Friday, April 23, 2010

Movin' On Up

I am gradually settling back into my working groove. I was hired as a night auditor, but my training schedule has been a little wonky. The first day was all computer training, and I worked from 1600 to 2100. The next day was orientation followed by some actual work, and that day I worked from 1400 to 2130. The next night was a weird one, 2000-0400, so I worked part of the evening shift and about half of the audit. Then I was off last night and tonight. Tomorrow I go back to that weird shift, followed by two all-audit 2300-0700 shifts.

All of this means that I've had to shift my sleeping habits again. My Circadian rhythms are all out of whack, and I've been trying to get around without disrupting the rest of the household. To that end, I was encouraged to switch sleeping quarters with my 11 year-old niece. After months of communal sleeping, I get a bedroom to myself. If I'm home from work, I can now sit up all hours and type on the computer, or play Xbox into the wee hours without disturbing anyone.

Another development of note is that we may have found a two-bedroom house to live in, and the rent's only $500/month. For a house! Sweet!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Back to the Old Grind

Once again, I didn't mean to go almost a week without posting, but that's life, isn't it?

Nate's emergency of Saturday night turned out to not be a heart attack. It was a severe case of angina. The doctor at TMH prescribed a couple of medications, a diet of 1800 calories per day, and told him to stop smoking. The meds are doing their thing, the diet is going well so far, and that's about it. Nate has cut down on the smoking, but he's a ways to go before he can quit. The nicotine gene runs in our family. Both our parents smoked, and both sets of grandparents, and numerous relations as well. I'm the only non-smoker in the family.

I mentioned before that I had an interview scheduled for Monday. That went very well. There was a follow-up telephone interview on Wednesday with the corporate Director of Hotel Operations, and then I had to wait another day for my background check to come back. Today I underwent Orientation, which consisted of watching a droll video, then signing about a hundred different sheets of paper. Last I was entered into the time clock system. That was new. Every place I've worked before used either paper or plastic cards. This place uses a state-of-the-art biometric system. You key in the last four digits of your SSN, then place your hand in the reader. I felt like I was entering a secret base or something. What's next, retinal scanning? Anyway, I start training for the new job next Monday.

A number of people have told me that they hope my new employer will be more accommodating toward my gender identity issues; I too share this hope, but it remains to be seen. I watched the video today and paid special attention to the company's equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination policies. There was no wording which I could construe as implying any protection for people like me. I've got my fingers crossed that the job protection legislation makes it through the Tallahassee city council next month. After that, we'll see.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Warning Shot

We had a bit of a scare last night. It was a little before 2000, and we were all sitting down to a late supper when my brother collapsed. The EMTs arrived in about fifteen minutes, with an ambulance about ten minutes behind them, ending with a trip to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. They've kept him overnight so they could run some additional tests, but the preliminary diagnosis was that Nate had a "mild" heart attack. I'll try to keep everyone apprised of things as I become aware.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Looking Up, Looking Back

The last week has been a little more exciting than a lot of those preceding. Sunday we went to Carrabelle Beach. I presented male, and wore swim trunks and a baggy tee shirt. I got waist-deep in the ocean and decided I'd had enough. I then spent the rest of the afternoon reading and taking pictures.

Monday I went out and put in some more job applications. I also received a call about an interview at a hotel where I applied more than a month ago.

Tuesday I went to the interview. It went great for the first twenty minutes or so. As long as we chatted about my experience and some of the skills I have, I was fine. Then the GM asked me about a specific situation, and I imploded. I could not recall in any detail a single incident that could illustrate my skills. He then asked me for a different example, and I couldn't remember a damned thing! I could (and do) remember a whole slew of negative experiences, but the memories of all the people I've helped and taken care of evaporated. The rest of the interview was perfunctory stuff. He told me about the company, and their benefits, and whatnot, and said they'd make a decision by Friday. Needless to say, I did not hear from them yesterday.

Wednesday and Thursday were mostly idle days, with my usual patterns of sleep, internet and Xbox broken only by running some errands with Nate.

I did get a phone call Friday afternoon, but not from the people I saw on Tuesday. It was another interview request, this time for next Monday. It's from a chain I have worked with before, but don't list on my resume. It was not a happy experience. That was seven years ago, though. I'm willing to let bygones be, in the service of finding myself gainfully employed again. This idleness is killing me.

Somewhere in the middle I saw my new trans "friend" again. She creeps me out, and illustrates all the reasons why they have steps a person is supposed to follow, and why. I mentioned before that she's taking hormones without regular supervision from a doctor. She told me that when I'm ready to start my own therapy, to let her know, and she'll hook me up with a doctor who will provide me, up front, with a year's prescription for maximum-dose hormones. This doctor is reportedly located in the nearby (and aptly named) town of Panacea. Talking to the lady makes my skin crawl. I don't like to take strong pain meds without they say-so of a doctor; why would I risk any sort of damage by fooling around with estrogen?

A positive outcome of that encounter was that I had the longest talk ever with Nate about being trans. He still can't quite get his head around it, but I think he was reassured that we feel the same way about this other person.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

No Day at the Beach

Tomorrow after the rest of the family get back from church, we're going to the beach. For all the time I was living in Virginia, I never got around to the beach. Once, on a trip up from Charlotte, I drove out to the shore, shucked my shoes and ran down into the surf shouting, "Thalassa! Thalassa! at the top of my lungs, but that was almost seven years ago. I haven't been on a traditional beach outing since sometime in the early 90s. Why is complicated.

Going to the beach brings out all of my insecurities regarding my self image. As a man, I'm not in the greatest shape. I'm doughy around the middle, but I don't look like a beached whale or anything. The problem is, I just don't like to be seen that way. I know that I am no bathing beauty, and this body of mine has no place on the beach in a woman's swimsuit, but I just can't see going into the water in anything else. One of my housemates offered to get me a swimsuit, but I told her I wasn't going into the water. Part of me wants to, to have fun with my nephews, but I can't do it.

Should I even go?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No Fooling

Today is April Fools Day, and I'm not celebrating. If you want some appropriate tomfoolery, it's all over the web today. Google turned itself into "Topeka" for the day. Southwest Airlines produced a spot wherein they introduce the new trailer that's going to be towed behind their jets. A Polish website announced that Bioware are doing a Mass Effect game for the Wii. (Actually, that last one might be true, but as I said somewhere else, until Bioware says so, it's vaporware.)

I am still looking for work, though with not as much gusto as I had a few weeks ago. The job market here sucks just as badly as the one in Virginia. In an ironic turn, I actually moved away from a resort area again. There are lots of hotels here, but the only job listings Ive seen have been for the low-paying non-guest service variety. Tips are nice, but I want a job that pays a real wage, thank you very much.

Lately my thoughts have turned to returning to Virginia. It's not really feasible at the moment. I'm broke. There wasn't enough tax taken out of my wages last year, so I'm not going to get a refund. I've got no friends here, and as great as family can be, it's suffocating to have them all here, all the time. I want to honor my mother's wish that we all stick together, but I don't want to live with my brother forever. If I'm ever going to be able to transition, I've got to get out on my own, or at least out from under him.

The sad part is, I may have to take a job here for a time, just to raise enough money to get myself back home. I'd hate to do that to someone, work for a time, then run away. I may have to part with a lot of stuff, as I can't see taking it all with me, again. Hey, if I have a big enough sale, that might help to raise the money, right? I just don't know.