This week I’ve been as Anukatariina twice at the campus I haven’t done so earlier so I did some investigation on the reactions. The rumors had spread among the colleagues belonging to the same team with me. They acted somewhat surprisingly: Not a single reaction concerning the change in my look, just everyday professional discussion! Maybe they didn't think such a coming out would be anything special.
The other colleagues who hadn't been informed acted differently. When I saw a colleague whom I’ve known as a friend about thirty years I touched her shoulder and said hello. She winced a bit and as I went on talking she seemed to flee from the discussion. Afterwards she explained she wanted to avoid an awkward situation where someone thinks she would know her although she wouldn’t. She also told she had a terrible confusion in her brain while she somewhat identified my voice but the person was wrong. We had lots of laugh after she realized what was going on.
Another uninformed colleague has known me at least for ten years. I greeted him and he seemed to reply something neutral and not revealing he didn’t recognize me: ”Nice to see you after a long time…” I replied we just met yesterday which seemed to increase confusion. Then I said I would be here more than before because I have more lectures here and he welcomed me – I have been a regular visitor there more than twenty years!
I had still numerous polite handshakes with other colleagues and staff but then I also showed my ID card. It took various time to be identified, from instant ”ahas” to about half a minute processing before the realization of the situation.
I still didn’t tell all the staff so when I went to the dining room not a single uninformed member of the staff showed any signs of identification. So I can go on with my investigation.
So far I’ve adopted the habit to tell about myself to every group of students I teach, both in male or female look. So far it has not influenced negatively to the intensity of the learning but at least it has increased my joy and motivation in my work.
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