So I haven’t even BEEN to work today and I’m already so fired up that I just have to write about it. SO, something I haven’t really talked about yet, but that has been an ongoing problem for me is my name situation. It’s a challenge in many ways in my life but for right now I’m just going to talk about how it’s a challenge for me at work.
Let me start by saying the managers at work have almost always (except for once) called me Lane, and they printed Lane on my name tag (so far, so good). However, whenever the weekly schedule (the one that says who is working what hours for the whole week), or the daily schedule (the one that lists everyone who’s working that day and when their breaks are), are printed, they always list my birth name. The daily schedule has always been the one I’ve had more of a problem with, at the start of every shift, the first thing I do is go cross out my birth name on the schedule and write Lane. I learned to do this when I was paged by my birth name, over the loud speaker one time, and then a few co-workers connected the dots and started jokingly calling me my birth name. A choice quote from one of them was “That’s forever burned in my brain.” “Great,” I thought. Luckily it mostly blew over, and I started crossing out my birth name and things were peachy for a while. Until one day, when I wasn’t working, my partner came home and told me that during her lunch break, the topic of names had come up in the break room and someone told everyone my birth name and then they all started debating which name they liked better. As triggering as that was to hear, I was really glad that I hadn’t been there because that would have been really hard to sit through.
I didn’t think the weekly schedule was such a big deal, up until a week ago, because people just mostly look at their own schedule, right? WRONG. So, because they’ve started doing the layoffs at work, everyone has gotten in the habit of checking everyone else’s schedule to see who’s been fired. That’s been really great for me because the people who don’t know my birth name have all tried to console me over getting fired when they didn’t see Lane listed on the schedule and the people who do know my birth name have so helpfully volunteered the information to some of the people who didn’t know. AWESOME. My partner came home today and told me that one of our co-workers said asked her if my birth name is my “real name” today. She replied “that’s Lane’s birth name.” The co-worker then had all kinds of questions to which my partner just kept saying “Lane’s name is Lane.” She asked me what I would prefer be her response in those situations, after thinking about it for a while, I said “If someone asks you if my birth name is my real name, just say no.” She struggled with that a bit, and I said “it’s none of their business, they don’t get to demand that answer. So they’re confused. I don’t care.”
All of this just really sucks because after I was outed at work (a story for another time), and then I confirmed the fact to my managers, they said I could come to them with any concerns, ever. They really emphasized that no concern was too small. I was like “awesome, it seems like they actually care.” Silly me. I went to them a few weeks ago, asking if it was possible for them to change my name in the system. The store manager said he thought so. A few days later, one of the other managers announced to me, in front of other associates, I might add, that it wouldn’t be possible. The next day the store manager told me he was still working on it, despite what the other manager had told me. The next day, when I punched in, the computer said Lane. I was overjoyed! I felt like I was floating for that whole shift. But the following day when I punched in, it was back to saying my birth name and it has since. So, I’m left to guess that it’s not possible. In a fair world, this wouldn’t be my concern, it would be the concern of my manager’s, trying to make me comfortable so that I could do the best work that I am capable of. However, we don’t live in the world. So, for now I will run to the daily schedule at the start of every shift to cross out my birth name and write in my chosen name, and work with anxiety in the back of my mind, hoping that a co-worker doesn’t joke about my name today, and that someone else doesn’t put my partner on the spot to answer demands about my identity.
That’s all for now, until next time…