I suppose that quite a few of my recent posts, that recount how work went during the week now that I am living as my true, female self, come across as being a bit of a boring read – chatted to X, chatted to Y, and so on – BUT this is the thing, now I am able to live as a woman and not suppress my personality then this is what I find I just naturally do at work, not ALL of the time, but when I bump into someone I know and get on with then it just seems the right thing to do to have a chat. Some highlights – and low points – from this week:
- Monday 9th – when I got to work and took my coat off Fiona said “Wow, you look glamorous!” I’m not sure that was quite the right word, though I think I did look pretty smart – black satin work blouse, smart black trousers with a textured pattern in them, and a soft scarf that Fiona confirmed I had tied just right. Later in the morning I was in a meeting, I was the only girl there and a couple of times one of the guys referred to us all as ‘lads’ – for a short while I was bothered about this, but a quick chat with Fiona in a meeting break confirmed that she gets it too, it’s like an Irish version of the dreaded ‘guys’ address (thanks America!) which is bandied around so readily however many girls are present. Welcome to inequality Andrea, I thought. Later had a sympathetic chat with Natalie, who is very run down.
- Tuesday 10th – WHAT a load of girlie chat I had today!! (I DID do some work too!). Liesa was back from a long weekend and we had loads of chat about our weekend activities, wedding dresses, and so on; she is engaged and to be married next year, she showed me loads of wedding dress pictures she had put aside and then told me about a wedding dress fitting that she went to where the girl said congratulations on the forthcoming baby! Uh, what baby!! And Liesa could in no way be described as fat, poor lass! Had a chat with Fiona, and then one with Breda all about tights! Over at HQ for lunch I popped over to see Mary, the company’s fashionista… who said she liked my red coat, then said she saw me last week in a skirt and ballet pumps and said I have ‘beautiful legs and ankles’! 🙂 She said she hates her own legs which are like tree trunks… and I had never ever noticed it before, but compared to my own in tights I guess they do have a certain trunkiness about them if one specifically looks at them. Before leaving to return to my own building I had a catch-up with Audrey, with some advice about hair growth… and I sympathised with her about her own health issue. Before I left for the day my boss came over and talked about an email I had sent him about forthcoming medical appointments, and blundered on about referring it to HR… sigh; frankly, I found the whole discussion insensitive.
- Wednesday 11th – I had a very poor day at work, partly worried about the leave in relation to my appointments, and hardly helped by a 90 minute meeting arranged by my boss at the last minute so I didn’t get to have breakfast until midday. I popped over to HQ, not intending to have lunch straight away but to pack things up at my old desk; on the way I stopped and had a chat with the homeless girl I normally see who as always said I ‘looked well’, I gave her some tights that I knew she wanted some of… and when I stood up I think I had crouched too long, coz I felt dizzy and I had a twinge in my back. In the afternoon I met the HR lady about my time off for appointments, and she explained it a bit better than my boss, in that it isn’t really sick leave but annual leave is not really right either… especially when I told her some of these appointments would go on for three years, and that they are also in Belfast! On the way back I came across a curious exhibition of pig statues! Once off the train I went to Tesco and had quite an interesting chat with the checkout guy who had worked as an engineer submersed under the sea for months on end, then met Kirsty for coffee and a sympathetic ear.
- Thursday 12th – got into work and almost immediately had a shoe disaster, one of the buckles on a pair of shoes that I store under my desk broke! But, solid proof that it is essential for a girl to have a spare pair or two of shoes at work. I had fun chat with Natalie, including about drinks, cocktails which she loves (and has threatened to take me to drink some time)… and travel sickness. Then bumped into Carol and chatted all about food and restaurants. I initiated my team’s first meeting in some time, there are five of us… and I drove the meeting myself, my PM did not do it, which I was pleased with myself about. Later I had a good chat with Liesa about all kinds of things… and she showed her really cool fashion accessory, a kangaroo-type pouch inside her handbag that can simply be slipped out and plopped into another bag. Compared to the day that followed, this day had some good pronoun usage, quite a few ‘she’, ‘her’, etc, which I always love to hear.
- Friday 13th – unlucky for some… and it sure turned out to be a low-point of my week, a generally awful day. Got into work at 11.40 due to a train strike in Northern Ireland… and switched my screen on to an email from my ex- starting “I hope you are enjoying your new life, coz I’m not! “; then she went onto moan about having no break from my daughter, covering all the school holidays…. and finished up by saying daughter “…sees no point in seeing you”. Fiona said she liked my coat, which was a bit similar to hers, and later said she liked my tights (which she thought were those little sockie things). At about 1.55 my boss mis-gendered me to my new colleague who is working for me! I was totally mortified! He started calling me “mister”, then before my surname was out mumbled “Miss”, then just gave up and said “Andrea”. He apologised, but the damage is likely done, the point is that this new colleague is the ONE person I work with who did not know old-me and therefore potentially might not have known I am TS. Then had a 2.00pm meeting which was supposed to last 30 minutes… but my boss joined and so it ended at 4.00! Thus, no lunch. On the plus side I had enjoyable, as ever, chat with my new work-friend Liesa both before and after the boss incident, she said that his mistake was unacceptable and just not on…. and I ended up having a heart to heart with her about my daughter, and she said “Well I think you’re incredible”… and then I nearly cried. As we walked back to our desks I said to her that I am sure my boss gets annoyed with me chatting, and she said “Well, that’s tough”, and I suggested that chatting is actually moral-boosting and productive, as it breaks up the drudgery, boosts spirits, and is only the same as if people have smoking breaks… but much healthier. She said that she only recently commented to her fiancé that her office is fairly quiet, but I have come along and I am the chattiest person by far with her and she loves it!
There are a couple of things that happened in this somewhat-mixed week that have really buoyed me… and I haven’t written about them for reasons which will become apparent… because, for starters, that is not the end of Friday’s account!