Life Goals

I’ve been doing some soul searching and big decision making. The easiest way to share this is to copy/paste a couple of Facebook posts that are about a week and a half apart.

First, some background. Sammy was playing outside barefoot and stepped on something that cut her foot open right between her toes. The cut was superficial, but with where it was located, there was a lot of blood. More than a band aid could handle so the next best bet was a lot of gauze and some tape. Only, I didn’t have any tape and only had just enough gauze. Anyway, I made do with what I had, and then started the quest of building a proper first aid kit. I had a lot of input from a lot of people as to what should go into it, and actually built two: one for the car and one for the house. I could have called it done, but the process ignited something in me. Something that realized I needed to learn how to properly use some of the things I had.

“I want to take an EMT course. I don’t want to be an EMT but I want the EMT certificate so I’m prepared for anything my kids throw at me. It’d also mean I could be a street medic at things like Pride. Finally it’d look really good on my resumé and grad school apps. The single class I need for the official certificate is 1120$ for the 7 credit hour class, plus there is a test which probably costs a few hundred. If I throw a tax return at this, this is doable. By this time 2021 I could be a fully certified EMT. (Which isn’t the same as a paramedic. Though this is the first step if I wanted to go further. I don’t.)”

I lived with that dream for about 9 days. 9 days full of soul searching.

“Wanna hear my new life plan?

So the old plan was masters then doctorate then diagnosing especially women with ADHD and autism because the system is failing them. But. I’m old, tired, neurodivergent, and in over 60k worth of debt just from the first degree. Plus the system is realizing they are failing women and it’s no longer an, “if I don’t do it no one will,” situation. By the time I get my doctorate, I’ll be late to the game. Am I capable of getting my doctorate? Yes. But at what cost? Plus to get accommodations I’d need to be officially diagnosed. And well, that affects my ability to work in the field.


I really want to get this EMT certificate. I really want this. So I was thinking. What if I got it like planned next summer, and then contact the official PRIDE scene in Columbus and ask them if they have a use for me? If it’s just a voluntary position, I work some 9-5 and volunteer on the side. If they have a paid position, they become my 9-5 or whatever. My 9-5 can stay whatever I find next for the coming year. Or maybe I get the cert and work EMS elsewhere but not for the city. I don’t want to be a paramedic or city-based EMT. But I could work at like the zoo or something, for all I care. If I need a day job that’s not the pride scene I can do even a random office job. Then volunteer with the pride scene.

Robin is supportive as long as I’m getting a paycheck from someone. Though she is concerned I need to work on my upper body strength. I’m surprisingly strong, but I welcome the excuse to join the community center gym and lift. Also, building upper body strength will help with back pain and breast support. But I want to be buff. Just super jacked. Men fear me. Women loving women flock to me. The lesbian dream!”

Anyway, no matter what I need to find at least a temp job for the coming year or more. No matter what, I want to get my EMT certification. And I really like the idea of using that certification to help the PRIDE scene here locally. Even if that isn’t my actual career, it can still be my passion project.

Laid Off

In a move that surprised no one, my job laid me off this past Friday. Initially, my job was safe, but this thing is lasting longer than anticipated and I’m going to be gone for who knows how long. They laid off a lot of people. Word is my entire job title was eliminated.

When this is all over I can reapply and go back.

Or, there is a lab that makes glasses for eye doctors like who I worked for that is like 2 blocks from home. They love hiring people like me who have worked in the business, even if it’s the patient-facing end of things. No idea what sort of job they have but I might as well apply when this is all over. Can’t hurt. And since we only have one car in the household, there are serious benefits to working 2 blocks from home. Shit. When my current car breaks down for good, any month now, I’ll be able to walk to work. So I think that is my first step post quarantine.

In the meantime, I’ve already applied for unemployment. So I just need to see that process through. And well, I just need to wait out this pandemic. I refuse to work in a way that puts my life in danger. Money is not one of my motivators. At least not when my life is on the line.

Gentle reminder here that I’m both immunocompromised and also have underlying conditions. I will die.

But also, my biggest responsibility right now is to help flatten that curve.

Anyway, we’ll be fine. We’ll get through this.

Finally, for those of you who are suddenly unemployed and who will be looking for a job here in a month of 5, remember to ask the managers and HR reps who interview you how their company handled the pandemic. You’re supposed to interview them right back. They judge you based on whether or not you do this. And this question I’ve suggested is valid and makes you look good. Also, if they can’t answer, won’t answer, or have an answer that makes them look bad, you really don’t want to work for them.

Work Update Winter 2019-2020

So a lot has happened in my professional life over the past few months.

