I’m feeling less burnt out today, which is good. I haven’t really given myself credit for not worrying too much about the job interview result. I’m actually more concerned about what happens if they give me the job, but want me to work full-time than if they reject me completely. I don’t think I’m ready to work full-time. To be honest, I have not been worrying much about it at all, although I’m not sure how much credit I can take for that, as it hasn’t been a conscious thing.

Well, literally seconds after writing this, I checked my emails and found I’ve been rejected from the job. Oh well. Back to the job hunt, and, on the plus side, the novel writing. Working full-time would have made that a lot harder. I haven’t worked on the novel for a couple of weeks because of Yom Tov (Jewish festivals) and focusing on job applications, so I’m excited to get back to it next week.

Edit again: I got interview feedback, and I did really badly. A mix of Cs and Ds, with a D overall. I used to be good at things. I was more or less a straight A student at school (I wasn’t so good at art and design and was awful and games/PE, but I was good at everything else). At Oxford I was average, but at least that was average out of a pool of high achievers. However, since leaving university, I’ve just been awful, and I don’t even interview well any more. I feel I can’t even judge myself accurately any more, if I thought I’d done well in that interview when I had done so poorly. I know I struggle to “think on my feet” and process and respond to spoken questions in real time, as well as struggling to speak confidently at interview and to deliver appropriate answers. I know I struggle to apply the STAR technique for interview responses (mention Situation Task Action and Result). I know all this is because of autism and social anxiety. And yet. And yet. I still feel useless.

I feel that writing is the only thing I can do well, but so far I have literally made only a few pounds from writing (£25 for writing an article on OCD for a geeky website and a few pounds from selling my self-published Doctor Who book to a couple of friends and family members). I’d like to say that “I know that I’m a good writer,” but I don’t. I hope that I’m a good writer, and I’ve had some positive feedback, but I’ve also struggled to market myself as a writer and monetise writing for myself. I also don’t know if my fiction writing is any good, as I’ve mostly written non-fiction stuff until now.


If I’m upset about one thing, it can “spill over” to something else. I subscribe to various library blogs in case they will with CPD (Continuing Professional Development). When Unorthodox (Netflix series about a woman from an ultra-Orthodox community who becomes secular) The New York Public Library blog had a list of books and DVDs about Jews who gave up traditional Judaism to become secular. The list didn’t include any books about people who try to combine traditional religion with modernity or anything positive about traditional Judaism at all. Now the library has a list of books on Native Americans… and they all look positive. No books about how stupid, backwards, superstitious, misogynistic (etc.) Native American culture is the way those books treated Orthodox Judaism. Why is Orthodox Judaism the only minority community/religion it’s OK to hate? People get away with it because there’s no shortage of Jews who feel that way, so they can play the “I’m not antisemitic, he’s Jewish and he said it” card.


Trying to focus on god things today: I ate in the sukkah. It was raining slightly and started raining more heavily just as I finished. It was nice to get out there one more time as I think it might be too wet tonight and tomorrow, and eating in the sukkah on Shmini Atzeret is not a straightforward mitzvah in any case.

PIMOJ was also really supportive about the job rejection and I’m beginning to feel that maybe she would support me even if she knew more about my “issues.”

I do feel a bit better. I’m trying to focus on Shabbat and Yom Tov. I’m apprehensive about going to shul (synagogue) later, but at least it will get me out of the house and out of this mindset.

12 thoughts on “Grade D

  1. I think you should give yourself credit for not worrying about the job. It’s huge to recognize what you can’t control and then be able to let it not control you. Ya I think there are a lot of people that don’t get that if they haven’t been a part of and experienced a community up close then they shouldn’t criticize it. There are so many stories out there to entertain people about people leaving Amish and Mennonite communities and giving the dirt on why they left. There are also super romanticized stories about “life among the plain people”. I don’t regret a childhood that was longer, modest living, and teenage years that weren’t obsessed with the opposite sex or the keeping of sex within marriage. I still think that large families are a blessing etc. It’s tough when totally morally lost and drifting people criticize that. I think if you want people to see some positive aspects about traditional Judaism you just might have to write about it yourself which you are kind of doing but feel free to repeat what you love about traditional Judaism any time. I know I would read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry to hear that you were rejected by the job you preferred. Maybe you should consider only applying for jobs which are part time at the moment anyway, or at least flexible. Although they gave you a mixture of low grades did they explain why they were so low? i.e. what didn’t they like? I am wondering whether it would be helpful in future to be upfront about your AS prior to an interview so the interviewers know your handicap, so to speak. (Handicap is a poor word, I know, but hopefully you know where I’m coming from). There is an interesting discussion about this on an NAS forum – here is the link. Have a look at the comment made by the contributor called Trainspotter. I think he is spot on and I hope what he says might encourage you. https://community.autism.org.uk/f/adults-on-the-autistic-spectrum/8560/should-i-disclose-my-asperger-s-syndrome-on-my-job-application

    Re: the quality of your writing – well the only way to find out if your fiction writing is good is to share it more widely with people who are well-qualified to judge it and will give honest feedback. Why not consider entering a writing competition? I know your non fiction writing is excellent because I read your blog. I have also looked at a few pages of the sampler from your Dr Who book and this comes across as original, well written and interesting. As I have never watched any of the series (I was brought up on American Sci-Fi) the book wouldn’t mean much to me – and of course here you are limited to a niche audience – Dr Who fans — so your book sales are never going to be high even if it had proper publicity. Encouraging you to keep writing. Glad your new date was understanding about the job rejection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In terms of applying only for part-time jobs, there really aren’t many out there at the moment to apply for. I’m not sure why.

      The institution didn’t say much about where I went wrong, which is frustrating, aside from saying I could have said more about how I would have catalogued the collection if there was more funding.

      I did go through a phase of telling interviewers about the autism, but only one place ever gave me any adjustments (legally they don’t have to until I get a diagnosis). A careers advisor told me to hide my depression as companies just won’t hire someone with mental illness, so I assumed that applied even more so to ASD which is, if anything, less understood and more stigmatised than depression.

      Writing competitions… that sounds scary, being not just read, but ranked! In any case, I’m focused on my novel at the moment and don’t really want to take on other writing projects right now.


      1. I would definitely not mention depression. I think there is far more stigma attached to depression than AS. AS is not a mental illness. And telling an interviewer about your AS could affect the way they judge you, irrespective of whether they appear to make any adjustments.

        Re: writing competitions – I was not think of writing anything new but submitting work you have already done.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry about the rejection, and that the feedback was discouraging. Many qualified people don’t interview well at all (my older daughter for example) and that makes the job hunting even more difficult. I’m glad you’re working through your feelings and will get out. I always find a change of scenery helpful to my mood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry about the job. I’ve never heard of getting graded feedback from an interviewer like that – maybe this is region or industry specific. I think of myself as being I’m pretty good at receiving negative feedback, but I think I would be thrown by receiving graded feedback in this way. Amazing the effect that grades have on us even after school.

    I also don’t like how negative portrayal of Orthodox Judaism is so sensationalized. I’m not Orthodox, but I feel like the rush to paint all of Orthodox and all religious people with the same brush is dangerous and a disservice to many.

    Liked by 1 person

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