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26 January 2015

I'm (officially) looking for work

This time of year usually isn't much fun. It's cold out, it's usually gray, it's sometimes icky and even downright miserable some days. Desert Storm also happened this time of year, so there's a lot of "well, on this day in January 1991 I was...". I also didn't have HackTech in Santa Monica CA to attend this year, so there's no me-walking-barefoot-on-the-beach to talk about.

Right now I'm listening to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Stevie Ray V and trying to make some sense of things. I have to work tonight, at the same job I've been doing since 2009. It's a lengthy tenure for a student job, and while I feel good about work being stable through everything else that's gone on, it's time for me to think about doing something else. There's no technical or intellectual challenge any more; I work at an IT help desk, and the more I learn about programming and building software the less working at a help desk seems exciting. I have learned so many things, especially about how people use hardware and software and what happens when things don't work the way people expect them to work. I don't claim to know everything about how humans and computers interact, but the questions I see at work are questions I've seen over and over again. I don't look forward to going to work the same way I used to-- I'd rather be programming, it's what makes me happy, and so it's time to move the fuck on.

One glaring problem stands out, and that's how the hell do I make a programming job work with PTSD? Just like making college work with PTSD, a problem I'm still working on figuring out, there's no man page, no HOWTO. I'm not certain how to approach telling a(n) (potential) employer that I can only work a certain number of hours a week, that there are going to be days sometimes when I'm just not worth a shit, or that as much as I want to be a team player there are going to be days when I really would rather just work and be left alone. I don't know how an employer will react if I'm hired, and then I bring up that oh yeah, I have this disability and I need these accommodations for me to work here, and oh by the way you have to give them to me because of the ADA.

I realize that I may not be giving people enough credit-- that an employer who decides to hire me will already have decided that I'm worth it, be happy to have a veteran working for them, know that disability accommodations are a part of life and so is providing them when needed. This stuff is just new to me, because the last time I started a new job I didn't know I needed accommodations. I hadn't had all of the problems I've had the past two years, that have given me pretty good reason not to trust people who say they are on my side.

So yeah, I have some things I need to get over. I'm workin' on it.

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