The Words of Kabutroid
Where to start... where to start.
Ok, first off, I'm not knocking the people who DO choose to work 12-hour shifts, or work every weekend, or basically cram as much work into their waking lives as possible. Some people are workaholics. Some people are getting away from home. Some people enjoy the company. Some people can't afford not to (or rather, many). There's tons of reasons. It's just not for me, that's all.
And then there's the company itself. THEY need to get that shit done. They said they could do it, it's gotta be done by a certain time, and that's all there is to THAT. Which is why it's incredibly important that good project managers be picked, and have good workers there who can accomplish the required tasks.
That said... there's countless reasons why I do not want to work as a pipefitter in a steel foundry. Without going too far into it, I became a plumber for very specific reasons. Repairing a multinational company's violently dangerous and unhealthy facility, so that it can return to blatantly and unapologetically treating the workers poorly and unfairly, is explicitly NOT why I became a plumber. One could argue it's the exact polar opposite.
THAT said... I am still working there, and will be going back tomorrow. For starters, I am learning an unbelievable number of things doing this work. Figuring out better techniques to using the tools, learned to use a boom lift (those drivable lookin' things that raise you up in the air to do shit), learned what not to do should I ever need to manage a project, and countless other bits and pieces. Basically, just... experience. Also, I enjoy food and shelter.
THAT said, I've only been at this for about 4 months now. It's not a very short period of time, but it's not exactly years, either. I have been working in an office for the past 15 years, immediately prior to becoming said plumber. I wasn't in terrible shape by any means, but I don't have decades of hard-labour muscles under my belt, either. I put up an unaffected front, but this IS kicking the crap out of me right now. It's not like I have to learn everything about heavy industry right off the hop. I can pick up bits and pieces as I go. I'm not looking to learn *everything* in a single summer here. I would far, FAR rather be doing service work, repairing people's water lines, taking care of drain problems, and generally just *helping* the common man.
All THAT said, I still hope I'm out of this foundry as fast as fucking possible. I've got enough of a family history for health problems, I don't need to be endlessly breathing more carcinogenic and toxic dust. I wear a dust mask every day, and you would not *believe* how much filth finds its way behind the mask by the end of the day, never mind the toll it's taking on the rest of my body. To be perfectly honest, I have no clue how the hell that place managed to pass like... *any* inspections for the past few decades. Oh well, may I be done with that place as absolutely soon as possible. It's not like I need the money... that's kinda the benefit of digging your way out of debt. A week or two without work? Meh... I'll survive. When you don't have to fork over the majority of your net pay to someone else, it makes life a lot easier, and a lot less complicated. Right now I'm going there for the company I work for. They're nice people, and they need that project done.
I planned to put the following in the hidden text I usually toss onto the page, but I wanted it to be 'unhidden', so to speak:
So... how's it going otherwise? Not too shabby, gotta say. If anyone's been keeping up with my genderfluid (bonus thanks to Rachlend for making me aware of this word) saga, which I guess isn't really that much of a saga, unless you count the few mentions in this hidden text, or a handful of posts on Reddit... y'know what, let's just cut off that thought right there, and post the long and short of said saga. It helps to get it off my chest, even if in a place few people will ever see.
Long story short up until just recently... been genderfluid assumingly my entire life, but noticed something unusual about myself about... I dunno, age 12 or 13? Somewhere in there. Enjoyed girly things, etc, etc, you get the gist. Never told a soul, and fully expected to die before doing as such. About 6 months ago my wife found out. She was supportive, and things moved along slowly, but swimmingly. Dresses were worn, nails were painted, and the general exploration of this newfound freedom was explored.
Few days ago, told a friend. He didn't care, I wasn't surprised. It's not like I act different... I've always just been me. I've always been the "weird" one, so any of the (what I think are) obvious... unusualities about my behaviour or demeanour have always just been chalked up to just me being me. That's apparently how I'm described to others. James is just... James. Sorta like how I like to describe Kraid.
But yeah, plan to rock pink toenails all year (or whatever colour I'm in the mood for when they've chipped off or grown out enough), so let people think what they want to think. I'm sure word will slowly get out. Very, very few people ask questions, but it's not like I'm hiding the genderfluidity any more. I've generally always seen my life as an open book, but for the asking. Prior to 6 months ago, this did not include anything related to my liking anything girly (again, planned to die with nobody but myself ever knowing). Now it does. It seems a trivial change when nobody asks questions, but I plan to not hide my behaviour either any more. Crossing my legs, maybe walking with my hips a little bit, maybe rock out to Britney and sing along? Why not? I've always wanted to... now I can. Hell, maybe in enough time, I'll be able to wear a bra and tank-top out. I'd rock a skirt if the situation presented itself.
That said, I don't want to shove it down people's throats either (phrasing!) While I imagine the vast majority of people wouldn't care even slightly, friends or the general public, I don't want to make it the focus of attention (for any longer than it needs to be for acknowledgement purposes). Nobody other than my wife has EVER seen me wear women's clothing (though a pic or two may be kicking around online). To suddenly show up to a gathering looking like the bearded lady, nobody would know how to react, and there would be general confusion, uncomfortable silence, and who knows what other kind of reaction. I'd rather avoid that. Ease them into it, so to speak.
Unless y'know, one of them wants to see me rock a dress or something. Pfft, sure, why not, it'd get the word out and hopefully make it less 'weird' for others. And hey, I get to break out a dress :D
Thus... pink toenails... which is pretty much what broke the ice with my friend.
That said, I'm not about to break out ANY of that shit at or around work. Most of them are all old-school types, I'd be eaten alive. I rather enjoy working there, but... they ain't the younger generation, let's put it that way. I wear coveralls all the time anyway, and I could be wearing *anything* under there :P.