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Those of you who know me also know I have quite the history of chronic unemployment. Usually when I do have a job, I'm never able to keep it more than a couple of months, three if I'm lucky. Couple that with part-time hours, minimum wage pay and nearly no chance for advancement due to conditions and constant cutbacks on your hours and you have a permanent, inescapable rut of gross underemployment to which most of us are subjected.

Some of us may have the help of family or friends, or even Social Security and other social services, but many don't even have either one, and in the case of Social Security, many don't even know where to begin when navigating the quagmire that is red tape. I speak from experience, having been denied ten times in the five year period before I attended college. This is all in spite of the fact that I had received child disability payments, then was switched to survivor's benefits after my father died because they wanted to save a few bucks.

There are two groups of people I'd like to address regarding some outright stupidity I've had to put up with over the years. First, I'd like to tell those who point to one of the few successes (Temple Grandin, for instance) and say that those people did what they did with no help from anyone, because that is simply not true. She had help from her parents and her community in learning to function despite her limits. Many of us aren't even that lucky.

The other group are those who live by the FYIGM philosophy, ranting and raving about how everyone should have to work for everything they get. Sorry, but life isn't that simple, and it's much harder for disabled people and their families to even scrape by. Who knows? Perhaps those folks love watching us suffer and struggle.

I am against stupid proposals such as Chained CPIs, Payroll Tax Holidays and other things that might harm seniors and the disabled, because many of us have little as it is. Perhaps we need to challenge a few lawmakers to live for six months on what little we do get. Maybe then their eyes would be opened.

See you around,

Homer

Originally posted to The Aspie Corner on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:16 PM PDT.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles and KosAbility.

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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 Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:16:04 PM PDT

  •  Very valid points. n/t (6+ / 0-)

    “... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

    by leema on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:51:43 PM PDT

  •  Homer, (10+ / 0-)

    I don't know what state you live in, but keep filing.  It doesn't cost anything.  Eventually, your record of inability to keep a job will find a sympathetic psych reviewer, and they will accept it as proof of your inability to work a full time job.  Seriously.  They have to find a different state doctor to review the proposed denial, each time.  It's a question of impartiality.  As much as I hate to say this, but which doctor reviews your claim can be all the difference.  Psych isn't an exact science, on the other hand, so maybe it's only reasonable that some doctors have different points of view.  But I mean it.  Keep filing!  If you can get regular (at least once a month) appointments with some kind of therapy, even a county run one will do, so much the better.  But don't give up on the SSD.  I've seen it happen, or I wouldn't say so.  And good luck!

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 01:57:13 PM PDT

  •  people with disabilities do need help working (11+ / 0-)

    especially in the kind of complex economy that we live in today.  it's not like they can all work on a family farm where they are supported.  working today means working with strangers and being under pressure and engaging in competition.  

    my brother has aspergers.  he got a degree in computer science/math/physics, but then he struggled to get a job, because he struggled with communication.  so, i invited him to work with me as a web programmer 12 years ago.  he's been working with me since and for the last 7 years we've been developing video games.  he is a vastly better worker than i am.  i make sure that he has a great environment to work in.  

    in my opinion, if you can write a blog like this, then you can work.  you just need to find the right field and environment.  and you probably need help with that.  i think you should consider taking some tests to find out what fields are best for you.  

    in my experience, it's not that people with aspergers can't work, it's that they have a much more difficult time enduring work that they don't fit into.  

    meanwhile, yes, making congress live on SS for a few months would probably work wonders, cause so many of them seem so out of touch.

    •  I'm in a very similar situation, actually. (9+ / 0-)

      I went into computer science myself, and recently I worked with Geographic Information Systems for my county as an intern. It's a shame they couldn't hire me, because I know I was great with that job and I got the glowing references to prove it.

      It combined research and computer skills all into a single job, and I have a knack for both.

      But yeah, communication is a problem, especially with the way companies do their hiring these days. Personally I'd rather serve the public, maligned as that is. I don't have the guts nor the time for pointless competition in the corporate world.

      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 Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 02:58:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just heard someone who used to do GIS work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AntonBursch

        say that there was now a ton of new jobs, so you might look into that. At least some of them involved travel abroad, not sure if that helps or hurts you, but it's definitely an avenue to explore.

        If you'd like, I'll touch base with her this week and see if she has any tips.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 07:21:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am... (12+ / 0-)

    ...high functioning aspie. I think that I've overcome most obstacles and deficiencies associated with the condition either through extensive practice or sheer will. I'd still much rather keep to myself and self-absorb doing my own thing, but I can recognize situations where this is unacceptable and I've sort of view social situations like being an actor upon a stage - I can manage to play the role of a personable and sociable individual, but not for long.

    I don't see my condition as a detriment. Maybe a challenge, but there are parts of it that I see are beneficial such as a keen eye for detail and not being distracted so much once I am deeply involved in a project. It's not easy. I have to be constantly busy to keep myself on task. Down time is horrible. I don't tend to stick with jobs often (typically no more than two years) except this unemployment thing, but that doesn't really count.

    I don't know what I'm going to do. I've been out of work so long I don't know how I will fit in. I've been sorely out of practice at compensating for my aspie traits. I can feel my regression, not wanting to get out and do things, even to see friends and family. I just want to be left alone. My greatest fear is that I'll never get hired again. With every passing day I believe I am fated just to remain a burden on society, friends, and family. So the urge to just give up looking grows stronger every day. I want to work again, but I just don't picture myself getting there.

    "Know that it is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it." - Donald Rumsfeld

    by teej on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 02:44:23 PM PDT

  •  Sorry, Homer. I wish SO much (5+ / 0-)

    that we didn't have a bunch of fuckups in government.

    Unfortunately, we do.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 03:41:57 PM PDT

    •  No kidding. It seems to be particularly bad in FL. (4+ / 0-)

      The crazy and the stupid run deep, especially when it comes to infrastructure maintenance. I don't blame the county workers, though. I blame idiot windbags who think our money would be better spent looking for those one or 2 people who use drugs while collecting welfare...Oh, and the people who vote for said windbags..sheesh.

      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 Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:09:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary. OK to republish? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Homer177, ZedMont

    Homer, this a well-written diary, with helpful comments, that I think would fit in with the diaries I've seen on KosAbility.  Would it be ok with you for them to republish it there?

  •  I did best with temp agencies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Homer177, RJDixon74135

    that handled accounts for corporations.  Mostly full time work, off the phones - largely handling paperwork and/or research.  Pay was generally $10 - $13 an hour.  I could just dig in and work hard - I wasn't always offered a job, but many times I was.

    I'm highly functioning autistic, but it kept me working 15 years and able to have something to apply for in SSDI now that other illness has sidelined me.

    Good luck.

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 06:57:49 PM PDT

    •  from some one who has been there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Homer177, Mortifyd

      From some one who is ASD and transgender and who worked successfully... I worked in a profession that allowed me to work solo much of the time, non destructive testing, industrial X-ray, ultrasound weld inspection etc. This used my obsession for detail in a positive fashion. I learned to deal with people by learning about other people. Like most aspies I do not do boredom, and I learned that most people have a story, and are more than willing to talk about them selves. You CAN learn and it may mean finding a profession that fits you.

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