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?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
I have never been this anxious about looking for work, and while I did just get a very good paying job I have found a lot of issues dealing with my transition and the job in general.
The new employer had HR present a new Employee Policy Handbook last year. This included recognizing Gender Identity as a protected status. This is expected as it is state law. However, the council voted to NOT adopt it, because “It would send the wrong message”. They didn’t want to bow to pressure to let “men use the women’s bathroom”. I talked about this here in my “Settling In” post so I won’t go further about that specifically.
There is absolutely no flexibility in my position. I am going to have to have a lot of doctors appointments and surgeries coming up. My boss was quite clear that she only wants us working 8-430 in a solid set schedule. This might seem normal to some, but in the last 10 years and 5+ employers I have never seen this. Normally you are given core hours you need to be there (say 9-3) but you could adjust it to come in late or early (6-3, 9-6, etc). This flexibility does not exist here.
The strange part about the flexibility is that my job isn’t done by anyone else and I can’t do any job others do. I am the only auditor/monitor in my area for my group and no one knows the job so they can offer me no coverage, but even more so I can’t cover them, they are accountants and its a totally different job. This means it’s useless to have me there to “cover for others” when I don’t do their job at all.
This follows up to another point about my coworkers. There has been a lot of jokes about “men in skirts”. They don’t address transgender men but I assume that is because those men often can disappear into society easier after transition so people don’t realize they are there. They even joke around this to me when I am married to someone they know is transgender (but a man… right?).
That combined with the fact they want me to fix things, but not really means this job isn’t a fit. It especially isn’t a fit when I get full FFS surgery, breast implants and an orchiectomy and will need to miss a lot of time. I don’t feel safe there, so it isn’t a permanent spot for me.
Fast forward to Tuesday’s appointment. My old boss at a state audit job asked if I would be interested in a supervisor job. I said yes and applied last month. I got called last week and asked to come in for an interview which I did, and I think it did well.
The job has incredibly flexible hours. After my training as supervisor (this is my first fully titled “supervisor” job, but I have ran audits with up to 8 auditors under me so it actually isn’t new) it sounds like I can telework 3 days a week (60%) and more if needed. The hours are what I want them to be daily (of course this has to be reasonable), and I can take off whatever time I need for medical.
It was a very friendly interview with her and two others. So much so that I was upfront about my status. I explained that I now present as male, but that is changing and I am transitioning. There wasn’t even a hesitation, they said they want me and they would protect me. The state is incredibly protective over LGBTQIA so I don’t doubt it.
They said they have to talk about it, and talk with HR to see if they can get close to my salary I had before (they won’t be able to come close at all, probably 65% of it). I reassured them I know the state pays a lot less, but I want to work at a place I feel does a good job for the citizens, for its employees and that will protect me.
I am hopefully going to hear an offer today, but I am quite aware that bringing up my transition status may torpedo the job offer in the end. I figure I would rather not get the job then work for people who have a problem with it. I am already at a job I can hover at for a long time that pays better but treats people like they work at McDonald’s. I can make that work until I start getting surgery if I need to.
It has been a month since the mic-drop and things have been great.
It is true, the move, the new job and settling in is always stressful, but I didn’t realize how stressed out and depressed being at the DoD was. I had already gotten better by stepping out of my egg, but moving down here has been a blessing.
The new city is pretty accepting. We see rainbow flags everywhere. They had an LGBTQIA pride festival (sadly I couldn’t go) and there seems to be a lot of tolerance so far. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of #MAGA stuff here, but I do believe it is a minority.
What I was surprised to find out at my new job is things aren’t as friendly in the LGBTQIA sphere as I had hoped. It isn’t as bad as the DoD but the government I work for had its board shoot down making Gender Identity a protected thing (like sexual orientation). What is weird is that it is a state law for it, so you think they would just take it in stride. However, enough of the council didn’t like it that they torpedoed the entire HR update just so the wording for gender identity didn’t make it.
The other aspect is the people. They are really nice, and nothing bad has occurred. However there are a lot of jokes about men wearing dresses and playing make believe. My supervisor is fairly conservative Christian. She has been nice to me, but she always has this look of confusion and standoffishness when she sees pictures of my husband (I have pre-transition and post-transition pictures). Oh and she is very very confused that in one of the pictures I had coke can red hair. That was also hard for her to understand. She kept asking if it is real.
I am pretty sure I wouldn’t dare come out here. Not that I would be fired or anything, but I am suspecting with the amount of petty things I see with others that I will be the subject of many. Doesn’t mean I am quitting now, and it is still FAR FAR better then the DoD. It does mean I will keep an eye out for other options.
I am hoping at the very least to work enough to pay off the hubby’s new Kia. I think that is a reasonable goal.
I do have a list of things I want to talk about, my goal is to not let a month go by again without chatting at you a lot more.
It is over, my last day at work was last Friday and while part of me is freaking out about possible financial crises that may arise in the future, I have not felt this good since before I worked at the Department of Defense. I was worried I would feel bad as I was escorted off the secure facility, but not at all, I was extremely excited and happy.
I didn’t realize how much stomach acid burning feelings of dislike I had. I don’t have to worry if someone notices my hair growing out (it is much longer now then it was normally), or when I wear nail polish, bracelets, etc.
I am now adopting most of all that as my daily style. This means whatever job picks me up this will be my “normal” look. Until I am officially out (when my hormones and external work get to a point that I appear at least moderately feminine) I will be that “fabulous” gay guy. That is ok too for now.
I didn’t realize how much driving onto a secure facility with checkpoints bothered me, even if the outsourced security (btw the same security company I believe that provides security guards for the mall and my understanding is they rotate) was the biggest joke you would ever see. Seriously, my site ID badge has me 60 pounds heavier with short short hair, I am now way lighter, wearing a lot more casual clothing and my hair is down to my shoulder blades and I look different enough that people that knew me for years don’t recognize me right off the bad. These are new guard so they don’t even know me. That my friends is an example of our security at our “secure” facilities working on classified projects.
Or having defense contract workers glare at us for being auditors, to be fair we glared back because they were privileged asses, so I guess that is a wash. However I won’t miss having to deal with a group of people so out of touch with the rest of the workforce that they assume they are somehow more special. Hmm… I guess I really didn’t like the site did I.
Overall, while my gerbils freak out about illusionary money issues, I haven’t felt this good about my soul in years. I think only part of that is transitioning, the other is not working for the war machine.