This last week has been pretty stressful. I got through the training for my new job early in the week and was able to start running the cash register. The job is pretty much what I’m used as being a cashier including a lot of the common issues of dealing with people. I’m trying my hardest not to let anyone get to me, but that is proving to be very difficult.
My main issue with this job is that I tend to get called “sir” by most of the customers that come through my line. I try to tell myself that they don’t know better and aren’t trying to upset me, but it still hurts to deal with being mis-gendered constantly. I know there are things I can work on that would better help me to pass. Now I feel like I have more reason to work harder on passing.
My biggest giveaway is my voice. I’ve tried speaking with a more feminine voice around my friends but it just always ends up sounding completely fake and forced to me. I’m finding vocal exercises which I can do on my own while driving to work. I wish I had a good way of receiving feedback on how my voice sounds as I don’t feel like I can judge based on how I sound to myself.
The other area which I can do some work on passing is in how I’m dressing. Even though the dress code at my work is pretty relaxed (any shirt that isn’t a T-shirt, close toed shoes, and pants which can be jeans), I still find that I have a limited number of shirts which would be appropriate. I also think that wearing a little bit more makeup than what I had been using might not be a bad idea as well as keeping my fingernails painted.
Anyways, the issues with being mis-gendered constantly is something about which I am greatly concerned. After a busy day this last Saturday, I was basically fighting really hard to hold back tears while I had the most forced, fake smile ever on my face. I’m worried that this could cause me to make a mistake somewhere that ends up costing me the job. Even though this job isn’t exactly where I want to be, I still need it.
Speaking of my job, I also constantly feel like I’m trapped in under-employment. I know that most people my age are under-employed and I’m not very happy about this statistic. This seems like a problem which nobody ever addresses. Often times, I wonder why I even went to college if I was just going to end up working retail. It really doesn’t help that I’m buried under a load of student loans which I can’t afford to pay with my current wages.
The other big issue I have with being under-employed is that I feel like I’m not working in something that is using me to my full potential. I went through a lot to get a chemistry degree and even managed to complete a second major in Spanish while doing so. I feel like I took two semesters of physical chemistry in vain. I know that I can do so much more than what I am doing and would really like a chance to prove just how talented and intelligent of person I am.
I continue to develop new friendships both with coworkers and with the people from my support group. I recently was able to get another friend from support group into “Magic: the Gathering” and, in doing so, have found my interest in the game to be renewed. I don’t have the budget that I once had for the game when I was living with my parents, but I don’t mind playing all my old decks since I have a new person who hasn’t seen a lot of them yet. As for competitive play, I have been focused more on playing limited formats which include booster pack drafts and sealed deck tournaments. The biggest appeal of these formats is that they use a limited pool of cards which players receive at the tournament either by picking cards one at a time from booster packs while passing around a table (booster draft) or opening six booster packs and building a deck from the cards within (sealed deck). Playing “Magic: the Gathering” has been a great way to take my mind off of my day to day stresses and be able to enjoy myself.
Looking ahead to my next week, I hope to be able to address my issues from work with my manager before anything that costs myself and/or the company ends up happening as a result. I have a lot which I need to endure right now and have had days where it feels like I can’t take much more. I manage to keep myself going by reaching out to a few friends. Having a good conversation or playing a few card games always seems to improve my mood and sometimes helps me to see things in a new light that helps me to be able to deal with things.