susitar asked: Hello. You might know me as Lanina from werelist. I heard that you had lost a job because of your therianthropy? Is that true? Can you tell me more about it? I want to learn about these obvious cases of harassment and discrimination of therians/otherkin.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve done anything on Werelist and I know very few people there, but it’s nice to see someone else from that community. ^^
Yeah, I did lose my job because of my identity, and I’d be fine with writing to you about it. I probably should have made a post on this anyways, I’m sick to death of people dismissing instances of otherkin discrimination, harrassment, or even oppression (that’s right tumblr, I said the “o” word. I can feel your gasps in horror in shock and it makes me shake my head at you with sadness).
I remember this very vividly, it was an awful experience. It happened when I was 18 (so in 2008), I’d been awakened as a therian for almost three years and I had gotten my first job at the local superstore, Meijer. I’ve always been naturally nocturnal, operating between the hours of 1pm and 5am, and suffer from severe social anxiety disorder, so was very fortunate that my position at Meijer was 3rd shift stocking job. We’d go to the back. load up our carts with merchandise and put them on the floor (by floor I mean shelves and racks, not the literal floor >_>). The shift lasted from 11pm to 7am. My first day I showed up, got situated and assigned to a guy who would train me. He did so for half the night, teaching me what to do and guiding me through it, then set me to an aisle to do on my own, the soda aisle.
I’m not strong, physically, and I have very low endurance so a couple hours in I’m exhausted, and it’s 6am, so I was beginning to feel mental exhaustion as well. The store was having a sale on soda that week. Meijer is open 24 hours, though no one comes in during the late night hours, people often come in early in the morning to take advantage of deals before things sell out. The particular product on sale that week was Pepsi, and Meijer isn’t responsible for stocking that. What they do is the Pepsi truck drops it off and has it’s own stocking crew. They were late that morning, so I had people approaching me while I’m trying to work asking about the Pepsi. After the 4th or so person the m-shift I’d been fighting for what felt like hours, took over.
I experienced strong feelings of fight or flight, which resulted in some vocalizations, particularly growling and snarling, and a stooped, digitigrade posture as I continued to fight with myself as best I could internally to regain my composure and finish my job (I was just too tired to fight my instincts). It really felt like my human mask was crumbling through my fingers.
Though it’s a little hazy because my focus was internal at the time, I believe I may have frightened some of the customers who came into the aisle during this. I don’t know how long the shift lasted, but I don’t think it was very long because it passed with enough time for me to finish stocking my aisle.
The next day however when I went in the night manager called me into her office and asked what happened. I saw no reason go hide the truth, not that I could have made up a good reason anyway, so I told her about my nonhuman identity and the basics of what shifting is, and that it sometimes happens to a degree where I can’t hold it back. She didn’t really ask me any questions about it, but gave a look that I can only interpret as an “I’m not so sure you’re well” look, and then she suggested to me that maybe this job wasn’t the right one for me. You know that subtle way that managers say “we don’t want you to work here, please resign.” At the time I was very embarrassed and it hurt a lot. My first job and it was gone because of my identity. Looking back on it even now it still hurts a little. I haven’t worked outside of my home since then.
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