Employment Hunt

I picked up a job application today from a locally owned used bookstore/music store.

For some, this move would merely elicit a stifled yawn, but for aspies, this is a big deal. Do you have any idea how much influence social skills have over your getting hired? It’s funny; even the smallest details can lose you a job that you are well-qualified for. Not to mention the fact that the job market isn’t exactly the most alive that it’s ever been. *rolls eyes*

Okay, so check out this job application. As far as applications go, it’s one of the more interesting ones that I’ve seen. And I’ve seen plenty. I’ve even made to the job interview process over the phone . . . yeah, and this is why I ended up working in a gas station for 6 months last year. Well, I got my undergrad in instrumental music ed, but after having a less than successful student teaching experience (I passed, but it was more with my promise of changing fields that let me pass), I opted not to try and find a job in that field. I’m in grad school now for music therapy, but in order to have a job in this field, you have to be either in your 3rd year of practicum or else be board certified. So I seek realms beyond.

So, bookstore. This place is pretty close to where I am currently; so provided that my car could break down at any moment, I potentially could walk there if I had to. Plus, there’s the fact that at one point in my life, books were the only things that would talk to me, other than my parents; so you could say that I have a pretty long history with them.

  1. Today’s date. Today.
  2. Name and phone number. Me – ###-###-####
  3. When can you start? Now/day I turn this in.
  4. Pay expected? I have no idea how to answer this. I never do. Number one, I’m in Texas and my last job was in NC. “Whatever you deem necessary?” I mean, seriously. Help?
  5. Previous work experience. Please include manager’s name and phone number. A. Gas station clerk. Job duties entailed: running a cash register, stocking the cooler, stocking, cleaning, answering phones, figuring out the ridiculously long and detailed paperwork at the end of every shift (lots of math and no I won’t mention all of that)–worked all shifts. Manager: Janith H. at ###-###-####. B. Office assistant at a graduate school. Duties entailed: filing, answering phones, mass mailings, compiling mailing lists & student information via word processor, shredding . . . should I keep going? Manager/Boss: Dr. Rainer. (I can’t quite think of him as a “manager” per se). Phone number yada yada.
  6. Please list three references other than members of your family. Er, right. Do you think they would rather have in-state references or would out-of-state refs be okay? I have the numbers of my previous “managers,” although one of them is no longer the manager (but the new lady doesn’t know me, so I figure I should put down Janith); maybe I could get one of my current profs to be a reference–or hey, maybe some of the folks at my church . . . that’s an idea.
  7. Formal education. Graduated from Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC 28754 in May of ’06 with a Bachelor of Music Education, instrumental concentration.
  8. If you attended college, list major(s). (Didn’t they just ask me this?) Instrumental Music Education. (should I include the 3 months that I was an English major? I didn’t actually do any of the coursework for it). Plus, am a music therapy grad student right now.
  9. Days and hours you can work. Fun question. Right now through early May, I can work Saturdays 9-9 (their hours), Sundays 1-9 (I need church right now. I just spent a year and a half away from church. I need it now), Mondays 12-4 & 6-9, Tuesdays 2-4, Wednesdays 12-4, Thursdays 2-7, Fridays 9-9. Come this summer, I can work all day except the days I’m in class (only planning on taking 1 class) and Sunday mornings. After that, I have no idea (probably should find a better way to say that, huh).
  10. How many hours a week would you like to work? Right now, 20 hours would be fine. Come summer, somewhere around 40 (should rephrase that too).
  11. Do you want temporary or permanent work? Yes. (What should I say?)
  12. Criminal background yada yada (in place of really long question they have listed). No, I have never been charged or convicted of anything.
  13. Have you ever been discharged or forced to resign from any position? Please give details. No.
  14. How do you feel about lifting/physical labor? (Let me put it this way; saying that you graduated with an instrumental music education degree is just another way of saying “I got my undergrad in hauling things”). It’s fine with me.
  15. How do you feel about long hours of repetitive labor? I did a lot of that in undergrad and also in my last two jobs. I have no problem with it (I don’t enjoy it exactly though . . .)
  16. Can you run a cash register? Yes [actually].
  17. Do you have good phone skills? Acceptable (should I admit that they’re only acceptable? Should I really say that I have no problem answering a job phone, but strongly dislike (read “hate”) making phone calls?)
  18. History of punctuality? I was the only person in my last job who was ever on time other than the manager. No, I’m not going to say that. I have a strong belief in arriving at work on time? Punctuality is my religion? I dunno.
  19. How do you get along with various personalities? (Well, my various personalities get along fine, so . . . Just kidding!). I’m frequently around people of eclectic styles. I have a reputation for treating all people with respect (as much as I can).
  20. How do you cope with stress? (Stim?) I take several deep breaths and then keep going. (When they say “how” do they mean exactly how, or at what level?)
  21. What are some of your personal qualities which would encourage us to hire you? Intelligent, observant, highly interested in various topics (is that a quality or just a description?), creative, diligent, detail-oriented . . . erm, energetic?
