Evening everyone!! I'm sure you are all awaiting the word so here it is..
I got in at 6am and as planned I'm not going for shock value, the shock was more in people finding out than anything. A simple pair of jeans and girls short sleeved t-shirt was all I needed. Funny enough being a musician all my life each ear is pierced twice. I used to keep 4 hoops in them at all times. With this change I rarely wear them anymore. Kind of an ironic twist.
The email went out shortly after I got in, it took me about 15 minutes to get through the company listing just to add everyone I wanted too. Being there so long it was quite a long list of people.
When my coworker next to me read the email (He's known for 2 years) he was a little apprehensive about me using the word "transsexual". I guess he felt it might be a little strong for some. I explained that part of the direction of the email and the humor was the intention of it being shocking and that my attitude would actually temper the email. My read on it was right, the email paid dividends with several of the male employees telling me that it made all the difference in the world.
All in all I got a lot of words of encouragement. About 8am my HR rep stopped in on her way to the other building to make sure I was alright and see if I needed anything. She told me she would be turning in my name change for IT and the badges for our doors.
At one point one of the facilities guys dropped in. He is one of 2 guys that I used to talk bikes with and he has an incredible Harley. He came into our room and bent down to check the fire extinguishers on his monthly report and as he did this he said hey guys whats and stopped dead which caused me to burst out in laughter. My laughter caused him to start laughing and it broke the ice.
His coworker dropped in. This was one of the more macho guys in the company that I was very concerned over. He pledged his support of me and said that the email helped him put it in perspective. Apparently HR had said that there would be a zero tolerance policy regarding things being said and this made him feel that I was suddenly unapproachable. No more Redsox/Yankees talk he figured. But the email made him realize that at least with me it was quite the opposite and while he understand I'm changing, he gets to change with me and not overnight. Yes, it takes time to not only get used to changes but have them become second nature in your everyday thoughts and language.
For the most part I had a positive day and the only negativity that I heard about came from an engineer that I've never cared for. We just never seemed to have the ability to get along, we just seemed to tolerate each other. I was told his words were "It isn't right and he shouldn't be allowed to do this" Whatever ...
As my day closed out and I walked towards Diane sitting in my car in the lot I had a smile on my face. When I got in the car I noticed a dozen roses and a dark chocolate bar for me to congratulate me on my biggest step to date. Now it's the 2nd time I've gotten roses from Dee and this one means so much more to me.
I know the next few days will be hard for me but I also know that every new day lessens the shock, makes it go away and I won't be the flavor of the day anymore.
I rarely say this about myself because I don't like sounding like I'm high on my own list but for once, I'm proud of myself for sticking to my plan and not letting fear run me ... thanks for all the encouragement .. here's to a new life!