Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Wheelchair and an Interview

I put on a full suit. I wear the pearls from my nana that I received for college graduation. I save answers in my DynaVox hoping to make my life easier. My assistant, Kim and I have the address of the company. I'm ready to go on my first job interview.

 When Kim and I arrive, we wait for Miriam, my employment specialist. I'll formally explain her role later in this post. Right now, you can just think of her as my biggest cheerleader. The Human Resources manager greets us. Miriam has only told them I have difficulty talking. Surprisingly, he doesn't look all that surprised at my entourage. Miriam and I head to his office.

The first thing I notice was that he has a metal desk. I cringe only because my feet will make a racket during our conversation. “Get over it, Hannah” I think to myself! Miriam makes small talk with the manager. I am grateful for this because small talk with strangers in an incredibly stressful situation is unbelievably difficult for a person with a communication device. He directs his attention to me and asks a question that I did not have the answer to stored in my DynaVox. I think to myself, “shoot! You're good with words, Thompson, kick butt! My first answer was average. I think to myself, “you have to do better and stop kicking the desk”. By the end of the interview with the HR manager, I'm much more comfortable and I am finally in my element.
I go up to meet with the marketing manager. Her desk is wooden. So, when I kick the dang thing, it does not make as much noise. Thank God! We start talking and it's much easier than the first part of the interview. I talk about my leadership courses, my work at Easter Seals, and a few odds and ends. The interview wraps up quite nicely. I applied for the social media specialist position. This means I would manage all their social media accounts. This particular company doesn't have a social media specialist yet so the woman said I might be hearing back from them as late as June.

Now, who is Miriam? Miriam is from Jewish Vocational Services (JVS). They help people with all kinds of disabilities get hired. Miriam has put me in contact with two recruiters so far. They are head hunters. Once they meet me, they meet with companies and may put the company and I in contact. On a different note, I am starting my own business. Mike, who is also from JVS is helping me develop a business plan and build a website for my speaking career. I am so excited when I meet with them and I appreciate that they see my potential.

In other areas of my life............

Julie is doing pretty well. She was in the hospital for most of the month. I am rolling with the punches and holding her hand throughout this roller coaster. I actually haven't seen Julie since mid March. Due to all her medications, she is vomiting every day and that causes dehydration which is the main reason for the hospital visits. If I had to choose something for her to battle, it would be the dehydration because it's easily treatable if you go to the hospital and it does not affect the lungs. However, she doesn't feel like visitors because she is vomiting so much. I'll wait, I'll be patient, I’ll pray, I am on this roller coaster till we get those lungs.

On a completely different topic, Megan, an assistant who was with me for three years in college has requested I mention a contest to you. Some people with disabilities cannot afford an accessible van. This causes undue stress on the individual or family. Mobility Works, the company I use, has a contest every year. The winner of this contest wins a free accessible van. One of Megan's students is a contestant. Here is the link to vote for Megan's student: http://bit.ly/YLiBfW. It would mean a lot if you did vote.

One last thing. If you don't know already, I desperately need a roommate. Here is the deal. My roommate just has to be here from midnight to when she has to leave for work. That is it. My parents help pay her rent. I live in a beautiful condo near Elmhurst, she would get her own bedroom and bathroom. If you are interested or know a great person, e-mail me! It doesn't involve any training or medical knowledge. Readers, let's find somebody!

Happy May,
Hannah! 

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