  22. Experience/attitude toward alphabetizing? At the age of 7, I alphabetized and categorized all of my books and then, later at 9, alphabetized and categorized all of the family’s movies. That and I really enjoy it? And it relaxes me? And I had to do it in regards to filing student files as an office assistant?
  23. Experience/attitude toward calculating? Give me a calculator and I’m yours. Erm, maybe I won’t put it that way. I can also calculate in my head, to a degree.
  24. How do you feel about learning new things? I do that every day all day. I learn best by doing. It’s not something that’s always fun (what is?), but it’s something that I’m open to (probably will rephrase that too).
  25. Why do you want this job? I like eating? Because of its location and because it’s in a field that I understand; plus, I liked the employees.
  26. What is your idea of what it is like to work here? Probably tedious at times, and bizarrely exciting at other times.
  27. Is there anything we should know about you? Should I mention the Asperger’s Syndrome?
  28. What are your special/career interests and hobbies? Ooo, special interests. Muahahhaha. (I will definitely NOT be saying that). Autism Spectrum Disorders, sudoku, instruments, playing french horn in the community band, psychology, art/drawing, blogging, M*A*S*H (the tv show), Batman, novel writing, Stephen King, (playing chinese checkers against myself???), practicing piano and guitar, reading young adult fiction, hanging out in libraries, composing music . . . um, what else do I like? Is that enough? Is that more than enough?
  29. Name your ten favorite books. Only ten? (I might leave that statement in, actually). The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card, Return to Camerein by Rick Shelley, Leaping to the Stars by David Gerrold, It by Stephen King, The Ear, The Eye and The Arm by Nancy Farmer, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret, Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, Batman: No Man’s Land by Greg Rucka, & Q-Squared by Peter David. (Okay, granted to put this list together, I didn’t want to repeat any authors . . . thus leaving out some pretty pertinent books – like “The Stand.” I also left out “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. Ouch).
  30. What subjects are you presently reading/have read? Oy. Ethics in therapist settings, autism spectrum disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder, PTSD, complex PTSD, html basics, impacts of divorce, borderline personality disorder, DID/MPD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, music history, special needs children, goa, psytrance, self-injury, sexual abuse, frostbite, Batman, micropreemies, chelation, guitar chords, sackbutts, french horns, physics of sound, hyperlexia, prosopagnosia, nygstagmus (voluntary and involuntary), X-Files, M*A*S*H, Eminem, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, lactose intolerance, (back when I was a kid, I had a minor passing obsession with dinosaurs, but my obsession was more centered on the La Brae Tar Pits), La Brae Tar Pits (which of course led to volcanoes), volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, Harry Potter, tarot, quadriplegia, Murderball/Wheelchair Rugby, Vincent D’onofrio, Alan Alda, HBO’s Oz, Wizard of Oz (and the series), general anxiety disorder, stress, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, SLIders, Christianity, Synaesthesia, Chromaesthesia, human anatomy, human sterilization, scarification (maybe I should leave that one off . . . man, this list could go on forever, geez), Star Wars, Star Trek, nuclear winter, asteroids (not to be confused with kidney stones), teenage mutant ninja turtles, dehydration . . . pain management, poetry (I might mention that most of these interests come from pre-graduate school years). I might also alphabetize this list.
  31. What are you currently reading? What is the last book you read? (a distinctly shorter list, since I’m sooo very busy right now) – Last book I read was: Creative Therapy for Children with Autism, ADD, and Asperger’s by Janet Tubbs. I’m currently reading Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, Tataku by Bill Matney, The Hippie House by Katherine Holubitsky, Crooked by McNeal & McNeal, Asphalt Angels by Ineke Holtwijk, Q-Squared by Peter David (look, I’m always reading this book. I finish it, I start over . . .), The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, Special Children Special Risks: The Maltreatment of Children with Disabilities by Garbarino, Brookhouser, & Authier, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (pretty interesting last name; especially since I’ve got family with that name, only it’s spelled “Hadden”), Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism (yes I’m reading this again) by Temple Grandin, Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living by Rueben P. Job, and Life in All Its Fullness: The word of God and human rights put out by the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America. This list is a little short right now. If this were during the summer or frankly, any other time than right now, it would be longer.
  32. Discuss your musical interests. All of them? Okay, here’s the abridged version: (wait, like specifically?) – scores from movies (Star Trek X, Batman Begins, The Day After Tomorrow, Danny Elfman movies in general, Star Wars, etc.), soundtracks from movies, rock (everything except the really old stuff, mostly), 80s rock and rap, choral music, classical, romantic, modern (to an extent), I don’t know . . . Sheryl Crow? Before I answer this entire thing, how about you all tell me what you think I should include?
  33. Order the following according to musical preference: Classical, Jazz, Folk, Pop, Reggae, International, Country and Western, Soul, Rap, Heavy Metal, Dance/Techno, Soundtracks, Blues, other. Soundtracks, Classical, Other- Alternative, Jazz (depending on the style of course–sort of partial to big band jazz), Pop, Heavy Metal, Dance/Techno, Blues, Folk, Rap, International, Reggae, Soul, Country & Western.

