Daily Archives: December 28, 2015

Interviews Vs. Social Anxiety

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I have an interview on Wednesday for a position that requires my interaction with customers is limited to those who have come to pick up an order. The pick up is free, so I don’t have to run a cash register or anything. With minimum wage jumping to ten dollars this January, I’ll be satisfied.

You all remember my rampage about the fucking stupid application process that has you answer those really open ended questions? The ones that make you either sound like a complete asshole or a complete sheep? They rejected me a while ago. It was Target. Fuck Target.

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The Store Which Brought You This

I only applied there because I needed a job. Everyone I’ve ever known who is or has worked at the Target in town says it’s the worst experience of their life. I only gave it a shot out of desperation. Hear that Target Big Wigs? I didn’t even want your crappy minimum wage position; it was the last thought on the bottom of my shoe after I stepped in dog shit. Fuck you, Target.

 

One thing those of us with severe social anxiety hate is interviews. I’m pretty sure I speak for 90% of us when I say that. The fact that it’s one-on-one is what saves us. It’s easier to quell some of the anxiety if it’s not a group interview and you don’t have to give some sort of whacked out sales pitch off the top of your head. Toys R Us does that. I was one of the lucky ones; my group interview was only me and some guy.

And now you see why my blog is pretty much anonymous–imagine an employer googling my name and finding me talking shit about a whole load of other businesses? That’s not professional, right? Or something? I don’t know, I’m an alien; I don’t belong here. Your earthly customs are strange.

That being said, let me just say something about Toys R Us.

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I applied for a stock position and they said that position had been taken, but asked if I wanted to be a cashier. I shrugged and said alright.

Worst mistake of my life.

The lines are horrendous. The kids scream. The parents don’t have a parenting bone in their body and let their kids run around knocking shit off the shelves without making them pick it up.

How did we restock the shelves? You take giant carts full of random items and drive it around the store until you find where it goes. And good luck, since they rearranged the shelves every week on Wednesday.

Labels were in the wrong places, toys were in the wrong places, and when we had “meetings” with the main manager I was laughing so hard inside. Everything was so fake. Everyone was fake. These people didn’t care about the job or who was putting the wrong items on the wrong shelf or any of that. Faux professionalism is . . . I can’t help but laugh at it. I don’t understand it. Why is everyone faking so hard?

The dollar store labels their shelves with sharpie on metal. That’s how you label a shelf. Fuck the dumb shit; get ghetto with it, get real.

We were all putting things in the wrong place because no one knew what the right place was! The idiot who got caught doing it just wasn’t good at doing it. Whenever I had to put away a toy that literally had no place or name to it, I just scanned the roof for the cameras, hid from them, and stuffed it next to something similar. There was literally no other option.

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Then they told me I was too quiet and they did it in a patronizing tone and a baby face.

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I hate when people call me quiet like it’s an insult.

There were huge lines that sometimes backed to the middle of the store and sometimes you had to jump and shout to get a customers attention to your station. Apparently I wasn’t doing that right. Even though I was shouting and hopping and getting their attention.

I had to sell Credit Cards to people. You can’t do it for international people, which they didn’t tell me. I had to find out by trying to sign them up. They were from Norway; awesome accents. Made myself look like a jackass.

You also have to tell them certain things about the card. They say you get 20% off when you sign up. That’s what my managers told me to say, and that’s all they told me to say.

Well one woman customer took the pamphlet and read the tiny ass fine print which said you only get 10% off and they’ll mail you the other 10% in a month or whatever. I had to call one of my SEVEN MANAGERS over to help her because I basically looked like a liar. There were a bunch of other little rip-off details in the fine print and the woman decided not to get the card.

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The day I decided to leave was not a difficult decision. The thought of returning to that place made me physically sick; I was nauseated and my eyes were throbbing.

Don’t ever call me quiet like it’s an insult.

Don’t ever make me lie to sell your bullshit credit cards.

Don’t ever talk to me like I’m a baby.

And DON’T pay me EIGHT DOLLARS AN HOUR, which at the time was 75 CENTS BELOW MINIMUM WAGE, and then get caught doing it because YOU FUCKED UP MY W2 which confused my college campus and financial aid and taxes.

Can you tell I’m not a fan of this Toys R Us?

Don’t get me started on Wells Fargo. Those stupid motherfuckers couldn’t even set up my account online, so I couldn’t get direct deposit. We called over and over again and all we got was some dude in India who also didn’t know what to do. Because, you know, he’s in India.

I’m going for a Credit Union this time. A local one with people I can trust.

I say “trust” loosely.

The world is a business, that’s for sure. And it can be hard to trust business men and women.

