Increasingly anxious about work

May 9, 2013

I’m exhausted. I used to really enjoy my job. I used to look forward to getting to work every morning. I used to get along with my coworkers. I used to get invited to events put on by vendors my that my company does work with.

That doesn’t happen anymore.

Most Sundays, I find myself sinking into an anxiety-filled state of dread. I find myself afraid of what the work week will bring.

Before I came out to anyone at work, I really felt like things were moving in a very positive direction. I received an amazing performance review, I was told that I was mere months from a possible promotion, and in the interim, I’d be taking on some tasks that sounded fun and challenging. I was the department “rock star,” for all intents and purposes. I was the go to person for questions related to the work my team did.

Then I came out.

I was assured that my trans status wouldn’t negatively impact the trajectory of my career, that I was still on pace for promotion, and my hard work would pay off.

This hasn’t been the case.

No, no one on my team has blatantly said anything negative to me regarding my “trans-ness,” but things are certainly different. I no longer feel like I’m anywhere near contention for a promotion. I’m no longer the go to person for items related to my work. I’m just… there. (People who aren’t on my team have been slightly less welcoming, including an overheard conversation between two women who were lamenting the fact that they had to share the women’s restroom with a “tranny” – *sigh*)

I was shifted into a role that took me outside of the familiar tasks I was used to. I would have loved the opportunity to bulk up my skill set, to be able to further my career. The only issue: there wasn’t any formal training that came with these new assignments.

When I’d reach out for help, it was either begrudgingly given (I understand, everyone is super busy, and doesn’t necessarily have time to spare for my training) or it wasn’t provided at all. Example: for one assignment, I struggled for 3 days, repeatedly asking my coworkers for guidance. When a coworker finally came to my rescue, she became a little frustrated with me. It was at that point that she misgendered me. “Can you send him this file?” I corrected her, saying, “her, please.” She simply replied, “um, okay.” I sent her an instant message, trying to explain why this matters to me, hoping she’d reply with a quick, “sorry” or “I’ll be more careful next time,” but she didn’t reply.

I know how petty this must sound to someone who doesn’t have their gender challenged by people every day, but being misgendered just feels like a punch to the gut.

Right now, a number of my coworkers are at a vendor event, one of many that I didn’t see an invitation to.

I know this all sounds paranoid, but I can’t shake these worries. Things were going so well, and then I was put on work that I don’t understand (which will obviously take a toll on the quality of my performance).

I just feel so out of place these days. It seems like the level of credibility has taken a massive hit, and it all started around the time I came out at work.

I just don’t know what to do. I want to enjoy my work again. I want to contribute. I just want to not feel so anxious about this.


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