Malim, these dipsticks suck. Check fluid on a bright sunny day, the light is necessary at least for a blind old fart like me. Pull stick out and wipe it off WELL on both sides, when you put it back in let the stick twist like it wants to while going in, don't restrain that from happening. When you restrain it the stick then wipes on both sides with oil. As the stick goes in, one side will always clutter up at the mark with oil, it is the scraper side that rubs tube while twisting and going in. The other side will often be much cleaner. Check it more than once, I do 4-5 times to get a firm idea of where I am at. Almost impossible to see the level with new clean fluid in there, even out in the sun. Look for the dry area above the oil level, why it's so important to clean the stick BONE DRY before checking.
You must still have the plastic end on stick, I've wondered what happens when the plastic gets old and cracks to fall off.
As an FYI to others..................only someone without a clue will seal the pan back up with RTV rather than use the gasket that is beginning to be commonly available on these. Ford can seal pan up with RTV because pan still bone dry at that time and on trans stand so it can be upside down. They save money by not using a seal but it is stupid to try to repeat that under car with trans fluid leaking all over the place. USE THE GASKET.................