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This diary is part of a continuing series on living with Asperger's Syndrome. If you wish to know more about my diagnosis, you should start here.
Hello everyone. I've had a fairly busy summer, but I'm back now. Let's face it, I'm going nuts. Not literally of course, it's just that the lack of routine and employment are both driving me up the wall. Let me see if I can explain more below the orange calligraphy..

It's not so much that I need to be led by the hand to do things. Hell, most of the time I'm what you'd call a self-starter. I usually have the ball rolling and I'm always on top of things, but the usual routine of getting ready for school again is over now that I've graduated with two college degrees under my belt, but it seems that no matter how many employers see my resume I never seem to get a chance at anything. As far as the private sector is concerned, I'm virtually unemployable, and this has me a bit angry and frustrated.

I have the skills to do the jobs for which I've applied. I worked my ass off to obtain those skills and I don't regret it one bit, but it seems to me that employers no longer give a damn about that. They want disposable drones that they can just throw away at their convenience rather than hard-working people who will do the job to the best of their ability. Not to mention I can't be on call because I'm unable to drive myself (If you want to know why, read my diary on driving troubles), so in the eyes of the private sector, I'm a liability, not an asset.

Perhaps I need to go a different route with this. I don't even know if I'm meant to work for anyone, and no matter how much ass I kiss or how many resumes or emails I send, I'll just be ignored, so perhaps I need to find some other way to make a statement, which brings me to something down right odd.

A little over a month ago my wife and I took a trip to California for a week to celebrate our first anniversary, and we spent the first couple of days in Monterey. One of the places we visited there was Cannery Row, and there's a brewing company that has the best damn root beer I've ever tasted, and I've wanted to brew my own ever since. Well, I took my first steps in doing just that a few days ago and it tasted just terrible. Don't get me wrong, the fermentation process went over quite well and there was plenty of carbonation but the reason it tasted so awful is because I used bread yeast rather than a proper brewing yeast.

So I decided to search for a local homebrew establishment and I struck gold, finding one just a few miles from where I'm living. It's only a matter of time before I'll be able to brew organic root beer from scratch. I might even try a few other recipes for soda I found along the way. It should certainly be interesting.

To make a long story short, I spent a while seething at the fact that despite my best efforts, I can't do a damn thing to find employment (And to make matters worse, Florida is quite the ghost town). I'm sure it's like this for a lot of folks, but if you've followed me and my history, it's pretty clear I've got quite a deck stacked against me, so rather than go nuts, I'll just find some way to get the dealer to take whatever cards I give and build a better hand. Weird analogy, I know, but it seems to work.

In the mean time, I'll just hone my skills be they Computer Repair or Soda Brewing.

See you around,

Homer

Originally posted to The Aspie Corner on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles and KOSpectrum.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (30+ / 0-)

    I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

    by Homer177 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:57:40 PM PDT

  •  As a fellow Aspie and Democrat (13+ / 0-)

    I want to thank you to write these diaries!

  •  Good root beer is manna from heaven (12+ / 0-)

    I hate soda, like HATE it.

    But once in a while, a nice, real, cold root beer is just about the most perfect thing a person could have.  It restores the soul.  :)

    Homer, that sucks about the job search.  I hate to say it but it seems these days employers hold over achievers such as yourself with two degrees at a distance.  More education means they have to pay you more.

    In a perfect world you'd be able to blend your education with a cool hobby like brewing home made sodas and make a few bucks doing it.

    Congrats on your first anniversary.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:12:53 PM PDT

    •  I second the suggestion about brewing. (8+ / 0-)

      It might be a great business opportunity.

    •  You know, I probably should do that... (10+ / 0-)

      Considering all the other skills I have under my belt it's entirely possible. Of course I'd have to find a workable place that could serve as a micro brewery. That would be the hardest part

       Finding a supplier wouldn't be terribly difficult, and putting a face and a name on my company should be simple enough given my background in graphic and web design. The other thing I wonder about is Florida's stance on Co-Ops and Benefit Corps. I know that some legislation went through the state house but it was killed before even becoming a blip on the radar.

