I hate Kanye, He’s Awesome

I have to jump on this bandwagon because I’m hearing a lot of opinions in the mental health social media community (that’s a thing now. Dear Lord.) about Kanye’s recent interview with David Letterman. The interview is on Netflix.

They talked about a few things. Clothes, art, and Kanye’s “church”. I don’t–I won’t comment on whatever all that is about.

Whatever.

When they first get into the mental health stuff, Letterman attempts to sum up Kanye’s bipolar diagnosis in an “easy” and “simple” way. He states “the synapses get fatigued and say ‘we’re not carrying this message anymore'”. I won’t ding Letterman for this, nor Kanye for agreeing with it because neither of them have probably ever read a neurology or psychology textbook in their life. But to make it clear, synapses aren’t getting fatigued. If we could tell you what was happening in any mental health condition, they wouldn’t exist anymore.

Kanye gets to a point where he needs to get something off of his chest. He says there’s a moment he experienced in his treatment that needs to be changed and if any of you have read even just one of my many posts, you’ll know that I smiled largely as I guessed what that experience was.

He explains that in the moment of one of his episodes, he feels hyper paranoid about everything, that everyone is an actor, everything is a conspiracy. I’d say that’s pretty similar to what many of us feel. He says, “you feel everyone wants to kill you and they handcuff you and drug you and put you in the bed and they separate you from everyone you know. Something I’m so happy I experienced myself so I can start by changing that moment.”

He’s talking about forced/coercive treatment, but also about the general vibe when you’re hospitalized. The last time I was taken against my will, no family was allowed to visit me until I was transferred to a different hospital an hour away where no one could come visit me anyway. While in the crisis unit, I continuously called my mother asking what the hospital staff were telling her, because they wouldn’t be honest with me and I didn’t trust anyone. I couldn’t. People were possessed and impostors and unreal and I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t feel that also extended to their family.

Kanye very openly, and rightfully so, regards this as “cruel and primitive” and I agree to an extent. Is it smart to have all ten family members crammed in the hospital with you while you’re crippled by voices and dread? Probably not. But if, for whatever reason, you have just one person you can even remotely trust for two halves of a second, blocking that contact with the outside world only pushes you further in your head. As Kanye said: “This is like a sprained brain, like having a sprained ankle. And if someone has a sprained ankle, you’re not going to push on him more.”

Then, the big controversy comes: the meds.

I figured his opinion wouldn’t be very popular.

He said he has been medication free for eight months. Some of the crowd claps. I would have. Wouldn’t you clap for your friend or parent who was able to come off their blood pressure medication? Do they run the risk of raising it with bad eating habits and lack of exercise just as Kanye runs the risk of being carried away by mania while refusing to take care of his mental health in other ways? Can’t your friend’s blood pressure rise again for no clear reason, just as Kanye’s mania can come unprovoked? Doesn’t your friend run the risk of death just as Kanye theoretically would were he to dip into a serious low? If everyone in the world wants to compare mental health to physical health, then compare it that way too.

But, Kanye is very clear he’s not advocating for everyone to go off their meds. How have people missed this? I have the quote right here, verbatim: “When we clap at the idea of not being on medication–my form of mental health I think is like the luxury version of it. There’s people who can’t function without medication. So I’m not advocating–I’m telling you MY specific story.”

It’s the same thing I tell others. All. The. Time. Yes, I’ve gone off and on meds. Yes, there were times the meds were extremely necessary. And there were times they were a detriment. And for ME, my PERSONAL DECISION was that I have always felt better off medication than on. And I needed to choose: be compliant with meds 100% or leave them alone 100%. It was the on again off again that was torturous.

So even with Kanye stating specifically his personal experience, we think we have the right to tell him what’s better for his body, basically stigmatizing our own. I’ve never once told a mental health peer to go off their meds. But I’ve been told thousands of times by peers to go back on meds. That’s like a religious fanatic: don’t tell me about your atheist or Muslim or Jewish views, but let me tell you about the love of Jesus Christ and why you should accept him into your heart because that’s what’s best for you, that’s what will save your soul.

It’s hard to feel accepted with a mental health diagnosis. It’s even harder when your own people are against you.

