How the hell did I get here?

So, here I am. At work, sitting in front of a molding machine containing
80 tiny rice-sized radioactive “seeds”. I’ve recently been promoted up
the line to molding. I haven’t seen a pay raise yet…it’ll probably
come in January, with my annual review.

I work for a small pharmaceutical company that makes radioactive therapy
surgical kits for patients with prostate cancer. We mold these seeds in
a pattern determined by the doctor, then load them into needles and
package them for shipment to the doctors. Its all very routine and
tedious. But its better than my last job at BAE Systems, which is a
British-owned military and weapons contractor. For BAE I was one of 500
grunts making computerized gyroscpoes for bombs and missles and
helicopters. This current job is much smaller and nobler of purpose and
not nearly as routine and tedious as twisting color-coded wires together
before running the gyro through the current-capacity buffer.

But I’m certainly nowhere near where I wanted to be when I started
college, and farther still than when I graduated! I went to college
with the vauge sense that I would work in a professional office doing
professional things and earning a decent professional wage. When I
graduated with two Bachelor degrees, I expected to find some entry level
office work or a jewelry-related job somewhere. I did not expect a job
market requiring entry-level applicants to use telephones. Telephones!
In this internet age: the age of IM, SMS, Fax Machines, and E-mail, and
no professional jobs where telephones are an OPTION?

I did not expect to find myself in a dead-end job so far removed from my
occupational and educational training. I type 50 wpm. My computer
skills are excellent. I am proefficent with both Microsoft and Apple.
My organizational and analytical skills are excellent. I have keen
attention to detail, above-average comprehension and communication
abilities, and I am a superbly quick and effeicent learner, and a
creative problem solver. I am slow at math and prone to numerical
errors, but I am not stupid at it. I prefer to work alone or in small
teams, but I am a damn good team player when needed. I require little
supervision, am very responsible, and I have a calm, even manner, and a
friendly personality.

I strongly believe that if it weren’t for the fact that I’m deaf, I
would be starting middle management somewhere.

How the hell did I get here? Why didn’t I have better career
counselling?

How the hell do I get out of here?

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13 thoughts on “How the hell did I get here?

  1. Interesting posting,

    Put pragraph 4 on the next job application sounds good to me.

    So if KI is your sister and you can call her what you like, I assume she is your younger sister.

    Are you really deaf?
    As in can’t physically hear stuff?

    Graffiti

  2. I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s not just because you’re deaf. Because if it was…then I would REALLY have no excuse to be doing the soul-sucking, life-wasting, ideal destroying occupation that I do for a living. I think it’s because there just isn’t a huge demand for creative people. We make life interesting…but don’t really fill any technological or scientific need. And so…we’re under appreciated and forced to answer phones. Creatively, of course.

  3. Graf:
    Yup, I’m what’s technically known as “deaf as a post”. I can’t hear much of anything, at all! LOL.

    Oh, and KI is my elder sister, as a matter of fact. She calls me names, too. Its a shared obligation we have for each other. She calls me punk and brat, I call her thief and whatever seems appropriate at the time.

    SURELY you do the same to whatever sibs you have? LOL

    Kara:
    Aw, now why did you have to go and pop my shiny red balloon?

    I keep hoping that somewhere out there is a job that is smart and creative and uses email instead of a telephone, and pays a decent salary! Is it really too much to hope for? I don’t want to stop hoping!

  4. Hmmmm, I think thats a question we all have. My uncle sold boats for 25 grand a year with a biology degree before he decided at 45 to get involved in a drug testing company, which he now owns and is making millions a year. You never know where your current opportunities are going to take you. When happy, be happy. When unhappy, take action.

    Glad to know its not a bag of idiots putting those kits together though. Father in law needed those seeds.

  5. Hmmmm, I think thats a question we all have. My uncle sold boats for 25 grand a year with a biology degree before he decided at 45 to get involved in a drug testing company, which he now owns and is making millions a year. You never know where your current opportunities are going to take you. When happy, be happy. When unhappy, take action.

    Glad to know its not a bag of idiots putting those kits together though. Father in law needed those seeds.

  6. Personally, I think the question is not, ‘Why didn’t I have better career counselling?’, but why are employers still flouting equal opportunities legislation? You do have that over there, right? In ths country, you could not get away wth discriminating against someone because of a disability such as deafness, well, not unless you wanted to get sued. An employer has to give the job to the most suitable candidate. I’m really shocked by your post.

    Puss

  7. I wish I had an answer for you!, ‘course if I did, I’d be the career counselor and you’d be yelling at me for not having the answer – so catch 22!

    my career aspirations when I started college was to be an astronaut.

    I found computers, though, and am working in that field and am moderately satisfied.

    But I am in my mid-40’s wondering if management is for me and whether I’d rather be doing something else….

  8. Pool: yeah, I tell myself that sometimes, but its hard to beleive, especially when one is swamped by a bout of self-pitying existential angst.

    I’m gratified to think that I possibly created the kit that helped your FIL get better! Thanks.

    Puss: Our laws cover equal opportunity and reasonable accomodation. Unfortunately, if the job description REQUIRES telephones, I am not really qualified for the position–even though I am perfect for it in every other way. Unfortunately, I never learned the right skills that would negate the whole telephone requirement. THATS what I meant by career counselling. I feel like someone out there should have told me what jobs required telephones and what don’t, and what I need to know to get those jobs.

    Bob: Im starting to think that being moderately satisfied is the best we can hope for. There will always be something we can find to be unhappy with!

  9. Hello Rachel,

    I have the middle child complex. An older brother and a younger sister. My sister and I would fight like cats and dogs as youngsters. Not so much these days though. I will have to try “Punk” on her the next time I see her.

    It is interesting to read your post about being deaf and how that effects employment and life I suppose. I know that now I communicate in work so much more by email than by telephone. That must be a great benefit to the deaf. A thing I had not even considered

    Graffiti

  10. yuck, rachel… i’m sorry. i know the feeling though. i LOVE that i get paid to write… but i ask myself every day how the heck i got stuck writing about

  11. haha… i totally didn’t know i left that blank. i think i was trying to decide whether i wanted to say what i actually write about or do a … to guard my identity. but that’s stupid because my blog name is my first, middle and last name. i can’t really be any less anonymous than i already am, now can i?

    i write about entrepreneurial business opportunities… network marketing, specifically. bleck. SO>BORING 😛

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