I’m not as nervous about this interview as I was about the one at Toys R Us. I had a panic attack in Sears trying to buy proper clothing with my mother because it was all so overwhelming.

This time I know what to expect. I know what to say and how to dress and even if I don’t get the job there are other positions available–just in case, you know, I really fuck it up. Which is a possibility.

Doesn’t mean I’m not nervous.

At least they scheduled the interview really, really quickly so I don’t have a lot of time to mull over it.

If they offer me a cashier position, I’m going to refuse it.

NEVER.

AGAIN.

I have a problem telling people no, particularly authority figures. I can handle cops and judges and those kinds of authority figures, but when I get to people above me in a job position or a professor or anyone who knows more about a subject than I do, I cower and let the anxiety take over. I need to learn that I’m the one looking for the job. I have the right to turn down the offer.

And if the offer is cashier, I’m strapping on my space boots and jumping straight the fuck out of there. 

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To Dorm Or Not To Dorm, That Is The Question

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I often get overly excited.

What do I mean?

Say there’s a writing contest. I put some effort into making a submission and the only reason I do is because I’m convinced I’m going to win.

Confidence? Not always.

9aedcc109bd77477f891be956d46de0af181954fMore like I’ve convinced myself in some weird fantasy world that I’m the absolute winner. I’m the Kanye West of competitions. Something like that.

It fills me up with a bunch of nice feelings and I think about grand prizes and I start planning what I’m going to do with the money. I spend days like this.

If I don’t win, I’m not crushed, I’m just confused: who the fuck turns down Kanye West? 

It happens with everything. And there’s only one thing that can stomp and squeeze and ravage the good feeling right out of me: my own brain.

I’m not getting any younger over here people, and with only one class left to finish my degree I’m going to be transferring soon.

Assuming I can even start that class without having a mental breakdown.

I haven’t taken any “Communication” classes, or any Economics, so State School applications are pretty much a no-go. I did that on purpose. 1) because there was no way in hell my social anxiety would let me get through a speech class without me having a break down and 2) I don’t want to go to a state school.

I’m not trying to sound snobby. There are some really good ones in my area, I’ve just always had my eyes set on a few private universities. I like the class sizes and the personal attention you get. Everyone says “holly hell, that’s going to 40k how are you going to pay for that?”

I tell them I don’t know.

They stare at me like they’ve just caught me banging their mother on their childhood bed.

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There are always ways to make things happen. Always. I will eventually get through that last psych class. I will eventually take some sort of speech class, or at least a class with a lot of speeches in it. I can and I will. Can I do it right now? I don’t feel ready for it. I also don’t feel ready to pay 40k to a school.

But everything always works out. I’ve never lived through anything so horrible that I haven’t bounced back from it, that I haven’t found a way to solve the problem. I usually have several solutions. I give thanks to my anxiety and hyper-vigilance for that.

brain_locked_up_md_wmI am my worst enemy. I tear myself down more often than anyone. I often feel my brain and I are separate people, and we communicate as such. We’re disconnected until we’re in moments where we need to be connected. He works with me when he’s in jeopardy, I should say. He’s a pretty selfish thing. He’ll lie to give excuses for the things the anxiety  or depression made him avoid, the things people needed him for. And then he puts the guilt on my shoulders because his are already smothered in it.

What he forgets is that guilt isn’t a bad thing. It’s telling you that you can do something better, it’s telling you there’s more you can do than just wallow in it.

Today I was thinking a lot about my future. I was thinking about life after the college I attend now and how it will all go down with my boyfriend. He’s planning on attending one of the better state Uni’s in the area. The University I want to attend is 13 minutes away from his, by car. What a coincidence.

Anyway, these are things you have to think about at some point. Where to live? A room in a house? A studio apartment? Dorms?

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Hit up San Francisco State and These Are Your Dorms. I’ve Done A Tour. I Went Into A Dorm For Four Students . . . Couldn’t Walk Through It Without Turning To The Side. It was Literally Room For Four Beds And A Clock.

Anyone been to Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo? DAAAAAAAMN their apartments are FIRE SON. Better than most ones I’ve lived in. I was jealous when I went there.

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I probably won’t do dorms. They’re already getting 40k from me (by me I mean the government and banks) just so I can sit in a fucking classroom for this chapter of 2 or 3 years before moving on to Med School which is going to require my left arm, my right ear, my left leg up to my knee, plus another 50k, there’s no way in hell I’m giving them money to live on their campus.

My boyfriend and I haven’t talked about living together indefinitely, which is a good thing, no one needs to be rushed into something we might not be ready for.