Letterman then goes on to explain his own experience with medication and the advances in medication targeting specific areas of the brain (which is just misinformation) and says that medication is what helped him see clearer. Kanye, at some point, reflects that it’s great for him that he found a medication with the least amount of side effects that works for him. That’s the only way to respond. That’s the way I often respond.

My point? Why does Letterman get praise for pushing the efficacy of medication he has proven he doesn’t understand the chemistry of, and Kanye get flack for choosing to go through his mental health journey in a different way? Because medication works for you? Because it’s saved your life and you want to save him too? What if he doesn’t need saving?

This ties into so many topics. Coercion, publication bias, and this idea that we know what’s best, that we have the right to force help on someone.

This isn’t a man in a coma who would never want to sign a DNR. This is a man who is conscious, albeit not in your reality. And that makes you uncomfortable–maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve seen how families can fall apart. Whatever it is. But the point is we must eradicate your discomfort by subduing his experience.

This is coming from someone who recognizes this need to help is innate and out of good intention.

This is also coming from someone who recognizes and has experienced the terror and pain that we go through. This is coming from someone who knows first hand that sitting in two week old dirty clothes, ratty hair, no food while listening and believing voices telling me I’m going to die soon, that I won’t be on this earth anymore, fucking sucks. This is coming from someone who absolutely appreciated the moment medication helped bring me from that. This is also coming from someone who recognizes medication isn’t always a life sentence.

This is coming from someone who understands that you can’t talk to your high blood pressure, but you can talk to your voices. I’d say that’s a pretty big wedge in the whole “mental health should be treated like physical health” argument.

But talking–that’s rarely encouraged in traditional psychiatry. A shame. A lot can come from it.

My point? Don’t stigmatize each other. Don’t act like we as a species have all the answers in the world. Don’t act like anyone really understands the mechanisms of any medication. And don’t thwart someone’s individuality because it clashes with your beliefs.

Speech Impediment

How are you all today/tonight? Good? Yeah?

As classes rear their ugly head, the realization that responsibility is a burden the child part of me absolutely hates fills my head with doubt that I can get through another semester.

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It’s the second day.

One thing I struggle with in terms of social anxiety is walking in crowds. I don’t like the eyes and I don’t like the noise. Today I avoided them by jogging up the library’s entrance stairs and going around the back of the building into the lecture hall of my philosophy class. I’d rather take a longer route and risk being late (which I never am, because I also give myself a twenty minute gap walking in between classes) than to shift my way through all those monotonous faces and unreadable eyes.

I also didn’t know where the building was. Building 450, room 450. I thought it was a typo. I’ve been in room 400 before and saw it only went up to 420. I took a chance and just wandered towards the 400 building. I found 450 by coincidence. I spotted the number behind a bush and sighed with relief in my head.

In my pharmacology class, we have to do a group oral presentation at the end of the semester before our finals. That’s something I know I’ll be worrying about, but I told myself not to focus on that.

c724ad27bbec0850029b85116fe080df305e9092cc588639f1f26e625a8e1908In philosophy, we do group work apparently, and that I am a little perturbed about. If you’ve taken philosophy in a college setting, you’ve probably noticed the professors can be some of the most outlandish (and by outlandish, I mean utterly loony, in a good way). My first philosophy professor I loved. She blurted tons of stories of times she told off car salesmen using Kant ideology and how the car salesman gave her husband an exhausted look at the end of her lecture. She screamed and cursed a lot and slapped tables and didn’t give a damn what you thought about it. She had a way with words I could only dream of and it meant a lot that she respected my writing.

This professor is almost the same. She doesn’t have the same open wit, but she is very boisterous and loud and because we’re in an actual lecture hall instead of a class room, she has the freedom to be very, very loud. I will not be sitting in the front of this class.

The problem I’ve always had in philosophy is speaking. As I’ve mentioned, I have immense trouble forming words. That’s what fuels my anxiety. I know that I’m smart, I know that I understand topics, particularly of the philosophical kind, but I need the space and time to think about them thoroughly. A room full of blubbering fools is not the area in which I can do that. When I need to think analytically, I do it on paper, not in my brain. And as most of you college students know, you don’t exactly get all the time you need to write your thoughts down before you have to talk.

