all woman office and not only was he to behave, but the crew was to be on their best behavior. Doing this job right would mean many referrals to come and they wanted a good word of mouth on the social networks.

Looking over her shoulder as she guided them in, she said with a giggle, “Cat six? Sounds like a command you give a pet if you ask me.”

Scott smiled at her little joke. He could tell by her bearing that she was a competent lady who commanded respect and had earned it. “Cat six is the latest and best network wiring for your office. Much better than Cat Five A.”

Her penchant for word play was nicely evident. “Well, Cat Five A can bring you an awesome original chicken sandwich, can’t it?” she giggled and he chuckled once again like the closet nerd he was. “Okay. Anyway, my name is Cindy Marcus. I am the office manager. I run a tight ship here.”

“When are you planning to open your doors, Ma’am?”

“Next Wednesday is an open door get to know us Christmas party to celebrate the new office. Then we take our Christmas break and return on the 27th. Do you think you can do it?”

“Yes Ms. Marcus. I think we will have you open in time to be open just before Christmas. We will do our best.”

“Now, this will be a ladies only facility when we are up and running, so just be aware that our crew here isn’t used to working around men. We will shut down our office in Glenn Heights to move to this one next week.”

Scott grimaced and rolled his eyes.. Then he smiled looking at her unchanging resolute expression and said, “So, what you are saying that we will only have a week to get it all done?”

“Do you think there will be a problem?” she asked in a stern tone he knew was really a command to be obeyed.

“I hope not.” He caught her evil stare. He relented. “Well, no, Ms. Marcus. We will bust our butts to get it done. As you wish.”

The two men went to work preparing a checklist of things to do until what, who, and when was set up for finishing the project on time.

Margaret came up to Cindy with a dusting clothe and remarked, “He seems a little young, doesn’t he Cindy? But, damn, he is cute.”

“Don’t get used to it. We are an all female crew. You know that.”

Margaret nudged her on the arm and said, “Can’t keep a girl from dreaming, can you?”

Sylvia lifted her head from putting together the couch, “Me too. He is a find.”

“I think he is gay.” sighed Nadine who was clearly smitten.

“Why? Is your gaydar going off?” queried Margaret.

Nadine shook her head no.“No, he just doesn’t look at me the way most guys do when I put myself out. Thanks to the doc, I have pretty good cleavage.” She pushed up her boobs. “He doesn’t even look at my precious girls. And I have leaned over a few times in front of him as he walked by so he would notice how perky they are.” She pouted and went back to work.

A member of the male crew walked in and approached the ladies before they could discuss it further. “Have you seen Mama Scott?”

“What? Mama Scott? Is that what he is called?” said a flabbergasted Cindy.

Almost as if to answer all their previous questions, the worker stated, “Yeah, well the dude worries about us too much and is always mothering us or telling us to be careful. He won’t let us do cat calls, which I know you ladies don’t like.” They nodded in agreement. “He insists we don’t ogle women which is why our crew was sent to your office. So, we call him Mama Scott or just Mama. It used to irk him, but I think he kind of enjoys it now. And, to be frank, he has the safest crew in the company. None of us has had an accident in over a year. And our wives appreciate that he keeps us honest. No lose talk, dirty jokes, cussing, or, you know.”

“What kind of accidents do you guys have other than getting electrocuted?” asked Cindy as she handed out to her crew some gloves for their next project.

“None, thanks to him. Other crews have guys falling through ceilings, cutting gashes into their legs from box cutters, and other stupid accidents.”

“Your Mama Scott sounds like a gem of a crew manager.” said Cindy.

“He is. Our wives love him. He sends out group texts letting them know where we are and when we get off so they can keep up with us. They text him before they text us because he makes us answer their texts. He reminds us of our anniversaries, birthdays, and other important dates so we don’t disappoint them either.”

“Well, he is in the office room down the hallway.” said Margaret. The worker headed down, knocked on the office door, and then disappeared into the room the crew was working in.

Nadine chuckled and said, “Sounds like you have competition for running a tight ship, Ms. Marcus.”

Cindy confided her worries and added, “I can live with that, but will he be on time for our opening, that is the key question?”