First, we’ll reestablish the canon that the manager I started under in Westerville hated me. I left that first day of work with the impression that she was the type of girl that bullied me in 6th grade. I just also assumed she had grown out of that type of behavior.

I was wrong.

She has never outgrown that behavior and I was clearly an easy target. Working with her was miserable.

Luckily? This past December she got promoted to district manager and another woman was brought in to manage Westerville. The new manager is lovely and I assumed with the bully being promoted, I’d deal less with the bully and more with the new manager.

I was wrong again.

I came back from rescuing Iris to a meeting with the new manager and the new regional manager, aka the bully, to be told I was not nearly good enough at my job for Westerville to want me. Now to clarify, the new manager in no way felt this. She likes me a lot and knows I work really hard. But she did not have a say in any of this. This was the bully, and the bully is officially her boss.


They didn’t want to outright fire me. They wanted to trade front desk help with another store instead.

So I’m now at a location we’ll call west. I’m doing the exact same job, but the office isn’t as busy and there is less pressure on me.

I think, the bully accidentally made a great move in my favor.

The new store likes and appreciates me. I really like my new manager and she likes me.

Further! I’m allowed to go by Max. I don’t have my new scrub tops yet, but my embroidered name on them will be Max instead of my dead name. All the official paperwork and such will still read my legal name, but I’ll be Max around the office at least.

So really, this is a good move. I’m actually happier and less stressed. Plus I’ve cut my travel to and from work in almost half.

I’m happy!

Vision Perks

So last week’s post spoke of the rougher side of the new job. So I’m going to dedicate this week to talking about the benefits of working for an eye doctor.

First off, Thomas has made it clear since long before I got this job or even put thought into working for an eye doctor, that he wanted contacts. Which is something our Medicaid will not at all pay for. We get free regular exams, but they will not pay for contact fittings. We get free glasses, with limited selections, but contacts are out of pocket. I understand this, but this is horrible news to a 16yo boy who really wants contacts.

So he was really excited when I got this new job because maybe I could get him into contacts at a more affordable price. First off, I’d be paying for vision coverage that wasn’t Medicaid, since the company offers a super nice vision plan.

However, it turns out that I didn’t need to wait for vision to kick in. The doctor in office was willing to see Thomas for his contact fitting free of charge, since I work there. Which saved us a good 100$. Then to top it off, the opticians made it quite clear that we have a huge stash of trial lens, meant so a patient could try out a new script for free before sinking $$$ into contacts that might not even work out. This stash of trails, which is basically never ending, and could be used to keep Thomas in contacts for my entire duration of working there. In the off chance they couldn’t keep him in trials, like maybe they didn’t have his script in stock, if I timed my purchase right I could get his contacts at cost, and save a butt load of money.

The 16yo is over the moon.

The 16yo lost his right contact down the sink three days into having them and had a replacement lens ready for him at the end of that workday, with instructions that if he insisted on putting them on over the sink, to at least line it with a towel. And the assurance that he’s not the first to lose a contact down the sink.

The other perk is, once a year I get a 200$ prepade visa that can only be used in-store and can only be used on myself that is meant to encourage me to wear the merchandise. Merchandise I get at cost, exam free.

I got that card in the mail about a week ago and they were able to fit me in for an eye exam within a few days. (We’re not officially on the schedule because other patients come first, but when things slow down because of no shows, we’re allowed to take those spots.) I had all the fancy tests run and my script is updated. I wasn’t completely due for an exam, but it was close enough and I wasn’t going to spend money on new glasses using an old script.

Anyway, I picked out two really nice frames. I’m getting the super fancy lenses (I’m really blind averaging around a -10 between the two eyes so even polycarbonate ends up with super thick lenses, so my new ones will be a step beyond that even, in technology.) I’m getting blue light filtering because I’m always in front of a computer, and I’m also getting transition lenses. These glasses, plus exam would have totaled about $$$$ (I did not, for once, pick cheap frames. I picked the frames my heart told me to pick.) but all said and done my total is just shy of 350$. 200$ of which the prepaid card will cover, ~100$ of which will go on my care credit, and then the final little bit I’ll owe the store for 2 weeks until I get my next paycheck. A paycheck that is large enough I can put 50$ towards glasses and still see rent and bills paid. So I call this a win.

Of course, the catch to all this was that I was not allowed to make my purchase until most of the store had seen me in both frames and approved of them. Luckily, I know what looks good on me and lit immediately on frames that earned my coworker’s approval. I was looking at three, one got the thumbs down, but it was my third favorite anyway. So it all worked out.