Yeah, so, what do you all think?

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~ by lastcrazyhorn on March 16, 2008.

12 Responses to “Employment Hunt”

  1. I think the whole job employment scene needs a major overhaul! If that won’t be done, then at least every school should teach students how people really get hired. They should inform people that your skills and education are minor compared to your social skills.

    The last job interview I went to, I told someone (who I thought was my friend) some of the things I said during the interview. This person I told is not only extremely neurotypical, but also has a father whose job was being a ‘head-hunter’ for large corporations. Plus, she worked for an employment businesses that screened people for hiring so she truly knew her stuff. When I heard how she reacted to what I thought was a successful job interview, I finally knew then (this was in 1998 — 10 years ago, when I was 43 years old) it was time for me to quit trying to get hired. It wasn’t going to happen; even with 3 different college degrees.

    Now that I meet with a group of other adult aspies, I really see the picture more clearly of how all this employment hiring system works. It’s all politics . . . even outside of government jobs!

    Even the word “politic” means crafty and cunning and shares the root meaning behind what “police” means. Regulate and control. Those are not a couple of words which independent thinkers always fit into. Anyhow, that’s what I think when it comes to job interviews.

  2. One th ing that never fails to bore me with application forms is how many people who write them have absolutely fuck all clue how to do that!

    This is why applcation forms generally have a very low reliability in recruitment.

  3. I am in awe ofyour reading and knowledge.

  4. Number 29 bothers me, seeming to be a political question. Most of the rest are irrelevant.

    All the employer really needs to know about prospective employee are the answers to two questions:

    1. Will this person help me make money? and

    2. Will this person make trouble for me?

    Now the employer of course wants a “yes” to the first and a “no” to the second, but those answers come in degrees.

    Smart employers are cold-blooded about it and answer both questions rationally, most aren’t so smart. Let’s hope you get a smart one

  5. gah! can’t believe you put country and western last! I certainly wouldn’t hire anyone that can’t boot scoot along to a little dolly parton! 😀 j/k of course…

    I can answer number 7 and 8 for you though. 7, at least here, should read “College Graduate.” That’s the highest level of formal education reached. Others answers might be: “Some college” or “high school” or “Post Grad” etc…

    Apart from that the job market must be weird in the States, I’ve never had to answer anything like that in my job searches here. Good luck though.

  6. Sheila, if I could get away with not having a job, I wouldn’t, trust me. Unfortunately, I have this fascination (and obsession) with eating . . . but yes, you’re right that we ought to be taught how to get hired. BTW, I would have never figured you for 53. You rock lady!

    Mr. Andrews (like out of the Matrix, eh?) – this application is one of the better ones I’ve seen though. Some miss the point completely. I do like having the chance to talk about what interests me. At least I can show that I would be helpful in talking about a wide range of topics.

    exasguy – consider yourself glomped. 🙂

    Justthisguy – then from reading my list, what political leanings would you say I have?

    Izaak – Well, granted, this is a college town. You know, I realize as I’m typing this, that the only places I’ve ever lived in my life have been college towns. Oy.

  7. Wow . . . lastcrazyhorn! I haven’t had a compliment like that in a long time (I rock?!?)! Thank you. I hope I don’t give the wrong impression to people when I say that I gave up with interviews. Yes, according to the law, I’m “unemployed.” But technically I am very much employed. My salary doesn’t come in the form of a paycheck or cash (although I do get an allowance from hubby dear). I get paid by the bartering system. There still are wives who live to serve their man. I think the problem is that too many women feel humiliated to say that there “job” is being a “housewife.”

    The only requirement on the job application for being a housewife is to say, “I do.” 🙂

  8. “their job” — not “there job”

  9. I’ve always thought a music store would be the coolest place to work. : )

  10. […] in the past, I have been interested in an array of thing, as shown in this post that covers topics that I have researched or […]

  11. […] So, remember back when I talking about trying to find a job? […]

  12. […] of the time.]Ah, the life of an aspie.  Fun fun fun.So, remember back when I talking about trying to find a job?Well, I was looking over my posts for the last week or so and realized that I totally left out […]

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