Category Archives: Redundancy

Seriously, how long?

Yes, today marks a very depressing anniversary for me, its exactly 1 year since I left William Hill, having taken redundancy. I know, I worked 2 weeks in the interim, but to be honest, I’m still trying to forget about that, but anyway…

I’ll admit it, when I decided to leave, I suspected it might be a battle to get a job, but I never imagined it being like this. I know, age was against me, being transgendered would probably be against me, but even so, I thought there would be openings out there, but…here I sit tonight, still battling on, to find another job.

Yes, I’m ready to scream, I admit it.

Thats not to say there havent been some good moments in the last year, 2 trips to Hollywood being among the high points, but the last 4 months, since I got back from 4 weeks out there, pretty hellish, on the whole! Yes, mainly money, or more importantly, the lack of it, has begun to bite hard.

Now fine, I’d love to put all the blame for my lack of job opportunities on my age, or my gender issues, but in truth, a lot of it is probably down to me, and the modern methods used for recruiting staff, which I struggle, at my age, to get my head around. Yes, competency questions are the bane of my life, and however well I practice them at home, once I get asked something slightly different, mid interview, my brain goes pop, and I blow it. I’ll be honest, in the early days, even basic competency questions used to stump me, but I think I’m getting there with those.

Thats not to say that I dont think my age, and probably more critically, my transgendered status hasnt counted against me at times, because it has, I’m sure. The less than fond memory of the job where the emphasis at the interview was on “This is a young office” was a less than subtle clue on one occasion at least. And yes, there’s been a few times, when I have performed well, and not got anywhere, and I’m sure the confusion of a woman, with a male passport (as I had back then) probably counted against me, with some.

I’ve also had other frustrations on money raising fronts. Yes, the clinical research thing, is an obvious that comes to mind. The first time, I was in, but because they couldnt make promises at the time I needed to make the decision about that ghastly job, I took that, and missed out. Second time around, after discovering that my internal genitals are a mix of male, and female bits, that was it!

I’ll be honest, I’m still ignoring sales jobs, especially cold calling ones, as I know my nature wouldnt last weeks in a job like that, let alone years. I’ll be honest, even if I applied, and got an interview, I doubt they’d take me on, I just cant push hard enough for that sort of role. But yes, anything reasonable, I’ll give it a go. Hey, this week I applied for a job, as a Receptionist at a local casino. I dont really expect to hear back, but you never know, I do have experience in the gaming industry, but its hardly that! Be more fun if it was Vegas, or California, but it might be a start?

But fine, I’ll say it again, I’ll try anything now, legal! I know what I said above, but I suspect that if someone offered me a ‘warm’ or ‘hot’ selling role, I’d give it a try! But apply for one, dont think I could. Having said that, I’ve seen these social media retail selling things, and I have my doubts I could do that sort of sales either, so…?

I guess you’re asking, do I now, in hindsight, regret my decision to take the redundancy money, given whats happened? Generally, no. The only reason I could finish at 10.00, in Leeds, and get home fine, was because we were given taxis, but I knew that was being taken away. After that, given the awful punctuality record of Trans Pennine Express, there was no guarantee I would get the last bus home. Which would have meant a 40 minute walk, late at night, or the expense of a taxi, assuming I could get one, especially at weekends. And to be honest, I’d already been considering getting another job, before the money came along, so…
The other reason I couldnt say anything but no? Those 5.5 weeks in Hollywood, over the 2 trips, for starters. Fine, I had a week booked, but if I say that after 5.5 weeks, I still havent done everything in LA that I would love to do, yes, you get my drift? I also met some wonderful people, on both trips, that I wouldnt have done otherwise, and got some very good memories out of it.

But yes, if someone wants to make me an offer, just about anywhere in the world, any legal job, give me a shout. At worst, I’ll think about it, and in truth, if its reasonable, and I think I could do it, I’ll take it. Equally, if there are any William Randolph Hearst’s out there, who fancy a transgendered Marion Davies at their side, yes please. Lets face it, for the right Mr Hearst, I might even get all my genitals made female! I dont fancy the surgery at my age, but if required, then fine, get me booked in!

Alright, before I hit 1000 words, good grief, the video. A bit of Eagles, in tribute to the recently departed Glenn Frey

I’m trying to feel like I dont want to depart too, but its getting hard!

My name is…

No, its not Michael Caine, though that may serve as a hint to the video at the end lol!

But yes, it is Stevie Lou, but its not Nicks, I leave that surname to a certain pop star, its officially Nicholls. As most will realise, thats not the name I was baptised with of course, that might have been more, err, a mans name, and I changed the surname as well when I changed gender.

And yes, that is what it says on the passport too, I must admit the name choice was a bit of a ‘flag of convenience’ thing when I changed it. Stevie Lou is nicely gender ambiuguous for the bigots that are out there, whereas Stephanie Louise might just prove a bit too in the face for some? I suspect if I was being formally introduced to someone important, I might go with Stephanie Louise though, but the odds on me going  to Royal Ascot, or a Buckingham Palace garden party must rank as very slim lol!

To be honest, Stevie Lou probably suits the new female me better than the formal name would anyway, its kind of cute, I’d love to say like me, but…Its fresh, and fun, a bit like me since the change was made.

And I’ll be honest, 90 odd per cent of people at work are fine with it, there are one or two that still use Steve, but even they are being worn down by inevitability, so it seems. The he/she thing is a bit more of an issue with some, but I can see their point in a very slight way, but yes, it still grates at times, but I certainly dont get militant, or stroppy about it, and it seems to work in time, as one of the ‘old school’ changed hastily from he to she on Sunday when talking about me, so hey…!

The funny thing is, its 2 pieces of bad news in the past that really pushed me on with it. The first was when Farnell made me redundant back in 2009(I think?) for several reasons. One, I was tired of the job, wanting to get out, but just couldnt give myself the needed kick up the backside to do so. They gave me it, and a nice pay off to boot. I was out there as transgender, but it was made clear that I was ‘expected’ to act, and dress as a guy, even if all the office knew, and all my reps too, and no complaints from anyone. But now, if I could get a new job, I could take things further, and so…I did! Yes, thats when I did the first hypnotherapy session for confidence, and I sailed through the interview. And yes, as history knows, got the job!

I wasnt outrageous, but yes, the clothes certainly started to cross the gender barrier, and the use of a handbag certainly did. No, I didnt come out there at first, just let them think what they wanted. Did come out after a while though… But then, about 20 months or so ago, they cut back on telebetting in Leeds, calamity loomed. No, they were setting up a new team I discovered, and soon found out they wanted me as part of it. But, wait for it, there would be a new contract to sign. So that was when I got the kick up the backside to get my name changed, as yes, I could have my contract in my new name if I got the papers cleared in time, and did.

So thats the thoroughly boring tale of how I became Stevie Lou Nicholls, but it wasnt enough for Madness to make a record for me lol! So you’ll have to settle for this gem instead. It was a very minor hit by their standards, just no idea why that was the case.

Punches air to  celebrate century lol!