From behind them, came a voice. “Good question. Okay ladies, which shade of red do you want for the feature wall?” Dr. Branson came around the corner and set out a bunch of color swatches along the wall at two foot intervals. The ladies were looking it and asking each other which one they liked when Scott and Jason as came up to the front desk. Scott had overheard the question and they looked at him as if to ask what he thought too. He knew the door had been opened by the way they parted and pointed at the swatches.

“Of the seven, I like the one in the middle, if you ask me.” said Scott to them.

“So now you have an opinion?” Jason quipped in a teasing way as the ladies nodded.

Before the ladies could answer, Scott corrected Jason, “My mother taught me that ladies don’t mind hearing opinions about color when asked. Women value constructive input.”

“I agree. You have a really good eye for color. You must be Mama Scott?” said Dr. Branson.

“I see the crew has let the cat out of the bag about my name.” He cast a fierce gaze at his co-worker. “So, what do you ladies think of my selection? Do you agree?”

In unison, they said, “We like it too.”

“Then, it is agreed. Peach pink will be our feature wall color. Thanks Mama. You have made our day. Now we can get back to work.” cooed Dr. Branson. “By the way, I am Dr. Branson.”

“Nice to meet you, Ma’am. Glad I could be of help. By the way, do I recognize you Miss? I believe you shop in the same grocery store I do. The Kroger out by the Greenwich Mall.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Isn’t your name is Margaret? If I remember correctly. I heard it when you were checking out in front of me a few months back. How is your husband’s hand. I believe you were talking about it having been caught in a car door at one of your kid’s soccer games.”

“Oh, it is much better. Thank you asking.” she said.

“That is nice to hear.”

A second later, the main door of the office opened and one of Scott’s workers came in. He was holding a small artificial Christmas tree and handed it to Scott. “Dr. Branson, it is customary for a work crew on a new site to put up a Christmas tree until the project is done if it is Christmas season. May we give you this one for your front desk.”

Dr. Branson beamed. “Why, thank you! The new office did need a little Christmas cheer and we had been too busy to do something about that. It is very much appreciated. It will be front and center at our Open Door Christmas party.”

“I am happy that we brought you some Christmas cheer then. Dr. Branson, did I hear you want sound proofing in your office too?”

“Oh yes, if that isn’t too much trouble. I didn’t know if that was something you could do.”

“No problem. I think I know a way of doing it quickly. I will get right to it. Good day ladies. I think you have made an excellent choice in color, by the way.”

As the gentlemen walked off, Dr. Branson pulled aside her office manager. “Tell me, what do you make of our Mr. Scott?”

“Nice. Some of us though he wasn’t interested in woman and said he was gay. But, it turns out he is just very professional and has been taught by his mother to look after lady clients.”

Dr. Branson looked down the hallway at the men turning into her office. “Maybe he isn’t just well trained. When you see him again, ask him directions to the Greenwich Mall for me.”

“Okay. Why?”

“Just a hunch. I think he may just be the man we are looking for.”

In the office, the men surveyed what needed to be done next. “Jack, she wants the sound proofing in here too.”

“It will put us two days behind schedule. I would have to take the drywall down and put it back up.”

“The good doctor needs to have privacy to make her phone calls to patients. I think we can accommodate her time line if we use foam instead of batt.”

“It will mean only having to do wall patching and the temp will need to be perfect. But, yeah, that would work just as well. Good solution. What kind of doctor is she anyway?”

“I don’t know. I just know she handles women only which means that she probably wants to keep the gossip down. The important thing is that she is the boss and we need the business.”

“Okay, okay. Can you stay and help tonight? If you do, I can get it done one day sooner.”

“You got it. How about the cell phone repeater pods?”

“Talked to the building engineer. He has given me the recommend equipment list and placement. It shouldn’t be a problem as we have everything in stock. The only question that remains is do they want it for the whole area or just the front desk and her office.”

“I’ll go ask. You call and order the foam injectors from the main warehouse to be delivered post haste.” Scott headed out to the front desk.

Nadine replied, “Just the front desk, the waiting room, and the doctor’s office. Oh, Mama Scott, I was wondering if you could give me the directions to the Greenwich Mall via surface streets. I am new to this area and I want to avoid the freeways.”

“No problem. Here, let me draw you a map ...”

A little while later, Dr. Branson looked at his map. “So, this is the map. Interesting. He uses landmarks, not distances.”

“Does this answer your questions about him?”

