Decisions Reaffirmed

Lately I have been freaking out about income. We are currently able to hold indefinitely on the husband’s wages, even with getting breast augmentation, and the orchiectomy (even a vaginoplasty if I go that direction). They are all covered by insurance and he is doing awesome supporting me.

So I am freaking out about the FFS. That has to come out of our pocket… except if I wanted a nose job or tracheal shave, those are covered, but those are the two things I don’t need right now. So I am looking at the countdown clock to accruing a debt I don’t have enough to do more than make base payments for a year and hope I get a job.

This has meant I was reconsidering going back to the DoD. Incredibly toxic environment, I would hate the job and myself, but if I could tolerate 18 months I would pay off the FFS entirely, my husband’s car and the car I would have to get to be able to commute to it.

It is also a 1-2 hour commute each way due to traffic, but I figured one year to 18 months might be ok.

So I reach out to my immediate supervisor. To my knowledge I left on good terms. I am completely eligible to force my way in with my tenure (there was no marks on my personnel record). She was excited and wanted me back ASAP. She recommended I talk to the Station Chief who is the overall manager. She even contacted him and he told her to have me call him.

In the past working under the station chief, he asked me to not take another job with the VA. He needed me as a highly qualified auditor and we made an arrangement and I did just that (this was a couple of years ago). I stayed at a job I hated because he asked, and also because the hubby was still there and in all honesty it was more for that reason.

My expectation was to dicker over scheduling and my time off for surgery… I was wrong.

I called him and his voice was weird. It had a tone I had never heard before and I was bit confused. He immediately asked if I was still changing my name from Lucky… I told him no, when I change my gender Lucky will actually be on my ID instead of a nickname (along with Lucia). He got really quiet.

I knew I was fucked at this moment. He got weird a bit about things when I confirmed I was going to have surgeries this year.

Then all of a second he thinks it might be a bad idea if I apply back. He said there were some “unofficial” performance issues and that the Regional Manager was lukewarm to the idea of me coming back.

I have never had a performance issue, in fact I was given an award 4 weeks after I left the agency in a paycheck for MY PERFORMANCE.

I confronted him about this. I asked if any of this was in my jacket since I HAD NEVER BEEN TALKED TO ABOUT MY PERFORMANCE. He backpedaled but kept saying maybe the other set of offices (the “not my backyard” excuse) would be better. If my performance was bad then it wouldn’t just disappear if I applied at a different office 7 miles away. Nope that wasn’t this at all, this was “we don’t want transgendered people here”.

I knew this was all bullshit, and I tried to retract myself explaining no worries, it isn’t a big deal to me anyways I wasn’t sure if this is what I wanted to do. He kept me on the phone for 20 minutes and it was awkward (ok, I could have left anytime but I have my own issues about being assertive).

So evidently now that I am having “surgeries” and transitioning, my performance was an issue at my last job. However these performance issues are “unofficial” and are not in my records at all.

It does absolutely reaffirm the husband and I’s decision to leave when I started my transition. It would have been hell there and I probably would come home crying every day, or in trouble for becoming too aggressive in return.

So now I am broke, worried about a fiscal cliff, but reassured we still made the right decision. So if nothing else this upsetting incident also just reassures me there are no regrets from quitting that piece of shit job.

 

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.

Centering Myself

I have been quiet because I needed to take some time away and center myself. I talked about being fired last week, and that it caught me completely off guard. I needed some quiet time to set up for the long wait of unemployment, and to see where the finances stood for the husband and I. Mostly I just needed to work through the feeling of being betrayed.

The finances are still ok. We got both our student loans deferred (I am unemployed and eligible, he still had optional deferment available) so we can make it on his income alone, even with our car payment. So financially we are doing ok without any income from me.

I have turned in all the required paperwork, I wasn’t let go for cause and there should be no issues on my work record. I should get unemployment. However, that can take some time, since the four quarters they count my income are when I worked for the feds. The feds don’t report wages to the state unless a person requests, so it could be weeks before I get any unemployment… We can get by, but it means I can’t put money aside for the FFS.

Of course this all happened the same week I flew down to Phoenix, got my FFS, and everything medically is going into fast gear. So a lot of anxiety has been occurring. That being said, a week later I find myself happier. I truly was despising that job. Mainly the way my management team I was on would target employees they didn’t like. That put me on the other side of my co-managing team several times when I couldn’t agree to punish my auditors for things that didn’t merit that level of punishment.

On top of all this there was a lot of disdain for my transition that had been building up. There were some people that were great, but several people I worked directly with would get that weird lip pull back when I talked about it, and obviously they were uncomfortable. Evidently uncomfortable enough that after I submitted an FMLA request for my FFS surgery I was walked out of the office 25 minutes later with no disciplinary actions, no warnings, it was just cashing in on the CBA and giving me “no cause” for my being released.

The frustrating part is the reason I came here was they are supposedly open to transgender employees, that wasn’t the case in the end. Even now I am really frustrated I took a 30k a year pay-cut, my commute when from 15-20 minutes to over an hour and all because a boss I used to work for and thought was a good person turned out to be a pretty shitty person. It all kind of hit me there and then. This job was taken purely because of my old boss, and it was nothing like I was told.

This means that I am now applying at jobs as much as possible. I would like to earn as much money as I can before surgery to help offset the cost, but the odds are that no one will pick me up before April. I don’t pass anymore, and I am ok with that. I suspect job interviews in the conservative business world will not go as planned. You never know though, maybe I will be surprised.

So this week I have been meditating a LOT. Trying to sleep enough and taking care of the husband since he has a stressful job and the money responsibility is on him. I think he is liking that I cook, clean, take care of him overall. I hope it is making it easier.

