Hello friends, this post is a dark tale and isn’t terribly flattering… Enjoy!
Life has been a little mixed up and I’ve been in a pretty awful financial situation, and I think it might be taking a toll on my health. Both of the ear pieces of my glasses are broken, I can’t afford to fix it so I’ve been getting awful headaches, the worst I’ve ever had. I’m hoping its the glasses, and not the hormones or that I’ve been grinding my teeth about my job. Plus I got mugged, but I’ve convinced myself that I’m over it. But these are all exterior things, and now i’m finally in a position where I can talk about some of the things that I’ve been going through at work, so here’s what I’ve been dealing with for the last year… ugh.
I recently left my job at Target, where I worked for over a year. I started working there when I moved back to California, I need a job quick and it was close to my residence. I had an interview on a Wednesday, drug test on Friday, training on Saturday and was on the floor by Sunday, they wanted to hire me quick, and were pretty happy to have someone knowledgeable in electronics, there were 7 electronics team members (TM’s) in a store of at least 200 TM’s, and only 1 other person who had any consumer electronics experience, my team leader didn’t know what a router or optical mouse was. I was happy though, it was a job and a way to get back on my feet after my exploration of the east-coast, though it was apparent I was overqualified and was often asked “why do you work here?”. I think I enjoyed the gratification of being smarter than most everyone I worked with, at least when it came to electronics, but that gratification wasn’t really very healthy.
When I applied I wore a suit and a tie, It was basically the only way I could get a job, every other place I’ve worked I’ve started as a guy and then “had the discussion” with a manager, and then everything’s been kosher after that. I’ve never been hired as a transgendered person and I’ve been turned down at some pretty menial jobs due to the M on my driver’s license or my masculine legal name. I needed to be a guy to get hired, so I played the part. My bosses had no problem calling me by my chosen name, I stayed very androgynous, always shaved my face and arms, I just didn’t wear anything too tight or too cute or feminine, which was hard to do after living as a girl for so long, but it was for my own safety. I didn’t have transportation and would often ride my bike, walk or take transit to work, so being a girl could be dangerous. Still, I expressed myself femininely in little ways, until it got bad.
My duties were basically just customer service and making my chunk of the store nice, but I also held keys. I had been knocked over by a guy trying to steal an PS3 once, and the same with some portable DVD players, but that was just people jacking stuff and had nothing to do with me personally, I just had the keys. What happened one evening in early Dec. 2008 and the events that followed was because I’m trans, because of the way I look and sound. I was alone in electronics and we had a small crew that night, 1 Target Protective Services (TPS) guy and an Asset Protection (AP) guy as our Executive Team Leader (ETL). Knowing the lingo makes the story easier to tell, it also illustrates how everyone is reduced to acronyms, a bit dehumanizing. Ideally, if anything happens I’m supposed to call TPS over and they’re supposed to protect me
That’s exactly what didn’t happen when a group of 5 Russian guys came into my section, started opening sodas, using guitar hero boxes as furniture and gathering around and being really rough with the PS3. I pretty much left them alone and discretely tried to contact TPS to let them know that stuff was getting broken/stolen. After about 5 minutes of trying to get a hold of TPS or any manager with no success, literally walkie silence, I was on the right channel and everything. 2 of the guys came up to me and started asking me intrusive questions about my gender, and just generally being dicks, and if anyone else tried to ask for help they would be rude to them, I was in a very hostile situation and there was no sign of anyone coming to help.
15 minutes since they started bossing me around, a soft lines (clothes) team member found the ETL after hearing my pleas, she later said it sounded like I was about to cry, like a horror movie. The TPS guy was on break and the ETL had him go over and kick the guys out, so he goes over and basically just stands there, the guys get the idea and start to leave, and one of them called me a “Snitch Faggot” on the way out. It was a crappy ordeal, but no report was filed or anything, and I pretty much forgot about it in the hectic nature of a Target at Christmas, and I saw them a couple times before that. I didn’t see them again until January 28th 2009 when some bad stuff happened.
I was walking to work in the rain, on my left was a busy 2-lane street on a curvy street, and on my right a creek with an 8 foot or so vertical incline leading into a rushing muddy creek. I had my uniform on under my jacket and an umbrella, you could see my read polo shirt and beige pants if you were looking. I saw these guys coming towards me on the same side of the street, I wasn’t going to cross the street and I totally recognized them, and they did me. I just kept walking, kept looking down tried not to make eye contact, until we pass each other, and the guy closest to me clearly says “Target Bitch”, trips and pushes me down towards the creek. I managed to grab his arm and try to hold on, slipperiness got the best of me and I stumbled backwards and fell into the creek.
It all happened really fast, and I managed to crawl out near a bridge about 30 feet away. I was about a mile from my house, a random Samaritan with some dogs let me ride in the back of her truck, I was pretty much a mess. I went to the cops, talked to my work, nothing was really done, I couldn’t stop working and if those douchebags ever came to my work again they’d arrest the guy who did it. That whole part of town was Russian-owned, and I had had previous run-in with anti-gay protesters from a local Russian church at my previous job, but nothing hostile. I started walking to work in different ways and leaving at different times just in case, bought some pepper spray, tried to get over it. I’ve had quite a few awful things happen to me for no real reason, kinda toughened me up, and I continued working there. Until July 1st someone posted this on Yelp.com reviewing my Target, yes, I always check the Yelps at any place I work because I like having my ego stroked and seeing if people mention me. This is not what I wanted to see.
“this little faggot named ashley is going to get his ass beat next time i see the bitch try to call security on me see what its got you your dead faggot ill be waiting outside pussy bitch watch your back”
I had a panic attack pretty much, It brought back some pretty negative memories, and I took it as a clear threat, not just some Internet bullying. I had some money saved up and got some help from donations, thanks again, and was free to take some time off until I could get Target to transfer me. I was really upset with how they handled it, and I have a decent sized list of occasions when the TPS officers have been slow to react, resulting in making me a target for hostility. After a month of consulting whoever I could, threats, sending certified letters and retelling the whole ordeal over and over, I finally got transferred to a different Target.
I was really excited, I enjoy customer service and did very well at Target, always getting good surveys and selling attachments and credit cards, and never had any conflicts with other TM’s. I was excited to be back at work, and in the time I was unemployed, I started hormones, and this blog. I was most looking forward to working as a girl, and since I was on hormones I was more confident as a girl and with expressing myself as a girl to hundreds of people a day, but also knowing I was working with hundreds of people that knew I was trans, but everyone seemed nice so I wasn’t terribly worried, I was brave and happy. My first day at my new Target was about 3 months ago, and to be honest, I had 2 really good months of working there, but it got bad. Let’s talk about that later, shall we? That’s the whole story of what happened, my next post will be about how I got hormones, and then I’ll finish my Target tale. More stuff soon.