“Well, yes and no. But, I am intrigued. No, wait. I am sure I can use him to help our special patients.”

About 7:00 that evening, Scott came out of her office and headed to the bathroom to clean up from sound proofing her office. As he was about to pack up and leave, Dr. Branson came over and asked if she could see her new office.

“Here is a hard hat. Can’t be too safe. Well, up in the open ceiling here, we are adding a repeater for your cell phone and internal wiring for your networks and WiFi.”

“How do you know what cell phone company I am with?”

“I don’t. According to the company who makes these repeater pods, they repeat both GSM and CDMA frequencies for your cell phone. It will pretty much handle any company. It is low power too, so you will only get four or five bars within your office or the designated areas.”

As she looked over the work being done in her office, she asked, “I am curious, tell me how do you like being called Mama by your crew.”

Scott shrugged his shoulders. “Well, it is somewhat funny and somewhat true. I continuously look out for them. And it is meant as a gesture of respect, and not meant as an insult. My mother did a considerable amount of flipping properties when I grew up. I learned from her how to manage clients and workers. Almost everything I do here is what I learned from her. Our crew is the safest crew and also the crew that is sent to most women run businesses for a reason. Of course, these days, it helps that she married the owner of Magnus, so my boss is also my step-dad.”

“I was very impressed that you remembered Margaret. She is a good employee. Bet you remember dates too? That is also your mother’s training?”

“Yes, my mother’s training. Actually, I do remember dates. She taught me that by knowing her workers most important dates, they would help her make her target dates. I can’t believe how many times I have to remind one of my guys of his kid’s birthday or his anniversary. But, now, because I look out for them, they can relax and focus on their jobs, and they work happy.”

“Well, phone apps help, don’t they?”

“I don’t use my phone app. I just remember them.”

“Good for you! Oh, by the way, do you know what kind of doctor I am?”

“Not really, Ma’am. I figured you were a gynecologist.”

“Well, that is one of my specialties. I am also a reconstructive surgeon. I fix lady parts too or rebuild them.”

“I wouldn’t think there would be a huge call for that?”

“Enough of one. I am also very popular in a certain community. That is why I demand privacy for some of my patients. I have patients who come in with special problems and, sadly, people can gossip. So, to meet their extra special needs, this office is designed with a special waiting room as you have seen. It is for a unique client who needs to come in and doesn’t want to be seen.”

“Ah, so that is why there is a door from your office to a small room with a door to the main hallway. That is very thoughtful of you.”

“Aren’t you curious about what kind of client would ask for that kind of privacy?”

Scott grew uneasy. What was she up to, he wondered. “Maybe? I was wondering.” He cautiously asked, “I hope you are just telling me this so I can help you design something for these special patients.”

“In a manner of speaking, yes. But first, let me ask you a question. Do you know about boys wanting to be girls?”

Scott relaxed. His wild over the top suspicions seemed to be way off the mark. “Oh, yes. I have heard of it. There is a lot of talk about it in the news. How could one not hear about it.”

“How do you feel about it?”

“Well, in the context of the moment, I can sense that it would be very embarrassing to bring it up and come out to discuss it with someone. Someone might be inclined to hide it from others simply because they might feel attacked or be mocked or worse, lose their job. So, is that why you asked me about my being called Mama Scott? To see if I would understand that you service transgendered patients?”

“Well, that really is the main reason for this special waiting room. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I have had a this dream for a long time of a special waiting room for a transgender patient to come in and talk with me. Often times, my patients are working and are in their male mode when they come in for a consultation. My usual patients don’t know why they are there. Women can get nervous when men are ushered into the exam area. So, I have dreamed of a special waiting room that would take the pressure off of them.”

“I see. How are they supposed to be let in.”

“That is what I want to talk to you about. I would like someway to let them in without having to alert the standard patients in my waiting room. And, it is just too costly to have someone stationed there too. I need your help. I want you to treat this room like you had to use it at any stage in life and figure out how to make it work so you would be happy.”

Scott opened the door to the empty waiting room and began to ponder her request. “Well, a special door latch can be installed that could be opened by your staff at the front desk. I could install a camera so you could see the individual and an intercom button.”

“That could work, but remember, the people in the hallway can hear us then. Could you install a keypad too? That way, we could let a patient control the moment they go in. Then another intercom in the waiting room. Many of them will wait until the coast is clear before wanting to come in. Then, an intercom button in the small waiting room to contact the front desk.”

