December 5, 2008

So Much to Learn

Posted in coworkers, work at 11:05 am by Michael

Every company has their own meeting protocol.

‘Softies are late – usually about 5 minutes. I try, really try, to not be late. Since my job is all about meetings, and I’m back to back from 9-5 every day, I tend to be a little late.

I have a regular meeting on Wednesdays (when I’m in Redmond) with folks who I’ve worked with for a long time (more than in just this job). One of the people in that meeting tends to high-five people when they come in, especially late. (Which um, would be, me).

I came in, and gave Besty the requisite “Yeah, I’m a loser, I’m late” high-five.

She recoiled, grabbed her hand.

“Ow Megan! That’s not how us girls give high fives. Try again!”

Three or four iterations later, I got the “Girl High Five” down. Not too firm, not a lot of follow through, light recoil.

Satisfied, Betsy let me take my seat, high-five dunce hat firmly in place.

The next week, I walked in, early. I didn’t want to get tested.

Betsy was sitting there, Cheshire-cat grin firmly in place, right hand up to receive the high-five action.

“Very good! You learned!”




  1. Sarah TX said,

    That’s odd Our division bowling team has a tradition of “high fives for marks, fist-bumps for misses”. Some of the guys on the team give an…energetic high five. Oddly enough, the only way to keep an energetic high five from hurting is to give an energetic high five. No “light recoil” for me 🙂

  2. I think it’s great that your coworkers accept your change so readily. You’re very lucky to have such support. I understand personally how much pressure there is when you’re doing this in a management role, having also transitioned in place almost a year ago.

    I’m very grateful to have the support, encouragement and acceptance of my coworkers, and also grateful that as yet few people have tried to give me “girl lessons” (“Suzanne, girls don’t do that like X, they do it like Y.”). I see that all the time with many of my transgender friends, especially from wives and girlfriends.

    It’s well-meaning, to be sure, and I wouldn’t take offense from the intention, but a part of me would be mortified, especially if someone pointed out something unfeminine about me in a meeting. I cringe at the thought.

    I’m probably too sensitive about things like that. I fully recognize that. It comes from my own insecurities. You seem to be taking it more in stride, and seem (at least from what I’ve read so far of your blog) to be pretty comfortable with who you are. Good for you, hon!

    And I think it’s great that your coworkers are comfortable enough with you to even joke around with you a bit about your transition. Microsoft sounds like a nice place to work.

    All the best,

  3. danielle said,

    wait. there’s a gender norm for high-fives?
    I sooooo missed that memo…..
    oh well, at least you got it down! 🙂

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