I’ve been diligently looking for work. I’ve even gone out of my field and tried for couple of grocery store positions. So far I’ve had two offers of employment, both apparently dealing with illicit activities. I actually reported one of them (since I received money from them) to the FBI. They have a website to take complaints: ic3.gov. A very quick and easy way to report fraud or attempted fraud. I guess they’ll get back to me eventually.
That’s probably going to be my favorite “looking for a job” story. Other than that I’ve made it to the phone call pre-interview twice. I’ve applied with two employment agencies. My biggest problem? Convincing them I can do the job. My resume is impressive, but my test scores are embarrassing. My highest score? Typing speed of 53 wpm. I can’t believe it. In one year my skills have deteriorated almost beyond repair. How can someone “sell” me, when they don’t believe I can do the job?
I haven’t felt this lousy since I retired and first realized the depth of my disability. I only wish other people understood it. It seems like day by day my mind grows more and more empty. I don’t remember how to do simple things and forget to do many things. I’m trying to keep it together as we come to our own fiscal cliff; next month will be the first time we’ll miss a mortgage payment.
I’m sad and angry and scared all at the same time. How do I convince the agency that I can do the job, I just can’t do their tests? They have to understand that some of the things asked by these automated systems I’ve never been required to do in all my years in office work! Plus MSWord 2010 is a completely different animal and I only worked with it for a year and that was a year ago. I’ve forgotten where things are, but it would come back to me. I think.
H says not to look for work for the next couple of weeks. That I should just not think about it until after the new year. He says instead I should concentrate on tutorials for the software. I know he’s right, but I’m afraid even if I worked with a tutorial, some stuff will still skip my mind. It’s all Microsoft’s fault! If they hadn’t completely changed Word in 2010 I wouldn’t be dealing with trying to remember how to do new things. If I was still working with the prior version of Word I would be fine. I’d been working with Word since it’s inception back in the 1980s. I used to know Word inside out. I knew all the tricks and quick keys. I was a force to be reckoned with.
Now, I can barely remember how to start Word up, let alone how to use the more advanced functions. I feel like such a complete failure. I’m angry again at the government for denying my disability claim. If I had had a car accident and sustained a brain injury I would be treated much differently than I am. If it was Alzheimer’s I’d get sympathy. But instead I have “forgetfulness.” Every one is forgetful sometimes. Yes, but how many of them forget numerous things every day? I don’t forget where my car keys are, I forget where I parked it. I forget where I put my glasses, until I finally realize I’m already wearing them. I forget names and appointments, and important dates. I misspeak, using words that sound similar to the words I really want to say. I have trouble following discussions or reading a complex news article. I have trouble writing my novel and remembering my characters’ names.
I was an Executive Assistant to an attorney for six years! I could type at 75 wpm. I could run rings around college graduates in their lack of experience and expertise. Now I have trouble changing a light bulb. Only because I can’t remember to buy any! I’m going to have to be brutally honest with the employment agency and explain the severity of my problem and let them help me find a job. But what kind of job can I do? I used to qualify as an “expert” in most software. Today I can’t manage to qualify as a beginner.
My ego is at an all time low. I need to be employed and secretarial work is all I know. I’ve considered that I have to step back farther and look for reception work. Maybe in a year I’ll have my skills back. Though I know I kid myself. There is obviously no way I can do the job I’ve been doing. It’s so hard to admit that it won’t happen. I won’t get my skills back with practice. I won’t ever be an Executive Assistant any more. I’m going to finish out my working years as a ticket taker at a movie theater making minimum wage. I can’t do that! I won’t do that! I’m better than that. And by that I don’t mean a ticket taker at a theater is a bad job. It’s a fine j0b, if you’re 16 and are just looking for gas money. I can’t support a family on minimum wage. H doesn’t make much and he hopes to retire next year.
Today I have a phone interview with unemployment office. I hope that at least goes well, though the way I feel today, I think I will get denied, though I know of no logical reason why they should deny me.