I was quite anxious when I woke up this morning. This wasn’t surprising, as I had a job interview, but a lot of the anxiety was about other things, about Pesach preparations and dating. I got to the interview nearly three quarters of an hour early and as I didn’t want to wait inside, I went to a nearby park, only to be pooped on by a bird. I got most of it off, but it did stain and I did feel I should explain at the interview that I was smart when I left home this morning.
I don’t know whether it was because of that incident or not, but I did badly on the practical test. It was just about locating items on the library catalogue, which I should have found easy, but some of the terms I was not familiar with (to be fair, these can vary from library to library) and I just could not find one item, either on a basic search or an advanced search. I have no idea what I was doing wrong. I felt very stupid. It didn’t help that it was in a noisy office (deliberately, as that was where I would be working) and I struggle to work in noisy offices because of my autism.
The interview itself also went badly. They asked me a few questions, but then gave me a list of personal qualities they were looking for and asked me to describe how I have shown them at work. Of course, being autistic, presented with such a wide open question my mind just went blank and I struggled to say anything coherent at all. I was hoping they would pick up on something I said and ask me to expand on it by asking a more focused question, but they didn’t, they just asked me to say more in a general way. So that wasn’t good either.
To do badly in the test was a blow to my self-esteem, particularly coming after the cataloguing test at a different university that I failed a few months ago and the general feeling that has been growing over the last year that I just can’t cope with the world of work. I knew that I was overqualified for this job, at least on paper; this was not a role that called for a qualified librarian like myself and I was only applying for it because I felt desperate, so to feel that I had messed it up was painful. I just feel that I can’t function any more. I feel I was only ever competent in the rather artificial environment of school and, to a lesser extent, university, where tasks were clearly defined, significant instruction was given and tests were more of memory than of initiative. I’m glad I’ve got the call with the person from A S Mentoring (an organisation providing workplace support for people on the autism spectrum) next week, so I can discuss this.
I haven’t heard back from the university yet and I’m guessing I won’t now until next week, given that it’s gone 5pm on a Friday, although they did say they would get back to me today (perhaps their first choice has asked for time to decide). It certainly seems quite obvious that I wasn’t the first choice for the job, which is frustrating.
I’ve had a lot of dating anxiety too. I don’t really want to go into it, and I’m not entirely sure that I understand what I’m feeling well enough to even try to go into it, but there is the anxiety of meeting someone on a blind date and wondering what would happen if there is a match ‘on paper’, but there isn’t enough chemistry or attraction. It’s hard to feel that anyone could like me. Plus there is always the fear of rejection, or of hurting someone else by rejecting her. Then there is the fear that I don’t earn enough money to support a family, linked to previous fears of not being able to fit in to a work environment, and that I therefore shouldn’t even be looking to date right now. I hope things can work out for me somehow, some day.
To try to cheer myself up, as Shabbat starts quite late now the clocks have gone forward, I spent some time this afternoon working on my Doctor Who book. At least I find that restoring rather than depleting. Writing is about the only thing I do currently feel somewhat competent at. Even then I still struggle with the gap between how I want to write and how I feel I do write, the latter not being as good as the former. It’s hard to let my own distinctive voice come out and not to try to impersonate other writers who have influenced me.