Category Archives: Civil Service

Stepping Into Christmas Outfits

(Major tongue in cheek warning here)

Did you know there are some people that think all Civil Servants are pompous, presumptuous, and controlling, a bit like Humphrey Appleby in Yes, Minister, and Yes, Prime Minister TV series? Maybe they were back in the 70’s, and 80’s, but now, seriously…we’re almost as human as the rest of you! 😛

Dont get me wrong, we take our jobs very seriously (quite rightly), but anyone who thinks every man comes into the office dressed in suit, and tie, and women dressed in business dress, and high heels, well, you’re going to be disappointed, all the same!

For those of you keeping an eye on the calendar, you might have noticed that December, and Christmas is just around the corner? So yes, that means that ‘annual delight’, the buying of gifts for a work colleague, better known to some as ‘Secret Santa’. Yes, even Civil Servants do these things. I know, shocking! Well, our office does, anyway.

So fine, we all buy one present, hand it to one of the team leaders, and then all presents are handed out dutifully, right? Wrong, seems there is a demand for a Miss, or Mrs Claus to hand out the gifts. Which might seem a little ott, except that we have a team leader, and an actress who quite fancy that idea! Now whether this is a dull, practical outfit, or something slightly more fun, well…lets wait and see! But, if you fancy a few pennies on the latter, you might be on a winner! Given I’m nearly 60, I suspect not too wild (plus it is a working office), but something a little fun, absolutely.

I do believe that many years ago, and I do mean many years ago, I dressed up as a helper for Santa. No, I cant remember why, it would be around 40 years ago, and my memory isnt that good! So it wont be a first, but definitely will be fun if it happens.

Yes, as I say, we Civil Servants really are a dull, boring bunch! Honest! Well, maybe…?

Right, 2 videos for the price of 1 tonight, you are honored. Firstly, a harking back to my teens, a tribute band. No, most would never have heard of the bands we covered, so lets leave it there. This is decent, and the guy is clearly a Dodgers fan (Excellent taste), so lets run with this. No, I know nothing more about him, before you ask.

Secondly, some very suitable female outfits for Christmas. Also, its from Boston, a wonderful city in New England. I suspect what I might be wearing might not be a million miles from this, just warning you.

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Working as a woman?

Confused? Oh, I hope so. Yes, I do, every day, I know. But as I’m sure all readers know (or should know), that hasnt always been the case. Indeed, technically, my current job is my first one where my passport states that I am female, but in at least 2 jobs before that, to some degree or another, I had already come out as a woman.

The first of those jobs, it was known by some, but apart from one day, I never dressed literally in a female style, but pretty much everyone that needed to know, knew.

The next job was the one where I officially started to transition, including the first name change, and acknowledgement of being a female worker, though reaction was mixed at best, and from some, not as good as that. A few insisted on using my old name, even though they knew it annoyed me, but it was a ‘mans world’, so maybe they just thought they were being all macho by doing so, instead of just coming over as jerks!

So yes, part of my choice to take redundancy from there was definitely related to that, though the new conditions of work werent really to suit, and the redundancy offer was good, so…

Now we come to my current job, and surrounding events, primarily tomorrow, and the tale of working as a Transgender person in the Civil Service. Some know which department, for others, does it really matter? I’ll be honest with you, the main line I will use tomorrow, is the comment that its the same as any other woman working in that department! Yes, honest it is. Oh, and do you know what, thats the best way for it to be. And before you ask, no, its no secret, and doesnt need to be, perfection! I suspect there might be 1 or 2 around the building who keep out of my way, just discreetly, but no, I’ve never had any negative reaction come back to me, from anyone!

So yes, for me at least, the talk tomorrow will give a very positive view of working as a transgender woman in the Civil Service. Officially, the dress code is smart casual, so I could get away with a nice top, and slacks. But yes, you’ve guessed it, its going to be a dress for me! I know, I’ve only worn a dress in the office a few times since starting there, for later events, but it has been done, so lets do it again!

Its going to be interesting doing the speech. I’ve performed to far bigger audiences in my time, but not in a while, but I’m sure I havent lost the knack. Fine, I havent got a script this time, but I’m sure I’ll survive. But yes, at this moment at least, I’m looking forward to doing this, I must say. Whether I might feel slightly differently at 11.00 tomorrow, who knows?

But yes, I am officially, just a woman, working in the Civil Service, who just also happens to be transgender, end of story.

The video, I’m told, is the original Helen Reddy version of this song. If you know different, then fine, but its what someone says, and 44 years on, I have to go by what they tell me lol!

Dont let me out of here!

No, dont try and think of a song with that title lol. Its a line from the video song, mind. Which is an extended version of an 80’s synth classic! Confused? You’ll find out at the end of the blog.

In truth, it will be a nice completion of the circle if my last office job was in the Civil Service, because in truth, one of my very first interviews as a 16 year old was that sort of work, just a different ministry. That was for a junior job in the Ministry of Defence, which I didnt get. But anyway…

The only interim element of the Civil Service that I had in the interim, were the very hilarious Yes, Minister, and Yes, Prime Minister on TV. I dont know if that was anything like the Civil Service back then, or not, but I know its not true nowadays. But yes, most will remember the Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, and wonder if people really acted like that?

In truth, thats the only clue I have to what a Permanent Secretary in a department does, and I’m sure that today, and possibly even then, it was an over exaggeration of the role, anyway. Regardless, I wouldnt expect someone of that importance to notice little old me. Wrong again!

I got back to work on Wednesday, to an email sent on the Tuesday by the lady who did the in person interview with me, that the Permanent Secretary of our department had tweeted about me, and our piece! Wow, just wow! I will probably never meet him, but to know that someone in that position of importance, had noticed the piece about me, wow! Then on Wednesday, my unofficial press officer, Madi, told everyone in our department about the piece, though I know a good number knew before then anyway. Still, if Madi helps to get the message about Transgender people to more people, all kudos to her. I’d better mention someone called Lee at this point, doing his bit on Facebook, or I will get ‘complaints’ during the week lol!

The other comedic touch of the week relates to that big sporting event I mentioned earlier in the week, that happened yesterday, the Grand National. I do my best to study form, find 3 horses I could fancy for the race, and 2 of them fail to finish, and the other was 16th! The comedy moment? The office sweepstake, where I put my hand in a large envelope, pulled out a piece of paper with a horses name on, and got the winner!

Yes, dont let me out of that office until retirement, I love the place too much. Oh, and after tomorrow, I wont be one of the newbies, as a new group start their training tomorrow, and though they probably wont read this, I wish them all well. Oh, and next time they apply for applicants for the grade up from mine, I might well be applying! Oh fine, I plan to. It might be a while, its just happened, but it will happen, I’m sure. There is a plan to let me do some shadowing before then, to see whats involved, which might be handy.

OK, video time. When it comes to synth groups who didnt make it big, and I have no idea why, Ph.D would almost top me list. Jim Diamond did go on to solo success, so maybe that counts, but anyway? This is a super, extended version, and no, before you ask, neither lady is me lol!