      Still, it might be an idea I can work with eventually.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:41:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If I were going looking for real root beer to buy, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep, coquiero, ladybug53

        I think my first stop would be at the farmers market open Saturday mornings 8 'til noon about a mile from my house. In addition to fresh organic veggies and fruit, I always find a lot of other interesting things there. I wonder if there's a venue like that near your house. If not, maybe you should organize one.

        Eliminate tax breaks that stimulate the offshoring of jobs.

        by RJDixon74135 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:45:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have to say that from what you've written (11+ / 0-)

    you've had a pretty good life. Two college degrees and marriage. In contrast, I only got my BA two years ago (from American University in Political Science) at 25. At 27 years old, I STILL have yet to have a girlfriend despite wanting to have one for more than a decade. I've talked on Daily Kos about dating before, but it is hard for me given my social difficulties and the fact that people in the political world are often completely insensitive. If you don't mind I'd like to talk about that.

    •  Yeah, life's been okay these last few years.. (8+ / 0-)

      but I struggled like hell to get here and had barely any help on top of that. My degrees may only be A.S. but I worked my ass off for both of them.

      As for the dating bit, I'm not sure there's much I can say about that. From what I've read in your comment it sounds like you're forcing it, or you're trying a bit too hard.

      There's a Buddhist saying that goes something like "Wanting enlightenment is a big mistake."

      After many years I think I'm starting to scratch the surface of what it means.

      Dating is a tough thing, and it's doubly so for Aspies because we have a hell of a time reading signals. I met my wife a year before we even started dating and even then it took a while for things to take off as it were.

      Eventually I was able to make my intentions known, but it sure did take work. Just spending time with her and taking things slowly. That worked best in my case. Not sure if this helps but I hope you get my meaning.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:35:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know about California (that is where you (6+ / 0-)

    live, right?) but here in Oregon where I'm from adults with an autism spectrum diagnosis can apply to Vocational Rehabilitation for help in getting a job.

    My husband has cerebral palsy and any time he is between jobs he calls his Voc Rehab caseworker, she reopens his file and they get started.  They give him help writing his resume and they often intervene and make sure he makes it past the application step to the interview stage at least.  They've made sure he has "interview clothes" and a bus pass to get to interviews.  For his last job, they even paid for a cab because the only bus to the job site couldn't make the time scheduled for his interview.  

    Before he's hired by an employer, Voc Rehab sits down with the prospective employer and they hash out a deal.  Typically this involves offering the employer some $$ to subsidize my husband's salary during a "training period."  If my husband will need any "assistive technology" to do this new job, Voc Rehab pays for it.  Voc Rehab bought a computer outfitted with Dragonspeak for one of his jobs, as an example.  

    At any time, my husband or the employer can call Voc Rehab to help reassess how things are going and ask for help if needed.  Of all the agencies my husband has dealt with over the years, Vocational Rehabilitation has been the most helpful.  

    Sorry to hijack your comment thread, and forgive me if things in your state are different.  I thought about Kosmailing this info to you, but I am always surprised by  how few people know what Voc Rehab is and how helpful they can be.  Even if this info can't help you, I'm guessing someone will use it.  But I bet they can help you...if it hasn't been de-funded in your state.  

    Good luck.  Like I said, I know this information is correct for Oregon.  We were told just last year that our Aspie son will be able to be helped by Voc Rehab when he reaches adulthood, too.  

    Cyberhugs!  ((Homer177))        

    "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara

    by koosah on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:30:13 PM PDT

    •  I should move to Oregon. I want to work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, mint julep, ladybug53

      but have had a tough time getting and keeping jobs. And I do drive.

      •  No one understands how tough it is for people (6+ / 0-)

        in the disability community to find and keep a job.  If I had a dime for every time someone's told my husband "You're lucky.  There are programs for you.  They have hiring quotas for Affirmative Action.  And you get that great parking spot!"  

