Turned Down

Well, I said yesterday that the interview didn’t go well, and I already got my rejection email. So worrying about standing all day is a moot point.

This doesn’t surprise me. If anything, I was surprised they called me for an interview at all. I used to be so good at interviews. Now what is happening to me? Does my depression show through?

If I can’t even get a bank teller position, what can I get? Over educated and under qualified – that’s what I am. Lost is where I am. I’m getting desperate. Not desperate enough for McDonalds yet but desperate. I don’t know how I can go on like this. I don’t know how I have gone on like this for so long. I feel like my brain is rotting inside my skull. There is no new information and all the old information is seeping away. I can’t even remember things from one minute to the next. Maybe if I were in a more intellectually stimulating environment than just my computer and xbox, my brain would start working again. Or not. Who knows?

I have a few bright spots in my life: my husband, my pets, my friends, and my pdoc. My pdoc took time today to help me find info on getting my meds cheap and insurance information. If I had the ability to cry anymore, I might have cried today at her kindness.

I don’t know what to do anymore.

Slipping Gears

I feel like I am slipping gears here.  I can tell by my shower rate.  (This may be TMI, so feel free to skip ahead if you like.)  Anyway, I don’t take a shower every day – usually.  It’s hard to get up the motivation for something as simple as a shower.  Well, I’ve got nowhere to go and no one to impress, so what’s the point?  May as well save the water bill and stretch the soap.  I talked to my pdoc about it, and she said that showers are a lot of work. She also said she thinks people take showers too often. I inferred that meant it was OK not to shower every day.  But sometimes 2, 3 even 4 days go by with no shower.  It’s bad when your husband needs to stress that you take a shower because you smell.  (I warned you about the TMI!)  So my shower rate is a guide to my depression levels.  There are other clues too like my frequency of posting (you may have noticed this) and my desire to work out.  (Which always prompts a shower!)  But I’ve not worked out in two weeks now. My new-found muscles have probably faded away by now. 😦

As for the reasons, well, obviously the unemployment is hard on me.  Job hunting is frustrating.  It’s a real blow to your self-esteem to keep interviewing and failing.  I know I shouldn’t look at it as failing, but it feels like failing.  Maybe there are candidates out there that are more qualified than me, but it hurts every time I get turned down for something.  Take the last job interview, where I didn’t even hear back from them!

It’s all a waiting game for me.  Waiting to hear back from applications, waiting for the right job to come along, watching my rainy day fund (savings) go down the drain as it seems to be constantly raining.  No, I shouldn’t say that – things could be worse.  I could be racking up tons of medical bills at the same time, so thank God that isn’t happening.  But there is a constant drizzle – this unemployment saga.

Technically, I’ve run out of unemployment benefits.  Thanks to the Obama funding, there are extended unemployment benefits available.  My state has an overall low unemployment rate (6%) so the tier 2 and tier 3 benefits are gone, but at least there is still the tier 1 extension.  So long as I am approved for that, then I can keep collecting my $300 a week, which stretches our budget significantly.  The biggest bill we have is our mortgage at almost $1600 a month.  That mortgage bill wasn’t bad when it was only 25% of my income, but it’s quite a drain now.  We will definitely have to sell the house in the spring.  I just hope there are no major repairs that need to be done.

So you are probably tired of hearing about my showers and my job hunt and my income woes, but I haven’t got much else to talk about.  I could tell you about my Skyrim characters but I don’t know that would be interesting to most of you either.  (Takers anyone?)

Writing all this down does help.  I don’t journal so this blog is all I’ve got.  I’ve tried to journal (I know it would be good for me) but I just can’t keep up with it.  I know that it would be great to have a record of my life, but I only write when I’m stressed or really need to express something.  I’ve kept a lot of old emails, mostly from manic or mixed episodes that have negative experiences associated with them, that I should purge from my life.  I keep them because they are a record of where I’ve been.  I don’t read them, but maybe I should.  I think that now that I am on proper medication and fairly stable that it is a time for reflection.  But then again, I’m slipping gears, so maybe I’m not ready yet.

Employment Pre-screening: Going Too Far?

As many of you know, I’ve been on the job hunt for a while now. And in the course of that hunt, I’ve seen some interesting things. Like one company who wanted me to take a personality profile quiz when I submitted my application. Another one stated that by applying for this job, I give the company the right to pull my credit profile both before I get the job and at any time after I get the job. So if I fall on hard times and lose my credit rating, does that make me ineligible for a job? I don’t have one, therefore I can’t get one? Or if I have a job and my credit rating slips, am I no longer qualified for the job?

