Reflections From My Chair #4

Recently I applied to a job at Inspiritec which is a call center that receives a variety of different contracts. What makes this company unique is that they mostly hire those with disabilities. My job coach referred me to this company for that reason a few months ago and we set up a mock interview with them. They threw a lot of tough questions at me and for the most part, I handled it with ease even though I was nervous. My job coach did not like my answer to the question about my computer skills because I may have undersold my competency. But all that I needed to do was explain my familiarity with certain computer programs further. Then, this woman showed me around the building and I got to briefly see people live at work. At the time I was really uneasy about the thought of speaking all day on the phone. It made me nervous because I am typically a quiet man and also my previous internships were jobs that were behind the scenes with little interaction with others.

Within the past few weeks, the company was hiring again for a new contract. My job coach sent my resume over to them for the position of customer service representative. I was not totally thrilled about the idea but my job coach made me feel more comfortable about it. She has sent other clients to this company and she knows that there is a detailed script that everybody used while speaking on the phone. Also there are considerable pauses between each call so I would definitely have time to recharge. It was not until earlier this week that I heard back from them and they wanted me to come in for an interview.

I notified my job coach right away and she wanted me to do a mock interview via Skype the day before the actual interview. I was really nervous, because the last time that we did a mock interview with just me and her, it was awful and I did a terrible job. At that time I was quite rusty on my interview skills because I have not had an interview in a while. This Tuesday, I was prepping for the mock interview and I was really nervous about some difficult questions that she may ask. Then once we got started, I was on a roll and answered everything completely and confidently. I only had to adjust some of the language of my responses. I was glad to get that over with but at that point, I knew that I was ready for the real thing.

On Wednesday, I had my interview at 10:30. Once I arrived, I had to complete a form listing my previous experiences and references. My dad was with me because I knew that I would need assistance getting set up at a table or whatever. Thankfully, people assumed he was my aide. Anyway I needed him to complete the form mostly because my hands were freezing from being outside. After that, I was brought into another room for the interview and my dad waited elsewhere. It turns out that the lady interviewing me, was very chill and only asked me one question about my previous experience. Then she preceded to tell me more about the job and the training that is required. Then she asked me about the hours that I am looking for and I selected the part-time hours. My job coach had told me before that I should begin that way to ensure that I can handle it. Due to my disorder, I can become fatigued very easily and it is a legitimate concern whether I am able to handle full time hours.

After that, I was sent to the other woman that I met before at the mock interview. I was to convey to her, the accommodations that I needed to work comfortably. The most important one was that I need an aide to help me at various times throughout the day. I just need them nearby to get me set up at a desk, go to the bathroom and whatever else that I may need. The second accommodation is that I need to use the on-screen keyboard in order to type. This allows me to click the letters on the screen instead of typing the letters on the keyboard. The third accommodation is that I may need a certain desk especially if I cannot fit in the cubicle desk. They were comfortable with all three and promised to help me with whatever that I may need. As I was leaving, my dad asked her if I have the job. She said yes and jokingly said, “Oops, the cat’s out of the bag now.” Also I was given the codes for the building so it was definitely obvious. They need me to complete training at the end of the month and then I can start in January. It is a temporary contract so I will probably not be there forever but it is good start with the potential of being a valuable stepping stone to something greater.

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About thewheelworld91

My name is Mike and I recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in history. I am disabled and afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy so I'm in a wheelchair. I have been looking for a job for over a year with no luck. However, i have some non profit experience and interned at a museum. Other than that I've been going to events for my disorder and doing fun activities such as video games and using the internet. This blog will focus on being disabled, US and international politics/affairs and video games or whatever is on my mind.
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2 Responses to Reflections From My Chair #4

  1. seachy says:

    What fantastic news and so good to hear of all the support you get to finding work even on temporary contracts, all too often it is like getting blood out of a stone for people I know in the UK although this is changing more through disabled groups promoting as opposed to companies willingness to invest. Fortunately I worked for many years with a local college who have been very accommodating and supportive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I have been hearing about companies in the US lately whose mission is to hire the disabled. They are quite rare though. Other than that other companies are much less accommodating cant tell you how many times I went on an interview and was turned away for my slow typing speed.

      Like

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