        B. S.

        Vocational Rehabilitation has been the exception.  And even they can't protect you from an employer who hires a disabled person, takes all the employer incentives and later
        finds some BS excuse to keep cutting your hours.  

        Even with the extra help, it is tough convincing an employer to take a chance.  

        "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara

        by koosah on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:00:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's good to see that your husband (6+ / 0-)

          has someone as supportive as you. What people don't understand with Asperger's Syndrome is that unlike most developmental disorder it is non visible. It's not like Down's Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy where one can look at your physical features and tell without any effort at all that you are "different." Recognising AS actually means stopping and giving a rats behind. There is also the pressure to conform that doesn't exist with other disabilities for the same reason.

          •  Absolutely. (5+ / 0-)

            It's a toss-up for the most part, though.  My husband says that he's gone to interviews where he can see the interviewer mentally scrambling as soon as they see his power wheelchair.  There's no hiding that and hoping they won't notice until later.

            (Confidentially, the more we learn about my son's AS the more we recognize that my husband actually has TWO strikes against him because he is very much like our son.)  

            My hope is that the day will come when Aspies are more accepted as they are, instead of being pressured to conform.  I love the Aspies in my life.  They can be frustrating as all hell at times, but there are qualities about them I wouldn't trade for anything.        

            "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara

            by koosah on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:17:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'd be more embracive of AS (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coquiero, mint julep, ladybug53

              If I had better luck with employment (I recently found work in Bethesda, MD with a small firm), and with dating as I mentioned above. I would like to be set up in a situation where I can meet understanding women who won't judge me right off the bat. I would like to know if anyone knows any good dating services for people with disabilities in the DC area where I live.

        •  That's exactly right, and I've experienced.. (6+ / 0-)

          what you speak of first hand. I wrote and then removed a diary talking about this.I wish I'd kept the drafts of some of my earlier diaries because I know a lot of folks found them very informative.

          I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

          by Homer177 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:05:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I've been with Florida's Voc Rehab for a decade.. (6+ / 0-)

      Since the early days of my senior year in high school. It's been hit or miss considering anything other than tourism and service jobs is frowned upon in the former space coast. And of course, with governor Voldemort (Rick Scott, that is) in charge, it's only going to get worse.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:54:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Governor Voldemort." Heh. (4+ / 0-)

        Even out here in Oregon that's what we call Florida's Governor Who Must Not Be Named.  

        Hit or miss.  Yeah...when my husband was in school years ago his then-caseworker was not very...um..."motivated."  It wasn't until that guy retired and he got a new caseworker that my husband really started seeing all the benefits VR offers.  

        Maybe you should move here to Oregon.  Lots of cottage industry start-up breweries in this state.  And boutique root beers are the Next Big Thing they're all starting to make.  :^)    

        "When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." Dom Helder Camara

        by koosah on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:08:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good to hear from you and good luck (9+ / 0-)

    with the root beer. I love root beer.

    I recently graduated with my masters, and I had a job in my field of study. Yesterday I found out that I may lose that job any day now. I had it for all of 4 1/2 months, loved it, and thought I was doing great work. I don't know why I, of all people, am in trouble--and if being an Aspie has something to do with it even though no one has come out and said it is.

    I was out of work for 20 months before finding this wonderful job. I am so clueless as to what's happening.

  •  Nice diary, and best of luck with the job (5+ / 0-)

    search.  My father is probably an aspie, and while he was very creative, he had a very hard time with office politics; he is happier now that he is retired!

    In case you want to edit your diary, Monterey is spelled like that (I looked it up...)

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 06:56:22 PM PDT

  •  If you need some extra cash, there's a service (4+ / 0-)

    that's very easy and convenient I use from time to time:

    Amazon Mechanical Turk

    Basically, companies post "HITs" (Human Intelligence Tasks) that are small tasks machines aren't good at doing, and you perform them in exchange for a small amount of money (usually less than a dollar each).  There are thousands of HITs available at any given time.

