Friday, December 04, 2015

Echo chamber

Hi,

The thing with skipping lunch, is I don't feel guilty when I go home a little earlier than scheduled. Ah, those dinner time meetings, where you're told to bring a snack and *ahem* man up. I've never asked, but I assume any women attending the meeting, must draw on a 'tache, with either mascara or a rare-as-rocking-horse-poo whiteboard marker.

Oddly, HR don't seem to quite so on board with a) people not taking a break, and b) said people then sloping off early as they feel they've done their hours. Still, HR's there to protect the business, not necessarily the individual. Shame, but there you go.

So, due to a lunchtime meeting being my meal ticket home - see what I did there? :-) - I had the radio on, as I drove through the emptier than usual roads. I forget the programme, but the discussion was about conspiracy theories. Don't worry, I'm not about to talk about the moon landings, 9/11 or what Big Pharma's planning for us. :-)

The presenter was talking about how conspiracy theories start and how they gain traction. One of the ways this happens, and the Internet is fantastic at doing this, is like-minded people meet and start to repeat the story back to each other. The echo-chamber effect, if you will. It's not new and it quite probably existed before the Internet, but I think it's presence is felt more readily on-line.

How does this apply to being trans? Well, we have forums, blogs and social media, just like everyone else. What can happen, is the someone posts about their gender issues and then the process starts. Live your life, just do it; all positive affirmation and consequences be damned. In fairness, over the last few years - although maybe it's the circles I move in (I'm old, so I'm not down with the kids) - there seems to be the voices of reason. I'd capitalise the latter, but it would make the line seem about a metal band. ;-)

The voices of reason, they sing a different tune - damn, I've done it again :-) - *ahem* They say something different: they suggest caution and taking things slowly. For some, this is just what they need to hear and just what they want to hear. For others, they want the Just Do It message, and to dive in. That's cool too, but personally, I do like to have a good long look, a think and a few cups of tea, before I leap. Well, I say leap, it's more like stepping off and dropping gracefully. At least, as much as a 40 something, tubby guy can do. Look out, below! INCOMING! :-)

So, if there is a point to this Friday night rambling of mine, it's do stop and think. Being trans, it may feel all about you, but it isn't. Am I saying bottle things up and stop, for the sake of others? No, I'll not say that. What I will say, is don't rush in and pause, to consider the consequences. Frequently, there's often another way, which will be the easier route.

Take care,
Lynn

8 comments:

  1. Ah, so you work for another place with an HR 'give and take' policy on timekeeping: "You give, we take". Know it well.

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    1. I find HR, like Change Management, are at their best when left undisturbed and uninformed. ;-)

      Cynicism aside, there's a number of folk in our HR department, who really try to help people. It's not then, it's the company culture that needs to change.

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  2. I was waiting for the punch line and finally found it in the last paragraph:

    "Being trans, it may feel all about you, but it isn't."

    Had I not believed in this, I would have transitioned a long time ago. There's marriage, kids, career (which supports the first two), etc.

    Oh, and here in the States....at least with my company, you MUST have lunch. poo poo

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    1. It takes a while for me to get to the punchline, I'm afraid. That may explain the bad standup ;-)

      I think, if something it very important to you, no matter afar it is, you'll find a way. Perhaps what separates people, in terms of a sliding scale, is what some are willing to do in pursuit of that goal. That's not to judge those that do, or those that don't. As the Ever Lovely Mrs J says, it's so rarely black & white.

      Yes, lunch. It's the British disease, either skipping it, ramming a sarnie in your trap, or eating at your desk. Personally, I like to get out for a walk, or a walk & a talk ideally.

      Still, early doors ain't all bad :-)

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  3. Hell Jones!!! Get out of my head!! :-)

    From needing to deal with HR some personal issues with work this week (that thing I messaged you about a while back), I was pondering these thoughts about the support network talking about what they think you want to hear. Not what they may actually believe.

    As is usual, didn't phrase it as well as you have but the echo chamber analogy is very apt.

    I need to stop, review, question and think at each step. The echo chamber can confuse those processes and focus too much back onto me.

    Thanks once again!! :-)

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    1. Funny how some topics pop up eh?

      Support is a tricky thing, because I guess, you do want to support a person oh their decision. Perhaps support, is different from advice though. I can say that on the rare occasion where people do ask me, I usually try to question their plan, or issue, from all sides, and try to get them to think of their way forward. That may not be the best way, but it seems to work.

      Looking at my own past, when I went to see a counsellor through work, it was very much a case that what I spoke about, was reflected and amplified back to me. But then, how do you know a person in an hourly meeting, once a week? How do you break up what the say, with what they mean, or what they really want? Therein lies the rub :-)

      I hope that whatever's in the pipeline - work's and yours - goes well. Maybe it's a learning curve for all parties. HR, you, colleagues age company culture. Good luck!

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  4. Why do I think off Catbert for Dilbert when you talk about HR
    please see http://assets.amuniversal.com/a6a304706cba01301d46001dd8b71c47

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    1. Heh. :-) I hope Alice doesn't control her Fist of Death.

      We had a lady (partner to trans person) come to Chams many years ago. She used to refer to her job as 'Human Remains' and pointed out that they [HR] were usually the last to know. By they time they got involved, it was all over bar the lawsuit. Shame really.

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