Schizophrenia.com

Employment

#1

Shooting for a greater cause is admirable. But money is a good cause too. You may have to compromise your principles to be employed. Or maybe it’s just me. I’ve had about 28 jobs since I got my first job as a dishwasher in 1978 when I was 17. I got sick in 1980. In those two years I had my first 15 or 16 jobs, none lasted more than three months. I worked in restaurants, gas stations, driving, department stores and a few other positions. Anyway, I’ll cut this short. I will take any job that I can get, any job that will take me. So I didn’t work from 1980 to 1983. But after my diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia in 1980 I got back in the work force in 1983 I have worked at more restaurants and unloading trucks, stock person in several more department stores, maintenance person, and currently I’ve been at my janitor job 3 1/2 years. Certainly not high status jobs, and I still collect SSDI though I was a Park Ranger for two years in the nineties. But my point is my jobs bought gas for my car, good food, and a few luxuries. Menial jobs maybe, but I still take pride in doing a good job whether it’s mopping a huge floor area, unloading a truck quickly and efficiently, or recycling cardboard or moving furniture. My job history is not all glory and drama, I’ve worked hard and put in the footwork which is often thankless. And I have spent years doing the same thing every day. But I get compliments too which inspires me to keep going and doing a better job and working harder. But through the years I have those luxuries,
and I live comfortably. Like AA says, I take it one day at a time. I never know how long I will last at a job, I never plan on how long I will be there. I just show up every day and do my best and sometimes it turns into three or four years. Some people shoot for the stars. But it shouldn’t be a case of, “Well if I can’t have my dream job, than I won’t work anywhere”. I’m not putting anyone down or bragging, I’m just trying to state some facts…

9 Likes

#2

Maybe it is a generation type thing - I agree with you

0 Likes

#3

That’s a very positive outlook! I was born into a family where intelligence is expected and college is a must, I myself am on a full scholarship to college, but I sometimes wish that my life was simpler. I worked the night shift at a furniture store one summer to get a feel for what less fortunate people do, and it made me have a deep respect for the average person who works hard and often thanklessly. They didnt know I was a kid from a privileged background on a full ride to college, I just worked hard and rather silently and learned.

Elyn Saks said that life after the diagnosis is about finding the right life for you, whatever it may be. You sound like you are living the right lifestyle, you work hard and you don’t stop. I am very very fortunate to have been born smart, I always did very well on standardized tests and have had a high IQ, thats why I was accepted to the prestigious high school I attended and have my college paid for with scholarships. I actually don’t work that hard, I spend less hours studying than most students and make higher grades than the vast majority of my class. I sometimes feel guilty about it, but I want to use my free education to help people- I want to work in the mental health field, preferably doing intake evaluations at a mental hopsital. I am majoring in psychology and plan on getting a masters in clinical psychology after graduation.

I really respect people who come from a different world than I do. I’m sort of a spoiled brat, and I know that. My mother graduated from Notre Dame and my father has an MBA from my city’s university. I was given a car and an allowance at 16 and I have had freedom and privilege since a young age. If I ask my parents for money, they dont even ask what for. If I want something, like 250 bucks worth of powerlifting gear, my parents just hand me their credit card. I also see a 125$/hour therapist.

I really respect people who live in reality and not a little world of their own like I do. I was born into a little privileged world and I still live in it today, and I know that I am extremely fortunate.

0 Likes

#4

I’m glad you don’t feel the class prejudices that are so common around the wealthy. Good for you.

0 Likes

#5

When I first started working in a sheltered workshop I was very angry that my paycheck was so small compared to what I was used to hour for hour. But, I’m getting my health back now and can see the day when I will go down to the grocery store and ask them if they can use me. I know they’ve hired the mentally ill before. The money is nice, but more the need is to feel useful.

2 Likes

#6

Hey, if I was in your position with your background I would take advantage of it too.

0 Likes

#7

That’s how I started out Chordy. When I got out of the hospital I was in a vocational program for a year. They had a contract with the post office and we were putting flyers in envelopes or putting labels on envelopes. I was making two cents per envelope. On a good day I could make $5.00. I eventually graduated to a job in the community where the boss hired disabled people for a three month at a time stint. The owner of the business liked me and my work so much that he kept me on for four years. As recently as three years ago I was in another sheltered workshop doing mail work again. This one I could make $20.00 or $30.00 a day though.

0 Likes

#8

Yeah, a lot of stores in my area hire disabled people as baggers.

0 Likes

#9

Hey, more power to you. I wasn’t able to whole down a job for more than a year. When I worked, I was employed at 3 different locations within a span of 2 1/2 years. One place was half a year. I guess I came blame social anxiety and stress for the lack of staying power.

1 Like

#10

Id like a job myself, I kinda have the urge now, but I have a 17 year gap in my CV. I’ll spoof as regards having worked, get a neighbour to act as reference.

Nick, how did you explain the gap on your resume? Also, did you ever encounter someone who thought you might pose a risk being a schizophrenic. Because you know schizophrenics, in my opinion are controlled by their voices supremely above all else. And these voices could lead a schizophrenic to do something criminal, as they did me. My voices have commanded me to do crazy stuff, stuff that could be perceived as criminal, but I was innocent obviously as I was under command of voices. For example, I have shoplifted, and also under command of my voices, I have spat in someone face, a stranger as I was told by my voices that this stranger was a Satanist who was extremely evil and I was told to help God by spitting in his face. Anyway, you can see how schizophrenics are controlled by their voices. Sure remember that guy who was doing the sign language at the Nelson Mandela funeral. Anyway, my point is schizophrenics are supremely ruled by their voices. Does this make them untrustworthy employees?

0 Likes

#11

Karl, the three year gap was not a problem for me because my first job after the gap I was hired my employer had a contract with a mental health agency and he gave jobs to disabled people.

0 Likes

#12

But I don’t know what you could do about the gap. I checked out some related websites but they only tell what to do about a 2 or 3 year gap. I’ve never told an employer I have schizophrenia. and I don’t hear voices.

0 Likes