Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Banking on Andy

Last week I got my first check from my employer. I had worked for six weeks, but since I didn't see my boss or have any co-workers, I hadn't thought to ask about how I was going to get paid (I know, unique problem, right?). I finally figured out how to write an invoice and got a check in the mail a few days later. I luxuriated in the crisp sunlight as I walked to the bank. When I moseyed up to the teller counter, I slapped my check on the counter and glanced through the picture window.

"Who's Andy?"
"Excuse me?"
"Andy. Who is he?"
"They didn't, they didn't write it out to Andy. Damn it."
The teller squished her face into confusion, and I felt blush dart across my own.
"I'm sorry..umm..I'll fix it." I stared at the floor as I grabbed the check and stuffed it hastily into my jacket pocket. I was shaken.

I scuffled down the sidewalk towards my boss's office. I couldn't believe it had happened, and yet I fully expecetd it to. Mostly, I was upset with myself for not checking first.

As I pulled her office door open, Betsy seemed glad to see me. Her pleaseant demenor and self-consciously encouraging ptter of speech calmed me down, and I explained to her that I couldn't cash a check that was written to Andy. After an unsucesfful call tot he accountant, she told me there was no reason I shouldn't cash it. Dave chimed in that he cashes checks for Dave not David all the time. I wanted to say, but it's different. But I caught myself.

"It's the same thing. It's ridiculous. What did they say?"
"The teller just said she wouldn't." I lied. If not in fact than in intention.

Betsy gave me her card and sent me to her bank. I set off down Main St but as I neared the unfamiliar building, I felt uncertain. Why couldn't I just have another check? What if they asked me why I am called Andy? What if they wouldn't believe me? I knew I'd have to go into my bank again eventually, so I went ahead and did it then. I walked up tot he same teller, and I told her this is my nickname. She called her anager, and after endorsing the check as Andy, I walked away feeling exonerated.

With the proliferation of female Andy's (two that work for the same organization I do and two more at to co-op), my name outs me to only the people who knew anyways. It only has to be an issue if I press it. Last week was unsettleing. To feel embarassed, like I was caught doing somethign I'm not supposed to. To feel as if someone has the power to negate my claim to myself. Some days, I feel more trans than others.

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