“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”
– John Heywood
When I went out of work for my surgery, I promised to share some of the heart warming stories from my time out and my return to work. As I have shared in previous posts, there has been a lot of stress and anxiety with all of this…the transition and the return to work. I am still working through a lot of things and processing some incidents, but I think that’s going to happen for a while. Until I reach a place both at work and in my social life where all of this isn’t so “new” to others, I expect that’s going to be the case. I’ll still have to work through a lot of emotions, but I am working on it and trying to accept it for what it is.
Tonight though, I want to share one of the heart warming stories. It’s an incident I never expected to happen and still, when I think about it, leaves me speechless. It was one of those moments I will always remember as a pinnacle moment in this journey.
I had shared this summer that I was worried about how some of my staff would react. I knew most of my staff either would be incredibly supportive or would at least “walk the company line” with me returning to work as, well, me. After my boss and HR had their meeting with my team, both my boss and the training manager both messaged me to tell me the meetings had happened and as of the close of business that day, no one had come to either of them with questions or concerns. While most would say that should have had me breathing a sigh of relief, my team rarely brings questions forward. So while we were relieved there were no outright objections, we were all just watching and waiting to see what happened, especially when I returned to work.
My first day back at work was really sweet and, well, overwhelming. I will write another post about that this coming week because it was too sweet not to share. But this story…what happened with one employee…it was more impactful than I could have imagined.
So, I returned to work and things went well. I didn’t really get to talk to too many people that day aside from my boss. I mean, yes, I talked with everyone. But real discussions just didn’t happen that day outside of the rest of the leadership team because I had so many things I needed to catch up on. That was pretty much my first two days back at work and then I rolled into my weekend shifts.
I arrived at work that Saturday and got to work. It was exceptionally busy for my team for a Saturday and I had to immediately go into staffing to support them for about three hours. After that busy spell, I decided to round and check on my weekend team. As I was rounding, I came to the desk of one of my team members who I was worried about accepting me. As she did some things on her computer, she kept turning around to look at me. I was growing a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure why she kept glancing back.
When she finally caught a break, I asked her to come into my office. I had a couple of things I needed to discuss with her as she is one of the mentors/trainers for my team. I was a bit nervous as we walked into my office. She had previously made some pretty disparaging comments about the transgender population in the course of her work…so needless to say, I had prepped myself for the worst. I honestly didn’t know what to expect from her.
As she sat down, she held her hand up and asked me to wait a minute to talk shop because she had something she needed to say. Of course, my anxiety immediately spiked. I had no idea what was coming…
What she shared with me was that she kept staring because she was so impressed with how well I had put myself together for my return to work. As she opened up to me, she admitted to me that she had always held a very negative view of the transgender population despite never having met anyone who was transgender. And after sharing all of this with me, she told me that in just a few short days, I had already completely destroyed almost every assumption she had ever made about the transgender population.
Needless to say, I was speechless. I mean, I made it through the rest of the conversation. I thanked her sincerely for what she shared with me…both her honesty about her past beliefs and where she is now. But aside from that, I really didn’t know what to say beyond that as I was just floored.
In my last post, I mentioned just being overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s moments like those that overwhelm me and take a great deal of emotional energy from me. I mean, I never expected comments like that. That along with members of leadership pushing me to be a voice for the transgender community within our organization, it can be pretty exhausting at times.
But you know what the good thing is?
With as messed up as the world seems at times, it is incredibly refreshing to see someone who had such a negative opinion of people like myself change so quickly.
Who knows…maybe there is hope that the next five years will be better than the last five years have been? Who knows… ♥
See it on Flickr.
Foxcity – Back to Baesics 5m (R Arm adjusted for hive Cold Brew)
hive – Cold Brew Coffee To Go