Finally my big day arrived. No, not that big day. I walked down the aisle far too long ago. This big day was the one when everyone at work found out about Jenna.
I was in work by 6am as things have been a bit hectic recently and most of the team I'm part of have been working a shift pattern. This week it was my turn to get into work for the time I'd normally be getting out of bed!
On Wednesday I'd sat down with L from personnel and we'd gone over the final details. Everything that we'd thought of had been dealt with. On January 1st all of my personnel records, pension and payroll will get switched to Jenna.
Everything started well on Thursday but within an hour of arriving at work I could feel the nerves starting to build. Did I really want to be in the meeting where everyone was going to be told that in the New Year I would be coming to work as Jenna? I was beginning to wonder but I'd said I wanted to be there and I'd stick to that.
Well, that was my intention until just before 9 when V,one of my managers and a long time friend, came to talk to me. She said that the Project Manager had asked if I wanted to be at the meeting. I was surprised but told her that I was feeling nervous and wasn't sure, I'd discuss it with personnel.
It was a brief chat but it was decided that in fact my presence at the meeting wasn't required and that it might make it easier for people to ask questions and give honest reactions. If there were questions that personnel couldn't answer they could be directed to me.
The morning went by quickly and before I knew it there was only half an hour until the meeting. The plan now was for everyone to go to the meeting and once they'd all gone then I could finish up and leave for home.
Before that could happen though my Project Manager took me to one side to have a brief chat and then one of my managers came and sat down at my desk to have a quiet word. We agreed that we would speak later in the afternoon so that I could get her opinion of how the meeting went, I was already going to be finding out from personnel but it helps to have the view of someone more familiar with the team too.
With 5 minutes to go I received an email from one of my colleagues asking about the chats that he'd seen me having with management. I told him that it wasn't anything to do with what he thought it was, as he headed off to the meeting I fired one last email to him with the words "Now you know what it was about".
One of my colleagues was still sitting at her desk next to mine and I had to prompt her to go off to the meeting, she'd forgotten about it. Fortunately she didn't ask me why I was still at my desk as she raced off.
Within the next half an hour everybody would know, shortly after that the whole company would be aware.
I logged out of my PC, picked up my rucsack (when I return in the New Year it will be with a shoulder bag to carry my things and the rucsack will be consigned to be used just when I need it). I wished the only person that was around a merry Christmas and without looking back made my way from the building. The thought that crossed my mind as I walked across the car park was that the next time I set foot in the building it would be as Jenna and would be on the 9th January.
During the afternoon I spoke with personnel and V.
The meeting had gone well. There had been a couple of questions which were of a personal nature rather than work specific. People were being supportive. They'd been stunned as nobody had seen it coming. V had been watching people's reactions as L as the letter I'd written was being read out. Faces had dropped as they thought that they were being told that I had some serious illness. There was a sense of relief when they found out. I've always known that I work with an amazing team and their reactions proved that. All of this is going to take some getting used to.
As for the rest of work, the email went out and there hadn't been any reaction to it by the time I rang in. I've been told by one person that I spoke to that she's going to give me a hug when she sees me next. I'll look forward to that.
A bit of a nerve wracking time but the news seems to have gone down well. Returning to work will be nerve wracking but there is so much going on that I'm hoping that things will be a five minute wonder and then everything will settle down.
Only time will tell.