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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So much to say...so little time

I've wanted to write a few times in the last couple of days, due to having loads to say and because I've not written in quite a while.  However, I've just not had enough time to flesh out the topics that I really want to talk about.  That paper from Hell, I finally finished it, and I wasn't that happy with it.  It earned me a B-, barely.  One point away from a C.  C!!!!!  I've never gotten that close to a C before.  I'm not much of a happy camper about it.  It ensures that I must get a perfect score on four more forum postings and my final essay exam in order to keep an A in that class, thus keeping my 4.0 GPA.

Speaking of the 4.0 and why I need it.  This is one of the most difficult things about my Asperger syndrome.  Finding/keeping a job.  The interview does me in.  I want to go to grad school.  A GOOD grad school.  Good grad schools require good GPAs and excellent GRE scores.  They also generally require a personal interview for admittance.  Fail.  I will do horribly at any and all interviews.  It's inevitable.  Therefore, I am extremely picky about my scores on my GRE and my GPA.  They have to carry me through my poor interviewing skills.

When I was in my social training, we worked hard on interviewing skills.  I never realized that I had a problem interviewing.  I'd never been denied a job that I interviewed for....until I tried to get a job that wasn't fast food, pizza delivery, retail, etc.  Jobs that the interview doesn't really matter beyond, "Can you be here when we need you?"  I began interviewing last year for professional administrative jobs at law firms and schools, trying to get out of my transcription job that I hated and into something to get my foot in the door at a law firm or a university for when I get my degree.  I failed miserably at each and every one of them.  I can't read what the interviewer wants from me.  Facial expressions and body language are a complete mystery.  Every interview is different, so even though I studied what I was supposed to say, inevitably the template in my head was all wrong for the interview I was doing.  It is nearly impossible to have a successful interview when you can't read the nonverbal cues that the interviewer is giving you, believe you me.

Hence the anxiety that I will have spent 50 grand on my education only to not be able to get a job past the interview process.  Not only that, dudes, I can't KEEP a job!  I have been in the workforce for 16 years, since my first job at a dry cleaner at age 14.  In those 16 years, I have worked at over 60 different establishments, by my last count.  SIXTY!  I tend to work 2 or 3 jobs at the same time, 2 when I'm in school, 3 when I'm not.  I like working, and I'm a good worker.  I always show up and hardly ever call out, and I do the job to the best of my ability.  I work all holidays, and I come in whenever called.  Generally, I'm good at what I do.  Only two of my over 60 jobs lasted longer than a few months.  Both of these jobs were transcription, working from home, where I never saw a single coworker and never interacted with anyone.  Coincidentally, the interviews for those two jobs were either e-mail interviews or telephone interviews.  I never met my boss, except on one occasion for my first transcription job, and I was fired a few weeks later with no explanation.  The reasons I am fired so often make no sense to me.  A lot of them have been bull.  Excuses because the real reason is that I just plain can't get along with my coworkers.  I'm odd, and they don't like me, so they don't want to work with me anymore.  I've been accused of stealing from several employers.  SEVERAL.  I have never stolen anything in my life.  I'm a diligent rule keeper, and I have supreme respect for the law.  Furthermore, I have a very, very strong work ethic.  I would never steal from anyone, let alone from an employer.  At one job in Philly, we weren't allowed to keep our tips during our training period, but one girl let me have $10 of her tips anyway because I had helped her out so much during her shift, and she didn't need to do much training of me.  She then told the boss that I'd stolen the 10 from her, and I was fired.  After one week on the job.  I worked housekeeping at a hotel once, and a woman told my boss that I'd tried to start a fight with her partner.  I wasn't even allowed to deny the claim before I was sent packing.  "She's worked here longer than you, so I'll believe anything she says over anything you say.  Get out."  In reality, I'd gone down to apologize and make peace with her partner, because her partner and I had gotten into an argument at school.  My first dry cleaning job, when I was 14 years old, I was fired because I couldn't come in on my day off.  I didn't have a ride.

I'm accused of things that I don't do all of the time, both big and small, and a lot of times I lose my job over it.  I have no idea why I'm such an easy target for this.  Half of the time, it doesn't even make sense logically for me to have done what they accuse me of doing.  Once I wasn't even in the state, yet somehow I had come back from California, stolen from a coworker, and then gotten back out to California in a span of 8 hours to cover up my "crime".  In all instances, I was fired.  Small errors that I didn't make were pinned on me all of the time because I was the coworker that everyone liked least, so to blame it on me didn't make anyone feel bad.  Even errors made on shifts I didn't work were somehow my fault.  The mushrooms are bad?  Oh, Karen must have left them out of the walk-in two days ago when she worked last.

All of this is because I don't fit in, and I never will, unfortunately.  It's such a damn struggle all of the time, trying to fit in, and then I always do something to screw it up.  Honesty isn't something that is valued in the workplace.  I nearly lost my last transcription job a few times for being honest in a phone conference.  At one point, my honesty even warranted a telephone call from the CEO to tell me to shut my mouth.  I was fine as long as no one had to interact with me.  As soon as we started having phone meetings, I was on thin ice.  However, I have the hardest time knowing when it is okay to speak my mind and when it isn't.

The training was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and keeping it in check on a daily basis is extremely difficult.  Every time I mess up, I want to say "screw it.  If they hate me, they hate me.  I'm not changing for anyone."  Then I remember that if I don't change, I can't keep a job, and then my whole family suffers.  I'm destined to fail, though.  It's exhausting to keep the "fake" me forward for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the rest of my life.

3 You Said What?:

Alex said...

Their loss Karen. You are one of the most diligent people I know!

Slightly off topic but have you tried this? https://www.bbc.co.uk/labuk/experiments/personality/
I did this a month ago and it was telling me about the personality traits for people in jobs and who was more likely to succeed and who would be overlooked etc. I think you might find it interesting because it totally backs up your blog post with psychological 'evidence' and backing.

Karen said...

Thanks, Alex! I'll check it out.

ModernMom said...

My first time here and I'm already intrigued with the super strong person you are!!

As for your question about ummmm boogers on the wall:) Try a magic eraser. That may work!
Thanks for visiting my blog, hope you will be back.