Saturday, November 21, 2009

Transgender Day of Rememberance 2009, a few days late

I apologize for posing a day late today, for yesterday, 2009 Day of remembrance. I searched for a list for this year, but was unable to find one. Last year I poured my heart out on a very difficult post, about those who has passed away due to hate crimes or other things relating to their transgender status. Many more have passed this year, who's names I do not not know. This was a difficult time for me last year. I had just gone full time a few days ago, and the list of transgendered hate crime was a reminder of the dangers I faced. I didn't really pass yet, and it took everything I had to go outside in girl clothes.

Looking back on that now... its hard to believe that its only been a year since then. Since I was doing volunteer work for the campaign to repeal prop 8. Since I was taking a cane with me that I borrowed because I was too afraid to go on to the train without some kind of weapon. Since I was in the potential pool for next years victims.

This thanksgiving I've a lot to be thankful for. My transition really wasn't that bad, not compared to how it could have been. And while I hurt for those who have lost or are lost.

I meant to post this almost a month ago, and left it for editing feeling unsatisfied with what I wrote. I'm sorry for such a delayed remembrance.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Working in Corporate America, a second little social commentary.

Greetings bloggers and readers. Apologies again for my lack of posts or attention to these blogs. I've been juggling personal and school life, but as I'm currently taking only one class, I've little excuse save the lack of motivation on my part for nearly anything.

Though I've wanted to dedicate this blog to social commentary, it isn't as though I've nothing to say. In particular, though this has little to do with gender, I'd like to take a second attempt at offering my disgruntled perspective in regards to the system of employment and job interviews in our society, and how I feel a bit excluded by it. I do not know whether this says more about me, or the values we keep in our culture, but I'll let my readers decide.

A close friend of mine got a job at Vons and promptly quit. She was a bit taken aback, with the way she was treated in her employment. The other co workers cared little for training her, and only did the bare-bones minimum they were required in showing her the ropes. She was unprepared for some of the work and shocked, with little assistance in tasks she was not ready for, or physically unable to comply due to her petite size.
But in my opinion, it was more the disposable nature by which she felt she was regarded, than the nature of the work itself that drove her to quit. I hold this opinion because I too, was an employee once at a super market, and I still dread Job hunting to this day because of it. I worked hard at my job as courtesy clerk, very hard. But I was not a fast worker, nor an effective one. Rather, I never gave myself unscheduled breaks or fooled around on the job. I obediently continued to wherever I was expected to be, and to whatever I was expected to be doing.
Often, it seemed like, the case was, that I was reprimanded for not being in two places at once, or for putting out the wrong fire at the wrong time. I was repeatedly told to say "service first" at albertsons, in particular any time I was needed to use the intercom, Yet when I had to choose between that customer that needed my help on aisle 3 and the spill on aisle 6, I was often treated like I was trying to avoid my obligations by helping the customer, despite the instructional videos I was shown which told me to do exactly that.

My boss would make fun of me. whistling the tune thematic of Slowpoke Rodriguez whenever I passed him struggling to figure out which end-cap the go-backs that looked as though they obviously belonged in a completely different location, should be placed in. Another superior of mine, was often thankful and polite to me, making me feel good, until I discovered from co workers how she would often discuss behind my back how wretched slow I was, and how she hated having to work with me.

I constantly felt like my employment, and any hopes of resume for the future, were at stake, because I was not fast enough at dexterity or wit to keep up with the demands of this rather simple, idiotic job at Albertson's. I wondered when they would decide to fire me to let in the next egomaniac behind me who was waiting to do my job, a little bit faster, with a little more skill, or maybe a lot more.
The other employees, who took their job a lot less serious than I did, seem to get along better with their superior motor skills, and that seemed to overshadow the fact that they would extend their breaks as much as possible, and goof off at every given moment on the job. One co-worker of mine even scolded me about the importance of putting away go-backs at the end of each shift, and then began to literally goof around, playing with a toy that was found in the items to be returned.

Another time I was looking for a job, a prospective employer asked me if I was "aggressive" and of course, I thought it meant rude or overly outspoken. Logic should have told me that he meant competitive, but I never took the moment to associate aggressiveness with the place I was applying for work at... Micheal's, an arts and crafts store.

So the bottom line is, I am neither fast, nor competitive. I just want to do my job, as best I can, and I would happily keep a vested interest in how my work is benefiting the employer for whom I work. No employer would want to hire me after I told them that, they want someone who will come in and say "yes" or give a positive answer to every question they would ask about their prospective employment. Either there's a shortage of people like me in this world, who are not good enough, or megalomania and an overwhelming excess of self-esteem are necessary to compete in this cutthroat environment we live in, even at the very bottom of the food chain.

Perhaps this is just the asperger's talking. Maybe this is just the perspective of someone in a very distinct psychiatric minority, complaining about something that works fine for just about everyone else. It must be because I don't see many people complaining about the values in entry level corporate society, outside of my little circle of friends. We talk about the big guys like the banks and the upper eschalons of corporate society, and how their greed often forgets about those left on the bottom rung, but nobody complains about the guy in charge of job interviews at the local best buy or Target.

Honesty and hard work in our society, only pay off when one also has superior skills in every aspect of their job, social, physical, and mental. I clearly simply do not fit in with my inferior self esteem and the slow pace with which I must try to keep up. You need to be the best, or at least be able to claim to be to an interviewer with a straight face.

At any rate I'm in school for the time being, and I'm sure I'll find a way to get by in society, but it doesn't change how it appears to me, in terms of cultural values. I don't like to boast about myself or try to put myself on some kind of high pedestal, and this has already put me into a number of awkward encounters with job interviewers.