    Many HITs are scams - either hoping to scam you by getting info about your system, or use you to scam others by posting spam comments or inflating search results - but are easily identifiable as such when you think about what they're asking you to do.

    Some HITs are straightforward, but not worth the effort.  Any HIT that offers more than a dollar is usually so much work that the value proposition doesn't work out - e.g., translating or transcribing difficult audio files.  And sometimes the nature of the work makes it not worth it - e.g., going through reams of photographs drawing boxes around objects, delineating the parts of speech in a long text, etc. (all of which may involve rejection of your work with no pay if you don't get it almost completely right).

    The best ones, value-wise, are academic surveys using a system called Qualtrics.  They usually pay between 10 and 80 cents, and take between a couple of minutes and half an hour.  You don't have to identify yourself except demographically, and all the work entails is sharing your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.  It's easy as hell.  You do have to pay attention - they occasionally throw in questions that direct you to choose a specific answer so they know you're not just randomly picking options.  Obviously it adds up to much less than minimum wage, but it's so damn easy that it sometimes seems like a steal.

    Someone who isn't as lazy as I am could easily make $500 a month on it, and probably more if they don't find the kinds of work irksome that I do.

    Republicans would rather live in shit than be seen working a shovel.

    by Troubadour on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:19:12 PM PDT

  •  Lord, i need some help with my son (5+ / 0-)

    just diagnosed at 14 last December, he's good at math but haaaates to read; he has almost no social skills but among my wife's family he can sometimes seem almost normal. No friends, and worse, he can't stand the neighbors as far as i can tell because they are Arabs. I try, i really do, but I am getting worried. He cries easily, throws tantrums, and tries hard to fit in ( which may be why he thinks the Arabs are uncool, because the cool kids don't like them ) stays in his room all day; he used to love nature and the zoo and animals and could telly ou all about them, but dropped interest all of a sudden. He is apparently straight, got all upset about a girl who broke his heart. He does wear his feelings on his sleeve though, Tried therapy but he wouldn't continue with it. He also has some OCD, which scars the hell outta me cause my best friend's son has OCD and is basically hopeless, in and out of the hospital and group homes, despite a 138 IQ the kid can't drive or even get his shoes on. I doubt my son's IQ is that hgih but he does have academic skills, but also has inattentive ADD.So he  tends to fail exams and pop quizzes. I am at my wit's end with him.

    •  The teens and early 20s were especially hard.. (4+ / 0-)

      for me as well. I never dated in high school and to be honest I don't regret it, but the teasing was the absolute worst. I almost didn't make it through high school because of it. I can also relate to some degree on the grades as I had failed a class during a semester in my junior year. Had to take night school for that class because of that. My college experiences were the very opposite.

      You should find a way to direct his energy toward another outlet. Does he have any other interests that you've picked up on?

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:52:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  . (4+ / 0-)

      wish i could say more, my son was dx when he was around 4, confirmed at 6 or so, and is now 12. I'm scared for him, but i know a few adult aspies  all said that puberty was really hard, probably harder then for 'typical' kids. Sounds like you could use from help from the school system, if they are any good (mine isn't). One of my friends said he would mentor my son, which would have been great since they so alike it's scary, but he moved to the other coast. I think mentors on the spectrum could really help the kids, especially as they hit middle and high school. Anyway, it's a long hard road, don't do it alone.

      Solvent Green is Grandma

      by mad cow on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 07:56:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The root beer you speak of was likely from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, Deejay Lyn

    a local supplier named Sparky's.

    It is as good as anything I have ever brewed. You need real root beer extract to make it as well as the right kind of yeast. The last batch of root beer we made at home had so much fizz, that when my brother took a big swig of it, the foam came out of his nose. Funny to see, not so much for him.

    I wish you well in your job search.

    p.s. Your spelling of Monetary is a better name, since you need so much of the monetary just to live here. heh. Speaking as a resident.

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