Saturday, 25 January 2014

Is it happening to me?

   I've not been around here much these last couple of weeks. Sorry friends, I've not been around your blogs either. I've not had the best of times, I'm suffering from acid reflux and my insomnia has returned with a vengeance. Crossed fingers that my atypical facial pain doesn't get triggered, that's nasty.
    Unfortunately the cause of all this lies at work. About the same time as I changed my gender my manager retired, and the new one's style of personal management has fallen significantly short of what I had come to expect from the organisation. It's not appropriate to go into detail, suffice to say it has been the cause of some serious stress and I have been in conversation with the HR department about it.
   But this post isn't about what is or isn't happening between me and my manager, instead it's about the elephant in the room. The inevitable question I have to ask but I simultaneously hate asking. "Is it because I'm trans?"
   I have no desire to become a Professional Transgender Person to whom everything that happens to them is because of their trans status. We've all encountered members of minority groups who do that, and they do no favours to the rest of their groups. And nobody's said anything at work, made any references to my trans status, disparaging or otherwise.After all, nobody is ever transphobic, are they!
   The problem is, the timing is a bit suspect. As the scruffy bloke I worked for three years and got very good ratings all through, as the girl suddenly it seems I can do no right despite having a couple of very conspicuous successes on my plate.
   That elephant in the room suddenly seems very real indeed.
   What I have done is fire a shot across their bows. In conversation with HR I have made it very clear indeed that I do not wish to have any turmoil, and in that aim they should be in complete agreement with me. Employee turmoil is very costly for an employer, not to mention embarrassing. I made it very clear that in our community a lot of people face employment problems after transitioning so it is something of which I am very aware. I then asked them to nip it in the bud before  anything they'd later regret happens, because all I want is a quiet life.
   Did I get it right? I hope so but only time will tell. I had to do something, after all I have nearly 20 years experience in dotcom-land behind me and one thing that experience has left me with is this: I sure as hell am no doormat.


  1. Sorry to learn that you are suffering from reflux and insomnia Jenny. I too suffer from both these things occasionally and it isn't nice. As for the work situation I am glad to learn that you are not prepared to be at the receiving end of any kind of maltreatment. Without any obvious homophobic leanings it is difficult to point the finger directly at any individual but it sounds like the atmosphere is getting decidedly acidic just like the reflux! It could be, though I am not suggesting it is, that the new manager knows he hasn't got a leg to stand on if it ever came to light that you were the victim of homophobic treatment on his behalf. By making you feel uncomfortable he might think you'll walk out of your own accord if indeed he is the source of the problem. You are not about to do that though are you? Hope you are feeling better soon, on both fronts.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. Dear Jenny, I'm not going to speculate on the link between your health problems and the obvious stress at work. It sounds to me, though, that you're doing all the right things to resolve the situation. But as someone who is going through her own health scare right now, I just wanted to offer you my sympathy, my love and my best wishes for the future.

    Angie x

  3. Humans!

    Acid reflux is more than a pain, it can attack the vocal cords and mess up your voice, it did it to mine...

    Never sleep on your right side, acid drains from stomach. This for me is a real nuisance because that is my most comfortable position but in less than a minute I can feel the first bad signs...

    See your doc and get some long term meds, I have one lansoprazole capsule each morning which does the trick, there is a whole family of them, omazaprazole worked for a while, if one does not work try another.

    Gaviscon advance chewable tablets taken when you feel symptoms, made form seaweed apparently and settles on stomach contents as a film to control things quickly, hardly ever use them now.

    Tackle it before it gets you voice.

    As for unprofessional supervisor, seems like they might be shooting themselves in the foot by messing with someone they can't bully.

  4. Sorry to hear what you are going through - both with your health and your work. I know how one can affect the other.

    I have no idea about what to say for the work problems, I can only go with the "Don't let yourself be bullied"

    HR should be able to see that there is a problem. As you say you don't go from being a very good employee to not being able to do anything right overnight. Outside of the transsexual angle they should be looking into this anyway from a personality clash point of view. And any manager should be professional enough to put a personality clash to one side when looking at performance.

    Good luck,

  5. This is all rather sad, but it sounds as though you are doing the right thing, I trust that all will be resolved soon, and that you start to feel better

  6. So a couple of weeks later it's all gone quiet. I have an appraisal coming up though, and I'm concerned that they may try to ambush me there. I've familiarised myself with the grievance procedure and had a long chat with my union rep.

    My employer is acustomed to people who have never worked anywhere else or in any other industry and who are meek and maleable. I by contrast am a dotcommer.