Thursday, June 16, 2011

A new opportunity not to be squandered.

Not too many of us go out much anymore, I sure don't. Maybe it's just my age, or that I work nights and sleep during the day so my free time is during the dark hours of Springfield when nothing but Denny's, Walmart or the grocery stores are open. It might have something to do with having a minimum wage part-time job with no benefits and a schedule that changes weekly so I can't have a second job.

The first six or seven months of this job was particularly arduous because I was always on standby in case someone else had a schedule change or some kind of emergency. On top of that I worked in Jacksonville and lived in Springfield with my mother. Ever since I was laid off in 2001 from what I thought would be a life-long career, I couldn't find a job that paid enough for me to afford my own place to live. I've been in economic prison for ten years.

My most recent year at my job as a security officer has been mind-numbing. My job consists of making sure doors are locked, standing watch over patients under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both, directing smokers to the nearest off-property location, getting wheelchairs for patients and visitors arriving at the emergency entrance and keeping people from straying too close to the helicopter landing area. Ninety percent of my job is checking doors, the rest occur infrequently.

It's a far cry from my experience in mass media production which has been with me most of my life. As a child I was fascinated by magicians and illusions. I loved creating special effects, visual and audible, for written stories, puppet shows, magic shows, photographs, audiotape, eight millimeter film, video, and now digital media respectively. It gives me a sense of power over nature to be creative. When I have that power stripped away from me, to be distracted by menial labor that pays too little for me to live independently, it kind of pisses me off.

It motivated me to create because I was so embittered by the lack of respect and support for my type of skills in central Illinois. This is totally the wrong area for my skills but I must survive and I need my family's help until I can finally get on my feet again. Unfortunately I'm 47 years old. I'm basically un-insurable because of my age and companies that normally offer health benefits wouldn't be able to insure me.

I'm guessing that's the only reason they won't hire me because otherwise I would simply assume they were complete idiots. It could be that I'm not pretty to look at too. I'm overweight and I look freakish. Nobody wants to spend work time with a 47 year old overweight freak.

I have an opportunity to take a test for a job at the University of Illinois at Springfield for a position producing television. I already have experience working in the Office of Electronic Media, I was a student employee there for a few years while I finished my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.

I took the test before and didn't get the job. I wonder what happened to the last person who got the job? Is he or she still there? Did the person get promoted, transferred, fired or laid-off because of the recession of 2008? Did they quit?

I'm worried that if I do get the job, I might get laid off soon because the state budget is in tatters. If the university has a first-in-first-out policy, there's a chance the only reason I or the person they hire after taking this test will simply be firing fodder used to protect existing positions.

Because my skills have been squandered by so many potential local employers who tossed away my resume in favor of someone younger, prettier, familiar, or related, I must be cautious about the length of my employment, and budget accordingly by spending as little money as possible. It should be easy for me. I'll just keep my poverty lifestyle and pretend I have no disposable income.

I really don't expect to get the job at the UIS. If I do get the job I will need therapy to piece together the shards of my broken hopes and dreams so I can start smiling and caring about my health again.

No comments:

Post a Comment