“I could do both for you. That way you have options. I will work on it and do my best.”

“Thanks. I had a feeling you would be very accommodating and helpful to my special patients. You go out of your way to accommodate your fellow workers and your clients. Originally, I was worried about asking your company to install this because if it gets out, someone could compromise the privacy of one of my special clients. But, I got the feeling from watching you and working with you today that I can really trust you. I need you to do this personally as though you were the patient. I don’t care if it takes longer for this one room. I trust your men, but not with something as important as this.”

“Thank you for your confidence in me. I work hard to earn that trust of my clients. My mom says it doesn’t naturally for men. But, my mother instilled in me a respect for women and their needs. Over time, I have come to understand how really important it is to listen to what she taught me and adapt to our lady customers. I will do everything in my power to accommodate you and will work personally on this project for you.”

“I am so relieved to hear you say that. I didn’t want to argue about it with some hormone driven know it all. And you are just the man to help me achieve my dream. Normally, I don’t do this, but I feel it is important for you to know my personal reasons as to why I am doing this too. I think it will help augment what your mother has done so well.”

“You don’t have to, Dr. Branson, I don’t need to be convinced that what you are doing isn’t right.”

“No, you need to know. The odds of you meeting someone like myself is about one in one hundred thousand people. I want to tell you my story and ask questions so when you go into building that room for me you can understand how critical your job is. You are one of the few men I have ever met that can understand it.”

“Okay, I am flattered, but more importantly, I am listening.”

“Not now. After you clean up. Do you mind if I buy you dinner at the next door steak and ale house to tell you my tale?”

“No, not at all.”

“Say, about in about thirty minutes? I will invite my colleague Dr. Nadol. She is joining me too and will be seeing some of the patients I see too.”

“Sure. I am looking forward to it.”

As she left him to do his clean up, she thought, boy is he hot. And well trained too. She considered for a moment sending a thank you note to his mother and a dozen roses.

Mama Scott waited patiently for the two ladies to receive their orders and begin to eat before he started on the rare steak that called his name. He carefully cut it into small bites first and once he was done, took small bites as Dr. Branson began to unfold her story.

“You know I was born a boy, right?”

“I do now for sure, Ma’am. I sorta figured that out from what you were saying earlier.”

“Well, I was born in Glendale, Arizona, in the 80s. Not saying when.” She giggled. “My father was stationed at Luke Air Force Base. I was five pounds 13 ounces, 19 ½ inches long. Small for a boy. But, then, so were my parents. My dad worked on the runway refueling planes and other tasks. For the most part, we had a good home life. My mom was younger than my dad by about ten years. It meant that my dad would retire while I was just about to graduate from Elementary school. He then went to work at Houston Hobby airport in Texas. So, for my upbringing, I had very engaged parents who made sure I excelled in my academic career. I went on and graduated from medical school at Tulane.”

“How did you figure out you were transgender?”

“I didn’t really think about it until I was about seven. We were on the move for many of those years. I would find myself playing with whatever children were available on base. Most of the time, it was little girls. My mother thought it was cute that I played well with girls and was fine with my playing their games. It never occurred to her that I might be a girl too. By the time I was seven, I remember waking up one day being very unhappy that I had to play with the boys and wanted to play with the girls. I went in and asked my mother why couldn’t I just be a girl. She was very emphatic that I be a boy.”

“I gather your parents insisted you do only boy things from that time on.”

“You got that one right. I was put into baseball, football, or any other activity that said boy.”

“Sell a lot of popcorn?”

“Yes, I was even put into cub scouts. I learned that they didn’t approve of my wanting to be a girl. But, as many don’t understand, some parents have to go through a time of denial before they can see the truth. My mother, when I was almost nine could see how desperately unhappy I was. She began to ask why. It took some real counseling and an understanding counselor to help her learn about what my real problem was. I was transgender.”

“Did you start dressing like a girl in secret before then?”

“Some do and some don’t. It largely depends on ones access to clothes. In my case, I didn’t have access since I was in a family of boys. The only real clothes I could find would have been my mother’s clothes, and they really didn’t fit. But, there are creative ways. And I found them when we settled down into a neighborhood after my Dad was about to retire from the Air Force. We were at our last duty station in Ohio, Wright-Paterson. There were woods near our house. I used to hide clothes I found either being donated by neighbors or just being thrown away. I made a secret cache and I could go into the woods and try them on. Of course, there was always the danger of being discovered by the neighborhood kids.”

