First Day

I finished my first day of work as 100% out and to be honest things went far better than expected. Of course I am not holding my breath and expecting it all to be good, but it was a lot more pleasant experience then I had anticipated.

It started at orientation when I talked with two HR reps. They were incredibly supportive when I asked them details on how changing the name, getting a new badge photo, etc when I got back from FFS surgery. In fact they immediately had me change my birth name to the name I use on our little signs we each had at our desk so people knew our names.

Not all was perfect though. I sat at a table with two people and neither woman looked at me for the entire 4.5 hours of orientation. One was younger (on my left) one was older (on my right) and while the other tables were chatting away with each other, our table was silent. Now, it is true that could just be they aren’t talkative, but my mind always goes for the worst option.

Overall though, that part didn’t matter. These people I would probably never see before and so they had zero effect on my future life, just a small day annoyance.

I got to my action department, met with my boss and our department HR rep. Both went out of their way to be nice, asked how I was doing, what could they do for me. That was a bonus. It would be nice if both my HR rep and my boss could maintain this. I will watch out over it.

My office mate (two of us share an office instead of living in cube land) Tom was an incredibly nice guy when I worked with him before, and he was just as nice now. He didn’t even hesitate, give me weird looks now that I was dressing feminine, nothing. He did apologize once. In mid sentence he had once said “him” towards me, but immediately changed it. That never bothered me at all, obviously he didn’t mean anything, and the last time we worked together six months ago I was a him to him.

I should clarify for people, intent matters to me. If I get misgendered but it was obviously by accident, and not intentional, I am ok with that. The fact that people try is what is important. Don’t get me wrong, doing it steadily for a year I wouldn’t accept either, but in normal conversation it happens, especially if you are talking history (I still every once in awhile ever several months might say ‘her’ to my husband when referring to a story when he presented as female, it happens to all of us).

A few other coworkers came over and said hi. They seemed happy to see me, and these were the nice people from the first time. There were several people of course that were talkative to me when I worked here last that didn’t come near me. We will have to see how that pans out. Maybe they don’t know what to say, maybe they just had a busy day, or maybe they are transphobic, it’s like a mystery novel.

So overall my first day went fairly well. I am not going to hold my breath it will stay like this, but also I am going to work on not judging this a bad situation before I have reason to think that way.

Starting new job tomorrow, so much stress

I start my new old job tomorrow and I have been on high alert all weekend.

I have an advantage that I know what the job does (I even wrote the policies/procedures before I left last time), I know the goals and I know the people for both good and ill. So I am not expecting a surprise from my duties. I am worried about the surprise from my coworkers.

This time is different then when I worked here before. With a last minute decision by me, my supervisor is reintroducing me to everyone with my real pronouns (she/her) and so I am fully out. While that is first time at a job for me for 100% out, it isn’t the most stressful thing though, this is the first time I will be dressing 100% feminine at a job. That is stressing me out for an unknown reason.

I do dress in feminine clothings and I go out in public with the hubby and friends, I also went out partially dressed femininely at my old job but this is the first time 100% from my underclothes to my jacket that work will get to see me in my feminine form.

It is a little sooner than planned. I originally was going to wait until after my surgery in April, but I decided I didn’t want to start as male at this new job and then have to come out again and try and correct people after being there only two months, so I am pushing it early. So here I am, full time woman.

I don’t have any super super feminine clothes such as dresses that are ready to be worn, that will wait until after surgery, but the tops, pants and shoes (and two pretty cool blazers) will fit for now. Let’s not even count first time makeup at work (just foundation and mascara but still something).

So here I am nervous as hell, rambling as I go and wondering how my day will go tomorrow.

I went back.

It is official, I start back at the job I left in September for concerns about transphobia next Monday (March 4, 2019) . The straight up reason is I need to make as good a money as I can, I can’t put my husband through this debt if I don’t have to.

Don’t get me wrong, he is completely supportive of my transition and of us taking on the debt. He makes enough to support us without that debt, with the debt is enough to drain our resources that we have stashed away. Within 10 months to a year we wouldn’t be able to make all the payments for 120k in student loans, plus the car, plus the 40k for my face.

We are starting to barrel down at the magic age of 50 in a couple years and I need to get him a place of his own to buy and it won’t happen if I am unemployed.

So I got the offer to go back and I will. They know fully about the transition now, so maybe that will change things for the better. They know I have four surgeries between now and probably October and they said they would work my schedule around that. I can’t say no at this point. I have to give it a try.

It is very possible that I am freaking out about something that may never happen. They may turn out to be decent employers, and at the very least they won’t be able to stab me in the back like the last place I was at. I am expecting problems, so at least I will see it coming.

I have had a whole ton of stuff to write about, but this event has been nagging and stressing me so much that I have shut down. I figure I need to fix that. I have a few days before I start. I will get my shit in order, focus on my husband and enjoy this damn it!!! If its the last thing I do HAHAHAHA!

Besides I get half an office to myself, no one really knows what I do (or at least how I do it) and I am mostly in charge of my own life as long as I meet the needed audits. So maybe this is a good thing and I am freaking out about nothing.

Crossing my fingers.