The act of talking doesn’t bother me. The fact that I know that my words stumble and stutter across my tongue, and that my vocabulary falls to the level of a third grader is what bothers me. Then the social issues come in: do people think I sound stupid? Are they going to think I’m mentally challenged?

Because I can’t form the words right and they get all jumbled in my head like a traffic jam, I can’t explain my thoughts either. So even if I have a good answer or a right answer, it comes out convoluted and doomed from the start.

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I had my interview today, and it went well. She wants to set me up with another interview with the manager of the position I was applying for. Turns out it’s even better than I thought: they discourage you from talking to guests.

I applied for a position called “Cash Control” in which you basically count cash and keep note of it. You’re in a windowless room in the basement and when you go out on the floor to collect the cash, the fact that you’re carrying thousands upon thousands of dollars (it’s an amusement park, remember) on you around hundreds of people is what is supposed to deter you from speaking with customers.

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Because I had said I enjoy making people’s days and interacting with them (which is a partial lie, but also a partial truth), she asked if it was okay that the position required very little, if any, contact with anyone at all.

I said “I’m totally fine with that”. 

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But I can’t get over how ridiculous I sound when I talk. I’ve always been rather self conscious about the pitch of my voice. It gets squeaky when I’m around new people or really low when I’m around new people, depending on the day I’m having.

Mostly it’s just the words. I can’t form them quick enough to have a conversation. It made it worse that this woman (who my mother happens to have known from her years of working at a newspaper, which I wish she would have told me before I left) spit questions at me faster than a camel. When people speak to me, it takes me much longer to understand their words, even if they speak slowly. By the time they’re expecting an answer, I’m still hearing their first few words in my head.

It’s worse if they’re expecting an answer off the top of my head.

fillersAnd like I said, this women spoke exceptionally quickly, which made it even worse, and I found myself stumbling over words and saying the dreaded “um” that you’re never supposed to say in an interview. The one at sears was much easier because he spoke a lot slower. At least I had a few seconds to come up with a halfway decent answer.

Luckily this company hires pretty much anyone, and it’s always kids and younger people. The fact that I look hispanic might also help out in my favor.

I also had to take a math test. They gave me twenty minutes to add and subtract. Twenty minutes.

Twenty.

Minutes.

For ten questions like: one customer’s total is five dollars and sixty three cents. He hands you a ten dollar bill. What is his change? 

A math test I was 100% confident about for once. 

I’m going to need a lot of stress management and coping skills for this semester. The group work is rampant and my speech is horrendous. I don’t think I’ll ever be an orator.

If the world would just write instead of speak, maybe we wouldn’t have as many wars.

 

Interview #2

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After applying to every possible job in my town, I’m convinced I’ve been blacklisted by my previous employer.

But regardless of whether or not they’ve been following my life and ruining it step by step like corporate freaks tend to do, I have another interview on Tuesday.

I applied at 1am this morning and received a call from them at 9am.

It’s for the same amusement park my boyfriend works for. I saved this position for the very last resort because I knew they would call me back–they always call everyone back. They need a lot of workers and the damn majority of them are high school kids who can’t work during the weekdays.

I picked a position where I’m down in the basement, counting money, and putting the numbers into a system. I pop my head out to collect the case from different stations, then return to my home in the basement like the freakish vampire I am.

I won’t sport my fangs on the first day. I’ll wait for a week at least, until I reveal my true identity.

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I’m good with numbers and I’m good with computers. I don’t know the systems they use, I’ve never even heard of a “File Maker” accounting system, but I understand technology fairly well. It all runs with the same consistency.

I believe you’re mostly working by yourself or with a partner, which I don’t mind at all.

A lot of people with social anxiety disorder struggle in interviews, but I can handle speaking to a man or woman for fifteen to thirty minutes, one on one, especially since they’ll be asking most of the questions.

My worries surround the first day of work. Where do I go? Who do I report to? Do I have to ask around to find out? Where will they be? How much of a fool of myself am I going to make? (Regardless of the logic that everyone is lost on their first day). That’s part of the anxiety. 

