Friday, November 06, 2009

Pushing The Proverbial Envelope

Today I am writing from work again. I'll not talk about why to much, except to say that I am off from now until Tuesday, and I was too excited about what I was working on to quit and forget about it for five days. If I would be back Monday to look at this project, I would walk out now, but to wait until Wednesday of next week to see if everything works? Unthinkable!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Boring Techno-Prattle~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
We just set up a new SAN, sharing 3 terabytes of data, between 3 very powerful clustered servers, with the intent of replacing almost all of our servers with Hyper-V virtual server images ran by this new server cluster. As I wait, the new rig is busy converting one of my old, dying servers into a shiny new virtual machine running on cutting edge hardware with access to lots more resources. If it works, then, next week me and my co-workers will be able to accomplish some spectacular things. But I'll hush now!
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~End Boring Techno-Prattle~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The only reason any of that matters at the moment, is that waiting for that conversion gives me time to write.

Its so odd that I am that interested in my work again though. A few months ago, I was convinced that everyone here either hated me, or would hate me if I were to open up just the slightest bit more. I was terrified that I might lose my job soon as my transition progresses, and I mainly just tried to keep a low profile, and stay away from people as best as I could while still fulfilling my job duties.

Now it all feels different. There is still no assurance that I'll keep my job into next year, but there never was. In a place like this, you never know what will happen with budgets, or how strong but invisible political undercurrents could effect your career. For me, all it takes is one influential person deciding I am offensive and a political liability to keep on the payroll, and I can find myself out of work. If it happened, it would be in July. They would not fire me, but rather not renew my contract. In all likelihood, there would be very little advance notice.

Still, I think my odds are better right now than they have ever been. While my new appearance might be offensive or even comical to some people, overall, I am finding people treat me the same as ever. Some folks are even nicer to me than in the past. It seems the better I feel about myself, the more confidently and pleasantly I can approach other people, because I am genuinely happy right now. It seems most people appreciate that and don't mind that I present in a rather feminine manner.

As the title implies though, lately I have been pushing. After my face mostly healed from that freak acne attack I felt super confident. Smoother, clearer skin than I have had in my life, along with subtly more feminine facial features affected by estrogen, and much reduced facial hair that barely is capable of producing a shadow, all leads to a happier, perkier, more confident and less ashamed me. Yesterday, I was feeling so good that I decided to take a little break during the day at work and go out for a trim and to get my hair dyed.

Topping off the facial changes with the new hair style has definitely generated some attention. From adults, that generally translates into a curious look now and then, but some of the kids in this school are not nearly so polite. In the middle school, I can't get through the halls without being openly laughed at by at least five kids. In the high school, I go down the hall with children muttering "fucking fag" or "queer". It bothers me less now than ever, even though the new look is definitely getting more attention than any of the previous changes in my appearance.

Right now, I'm getting along with my co-workers better than I ever have. Previously, I just assumed everyone in the technology department thought I was a joke and was probably hoping I'd hurry up and quit this job and move somewhere else. As a result, I started acting defensively and just stirring clear of everyone else, as I mentioned earlier. I just came in, did my work, documented it to make sure no one had an excuse to fire me, and then went home.

It turns out, I was being stupid, the lack of communication and cooperation between me and my co-workers was not a sign that they didn't want me around. In fact, I created that void myself, with my standoffish attitude. Right now, I'm happy, and I let it show. I'll gladly work on group projects, and I feel really welcome. We are probably morally at odds on an issue here and there, but no one is letting it interfere with getting along. Everyone is just super nice and sweet to me right now, and I enjoy their company so much.

Now that my gender issues are partially resolved and I know i am on the right track, I am able to focus on other things (some times), and I find I really enjoy my work and my co-workers now that I am not constantly dwelling in fear and desperation.

Eventually I will almost certainly have to move. When that happens, I'm going to miss this place. In eight years I've learned so much, and I've worked with some great people. My dream would be to continue working here, but to get to finish transition. I don't think it is in the cards though. I just hope when I move on, the time can be of my own choosing, and that I can be on good terms with the other people here in my department. I like them all so much and it would hurt to end up at odds.

My future is so terrifyingly vague! :P


Melissa said...

What a beautiful positive attitude! Good for you, girl!

When those silly kids make rude comments, just remember that you are an adult, and they are just stupid kids. I can still remember some of the real stupid things I said when I was in high school, and today I cringe when I think about them. I was so naive then, and because I wanted to fit in with the crowd and be perceived as cool, I both said and did some pretty shameful things.

I can't wait to see your gorgeous face!

Melissa XX

chrissie said...

The future.. I guess you are in the same boat as me up to a point. The GD stuff is under control and progressing, but the external stuff related to it is still there to be worried about...

You're doing real well, honey!

helenchapel said...

My name is Helen, I Just found your blog today and have been reading through your posts. I have enjoyed them alot. I appreciate that its not easy to second guess what colleagues at work motives and agenda's are at the best of times so I can appreciate how life has been all the more complex for you. Im very interested in your story and will return later to catch up more.
hope we can become friends?


helenchapel said...

I had to come back, just read your stuggles with your Mom last summer. I really felt for you. I have a difficult relationship with my Mom (Mum) I'm British! Its goes on a cycle spin of good bad and ugly all the time. The part I read where she argued with you and next day stoodin front of your car before you drove away. I had exactly that kind of thing (different argument admittedly) but she slapped her hands down so hard on the hood (bonnet) of my car she made a small dent in it which I discovered later when I stopped to fume as I walked around a lake!

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself.
helen xxx

ms.shandy said...

THanks for the kind words everyone. You are so right about the kids Melissa. I usually don;t let it get to me, unless I have some of my associates close enough to hear them. That makes an awkward situation. I think you and I are very much in similar situations Chrissie. Standing right at the brink of changes so drastic that its hard to clearly envision the future. I think its all going to be okay though. =)

Helen, thanks for writing. I got a chance to glance over your blog a bit today too- a very enjoyable read! =)

chrissie said...

There's a lot of positive stuff in there, Ms Shandy...

it certainly outweighs the negative side of things, so I guess you're ahead of the game!