An interview

Next week I go for a job interview for which I am qualified. It isn’t a business job, actually, it’s a technical job similar to what I was doing before becoming disabled.

I hope to get this job. I may know the super over maintenance there at this job. If it is who I think it is, I may stand a chance to get the job.

I am disheartened that of the many applications that I’ve put out, I didn’t get but one interview that was business related.

My next hurdle will be to get into rehab to detox from 10 years of prescribed opioid use. While I still have pain, I need to do this for the job and for myself.

The promise of work

Apparently wasn’t a promise at all. For some time m now I’ve been searching for another job. I thought that my work experience and new degree could have opened a door for me. Turns out, I can’t even get an interview. I am careful as I can be about dating myself being over 50 and all. They still ask “legitimate” questions that are designed to do just that.

I’ve about resigned myself to being a cashier for the rest of my employable life.

Looking for a career change

I’ve been looking for a career change for sometime now. I thought with my degree and work history that it would be a lot more simple than it has been thus far. To be completely  honest I’m not sure how long that I’ll be able to work. My ailments are multiplying with no answers yet as to what to do about them.

I do still have a couple of applications out that I would like to be able to see to fruition. I recently found out that I was passed over for a national park job that I really would have liked to have had a chance of getting. Other positions failed as well but I’ll continue on for a time and see what happens.

I’ve even applied for a job that I know that I’m qualified for but don’t really want to do. Paradoxical,  you might think,  but when I became disabled it was from a job just like the one that I had just applied to. My disabilities are both physical and mental in nature and my fairly recent surgery has added a new element in the form of added pain plus incontinence on occasion. Both are more than a nuisance. I hate wearing pads in order to go to work or just to go out.

Next I’d  like to talk about labor law a little bit. I’m no expert by any means but I still feel the need to get it out. First, it’s against the law to discriminate against those with a disability but I haven’t heard how one can ascertain if such discrimination has occurred. For example, if one applies for a position but doesn’t get it, how can it be learned about the qualifications of  the winning bidder? Laws are worthless without some way to investigate possible issues. I am having trouble wrapping my head around this issue.

Sorry about the ramble. This has been in me for some time and I had to get it out.

Pain

Today i remembered what real pain is like. I worked hard yesterday and a shower that made my pain patch come off. I had forgotten how much it helps to keep down the bulk of the pain. They don’t give or sell replacementsby the way. If it gets lost or destroyed, well, you wait until next patch is due. They get changed every few days. Fortunately, I put a one on tonight so i only had to go through today. .

My innards hurt so badly tonight. Maybe relief will come with a patch. 😣

My experience with “treatment” for mental illness. Part one of ???

As a young man, under 20 years old, I was so active all of the time I had very little trouble with depression. My first encounter the mental health providers was when I was in the Air Force. I had completed basic training and technical school. When I got to my first assignment, I got a job that was a very stressful, fast paced job that I had not been trained for. To go with that, the mess hall that I was assigned was absolutely the worst! My first bout with clinical depression was beginning and I didn’t know it. Apparently, it was invisible to my co-workers and supervisors as well.

I had been trained in telecommunications. Teletype, card punch, message formatting, and sending receiving messages were the major components of my new career. Telecommunications as it turns out, included telephone switchboard. Statistics showed that the four position board processed up to 1000 calls in an hour on day shift. (The record) The night shift by contrast was a grave yard. Cleaning chores and training happened on the overnight.

I had taken to reading training materials and practicing typing when things were slow. One morning at the end of my shift, just before day shift took over, I remember glancing at the door between the office and the switchboard room. My supervisor was standing there, starting at me with a very worried look on his face. It didn’t really concern me at the time, I had no idea that there was something wrong that involved me.

Morning shift took over the board and my supervisor asked me to go with him. He had a plain manila folder with him and I was getting nervous as he offered no explanation to where we were going. We pulled into the base hospital parking lot and before I knew it, I was stripped out of my uniform and into a hospital gown. Didn’t have a psych ward so I was put in a 4 person ward with two other people, an orderly took sat at a desk near the door. The staff psychologist came to see me about an hour later. He casually asked me how i was doing.I still had no clue what the hell was on.