Regardless of whether we do or not, I’m going to need a job up there. Which means I’m going to need some work experience down here. Because, um, I can’t be earning minimum wage part time and expect to pay rent, utilities, and food. I’m either going to have to starve in the dark under a roof, or have no roof but have food while

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Obviously I’ve been looking, and I’ve filled out a lot of applications and now that Christmas is over, I’m expecting at least one person to call me back.

But I get to fantasizing. I get to thinking how awesome it’s going to be for once in my life to be out of this house and worrying more about myself than my parents. I’ll have a crazy amount of freedom. I’ll be working with my own money and have my amazing boyfriend (unless he decides he’s sick of me) and be taking classes that lead me towards medical school and I’ll be geeking out in science and spending my little free time writing and enjoying my life how I want to.

It feels so nice to think about it.

Then my brain reminds me I’m not like everyone else.

Having a job, going to school, and dealing with all the personal responsibilities that come with living on your own is really going to tax my system. I’m an introvert. I can’t handle a lot of time around people. Being in a movie theater and then walking around downtown for maybe an hour or two is enough to hold me off from needing interaction with the outside world for the next five days. Maybe even a week.

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I know getting control of my anxiety will help me tolerate people longer, but that’s more work than I can handle while simultaneously attending classrooms and doing internships and projects and working and socializing.

It’s always going to be there: that’s what my brain is telling me. I might get more comfortable with people as time goes on, but I’m never going to be carefree like other people. I’m okay with that. Life might not be. It’s going push me hard. It’s going to throw a burlap sack over my head, tighten a rope around my neck, tie a cement weight to my ankles and toss me in the river.

'I'm thinkin' this sleeping with the fishes option ain't best practices.'

Some how I’m going to have to swim to the surface.

Doing therapy, pushing myself in social situations, getting out of the house–this is my way of preparing for the up and coming war.

The anxiety doesn’t worry me as much as my depression in this situation. If I feel like I’ve failed, that old buddy is always there to comfort me, put a cold arm around my shoulders and convince me the pain I feel is loyal.

That’s not a lie, it is loyal. It just really impedes my life.

We all know living on your own at first is tough. I’m expecting that. I’m expecting it to feel awkward and weird but relieved and validated. I’m expecting to be stressed trying to juggle work and school. All of that is a given.

But add the terror that is my brain to the equation and it’s a hell the majority of my coworkers and “friends” and classmates will never understand.

It’s hard when you know how difficult you struggle but no one else seems to give you acknowledgement for it. You acknowledge them when they make accomplishments, you’re proud of them and pat them on the back and say way-to-go.

C'mon it's not that hard!But if you do something like go into a grocery store or talk on the phone or start a conversation with a random person on the street or not cut yourself or not burn your self or not or not blow your head off or not panic or whatever, no one says way to go! Awesome! Because they don’t get that it’s hard. It’s not hard for them, why should it be hard for anyone else?

So be proud of yourself. Be proud of what you make it through. That’s how I’m choosing to talk to my brain tonight. He’s been hounding on me a lot lately, particularly today about how the problems I have now are never going to be completely erased, it’s going to be easy to fall back into old habits and it’s even going to feel good. He tells me I should stop fantasizing about what life will be like in the next year or so, leaving home and being on my own without any real tools, but he’s just trying to rob me of looking forward to something, of having a goal, of feeling some type of raw happiness. That’s all he ever does. 

I understand. He doesn’t want to lose his best friend to a life of her own.

I choose to ignore his advice. He gives horrible advice. He’s like that one kid at your high school who sat underneath the bleachers in his faux leather jacket and Elvis hair cut, rolling a joint and always pressuring you for a hit.

That being said, this song explains our thoughts much better:

Oh, before I go.

I‘d also like to give a shout out to the dumb motherfucker who tried jimmying the lock on my car. Now when I turn the key it sounds like metal against metal and I have to jerk it to the left to unlock the door.

Never parking on the street again.

Just a month ago one man bought a new car, had to park it on the street because there’s no parking in this complex, and that night it was stolen.

A word of advice to this stupid fuck, the one who messed with my car. NEVER try and rob a naturally paranoid person. 

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I already have my eyes set on security cameras with wifi capability, motion sensitivity, and apps so I can keep track of it on my phone. I told my mother the moment I hear the alert on my phone, I’m running out in the street with my hair fluffed, my clothes on backward, and my crossbow and I’m going say very calmly “you have five seconds to get the fuck away from my car”.

Then when he’s running, I’m going to shoot him in the back. 

They’re rubber tipped, chill.

 

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I’ll Be Watching. Sleep Tight.