Well three months after turning my life upside down to go live with Rebecca the final part has fallen into place; namely getting a new job up and running. Job hunting terrifies me. I’ve done it a lot over the years and each time it has been a drawn out affair and a depressing cycle of applying and either hearing nothing or a million reasons why you’re no good for what you went for. You can imagine the fear I had doing this while transitioning.
Surprisingly though I managed to get things sorted out in next to no time. By that I mean I did one day’s job searching and the first one to offer me an interview went and offered me the job. Brilliant, but a little disconcerting as things are never that simple. I had pondered how to broach the transgender subject when applying for jobs and eventually decided it’s none of their business. Wishful thinking really as after getting my job offer they needed to see training certificates and I had to do a CRB check as it’s caring for vulnerable adults. Half my certificates are in my dead name and the CRB asks if you’ve been known as any names other than the one you’re using now.
Thankfully my new employer has been very good about this. I went in with my certificates, prepared to explain things. I got as far as ‘There’s a slight snag, most of my certificates are in a previous name of mine’ and was promptly cut off with ‘That’s ok, we understand. These are going to be locked away in the office anyway’. That was it. You’re trans? So what? You’ve demonstrated at interview you hold the knowledge and skills we need for the job and that’s all we’re bothered about.
The only other thing that came about about this was on my first day at my new job where my manager while going through various procedures asked me a question about me being trans, and it went along the along the lines of “I know you’re trans, I don’t care, we’re an equal opportunities employer and this is confidential. All I need to know is are you comfortable giving personal care to the female residents?’ If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have applied for the job. I know what I’m getting into here. That was that and it’s brilliant. I can’t explain how liberating it is to be in a job where no-one knows. No-one knows about my past life. The staff and residents see me as Chrissy from the off and that’s the only me they’ll ever see.
Don’t get me wrong, my last job was pretty great too and my former employee was brilliant when it came to handling my coming out and transition in the workplace. Without the experience I gained there I wouldn’t have this job, but things wore me down. I had one resident in particular who really didn’t get any of this and often called me a silly old cunt for doing what I’ve done and never called me by my chosen name, and that really got to me.
So far so good at my new job. I’ve been there four days, I’m getting along really well with most of the residents there and the staff too. Everyone is pretty friendly and laid back and the work environment is brilliant. I’m also using what I’ve learned and putting it into practice and helping my new work colleagues and giving them my insight into various things that go on. I know I’m being vague here but everything that goes on is confidential, meaning when I get home and Rebecca asks me how work went I can’t do much more than say if it went ok or not.
Some procedures for things I do at my new job are the same as my last place, others are different but seem pretty easy to pick up because of what I know already and I’ve got a pretty thorough induction plan to go through and am going through at a nice pace.
It’s good to be back into a routine of sorts, or as much of a routine you can have while doing shift work. Little things like getting up and ready, doing my make-up and so on help me anchor my life, gives me stability and a sense of purpose. I’ve always hated being unemployed because I tend to drift and become unfocused. Having a couple of months off was nice, but by the end of it I was beginning to get rather antsy and ready to get on with things, especially as it’s taken a month to get my CRB check done and cleared and both I and my employer want me to get in and get on with things.
I mean, what’s the point of having unlimited time off if you’re limited to what you can do by the funds you have to hand? Even with this job I’m going to have a fair bit of time to myself. Because it’s 12 hour shifts, I’ll only be working 3-4 days a week because of this. Yes it sounds like a long slog but it’s done at a fairly gentle pace for the most part from what I’ve seen so far so I’m not too worried about it and I’ve done longer shifts beforehand anyway so it’s not a shock to the system.
All in all I’m feeling pretty optimistic. Right, hurry up Friday so my first week is over and I can enjoy the weekend with those I love. 🙂