My worries surround the coworkers. It’s not the typical worry of “oh no, are they going to like me? Are they going to be nice?”. I’m worried because I know for a fact I can’t communicate with them easily. I know I’m going to have trouble appearing “nice” and average. I’m going to have trouble relating to others. I’m going to have trouble having a conversation with them and not appearing as some passive little girl. That’s partly anxiety. It’s also complete ignorance; I just don’t know how to talk to them. 

intimidatedI’m going to have trouble with not being intimidated by my superiors; they’ve worked there longer than me, how stupid am I going to make myself look in front of them? That’s an anxiety thought.

I’m not going to be able to make friends with the coworkers. I’m just not. I honestly don’t want to and I hate that people have bad impressions of you just because you don’t want to talk to them. They should be thankful they won’t have to hear my mouth like certain other people do. This is my personality. 

Whenever an interview is scheduled for me, an instant pang of regret floods me. Once I’ve committed, I’ve committed, and there’s no going back without burning some bridges. I’ve burned enough of those.

The thing about living with anxiety is that you’ve got a second person inside of you constantly ravaging your brain with reasons why you shouldn’t do something or shouldn’t have done something. It’s always in your ear blocking you from hearing the more competent part of yourself.

So I force myself to seek out some positives.

  1. I’ll have a job.
  2. I’ll be making money.
  3. I won’t feel as useless.
  4. I can pay for things more often.
  5. I can save some dough for when I move out.
  6. I can gain work experience.
  7. I can do something really special for my boyfriend.
  8. I can get my car fixed.
  9. I can work through some of my social anxiety.
  10. I’m forcing myself out of my comfort zone. 16f741e
  11. I can get some fucking internet in this fucking apartment.
  12. I’ll no longer have to panic when my college delays on my financial aid money.
  13. I’ll have to be out of the house often, and it will prevent me from slipping any further into agoraphobia.
  14. I’ll see that everything my anxious twin has been listing off in my head since I got that phone call was all just exaggeration, meant to tamper with my self-confidence. 
  15. I’ll learn my limits–healthy limits.

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    Look How Healthy This Limit Is. Love Is Healthy. Math Is Healthy.
  16. I’ll be able to separate my introverted personality from the anxiety and find that I can get along working just fine as long as I’m not around too many people at once.
  17. It’ll will force a more steady sleeping pattern.
  18. Working and school means my schedule leaves little room for feeling sorry for myself and my struggles.
  19. I can prove to myself that I’m stronger than I think.
  20. I’ll learn to balance out my insatiable need for power with my insatiable need to cower before my superiors. How does that work? Ask my brain. There’s a whole bunch of people in there, that’s why I’m so contradictory.

I’m not even going to waste space typing out the negatives. My twin listed off the opposite of each of my positives right in my ear and just the thought of having to have this type of responsibility and do the kind of mental work I’m going to have to do just to get by every day is enough to make me start shaking and tearing up.

But my true self, the introvert, the writer, the amateur photographer, the slightly awkward but otherwise pretty intelligent person could care less about how people see me or whether or not my co-workers will find me weird or not, could also care less about any negatives. It could care less about the fact that June-August in this town are more crowded than Satan’s summer bash in Hell and I heard millions attend. Satan makes some pretty damn good brownies, if you know what I mean. 

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I logically understand the separation in myself with my anxiety and who I am. I understand that part of my anxiety comes from the fact that I also struggle with understanding how to converse or make friends and the fact that depression can take control of me in just a few hours and render me immobile. That’s why I work so hard to find the positives in everything, I’m constantly fighting it, I feel it every second of the day and when I’m stressed it’s just harder to find those positives.

Those are struggles I have to face in the moment. I could practice in my head or in the mirror all I want, that’s not going to do shit, not for me. Role play doesn’t work either. I had a therapist do that with me once.

It went horribly wrong. 

I’ll let your imagination wander.

 

 

Well That Was A Waste . . .

Alright . . . interview . . . interview . . .

*Taps chin*

What to say about this experience.

Well, I applied for a Backroom Associate which handles shipping, receiving, and does customer pick up.

There was not a single woman in that building. I shit you not.

