I have been told that Autism can serve as a magnifier for pain, be it physical, mental, or emotional. For that reason, I am including a picture of my Main Coon, Tibo Bat. He tends to fix many things with his fluffiness.
A SOURCE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL PAIN
Looking for work is one of those things that has gotten more difficult for me. I would typically do better if I could walk into a business and talk to an owner or manager.
I did this back when the “HELP WANTED” signs in the window were the most popular way to advertise for local talent.
But now, everyone applies for work online. So I go through the applications, and fill out all of the info that already exists on my resume AND my Indeed profile. I take their aptitude tests and score well. At the end, I submit it all.
I will write a follow-up email, when there is a way to do that.
Over the past five years, I have only gotten 3 or 4 rejection emails. Last night, I got a rejection phone call, which went to voice mail, as I was resting after a crazy day of chores.
The place where I applied was a cannabis dispensary that will be opening in the next several weeks. In Oregon, the state has legalized both medical marijuana, as well as recreational. It is very similar to California, with some exceptions that aren’t really big enough to get into, and are not relevant to my point.
We had the first interview via Zoom. I felt rather confident going into this interview, even though I have no experience as a worker in this field. I do have a solid product knowledge, which might be something that is dangerous to admit online. But I don’t care at this point, because there are way too many other things getting in the way of my ability to get a job.
The lady who interviewed me was very easy to talk with, which is a rare experience for someone like me. At the end of the call, she told me that they were in the process of first interviews over the weekend, and that they would be calling people starting Monday to set up second interviews.
In the end, I felt as if the interview went very well.
I’d had a long day cleaning house and going to the store. If I had to pick, I’d rather clean house because the store is way too crazy for me.
Exhausted, I decided to take a nap around 3:30pm. About an hour later, the lady from the dispensary called back and left a message.
“Hello, it’s xxx from xxx. I’m calling to let you know that we have decided to move forward with other candidates at this time. However, our shop is several weeks away from opening, so we will call you should another opportunity arise.”
The first half of that message is informative. The second half is false hope. I’d like to be wrong about that, but I have yet to be wrong in that particular call.
“Damn, I’m not even good enough to sell weed.” Yes, that statement is rather reductive, as there is a great deal more to the job. Still, I felt this and could not shake it.
WHAT WORKS AGAINST ME
I am certain that my Autism works against me. I do not recall being too candid, but that does not mean that I wasn’t overly-honest. I did my best to answer questions, to not be too dry, and to be personable, so therein lies a great deal of room to mess up.
I am over 50, which works against me. Being white and male, no doubt, also puts me in a less desirable place.
It feels like this is a game where you get three strikes and you’re out, and I’m walking up to the plate with no bat and FIVE strikes on board.
Rarely does anyone bother to pitch to me.
A SILVER LINING
The silver lining in it all is that I actually got rejection. It is rare when I DO NOT have the sensation that my job applications are just being shipped off into the ether, to never see human eyes. I have no doubts that HR Artificial Intelligence software is playing a role in this.
Unfortunately, I do not know how to game the algorithm.
IN THE END
My second evaluation confirmed my intelligence, so that’s not a problem. I think that most of my problems have stemmed from a combination of being Autistic [High-Functioning Autism] and NOT knowing it for the majority of my life.
I did not get my formal diagnosis until just three years ago, when I was 53 years old. They say that early detection is key, and I missed that boat by about a HALF CENTURY.
Yes, I am more than a little upset by it. My entire life has passed me by, and only recently have I learned what was causing the problem. Adding insult to injury is the fact that there is no cure for what ails me, like I’m damned to suffer my own existence until I die. And American society wants to make damned sure that I end up dead, since I’m a burden on society and others.
Who knows what will happen, but I must say that I have not been enjoying the majority of this journey, and society could not be more cold and uncaring about it.