I will not be providing the names of my new employer, coworkers, agencies I work in conjunction with, etc. due to security and privacy concerns. All photos related to my new line of work are stock images provided from Pexels.com via WordPress’ Jetpack plugin.

I have been busy since coming back to Jersey. I have gotten my booster jab, and side-effects were milder than my second shot. (Thus far, all three have been Pfizer.) I cleaned out my room and replaced my TV. I bought a subscription to get a new razor head every two months for my razor head (not endorsed), so I can keep my head clean-shaven. (I can’t believe I haven’t done a post yet about being bald as a trans man, wtf??) I rejoined Plume (again, not endorsed) to continue my daily topical HRT treatment, even though it took a chunk out of my savings as I have no healthcare at the moment (which should change early next week).

Most importantly, I have secured full-time, permanent employment as a material handler. Thankfully, not something part-time, temporary, nor seasonal; not something with wildly fluctuating swinging (rotating) shifts, or even the dreaded split shift; not something that requires way more than the typical 8- or 10-hour shift. It’s not a dead-end job—there is potential for career growth, a chance to work overseas, make this what I want to do well into towards or even into retirement years if I continue to enjoy enjoying what I do.

I am also grateful that I didn’t have to put in for a dozen or so resumes and applications, go through weeks of interviews, no callbacks or callbacks saying I didn’t get the position, getting super mad anxious at the thought of my Fiat being repossessed because I could no longer afford the payments because my savings were drying up.

There’s comprehensive health benefits. Paid holidays. Sick pay. Paid vacation. I work with a team and department I greatly get along with. It’s a casual dress code (eg blue jeans and hoodies), with access to my iPhone. I don’t have to walk far to the cafeteria or the bathroom during breaks. I’m not subjected to constant loud noises, meaning no routine use of earplugs. (I have to occasionally when dropping off to certain departments, but it’s like 5 minutes or so for each delivery, and that’s only a couple of times per day at most.) I have machined pallet jacks and forklifts to transport heavier loads, while I use manual ones for anything light, and to try to build muscle and lose weight. Minimal oversight while working closely with my teammates. While I am subject to the heat and cold of the outside environment, I have access to fresh air.

I’m also willing to work for a bit less to work the daytime shift.

Steel-toed footwear doesn’t have to weigh a lot. People recommended why not get ones from Walmart—they’re heavy, they cause pain in my legs and feet. I’d rather invest in good footwear, even if they’re pricey on my paycheck.

The first pair of shoes I bought for the job—the safety director didn’t think they were steel-toed. (Dude, they’re made my Caterpillar, dafuq??) Which worked out—at first I bought steel-toed boots, but then ended up buying steel-toed sneakers. This is a great benefit as I’m on my feet for the majority of my shift, weighing less than those boots. However, I’ve decided to keep the boots; they’re way better on my feet compared to a cheap pair I bought last winter at my local Walmart, so I chucked those and am keeping these for the winter, or if I need to do work around my parents’ property.

In the short term, I’m working on saving up, rebuild my retirement and savings funds, figure out if I want to return to college and take night courses, get back into dating, and get back into the local culture. Learn how to better handle being a trans man in small-town, rural America (apparently it’s a tradition with my brothers??). Long term involves eventually moving out again, even if that means over the river to PA to find affordable housing, turning my current 25-minute commute into a 45-minute commute—not something I want to do, but after my time out in Missoula, I’m fine doing it.

It looks like 2022 is setting itself up pretty well. Let’s hope it’s nothing but uphill from here. And that this job leads to something permanent. 🤞

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