Except little old me. And the managers were bewildered, as if they’d never seen a woman before in their life. It was so comical I almost laughed.

They asked me what position I was applying for again, as if I’d made a mistake.

I already waited around for about 30 minutes before the interview even started, and I’d arrived ten minutes early.

I fucked up once or twice in what I was saying and I probably said “uh” too many times, but honestly after the way they dealt with me and all the snotty looks they gave me (besides the one worker who got the manager for me, he was cool and always smiling) I don’t really want to work there anymore.

Usually they hire people right on the spot but instead I got the old “we’ll call you back for a second interview, maybe.”

I honestly don’t care. They weren’t professional, neither was their office. Their expressions towards me were atrocious–and this time I’m not even exaggerating. The manager liked my answers (so he says) but honestly I’d rather work for a different company. It just doesn’t seem to fit me, and that’s okay.

I’m hoping for a call back from a company that delivers food to low income families and other businesses and a school program. It pays well, it’s part time, and at the same time I get to help people. That’s the kind of job I want.

When the interviewer asked if I had any questions I said no because I’d lost interest. I know you should always ask questions but fuck it. I know if I had that job I’d have to sit there and prove myself ten times harder around those people. I don’t need that kind of stress.

I think I’m going to keep looking. If they call me back, I’ll just say I’ve got another position and thank you for the offer.

That being said, I’m proud of myself today. I handled it well. My anxiety caused minor stomach problems and I didn’t even shake. I was calm and collective and only slipped up once or twice with my words. I appeared way more confident than I was.

I feel this attempt was practice for the other job I’m hoping for. I think I’m going to continue on my path towards that job. I know I can get it if I really want it. And if they don’t call me back, I wait another week and re-apply. I’m the perfect person for that position, I know I am. I just feel it in my bones.

So I’m sending the feeling out into the universe.

I want the delivery job, not that backroom job. Please, for the Universe’s sake, give me that damn delivery job. 

I might actually suck up the courage to call them and ask where my application is. I want it that bad.

If I push aside my anxiety to do something I absolutely 100% hate doing, than you know I need that shit like a hog needs slop.

want that shit like a hog wants slop. 

Whatever.

I’m about to go bust up some BloodBorne.

What Do I Have To Prove?

happiness2

Hello Lovelies.

Why the fuck did I say that?

You’re all lovely, don’t even trip.

Tomorrow is that interview.

Surprisingly, I’m not nervous for it. Why? Because this anxiety is the normal “before interview” jitters. I can handle healthy anxiety, that’s a piece of cake.

5yqak3hcIt’s the “oh shit, I got the job and now I have to commit to something where I can’t predict every single move within the day” that makes me nervous. It’s the “oh shit, I have coworkers who will undoubtedly judge my appearance and capability from the moment I meet them (because everyone does it, don’t even lie)” and the “oh shit, I have to work and collaborate with these people.”

Mostly, it’s the “fuck, I have to adult again”.

I’ve adulted before. It fucking sucks.

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That feeds my addiction to my depression and anxiety and all the other fun, weird set backs my brain puts into place.

You know, like the times I pick up a cup from the cabinets and there’s some kind of white stain on it and the first thought that pops into my head is cyanide. So I have to get a different cup and I never touch that one again. Believe me, I remember it.

The fact that I can’t ever walk the same way twice down the apartment hill to my car. In the dark, particularly. There are always people waiting to stab me–at least that’s what it feels like–or coyotes ready to rip my arm off, which is completely relevant given there’s a pack of wild coyotes living behind one of the fences. We hear them howl all the time.

Honestly, sometimes all the Raccoons scare me more than anything. I might be able to make a loud noise and make myself appear bigger to a Coyote. I can run away from a stabber–you never know, he might trip over the horribly tall, concrete colored speed bump. But a raccoon? Naw, fuck that, straight up. They’re all suicidal, they don’t give a damn. They’ll charge you whether you have a sandwich in your hand or not.

I forgot what I was talking about again.

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Oh the weird habits. If I get a bad feeling I have to cut through the lobby and go down the stairs. Then on my way through the lobby I’m wondering “shit, what if that decision I made butterfly effected across the whole universe and now someone is going to get hit by a car, or I’m going to get hit by a plane in the next five seconds because of that decision?”, or “shit, what if that feeling was a diversion and the actual danger is the route I’m going right now?”

