are you starting to notice us now?
on the one hand, i feel horrible that so many local businesses and artists relying on income from the public marketplace are suffering financially right now. it hurts that i can't do more to help.
on the other hand, the very reason i can't do anything to help is because try as i might, i can't seem to connect with a way to get reasonable compensation (i.e., enough to function, not live in luxury) for the kind of work i am most skilled at providing, or even that kind of work i'm mostly decent at providing. i don't seem to be able to jump through all the flaming hoops of the neurotypical job interview process, for starts.(1)
so it's this awful place between guilt and "welcome to where i live! the world many of you have been helping to make with your indifference and complacency! perhaps you will notice how there is not a retirement plan. quite frankly, not very many of the folks in our world will live to see retirement!"
are you enjoying how isolated and helpless you feel right now? not being able to visit your loved ones or obtain necessary supplies? based on recent experience, do you think drawing out the situation of not knowing if you're going to be able to get MOUTHWASH the next time you need it for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS could cause long term physiological damage?
do you think that maybe when we get out of this, if we get out of this, it might be time to start talking to those of us society has abandoned so we can all start doing better?
who am i kidding? most of the few souls reading this are in as much trouble as i am, if not more. the people who might be able to leverage enough influence to make a few things better for us are either in denial or stopped giving a shit a long time ago.
prove me wrong, right.
(1) about a decade ago, i interviewed for a position as a part-time quality assurance editor at an investment management firm i knew to employ several of my (quirky if not outright eccentric) friends with liberal arts degrees. the firm specifically asked for creatives in the recruitment material, and it looked like they walked their talk. i'd gotten the call back less than a week after applying and the person who did my initial screening sounded genuinely enthusiastic about bringing me on to their team. the in-person interview was in five parts. i had three minutes between the third and fourth parts to use the restroom. the interview, to this point, had gone better than anticipated. way better than previous interviews. i was starting to feel like i could maybe even be an asset to this firm and maybe even! get to experiment with being a productive member of society! so after i pee, i wash my hands, and only then discover the bathroom is out of paper towels and the one drier doesn't work. i do the best i can, try brushing off my hands on my gray pants without leaving visible water stains? and there's the next department head i'm set to interview, waiting right outside the door? so i automatically take to shake his hand - initially holding out the wrong hand, of course, and jumping about three feet into the air as the bathroom door slams closed behind me - and, of course! both my hands, they're still pretty wet. yay, i just shook my potential boss's hand with clammy wet bathroom hands after he watched me walk out of a room with a prominent tampon dispenser in a nearly visible smog of another woman's awful cologne. big bunch of job seeker DO NOT EVERs right there. so, okay, this sounds like nothing to you neurotypical folks who believe yourself to be untraumatized and, at the very least, haven't ever been dropped into an endless and self-perpetuating cycle of why-the-fuck-will-nobody-hire-me. you'd know what to do! probably whip out that gorgeous charisma and joke your way into a much better job with even more benefits. fake it till you make it, right? good for you! i'm glad you're able to fake your way to success. you should teach a master class to give other people with such capabilities that much more of a competitive edge in the job market. probably earn you a nice chunk of side income! i'm pretty confident i am autistic and am definitely negotiating moderate to severe developmental trauma (as most autistic people do, guess why?) ...also, i've been stuck in the above-described loop most recently for twelve years. i can't fake it. i'm obsessively literal and overly blunt. i can't edit information to make myself look better. i've blurted out my awkward understanding of the truth before i completely understood it, much more begun the agonizing process of figuring out if that's appropriate social protocol. WHAT THE FUCK IS APPROPRIATE SOCIAL PROTOCOL? or i just go nonverbal and everyone assumes i'm too rude to proofread. which i am. i'm much too rude to proofread. the workforce could not handle my extreme rudeness. it's right that i'm chronically unemployed. anyway, whether or not i was judged about my initially wrong clammy bathroom-handed shake, the incident triggered me, put me into what SHOULD have been a relatively minor meltdown i HAD to allocate resources i needed for the interview toward trying to conceal, meaning i wasn't able to think or communicate myself clearly for the remaining two parts of that interview, one of which was the firm's editing test. so whether or not i was judged on that, the incident could very well have cost me a decent job. and yeah, you folk who are capable of obtaining jobs matched to your abilities in the current system, this was one incident ten years ago. sure, i ought to be over it by now. the thing is i have dozens upon dozens upon dozens of stories like this. this shit builds up like plaque in the arteries. kills you nice and slow, largely because nobody wants to believe it is happening. instead of help and constructive feedback, you get corrected and told to keep doing what is clearly not working. that's what everyone else does! it works for everyone else, doesn't it? it's america, right? systemic oppression isn't real in america. not for people with invisible disability. we're just not trying hard enough. seriously, folks, is this something that happens to (don't kid yourself) MILLIONS of skilled and willing workers with a few relatively minor accessibility concerns in a functional and sustainable economy?