“Did they?”

“No. I was too careful and scared. What I did was to find subtle ways of daydreaming I was a girl. It could be, surprisingly, playing with a truck. Did you know that Transformers were once babies.” Dr. Branson winked at him. “Anyway, my play often times was more imagination than what people were seeing. And then I made my big discovery.”

“What was that?”

“I could take care of little kids and they parents would think I was just being a good ‘older brother’ type. I loved taking care of my little brothers. Now, they weren’t girls, but they were babies and toddlers and little boys. At each stage, I could mother them.”

“So, that is why you like me being called Mama Scott?”

“Yes, it reminds me of my youth. Taking care of Harry and Drake was a chore. They were twins and too much for my mother. She really liked that I would help her with them. What is more, she noticed that I was happiest when I was mothering them. Changing them or giving them a bath or even reading them bedtime stories. Of course, after I started counseling, she allowed me some girl outfits so I could experiment. Mostly when dad wasn’t home in the beginning.”

“So, how did you get into medicine?”

“I knew from an early age I needed to know why I was the way I was. I gravitated to the sciences. Math was a struggle, but biology and knowing how the body worked was a dream. I studied constantly about the body, because, in truth, I wanted to know how to change mine. Because my parent’s son wanted to be a doctor, well, they easily accepted the fact that I was also studying about my condition. I would read about the latest research or find stories.”

“Did anyone’s story in particular influence you?”

“Yes, the story of Canary Conn that someone gave me. She was a Texas boy who won a music contest. She went through a horrific time getting her change. She, I mean as a he, fathered a son before her transition. But, she turned into a beautiful woman. Sadly, I don’t know what has happened to her. I think the last time anyone heard from her was in the late nineties. But, her book inspired me. She has inspired countless others.”

“When did you come out to the world?”

“After residency. I had bills to pay, for sure, but, I also knew that as a gynecologist, transitioning wouldn’t hurt my career. So, I came out after I had established my credentials. My family helped during that time, but they understood why I was waiting. I got facial surgery done first so I would pass more easily. Then, after a year of hormones, I had the surgery.”

“Any regrets?”

“Yes. Not having my dream office where I can have clients come in privately to consult with me right off the bat.”

Scott was thinking to himself for a moment about all she talked about when he said, “Well, I am about to change that. I can see and understand why this is so important to you.”

The following week, the office was done and they had an egg nog party. Mama Scott, the crew, and his mom all enjoyed a festive time.

After Christmas, Margaret lifted the phone at the front desk and called her boss in one of the exam rooms. “Dr. Branson, your three o’clock appointment is in Cat Six.” In honor of the hard work Mama Scott did, they named the special waiting room Cat Six which made him have a good belly laugh.

“Thank you, Margaret. You are a doll.”

Dr. Branson exited the exam room after a few minutes, went to her office, and then walked to her special door. It had been a good investment and Scott had done a terrific job. She had seen five special clients already all of whom raved about the special way they had been handled. Each one was very impressed with the level of privacy that was given to them from a young pre-teen to a forty year old bank executive.

Dr. Branson opened the door and smiled at her new client. “It is so good to see you again. I hoped you would avail yourself of my special services after talking to you.” Her patient responded with a broad and relaxed smile.

“Please, come on in. Merry Christmas! And, here is to a Happy New You.”

The man blushed and gracefully moved into her office and sat down in the chair she pointed to in front of her desk totally relaxed knowing that it was just them and no one would ruin this special time together. Dr. Branson walked around to take her seat and the two exchanged knowing smiles.

“Oh my, this is my Christmas dream come true! This is why my special waiting room means so much to me. I am truly honored that you have decided that you would like to use my services to help you in your transition. It is a wonderful Christmas present to me to have earned your trust these last few weeks. Am I correct about your intentions?”

Mama Scott nodded yes enthusiastically.

Copyright © 2017 by AuP reviner

[Author's Note: This is my first attempt at entering a contest here. I hope I followed the rules. But, if I haven't, then I broke my Cat Six and won't be able to sit for a couple of weeks. ;-) -- AuP ]

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