I don’t feel any better when I come out of the situation alive, either. It’s there festering, waiting until I come home and park and go through the whole process again. If it’s late at night I usually run up the hill and crash into the door. The faster I run the worse the feeling gets. Go figure.

The people in Ross were talking about me today, and laughing. I don’t know about what, but I was the only person in the store. It was 10:30pm. They started talking in Spanish first, but the closer they got to me the more they started speaking in English.

It’s sounds ridiculous but when I first heard them speaking Spanish I thought perhaps they were talking about how dumb it was to walk into a store a half hour before it closes, then I thought maybe they thought I was trying to steal something. They kept sending workers to go up and down the aisles by me. As soon as I thought “they’re speaking in Spanish so I won’t understand”, they started speaking in English.

Maybe people can read minds.

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Maybe I fly off the hinges at coincidences.

Maybe both are true and the world is an illusion.

Sometimes I think I was put here on Earth by whoever to go down a very specific path and I find signs to validate that belief. Deja Vu is one of them. You know, that feeling you get randomly, like you’ve done the very thing you’re doing currently, before? Some people have tried researching it and says its some kind of electrical overlap in the brain but hey . . . they were wrong about too little serotonin in social anxiety, weren’t they?

If you don’t know about the serotonin thing, it’s a pretty recently published finding. Google it. There are a lot more articles on it past the Finnish study I read.

When I think about something, and happen to see or hear about that thing a day later or whatever, that’s a sign I’m on the right path too. It means whatever layers of reality are out there in the universe have lined up for one specific moment just to link two of my thoughts together. That’s an honest belief. I’m not trying to sound like a loon.

What do I think I was put here for? I don’t know. But it’s something amazing, something world-changing. In high school I was convinced I would be the President of the U.S, but the signs were never there now that I think about it. Politics are too stressful anyway.

Then there’s my normal social anxiety. The “Oh God they’re staring at me, they hate me” or the “shit, what do I say now? I can’t hold a conversation”. And all the other ruminating thoughts that keep me awake and alert of my own existence at night.

There’s the fact that I’m an introvert.

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Then there’s my health anxiety. The “I’m going to have a heart attack or blot clot or stroke at any moment because I haven’t moved from my bed in the last few hours” or the “shit I got a cut, I got Ebola” or the “this butter knife was used in the butter and is still in the butter because it was meant for the butter but . . . how long has it been out here? What if someone put something on it? By accident? On purpose?

See! Deja Vu right now. I’ve written that line before, I know I have. But not this one. I’m telling you all the right things, that’s what it means.

Anyway, what if a fly landed on the knife or something? What if it laid some kind of infected larvae? Ebola. 

If I’m depressed, lying in my bed, hoping a plane will crash on the complex and kill me, I don’t have to think about trying to “better myself” in this world (whatever that means anymore), I don’t have to think about responsibility or life or people.

I never use my mental health to get out of things, not purposefully, not in a manipulative stand-point. I’ve only used it where applicable. It keeps me from doing things I want to do and it keeps me from doing things I don’t want to do. 

So, you know, 50/50 there.

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What I hate are people who make me feel I need to prove the problems I have. You know, the people who ride off how hard it is for me when I tell them, the people who don’t believe me or simply don’t give a shit and think I’m some moocher making up a thousand excuses just to hide from responsibility.

Well, getting this job will be a big poke in the eye and a kick in the groin to them. I am trying.

Will that help my mental health?

I don’t know. It might make it worse. It might make it better. It might do both.

I don’t have anything to prove. It’s going to be infinitely harder for me to work this job than it would be for my boyfriend to do it. It’ll be infinitely harder for me to work this job than it would be any of my “friends”.

I’m just using them as an example.

I know what’s hard for me. If they don’t believe me, that’s their problem. If they laugh when I tell them about the creepy people hiding in the shadows when I run up the hill then that’s their choice. Regardless, it’s still real for me in the moment.

If that’s funny than I’m missing the joke.

And I’m the fucking queen of bad jokes.

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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