Job Interviews

I should be more than happy about this situation. I had a job interview with the old job I had that I left in September earlier this week. Yes, the one that I left in September.

It pays $20,000 more a year than what I was making at the state. I share an office instead of a desk in a pod, and it is mostly self directed. Then why do I absolutely hate the idea of going back you might ask? Because I left originally because of the anti-trans issues that popped up from some employees and from the County Council.

I have the second interview there today and there is a huge part of me that is praying they pass me over. I suspect they won’t, they are using the desk guide I wrote and the guidelines I developed for whoever gets hired back. However, there is evidently three of us getting the second interview and one of the people had worked closely with the boss of this department. The voice inside my head is hoping that they give it to them. I hate nepotism but the dark side of me is hoping it gets used today. There is a part of me that just twists at the idea of having to deal with those looks daily at me for being trans. To be honest though, that would probably only only last for a few months.

No matter how I feel though, I know I can’t reasonably tank the interview on purpose. I watch the husband struggle with pressure that our finances rest on him. My face is going to cost the same OR MORE than getting a master’s degree (above $36,000) and it is going to be all credit. I do have unemployment and we do make enough to squeak by making that extra payment so we won’t crash financially (even with the payments on my face I can scavenge enough to keep us going at least 12-18 months). Even so, while I do have the ability to keep going financially,  I can’t say no if I get offered it.

I am already expecting though, if I get hired and find they are still the douchebag coworkers that I left because of, that I probably won’t return after my actual facial surgery. I am even looking at returning to the DoD as I felt there was more support there. Some of the management already said they would pick me up without a hesitation and since we won’t have to rely on the DoD for my medical that is an option. This is because the hubby is still working state and my insurance will still be through the state.

So I feel horrible that I even think I would like to not get the job. Like I am failing the hubby. I have no doubt this is all nudged by my transition specific stresses as well. It becomes this large ball of stress and I don’t know what to do.

That isn’t true, I know what to do and I will do it. I will go to the interview and give my best performance and take the job if it is offered, work my ass off on it no matter what others say and determine in May when I come back from my facial surgery whether I want to jump to the feds or not (right now higher probability then staying).

If I don’t get the job, I will keep applying at places and most likely go back to the DoD as well. Either way its going to suck mentally, but I need to do it. I can’t leave the hubby hanging.

The only thing about all of this is I have never been able to take time to just relax, or focus on my transition. It has been about work and money the whole time. It would be nice to focus on me at some point, but maybe once this is over I can work it out.

Anxiety, Unemployment and Job Interviews

I have been quiet the last couple of weeks due to an overabundance of anxiety, projects and money stress. Overall it has been going ok, and only some of my stuff is transition related so I will cover that in a future post.

As we all know, I was laid off 25 minutes after I put in my request for time off for FFS related to my transitioning. It was unexpected although not necessarily unwelcomed. I hated that job anyways, the management I worked with (as part of management) had favorites, targeted specific employees they didn’t like and overall, I disapproved of how they did it. So, my being cut out was fine, especially if it made me eligible for unemployment. Sort of a win-win.

Five weeks later they still were not approving my unemployment (sadly I worked for the people that handle unemployment, so it was a bit awkward signing up for it) and that has caused a massive amount of stress financially.

We can totally get by on what my hubby makes, even if it is super tight budget wise. He is working his ass off, but it crushes me every time I see him having to do what he does, and he does it willingly to help support me and my transition. That is why it was so important I get unemployment so I can take that burden off and smooth our wait for my surgery in April.

Last week I got asked to come in for an interview at the job I had before last. I left that job because of some pretty transphobic coworkers (they didn’t know I was transgender) and so I made a soft exit and went on to what was a cursed job. Now they wanted to interview me again so while I dislike the idea of working there again, I know the job and it pays fairly good, better than my hell job.

I went in to the first interview, part of me really hoping they wouldn’t want me back just so I could actually have some time to be a stress ball about transitioning and surgery. I was clear on the massive amount of time I was going to be requesting off this year due to four surgeries (at least, not counting any revisions or fixes needed). They seemed mildly ok with it.

I got home and the next day I find I am approved for unemployment. Massive amount of pressure taken off both the hubby and I for at least six months. It isn’t a lot of money and it means we will not be paying any of the large debt we are incurring for my face, but it would keep us going.

Not more than three hours later I get an invite to the second interview for that job, a job I don’t want but pays too much for me to justify not taking it. So now there is a little frustration that I got the unemployment but that will probably be going away by the beginning of February IF they hire me (that is still not even close to a definite yet).

So now I have this cognitive dissonance. I am getting unemployment and am happy, but stressed it isn’t more money. I may get a job that pays about double my unemployment but will hate and here I sit spinning my wheels stressed about all of it.

Stress like a rat on a wheel, circling round and round.

I find if I express this it sometimes helps, which is why you get to all read about it. There are some transition things happening that add greatly to this, but like I said those will be their own post.

So here I am stressing out that I might have a better paying job, or that I am not making enough on unemployment. You would think between the two choices I would find myself happy, but I am not. Such is the life of a girl.