Treading Water

Things at the new job are… going.

I love the job in general. I love what I’m doing. I’m fully on board to helping people get their eyes checked and into new glasses. I see it as a vital service. So that’s cool.

I really like 95% of my new coworkers. But…

See, my boss, the office manager, gives off the vibe of being the type of girl who bullied me in 6th grade. I got that vibe pretty much within the first few days. But I filed it away and ignored it because this isn’t middle school, surely she’s grown and matured. Right?

Well, one bright and sunny Thursday afternoon she pulled me into her office and ripped me a new one. For 15 minutes she just piled on complaint after complaint. Told me everything in my moral character, and a few job-related things, that were fundamentally in need of serious change.

And I don’t mean BPD stuff. Or even autism stuff.

My favorite example is my hair. I interviewed for the job in need of my hair being buzzed again. Not fully on purpose, but I only buzz it every 3-4 months anyway and was only just barely overdue. But I figured since I was job hunting, it could wait a bit. I mean, I got the bank job years ago with a freshly buzzed head, but you never know.

Anyway, I got the job and immediately read the employee handbook when it came to appearance and nothing at all was mentioned about hair. This is a handbook that forbid us from eating garlic with our lunch, that’s now meticulous it was, but not a word on hair.

To be safe, I went into work my first day, with hair an inch or two long, and asked her directly what the policy was. I explained I keep my hair super short, that what she was currently seeing was on the long end of the spectrum, and that if there was no official policy, I would be buzzing my head in the next few days. I did my best to get across how short it would be, but let’s face it, it was only an inch or so long at the time, so clearly we were talking short. She said she’d speak to the regional and get back to me. By the end of that first day, I had the official thumbs-up to buzz my hair.

So I did.

Now some 8 weeks later I’m learning that they had no idea how short I intended. What’s worse, a couple of patients have asked me if I have cancer. I have simply answered that my hair was a personal choice and steered conversation right back to their eye appointment at hand, all in a matter of 30 seconds. HOWEVER, those two patients asking me that means my hair is officially a workplace distraction and she feels she now has ground to dictate how I keep my hair. Mind you, if I passed as a man, this would not be an issue. We actually have a male optician with a similar cut.

While I took most of what she had to say to me to heart and will work on changing the things in the name of keeping my job, and some of them were 100% valid. I want to be upfront about that. Some of them were 100% valid things that I need to work on. I am not taking her word as the final word about my hair.

See, my hair ties into my disability. I can not have hair that is long enough to touch my face, neck, or ears. I have sensory issues.

So I have very politely went over her head to HR to ask what the official policy is on hair length if there even is one. I gave her the full story and I did mention that me buzzing my hair ties into a disability, which makes me a protected class. I did not name the disability. I said I elected not to as it did not otherwise affect my ability to perform my job. If pushed, I’ll fess up to sensory issues. I’ll blame the fibromyalgia (nerves misfiring), not the autism. I will not ever disclose I’m autistic.

We’ll see where this goes.

That particular Thursday was a really rough day and while I held my shit together to finish out the day, I did cry myself to sleep that night. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she’d mentioned even a couple of the bits of my job I’m doing well in. Because I know I’m overall really good at my job.

I know this because she was not at work the next day and my coworkers who knew something was up and got bits and pieces out of me have all rallied around me and told me I’m doing a fantastic job, I’m likable, and that boss lady is like that with everyone.

So anyway, I’m going to hang in there. I’ll keep my head low. Do my absolute best. Change the few behaviors that I recognize need to be changed. (Such as they are patients, not customers. I get that right 80% of the time, but I need to fix that other 20%.)

I think this job is going to work out. I really do. I can survive a boss who doesn’t like me, and doesn’t hide that fact, when in general I like everything else about the job.

Oh, and I do have some awesome job perks to report. I’ll talk about those in the next post. This post deserves some happy news, but it’s already getting long.

So Tired

The new job is going really well! However…

You’d think that going to school fulltime and working parttime plus parenting and chores would be the most exhausting period of my life. However, you’d be wrong. Apparently working fulltime, no school, and no energy for chores or much parenting takes ten times the energy.

Honestly, I think the difference is that this job involves the general public and working with people is just really draining.

However, I will get used to it. I will build my stamina and I will be fine. I have no problem getting through the workday itself, I’m just crashing into bed at like 8 pm because I’m exhausted.

Anyway, I love what I’m doing. I like my coworkers. I’m apparently good at my job so far, at least for what I’ve been taught, because I’m getting loads of validation. So I’m happy with the situation I have found myself in.

I’m just also really fuckin’ tired.