Thursday, September 5, 2013

MY ROAD TO (PART TIME) EMPLOYMENT

I graduated from The George Warren Brown School of Social Work in nineteen eighty-two. In my last year of graduate school I had two internships.  The first was at a children's hospital.  My boss took me on in the hopes of getting me a job as the social worker for Shriners Hospital.  At the time, the children's hospital was providing a social worker for Shriners. I remember meeting the social worker at Shriners every Friday.  I had a good rapport with all the patients.  That stemmed from the fact that I had been a patient there.  The children knew that I could relate to what they were going through better than anyone else.  I led a weekly group for teenagers where they could come and share their feelings about being in the hospital. I enjoyed it immensely. Unfortunately, Shriners would not consider hiring me because I hadn't had two years of work experience.  When my boss at the children's hospital learned this she wouldn't give me any other responsibilities. Other than making phone calls to remind parents of their child's clinic appointments, I did very little.  The internship was supposed to last for two semesters, but my boss ended it after only one.

My second internship was at an organization that offers health care to low income families. I was an intake worker.  My main job was to asses a client's needs and refer them to the appropriate place. I mainly gave out vouchers for food and bait to catch rats. The organization had no funds to pay me; however, they did offer me a volunteer position. I declined.

I was home foe two years after graduation.  I sent out resumes, took the state tests and the only jobs I was ever offered were the jobs no one else wanted.  Night jobs and jobs at psychiatric facilities.   The last interview I went on was at a psychiatric hospital.  The position involved working with adolescent girls. When The woman asked me what I would do if one of the girls turned my chair over, I had no answer  The interview ended.  .  

I have written in a previous post how I got my job at Meramec. An instructor gave up his lunch hour to teach me and to other young woman with disabilities word processing. The other two quit, but I stuck with it.  I saw a need for individualized instruction, especially for older adults, while volunteering in the computer lab. With the support of those in the lab, I developed the syllabus for the class and presented it to the dean.  The funding for my class almost got cut after the first semester.  Luckily that didn't happen The dean made sure I had a job, with Continuing Education, for as long as I wanted one.

While teaching at Meramec, ,I  tried to get a job as a sales rep for a well known greeting card company.  The rep for the area was in her nineties.  she did almost everything out of her house and on a computer.  She told me the job would be too difficult for me during our one phone conversation. 

I'm now trying to become a freelance writer/journalist.   There may be rejections along the way. That's okay.  I just have to be patient..I know that it will happen.