I’ve been very remiss of late in keeping you up to date with how things are going with the job.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been predominantly working from home with occasional face-to-face meetings which I have been conducting in girl mode.
The initial contract had been for 3 months, and when this became due for renewal it was extended by another 3 months which would take the engagement through to the end of the year (as in the end of 2016).
We settled down into a pattern of meeting up face-to-face once a month for a progress & planning meeting, but other than that everything was conducted remotely. It worked fairly well for me, although it wasn’t without its downsides which I will come to shortly.
As December wore on it became increasingly clear to me that we were approaching the end of this block of work and that the contract looked to be drawing to a natural conclusion. In our December progress meeting, that feeling was borne out as I was told that there would not be a renewal as we had indeed reached a natural conclusion. That’s entirely fine, and is the nature of my work and the service I offer.
Since the people I was working most closely with were going on holiday just before Christmas, and not planning to work again until the New Year, we decided that this would also be a good point for me to finish, even though there was a contract through to the end of the year.
It was interesting six months. I couldn’t have asked for a safer and more friendly environment to present as female professionally, what with the fact that the owner of the company is a trans woman, the company is very small, close-knit and friendly, and so distributed with everyone predominantly working from home, but even so it was an interesting and rewarding experience. I was certainly made to feel very welcome and accepted, and was explicitly invited to their Christmas party and again to an end-of-year pub lunch. One of the ladies took me to one side at that and told me that I always dress so well, and have such great dress sense, and that she would love to go shopping with me sometime. I think this might be quite the nicest thing someone has said to me in a while. 🙂
After I finished there, I decided to take some time out before looking for another client. I’ve spent time doing my house up, going to antiques fairs, visiting places, seeing friends, and generally being a Lady of Leisure. However, all good things must come to an end and needs must when you have bills to pay, so I will be putting out feelers shortly.
Will I apply for future roles in girl mode? No, I don’t think so. The main reason being that quite apart from my previously stated reasons for presenting as male professionally, getting ready to go out in girl mode is a faff that takes a good hour or more, plus additional time to choose an outfit, whereas guy mode is only around 15 mins if that. I really noticed it on days where we had a meeting, as I would lose around half a day to what was sometimes only a 90 min meeting. Which, when you bill by the hour, is not so great.
Also, with guy mode, there isn’t the requirement to shave every day, nor is there the worry of losing the full coverage foundation on your upper lip when you blow your nose. Nor the itchy scalp and mild headache that comes from wearing a wig for an extended time. In short, it’s a faff, and a distraction from work, and I’m not sure how much benefit it would be.
I really can’t say that I am looking forward to going back into an office environment after 8 months away from one, but I certainly can’t afford to retire and contracts like the one I have just had don’t come up very often so it is rather unavoidable. That doesn’t make it any more palatable though.