Employers can’t discriminate on gender, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation, but can they discriminate against you based on some computerized personality screening or your credit profile? Whether I think people are all just sheep and do what they are told, or if I think people are basically good or bad or if most supervisors care about their people – does any of this have any bearing on my skills and qualifications? Are companies doing this just because they can do this and get away with it? What’s wrong with the interview process that companies think they have to pre-screen applicants with computerized quizzes?

You’re asked to be honest, and so I was (screw the questions) but do they really think that someone is going to click ‘Strongly Agree’ with the statement: I have never been angry with anyone. Really? Never lost your temper? With anyone? Ever? Seriously? Have you ever driven over the legal speed limit? Well, since I got a speeding ticket once, I can’t say that I’ve never gone over the speed limit, now can I? What’s the matter, doesn’t the background check tell them enough?

Probably my favorite question of the day is: It is OK to sell illegal drugs to your coworkers if they can afford it. Do you: strongly agree/agree/uncertain/disagree/strongly disagree ?

No, I’m not making this up. I just wasted 30 minutes of my life taking a 100 question assessment, where about 75% of it was about illegal drug use in the workplace and stealing from your employer.

No wonder people can’t get jobs. The pre-employment is unbelievable!

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Never Heard Back

I know some of you were waiting to hear how that job interview turned out. Well, guess what? They never told me. Anything. Since classes started yesterday and I am still 1400 miles away, I am guessing that I didn’t get the job. A friend of mine said it was ‘tacky’ of them not to get back to me. Whatever. I don’t think I’d want to work at a place that disorganized and inconsiderate.

And so here I sit, wondering where to go next.

I wonder what jobs are available for an intelligent, over-educated, opinionated, middle-aged woman. Yes, I have to confess that I am middle-aged now, and wondering if things will ever get crossed off my bucket list. (I still want to go to Scotland and New Zealand, and dozens of other places.) If only I hadn’t screwed up this last job with my 4 weeks of vacation and $120k paycheck. But my mental health is much better by not working there. So the real question is: what is the price of mental health?

Oh, now that’s a topic that should be a blog post all by itself.

Bucket-list is another blog topic too.

Guess I’m just brainstorming now. Wait, that’s out of fashion. Oh well.

My left arm is bothering me today. I’ve got a dull ache in my shoulder and down the arm, with tingling in the hand. No, it’s not a heart attack. At least, not very likely. I’ve been to the ER on several occasions under similar circumstances and my heart is fine. Stress test is fine. What’s not fine is the damn neuropathy and ‘probable’ MS. It could also be that my shoulder is so cramped up from stress and what have you that it’s putting pressure on a nerve. That’s what it feels the most like. I wish I could afford to go back to my massage therapist!

Blah. My life is still boring, that’s why I haven’t written anything. I did make a couple of cute cards so I’ll post those with a 30 days of creativity post. Soon. No, really, soon.

So what should I talk about? I’m really doing a poor job of creating a post today. I’m all rambley and stuff. Brainstorming. That’s it. It may not be cool anymore but I still like it.

Any ideas out there as to what I should write about? My life is pretty dull. 😦

And my arm hurts. Bummer.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No Word Yet

Well, I’m getting pretty anxious here. I still haven’t heard from the college and I’m starting to get depressed. (It doesn’t help that I woke up with a stomachache and haven’t felt well all day.) I know, I know, administration can take their time, but really, I should have heard by now. Most of the day is over on the East coast.

What I don’t understand is why. Why am I not getting jobs? I’m getting interviews, but not jobs. Where am I going wrong? I used to never have this problem. If I interviewed, I got the job. But I was usually hypomanic. I’m not hypomanic. I am boring old stable me. Should I go off my meds? Would that help?

I just don’t get it. I know, I know, they still might call. But my hopes are dwindling by the minute. And here I got my car repaired ‘just in case’. I’ve been pre-planning ‘just in case’. I know I said I wasn’t going to count my chickens before they are hatched, but I was counting eggs and trying to find room in the coop for the chickens ‘just in case’. I feel like smashing all the eggs right now.

Sorry, I’m just not in a good mood today. My BFF is on her way over soon so hopefully that will cheer me up. I don’t know what to do. Will I ever teach again? Or are people meeting me and wondering about my age? I always thought that was more of a problem in industry than academia, but maybe I’m wrong. Or is it something else? I sometimes feel like they can look at me and see that I am crazy. Is there a big sticker on my forehead?