Finally he produced the folder that my supervisor brought. It contained a single sheet of paper with typed words on it. Basically it said that I had talked to God and that it was okay for me to die. Then the real news, I had typed it the night before! The supervisor had found it on the typewriter where i had left it. Then came the questions. How long was I suicidal? How long had I been depressed? On and on. I didn’t even remember what I had written and I wasn’t particularly depressed as far as i was concerned.

I underwent a physical exam and questioned about alcohol (I’ve never drank) illicit drugs (not those either) and other impertinent things. Then the MMPI. Hours of sitting,  answering questions, marking answers on the answer sheet. By now I am getting annoyed and tired. My stay was incredibly boring. TV amounted to soap operas during the day and 1970’s programming in the evening. I had insomnia which I complained about but got no treatment. I saw the psychologist a couple times a week. During one session he asked me if I would object to going to the ward at the Air base in San Antonio. It was a rhetorical question, it turned out. He had just wanted my reaction to the question. After nearly a month in the hospital at my home base I was flown to the hospital in Texas.

The ward in Texas was a surprise. It had a large day room with comfortable furniture and had four, four bed wards, two for men and two women. The group therapy room had one wall with the Dudley Dooright characters in a castle made up to look like a ward. Humor! Go figure. I met with a psychiatrist the first day and was set up with a schedule of activities. As it turned out, i was there exactly two weeks. No one on one therapy, no antidepressants, and growing depression. The psychiatrist did offer me a medical discharge of I wanted it. I had no idea what would have meant for me. That is for a different gripe post at a later date.

From that morning that I was taken from my job, everything was arranged. The hospitalization of course, travel to Texas, and my stay there. At the end of that two weeks, I was given new orders to go back Kansas. By chance and a clear moment, I was able to find the travel section and arrange a flight back to Wichita. I didn’t really care if I made it back. I called my duty post but couldn’t find anyone to give me a ride from the airport to the base.

While I was in the hospital at my home base, there was a Marine recruiter who I  became with friends. He had given me his card before I was sent to Texas so when I landed in Wichita, I Called him and his wife came and got me. Just like that. I was SO despondent that I wasn’t ready to report back. He understood and suggested that I stay with him and his family for the coming weekend which I did. He drove me back to my car on Monday and I called when i got to my barracks. My boss was nonchalant and said to report back the next Monday.

This is where my career falls apart. Because of the depression, my security clearance had been revoked. I can’t even go back to work on the switchboard. Secondhand, I find out that my choices are; a mundane taxi job or basically a janitor job or an administrative honorable discharge. I was in the darkest, place ever in my life not caring what would happen to, me next.

First i think i too stay in. They tell me i can to a military lawyer about it. Guess what. He and the commander come into the room together having a great conversation. I don’t know what to ask so i just ask if taking the discharge is in my best interest. He assures me that it isand the days later I’m driving home.

Recap. Taken from my job, stripped of everything that meant anything to me. Incarcerated without treatment, turned loose to find my own damn way home, can’t get enough support to even get a ride back to base, given rotten advise about the discharge (if I would have taken the medical discharge of I would have known the options, not to mention extended education benefits that would have helped shape a new career.)

Within one year, three months and twenty nine days, my life went from a career that I wanted and looked forward to, to a depression that has dragged me through the sewer throughout my life. The events from that time effected nearly every decision about jobs and relationships in this life. I have tried to see about a disability rating that I was offered while in the service, through the VA. I have been turned down. It is my fault because i don’t know how to present my evidence to how it pertained to my service connected disability.

That’s my first encounter with the mental health community. I encourage any comments or ideas!

Many more posts to come!

Getting a job.

I have been remarkably naive in my life time. I have stated that people who really want to work can find a job. This isn’t always true. Doh! If fact, if a person has a lot of experience and is “old” chances are a job won’t be had. Not at McDonald’s, and not selling Grit. After working 30+ years, I can’t even get an interview. This is partly because I’m a journeyman maintenance tech. I went back to university and earned my degree in Business Administration. So now I’m an over qualified journeyman blah blah blah…. I’m also on disability so I don’t have job continuity.

Want to know why people don’t get off of the “people’s dime”? Because some of them at least can’t. And it’s really annoying. Given the opportunity, many people in my circumstances would be model employees. Too bad. I just want a job. And one more thing.  I’ve paid thirty years into Social Security so it is actually MY dime!