Recently, I saw an “On this day” post on Facebook in which I excitedly announced that I FINALLY had a new writing gig. This after months of trying to find a new one. That made me feel sad all over again because that supposed “gig” turned out to be a scam. It was NOT a good thing because I was – and still am – desperate for work. For ANY kind of job, really. I have been trying to get a new job or gig for over 2 years (I think it’s 3 years now?) and I am growing increasingly frustrated with every single rejection. I have applied for jobs and gone to interviews – all for nothing. On Sunday, I applied for two jobs and, on Monday, got an email from HR at one of those jobs to call and arrange for an interview. Because I am deaf, I use Internet relay (through Sprint). So when I called using relay, they said they needed to speak with me directly. I explained that I am deaf and must use relay for phone calls. (Relay involves another person to relay messages back and forth.) They said they’d let the top HR person know and they’d get back to me. They haven’t yet. They probably won't. And last night, I told my husband about this (he is also deaf) and he said they probably won’t be contacting me. I HAD told them I am deaf when I applied for the job – did they miss that note? But he said I would be too much of a liability for them and they’d get sued if something went wrong only because of my being deaf.
So once again, my deafness was a problem for me getting a job. Oh, sure. We’d all like to promote the idea that a deaf person can still be anything they want to be and do anything they want to do despite being deaf, but the reality is that it is Very Hard to get a job in today’s world if you are deaf. I know this so well. One lady told me she would have hired me if I had been able to communicate over the phone.
Discrimination against the deaf is alive and well, people. Especially in the workplace.
And of course, I have always wondered if there were other factors that prevented me from getting a job. Was it because of my limited work experience? (I have spent most of my adult life working from home.) The third degree burn scars on my face and left arm? The limited physical use of my left hand? Or my lack of a college degree? Or because I am only available for part-time work? Or because I’m from California??
Whatever the reasons were, I have not given up in my attempt to get a job. But it has gotten to the point where I feel like I will be filling out job applications for all of eternity! It’s almost a joke now, really. And sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my time because I’ll just be told “no” again.
But I am too stubborn to quit. I may have obstacles in my path, but I’m the kind of person to work around obstacles. I don’t run away and cry and go “Boo-hoo! Poor me!” No, I keep going despite the obstacles and find another way to get things done.
But all of this struggling to get a job has made me sometimes wonder if I should just go into business for myself. I have read of other people facing these same exact struggles that I have faced and they found success striking out on their own.
So, maybe I should try doing that, too? Do something on my own? My own business?
I HAVE thought about this a lot for a long time. I have even had several ideas for different things to do. Different careers or different business ideas. Heck, I even thought about becoming an inventor! But all of those ideas eventually got shot down. I would spend time thinking about them, weighing the pros and cons and thinking long-term with these types of jobs and businesses. And nothing really seemed like a right fit.
This morning, though, an idea popped into my head, and the more I thought about it later in the day, the more I began to think maybe it could work.
As I drove my teen to work this morning, an idea for a pizza place popped into my head. That’s right: Pizza! But not just your average pizza. I had ideas for specialty pizzas. Of course, there’d be the standard pizzas: Pepperoni, supreme, and my kids’ favorite, cheese pizza. But I had ideas for different kinds of pizzas made with different kinds of ingredients. And by the time I arrived at my teen’s work, I had an entire menu in my head. As soon as I was parked, I grabbed my phone and started typing it all down. I got ideas for more things to add to that menu on the drive back. (The drive is an hour and fifteen minutes long!)
The thing of it is, though, I’m not much for making pizzas. I have only made one homemade pizza and it didn’t turn out very well. However, I have also made one of these specialty pizzas that I have on my menu, and it was really good.
What I liked about this idea is its uniqueness. If you want to stand out in a competitive market, you HAVE to be unique. You have to offer something new and something that is a personal style.
When I got home, I told my son about this idea and I showed him the menu I had typed up. He thought it was interesting.
At first, though, I thought, Nah, I don’t want to open my own pizza place. I am not good at making pizzas!
Well, maybe I can LEARN?? Maybe I can get training for it?? Maybe if I try making pizzas more often, then I’d get better at it? Especially these kinds of pizzas. Maybe.
Well, it’s something to think about. I really don’t have anything else going on for me work-wise. Maybe starting my own thing is the answer. Maybe that’s what I need to do. It’s something to think about.
At first, I wanted to throw away that menu. It’s probably too crazy of an idea. But now I’m thinking that maybe I should just hold onto it. Just in case. Maybe one day, this will be the direction that I end up going in.