I am so sick and tired of being unemployed. I hate this. I hate waiting. I hate today. 😦


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Conference

Three busy days. There were supposed to be four, but I had to leave early in order to go to a job interview across the country. I got the student housing rate for the conference and I had a roommate for two of the nights. It was weird, but OK. She said something wrong in her talk, but I didn’t correct her. Not my place, actually. That and she came back after I had already gone to bed.

I did run into Dr. Bastard. All he did was nod and say hello. No scene, no conversation, nothing. Oh well, what was I expecting? I had no idea. He got what he wanted (me out of his lab) and I had my own business to attend to. At least he wasn’t nosy or nasty. Just cheerful as if he had met any other colleague, except he didn’t stop to talk my ear off like he would have with someone else.

But you know, when I saw him, I kept trying to think of what my therapist said, “He’s a pathetic man.” And I just kept thinking about that. There was one point, during one of the receptions, I could see him across the room and I’m pretty sure he could see me, that I developed some of that old fear. But then I was talking and laughing with a group of our peers. He might have just been jealous. I did avoid going back for some of the good food just so I wouldn’t have to go to near him. Cowardly of me, I know. But I think when we are faced with our abusers we tend to retreat into the shadows, hoping not to be seen, rather than to confront them. I had no intention of confronting Dr. B, but I do wish I hadn’t been so fearful as to avoid looking at some of the posters just because they were near by. Time will heal this wound too.

I did run into and talk to one of the other people from my former workplace. He’s someone who wants to be a nice guy but has some complicated mental issues. I don’t know exactly what his problems are, but I was told that he has periods when he is “off his meds” and can be extremely difficult -more than usual- to deal with. He has issues with touching (so he and I did not get along at first) and he has some attitude issues sometimes. He doesn’t respect female bosses, he told me that himself. He’s really smart and despite all his eccentricities, I really respect him as a scientist. I had sent him an email to that effect before he retired and I “left” but I didn’t know if he got it. So when I saw him, I told him again. I wanted him to know that I respected him. I don’t know why I felt that was so important, but it was to me. He thanked me, and then tried to change the subject, because I think he is uncomfortable with compliments.

I gave out five copies of my resume and several copies of my card. (Make your own business cards.) I did two interviews (with the same company) and talked to a couple of others. (It is a VERY small conference.) I didn’t get the chance to enjoy the conference part of it as much as I would like to have, but I went there for job searching and networking so I accomplished my goal.

Overall, it wasn’t a negative experience. And I am thankful for that. Maybe next time I won’t be too afraid to go over and view the posters that he is hovering around. Or better yet, maybe he won’t be there next time I get to go to it. I’m sure there will be a next time, just who knows when. 🙂

As an aside… no amount of ADD medicine can help you pay attention through a boring or incomprehensible talk!

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Security Clearance

Security Clearance. A death knell for any mentally ill person seeking a job requiring one.

How many good jobs have I had to pass over because I can’t obtain and maintain a security clearance? Several. I just passed another one today. It eliminates any job related to the Department of Defense (DoD) and many Department of Energy (DOE) jobs which are places I could find work. Eliminate Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or any of the other companies with big DoD research projects. Reject some of the government labs, like Sandia or Los Alamos National Lab. I can’t even work in a simple position if it has anything to do with defense.

The mentally ill do have stability issues and are a security risk for projects requiring high level security clearances. I understand that. I’m just frustrated is all. Frustrated that I was born with this genetic pre-disposition that blossomed into something that taxes me daily.  Frustrated that on top of all that it limits my employability.  Even if I had never been diagnosed, it would probably come out in the mental health exams.  It’s a necessary discrimination.

But what would happen if companies found a loophole such that they could discriminate against you legally?  Disability discrimination cases are rarely won.  If I had told my last employer about my bipolar, I probably would have been out of a job sooner than now.  As it is, given that my FMLA ran out and they couldn’t find a place for me that I was qualified for when I returned, it’s nearly disability discrimination. I was discriminated against by my co-workers while my arm was injured, but I didn’t know that there was a statue of limitations on disability claims.  At this point, I have no legal recourse; I was told as much by a lawyer.  I was laid off from a previous job because of health reasons (I was recovering from a severe mania) and sued them unsuccessfully.  Oh yes, companies are tricky, and if they can get away with it, they will.  It’s why they employ such expensive lawyers.

But I digress.  My point was simply to express my frustration in the job hunt.  A job hunt that is already difficult enough with my background and education level, soon to be made more difficult by my age. It’s discouraging to be disqualified for jobs because of my mental health.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.