I heard recently that my line manager from job long since left, died recently. We’ll call him W for now, although that’s not his real name. Even now, I’m a bit touchy about naming people specifically, but hey-ho. It’s not like you know the city, my bloke name, where I work, or what I do. Plus, there’s a photo here and there to truly out me…. but, moving on. 🙂
So W was not – by his own admission – someone with an IT background. He said to me that he could read people and provided I was straight with him, he’d do the same. He wasn’t a politician, but he was diplomatic. He wasn’t technical, but he got projects done right. He wasn’t loud or aggressive, yet he had respect. He wasn’t soft, but he was caring.
In the last few months, when I’ve been working on my coaching course, I found myself talking about him and rolling out stories of how he handled things and how that made me feel. Sure, we had our ups and downs as you would in all relationships. But, in the main, he was…. well, inspiring, if I’m honest. W’s still the yardstick to which I measure other managers.
Often, I lack the terminology to express why something worked. It’s only now that I’m working through the coaching course that I’m seeing what – or so I assume – W did naturally. He did a bit of paperwork, sure, but he led us as a team. He didn’t manage and there’s a huge difference. W was there to talk to and while we didn’t agree on everything, he seemed supportive, honest, and, if I can take my ego out of the loop, fair.
I would describe W as a top bloke. I think a lot of companies should employ people like W. He’d make the right kind of difference.
|Trying something a
bit more springtime
Again, spiralling from one topic to another, the idea of making a difference came around – better than the comet of self-doubt, mind 🙂 – as we had three different sets of parents get in touch with the group. They want to know what they can do to support their child who’s come out to them as trans.
I think it must take a lot of guts for a kid to do this. I also think it takes a brave parent to not only search out a trans group, but to walk into the place when you don’t know anyone and don’t know what to expect. Just who are these trans people? What will they say to me? How will they look? Will they be friendly or defensive?
How do you prepare for that meeting as a parent? What thoughts are going through a non-trans person’s head as they walk in the room and see us Maybe I should ask, but you know how it is; you don’t want to appear rude, right? I’m not so bothered if they think my outfit isn’t quite right, it’s more that I’d hate them to be weirded out. Not that we have any weirdos at Chams [gibber gibber] 🙂
I start off by asking how we can help and letting them talk. They have a lot of questions, and, like employers who come to us for help; they want to know they’re not making a complete hash of it.
Pro tip: if you’re listening to your kid, not judging them, taking them seriously, and letting them grow in a supporting and loving environment; you’re doing a top job already. Keep it up. Yes, it’s tough and yes, it may feel difficult, but you’ll make it.
BTW, did you miss the note handed out when you left the hospital? Yeah, we did too. Apparently, it says there are no rules and everyone’s winging it. That would have been good to know when we had Wee Man and Little Miss. I spent months feeling like an imposter. But, hey, improv FTW. 🙂
So, yeah, I’m beginning to think we may need to put some more information up for parents if we can. Not 100% sure what yet, but if you have any ideas, the comments box awaits.
Going back to my post about W, I find these parents who support and love their kid for who they are; that, to me, is fantastic. Maybe, like W, these folk will make a huge difference and not know it. Each time a trans kid is loved and accepted by their parents, that’s another well-adjusted soul who doesn’t need help in later life. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?
PS: Get well soon, Val.