Trans, ADHD, And Accessing Employment Services

Well. That was an interesting day. The kind of day that really drives home why I was so reluctant to apply for any kind of assistance before now. Unfortunately, I need some kind of gainful employment, or the next best thing, and doing it on my own hasn’t been working. So.

Off I go to the Alberta Employment and Immigration office. I don’t know exactly what I need, except that I need help. I’d gotten a form to fill out when I was there Friday, but other than that and a handful of mostly contradictory ID, I’m unprepared. I think I know what I want to say, but most of what I say comes out of my mouth too fast and in the wrong order. I’m easily confused, and I’m not sure I know what’s going on. But I concentrate, and read things over twice, three times if I need to. Remember, breathe.

One of the things I’m applying for is Income Support. Since it’s a provincial service, I happily fill everything out as Eric, confident that this is, in fact, my legal name. There’s a certificate to prove it and everything! Then the worker tells me that they need to know it I qualify for Employment Insurance before we can go ahead with the IS application. I just have to go across the hall to Service Canada and ask. Easy, right?

Well, this is where being trans intersects with being ADHD to great effect. Remember how I was filling everything out as Eric? Well, that all well and good for provincial stuff, but as far as the federal level is concerned, my old identity is still in effect. I don’t even want to know how this will affect my applications across the hall; it’s bad enough typing in the name still attached to my Social Insurance Number. Worst part? I’m still too agitated and confused to properly explain to the lady helping me (read: practically filling out the form for me) what my problem is, and most of my corroborating ID is back across the hall. At this point, I can only hope that the information I provided is someone’s version of correct and that I won’t be locked up for fraud.  I’m probably overreacting, but I can’t help it.

Back across the hall in Alberta, I have a slightly easier time explaining myself. She gives not only gives me information for employment services I can use, but also legal guidance so I can get some advice on this whole identity thing. By now I have all my forms and whatnot together to take to the third floor where the actual application process happens. Ok. After a quick detour to the coffee shop on the corner for a desperately needed Earl Grey, I’m upstairs, ready to fill everything in and get this process started.

Well, not quite. I’m still missing my banking information.

A trip home to grab a blank cheque and print up some bank statements, and a second Earl Grey later, I’m back up on the third floor. I have succeeded in replacing ‘agitated’ with ‘stoned,’ but at least I have all my information together. I go through the line, hand in my forms, and wait to be called up. With all this running around trying to get some kind of employment support, sitting in the waiting room of Alberta Works is when I get a call for a job interview.

Of course.

I still don’t know what’s going on, but I think it’s getting better, yeah?


6 Responses to Trans, ADHD, And Accessing Employment Services

  1. I’d say given all you’ve said, you handled it as well as I would have. (Mind you I don’t have ADHD but I’d still bumble about in confusion.)

    • Avatar EricSatchwill
      EricSatchwill says:

      I’m just glad that in the end, it did go as well as it did. Now for the really fun part: keeping up with it all! ;)

  2. lol. Sounds like quite the adventure. ^^ But a job interview, even at the most inopportune of times, is amazing! Hope it works out for you ^^

    • Avatar EricSatchwill
      EricSatchwill says:

      Not exactly inopportune; more like ironic. And thanks! I’m working on being Prepared. But yes, it was an adventure… and I know know the best route from one side of McMahon Stadium to the other after having travelled it so many times in a day :P

  3. Man oh man, Eric, that is a great story – funny, hopeful crazy-making, inspiring, on and on. I also loved the previous story about you and your mother and sister and the cell phone, church and dinner and Grandma’s birthday. AND the stuff you’re writing about writying is great too. Two unrelated things – is church Episcopalian? Just curious cause it sounds like it. My mother in law, who lives with us is Irish Catholic which is just Catholic, but she always combines the two, goes to mass every Sat night, is convinced it’s the only true religion, tells my wife that we’re living in sin (though we’re married 25 years with 2 kids who were bpatised Episcopalian,)tells her daughter (my wife) that the church is looking for lapsed Catholics to return, and is always asking me things at dinner like “So, Episcopalians… those are the people who have womwan priests and like the gays, right?”
    2nd unrelated thing – Have you read any Terry Pratchett? His Diskworld books are often incorrectly labled Young Adult Fantasy – but really he’s so much more, and hilarious too. Anyway, sorry to go on & on – but great work on this site and great stories.
    Best,
    Frank

    • Avatar EricSatchwill
      EricSatchwill says:

      Thank you, Frank! I’m glad that my stories can entertain and inspire; makes me feel that I must be doing something right ;)

      My church is a little odd in that it has a dual affiliation: Disciples of Christ/United Church of Canada. In other words, some flavour of Protestant and very liberal. A small congregation, but I absolutely love them.

      I have read some Terry Pratchett, though not near as much as I’d like! He’s on my ‘to collect’ list, along with many others. Also Robert Asprin’s MYTH series. I’ve read most of them, but our copies are all either with my mom or my sister, I think.

      Thanks again for stopping by, I always love to get a good ramble in the comments ;)