My case worker thinks I have Aspergers. It would explain a lot, beginning with my great difficulty in relating to and interacting with other people. I am not looking for sympathy, compared to some others I have it pretty good...
I recently graduated with a dual degree in International Business Management and Marketing Management from Cal Poly Pomona. I only mention this because it will become important later on.
I am a client of the California Department of Rehabilitation, upon which after graduation hired a disability employment agency to assist me in finding employment. This agency did not bother to go "outside the box" as it were to find me employment fitting my status as a college graduate, as most of their clients are severely mentally disabled as do not have college educations. I was instead pressured into taking a job that does not use my (mostly financed by the government) education.
The state of California paid this agency a large amount of money, only to have them pressure me into a job that pays okay for who they mostly hire (the uneducated, the disabled and people that for whatever reason, never managed to escape the lower rungs of society.) I am trying to make the best of it but it is wearing me thin. I cant help but think that if this job agency had not sold me short, if they had not taken the easiest option and plugged me in at a warehouse, doing menial labor, I would be much more effectively utilized at a job that I enjoyed.
My job consists of picking items out of boxes, stacked in slots in bays. My job consists of picking the item out of the box, putting it in the tote, and pressing a button that is below the slot that signals the computer that I have picked the item. I then move on to a different tote, assembly line style. I pack literally thousands of totes a night. My performance is measured purely on how many buttons I can press a minute. I have to keep up a frantic pace of item picking, hour after hour, for eight hours a night (this is a night shift job). Shifts can vary from eight hours in a night, to ten and a half hours.
I come home bone tired, hands and feet and back aching from doing this day after day. Weekends consist of mostly sleeping, and recovering and are about a day and a half long. I hate this job, not for what I have to do, but for the co-workers I have to deal with.
The working environment feels like a cross between a prison and a high school. Most of my co-workers are very cliquish. Most of them act as if they are in high school, because frankly they never graduated high school.
Management will write you up at the drop of a hat for just about anything. If you are a minute late to work, you get a write up, if you are a minute late from a half an hour lunch, you get a write up. If you fail to perform to the frantic pace that corporate sets for even one week, you get a write up. The employees do not get a fifteen minute break as the break room (which we are required to go to) is a good five minute walk away, each way. Time spent walking to and from is counted against your fifteen minute break, even though I am pretty sure this is illegal, and if it isn't, it should be.
I now feel trapped in this job, as the job agency that found me this job does NOT want to help me find a job more suited to my abilities. I feel akin to a man trapped under a burning couch. The California Department of Rehabilitation does not want to offer me any assistance finding a better job, as they already "helped" me once. They say I should find a job on my own. Never-mind the fact that I am bone tired at the end of a shift and my weekend, never-mind that I also spend a lot of time caring for a disabled family member on top of the job that I am now chained to.
Now don't get me wrong, I am grateful for a job in this economy, and even more grateful that it pays above minimum wage by a significant margin, but that is just about the only thing I am grateful from in the situation I find myself in.
I take a huge part of the share of the blame for this whole mess. I wish I hadn't taken the first job that called me back right out of college, I wish I had held the agency that found me that job to the fire and made them help me find something more fitting for my situation. I wish I now had more energy to devote to finding a different job more suited to my skill set.
The whole point of this diary (if there is one) is that government agencies are not a perfect solution to everything, a lot of times it is occupied by people who take the path of least short term resistance, like I did in trusting that agency to have my best interests at heart.