Now a week later there is a part of me to be fulfilling the traditional wife roles, I have always been motherly to people (it is joked about) but now it feels like I can be who I am. The meditation and supportive family I have chosen has made this experience so far better than I had hoped. Now that I am feeling centered, it is time to prepare for the surgeries (4 of them in 2019) and to get mentally in the groove.

So there I am, more centered now that I am not working for a shitty boss. Finances are tough, but aren’t they for almost everyone?

 

Fired!

I was going to write all about my consult itself, but it turns out something more exciting happened. I got fired after submitting my FMLA paperwork for my transition surgery.

To be honest, it is more of a laid off situation, I am currently in a probationary period and within the first six months they can let you go no matter the reason (and they never have to tell you why). I assume this means I will be able to collect unemployment, the problem being is my job during the “unemployment year” was with the department of defense and there is a slew of hoops I have to jump through.

I have never received any disciplinary comments, never had any issues that I know of. I even asked my boss last Thursday how things were and she was fine. She even talked to me on Tuesday, the day before I was “separated” and was all chatty with me on chat while I was in Phoenix.

I went into work yesterday morning, and while I dislike my job I was putting 100% into it. I sent an email in explaining I am going to need to file for FMLA, that I am getting the surgeries and will need LWOP. Within 25 minutes HR had called me in and issued me a letter saying I was being separated. 

All it quoted was the Union CBA that outlines the authority they have to release me, they don’t need cause and they don’t need to say why. The letter is dated the same day as my email too so that means they ran down to the director immediately and had her sign it.

Now, I am waiting on my unemployment decision (the hard part is I worked for the agency who handles unemployment, so this is awkward) before I make any final decisions on what to do. I may just walk away if I get my unemployment and look for a better job, or I may pursue this.

ok, there is something funny about this.

While the union agreement does cover their butts and allow them to do this, there is no way that my FMLA request for transgender services wasn’t involved since I have had no personnel issues. With that information it is actually against state law to lay out retribution for my FMLA request (and in WA state transgender care is covered under FMLA, or at least the state’s expansion of it).

That however will wait until I hear back. For now I will be anxious, begin my job searches and try and get unemployment. All the while arranging for my surgery in April. It just means more debt… However, the alternative is worse.

Rough Feeling

manager
So much truth right now

I have been kind of quiet lately. Work isn’t working out the way it was presented so now I am stuck in a job that seems about as intolerant as other jobs made me worry about. Plus now I commute 2+ hours a day, working a set shift and for $20k a year less.

It has been a disappointing experience, and I will also admit my emotions have been all over the place. I suspect it is the holidays, stress, and my damn testosterone levels keep fighting my estrogen levels leaving everything a battlefield.

That being said, I have a wonderful husband, and great family made up of people I choose. Everything is going well logically. Our finances are fine at the moment, I am going to a consult for FFS on Sunday (maybe that is also adding to my stress), we are out of debt other than car and student loans. Life is good, just my emotions are lying.

I decided I needed to kind of blog about my emotions too. I have talked about doing it privately, but I find the only time I am good about recording things is if its publicly. Maybe I am just an exhibitionist. 

So it has been a rough few weeks, I am tired and I think I am starting to feel depressed again. Although I broke that big depression and I can feel emotions and I think that is also contributing to it. So maybe it is a sign things are getting better. I had a great Thanksgiving and I will probably post about that. It is good to get positive things posted.

Things will go well (and other than the work front are going well). 

It looks good, but not wearable just yet

This morning I tried on a cute little black top and I was shocked that I thought it looked cute on me. It was close enough fitting that you could see clearly my new boobs, mostly hugged my abdomen and it accented a girly waist. I guess the left over fat and skin around my abdomen helps in some cases, it gives me a waist when I wear clothes like that!
I was surprised and happy to realize it is pretty clear when I am wearing that, that I have lost 90lbs. First time in decades I didn’t look at that tight a fitting shirt and think I was way too fat to wear it. I showed the hubby and we both agreed though that I was definitely “trans obvious” with my face at this stage of my transition. I think my body worked great in the shirt, but I don’t feel I have transitioned enough face wise to be comfortable wearing it to work. I might wear it to game if I feel good, but not work yet. It is the first time that something that feminine felt right when looking at the mirror. I am not very accepting of my body and that had changed for the first time there. I considered wearing it, but I don’t think it is quite time to be that obvious at work. They would accept it, but it just didn’t look right yet and I would end up being uncomfortable the whole day. So I chose (barely) to not wear it. I am excited for the hormones to keep doing their thing and eventually the FFS. I just thought I would share that it made my morning and gives me a little hope of what I might look ok on the other side.

My First Week

I have been very quiet for awhile now. Mostly because I started my new job, and with the much longer commute I have been tired and overly anxious. Well now I can give some feedback on it.

It’s Great!!!

The money thing hasn’t hit me yet (or reduction of), but my boss and coworkers have all been really cool. I am slowly presenting more feminine, and since my two supervisors I work with (as the third supervisor) they are incredibly kind about it. My boss is totally supportive and constantly tells me to wear what I want, and not care about anyone else.

I am still not ready to do that yet. I start up my laser hair removal again next Saturday, then some electrolysis for the hard to get rid of hairs after that. Once I don’t have to worry that within three hours of arriving having so much whisker that it would destroy any ability to not get dysphoric.

I have a ton of subjects to talk about, but once again I am fairly exhausted and even this was a lot of effort, so I will get back to you all as soon as I can. Thanks for everything.

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.