Yesterday was my second day at my new federal job. The job itself has a lot of future potential so overall I am happy with it. However, that isn’t what I am here to post about.
We were in a teleconference from offices around the country. It was the EEO lecture (Equal Employment Opportunity), where we learn about sexual harassment, discrimination based on age, gender, etc. We went in depth on a lot of it. After a few minutes the presenter did say there was a new section that is protected, it was written by President Obama by executive order. The presenter said unfortunately she hadn’t updated the slides so she would just have to verbally tell us about it.
I almost cheered at this point, as I had already read about the LGBT Executive Order when it came out. The presenter continued, “It is the legal protection of lesbians, gays, and…. transvestites”. Yes, that is what she said. I think I was stunned for a few minutes. One of the main people for the EEO protection for my federal agency not only missed the term transgender, but actually called them transvestites.
It was truly a face-palm moment for me. My first reaction was to correct her, but it was my second day on the job, I have a year’s probation to go through and publicly correcting her would be political suicide. Also, very important for me to note, I don’t think she meant it in a bad way. She was struggling from memory on what the order passed and I suspect she just had no experience, so I wanted to be clear about the fact I don’t think she at all meant it in what she would constitute a negative way.
I then debated on calling her privately, or sending her an IM (our agency uses IM to talk with each other). However that didn’t seem like a smart idea. We are a single income home at the moment and even though we are only barely getting by, any job had to get now would probably pay even less. So like a jerk, I said nothing, did nothing.
I knew my husband would support this decision (and would actually prefer it since I usually balk at authority and would say something), however I still feel like a betrayer. It bothered me all night and probably contributed to the fact that I am awake hours earlier then I wanted to be today.