Bad bosses dream

Dreams Road SignI am starting a new job today (one that knows I am trans and seems to accept it) so last night was filled with hard dreams.

I woke up from a dream this morning, around 2am. It involved me starting a brand new job in an office. It was incredibly regimented, and people were always freaking out. A coworker who sat next to me at another desk was a large black man who reminded me of my previous boss I just left (except she was a she).

He looked over at me and told me that I would have to take breaks at 1130am every day, no exceptions and it is required. I laughed my ass off at him at first and told him that isn’t true. He continued to demand it and I told him I am not “working at fucking mcdonalds” and you aren’t going to regiment me on every little thing I do.

At some point I stood up, told him to fuck himself he wasn’t my boss and we would be stepping up to the next person line of authority. That is where I woke up.

manager

I can tell that relates back to two different people. The first was my previous boss. She wasn’t flexible on my start/end times. It was a silly rule because I couldn’t cover anyone else’s position (I am the only auditor in a group of accountants) and they couldn’t cover mine.

It was the ONLY white collar job I have had since graduating going on 11 years ago that isn’t flexible on start/stop times. The advantage of auditing is there is no customer service, and as long as you are in at a core set of hours (many times 9-2, or 9-3) they don’t care if you come in earlier or stay later then that to make your full day.

She also wouldn’t let me work extra hours on some days to make up for medical appointments on the other. There was a whole ton of other small things, but those are the big one (and I agree not the worst in the world), but my Oppositional Defiance personality has a hard time.

The other boss is from the DoD. He told me to do things that were not what I considered ethical in testing on a DoD Contractor. He didn’t want to deal with the problems I was finding. I told him no, I am pursuing it and he really didn’t have the authority to stop me since that was my actual job.

He kept pushing and pushing and griping. Eventually I told him we could go talk to the station chief to clarify it if he wants. He talked big about we don’t need to bother him, I just needed to listen to the doofus supervisor (himself). I stood up, told him to fuck himself eventually, said we are going into the manager’s office and he could decide.

fuck you

The shocked look on that person’s face was priceless. We eventually went in (stormed is probably a pretty good word) and I laid out what I had found. The supervisor all of a sudden started backing down in front of our big boss. Big boss agreed with me and that was that.

Now I realize it seems weird I can tell my supervisor no, but that is because I am an auditor. As an auditor I am responsible as a professional to not veer my audit on outside pressure, that includes my supervisor if I feel we are not following “due diligence”. That was what was happening, he didn’t want to find more problems and I told him you can’t just stop looking when you find problems.

There are a lot of other small things like this, but that is why I like auditing. I can pursue problems I see and have upper management usually back me (now, whether they support it because the contractor has lobbyists is a different story, but above my paygrade and not something that was my issue).

There you have it, an anxiety dream taking two different incidents from my last two jobs to make me anxious for my new one.

Almost there, a good choice to leave

Today is my last full day at my job followed by a half day tomorrow (for a total of two having to drive into days), and while I am nervous that I haven’t gotten my offer letter yet, I am also really excited and relieved knowing this was a good choice to leave. There are two reasons for this.

The first is when I told my boss a couple weeks ago I was leaving. She was incredibly supportive, asking how could they change around my schedule for my medical stuff. Then I told her what my medical stuff was for (upcoming orchiectomy, feminizing facial surgery, breast implants) and that didn’t seem to do much to change her, but you could tell.

Well fast forward to yesterday, the HR person comes up to me and double checks that I want to leave. She makes it incredibly clear that HR would give me the necessary time off and I could ask Yolanda to hire a temp up to 6 months, which is renewable for 2 more times. Technically I could be gone 18 months and still have a job. I could actually keep it open while working at my other job to see if that new job works out (ok she doesn’t know that part).

She explained I just need to ask my boss and she has the authority. Our department has a budget for a full time temp worker. Of course it is up to my boss and she has to be willing to do it, but its an option. The problem is my boss never offered that at all. That just shows me she didn’t want me to stay. So that made my decision easier. There was something about her reaction to me that bothered me, she is just pretty good at covering it up.

The stink eye wasn’t quite this bad.

The second thing, and actually more impactful is how people have changed. When I gave notice I told my boss and asked her to not tell the people about my status. Later that day she sent out an email on my leaving (but not why). I had a couple ladies come over to me and chat for an hour. They evidently like me a lot, and I had a small wavering if I was doing the right thing.

I come in the next workday and about half the office wouldn’t even look at me. I am not joking, I even was kind of a dick about things and would step directly in front of them and they would turn their head away. No chatter about personal things, not even more than monosyllables if they could get away with it. I saw this with Wolsey and I assumed I was prepared for it myself. At the time it annoyed me, and amused me to make them uncomfortable. Now however it does bother me.

looking away from me.

The reason I know this is about my transition is because there are still a couple of people who chatter with me. It didn’t seem to phase them. They wished me luck on my future surgeries. They knew what they were for, so I know my boss evidently talks to everyone else (no I am not surprised of that). At that point no one else at the county knew my status, let alone my future plans.

So today is my final long day. I have decided I will be an adult, give them the work they are paying me for and be happy when I leave at 1130am tomorrow morning.