January 3, 2008

First Day Back at Work

Posted in coworkers, Identification, work at 9:49 am by Michael

Yesterday was my first day back at work fulltime, and “fulltime” as Megan. I’ve been on work email for more than a month now, and come in for a couple of meetings. However, yesterday was the first time that I was really “at work”.

As documented laboriously, the last week of November I had “Facial Feminization Surgery” with Dr. Ousterhout in San Francisco, and had been “on vacation” since then. If you love “vacations” where you get to eat nothing for two weeks, loose 15 pounds, and get a really cool set of meds, then this is the “vacation” for you. Think of it as a facial version of the “Road to Wellville”.

As I’ve been documenting in this space, my experiences so far have been amazingly positive (except for still being called “Sir” 90% of the time). Leading up to yesterday as a result I wasn’t stressed – just thought it would be another regular day. However, virtually everyone that I talked to over the past week asked “Are you nervous to go back to work?” That made me more nervous than anything else – should I be? What didn’t I know? What evil lurked around the next corner?

I can in fact verify that while the men’s rooms in most buildings at Microsoft have blue tile, the women’s rooms have a pink to pinkish hue. Microsoft Pink?

Yesterday was also the day when my email display name changed from “Michael” to “Megan”.

Surprisingly, this turned out to be harder than necessary. Even thought I went to court in Seattle back in December and had my name legally changed to “Megan Jenna Wallent”, due to some lovely Department of Homeland Security regulations, it’s really important for your legal “name” at your workplace to be the same as your “name” on your Social Security card. If not, no can do on the name-change-deal. However, a quick trip to the SSA in downtown Bellevue, Washington solved that problem, and I was allowed to be “Megan”. I was reminded of the great scene in “The Right Stuff” where Gus Grissom was “Allowed” to be “Gus” by Henry Luce of Life Magazine fame, but only because his real name was “Virgil Ivan Grissom”, which was seemingly not appropriate in a to-the-death Space Race with the Soviets.

Besides that, it was just another normal day at Microsoft.

I had tried very hard to make sure that my transition wasn’t a surprise to anyone. Sending mail to most of Microsoft back in September, blogging publicly, well, I thought just about everyone who would interact with me “knew”. Surprising people with a cool new set of 38C’s – not a good idea.

Just as I was about to go home, I had a meeting with someone who just joined my team who was wondering who this “Megan” person was (his guess was someone who had some sort of privileges on my account while I was on vacation)… I think I was more embarrassed than he was that I somehow missed someone who now worked for me!

After a short chat, we got through that, and talked about the work stuff we needed to get through – no biggie.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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