Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Interviews, access and other great joys of life

Sorry about the long silence. I was away. Now I am back. Not much has changed at the Would-Be-Superbly-Accessible-If-The-Council- Would-Get-Their-Act-Together Flat. All is good otherwise, though.

I finally got a visit from an occupational therapist. I was referred to them back in the dawn of time (OK, March). Then I was told it would be a year-long waiting list. Then I wrote to complain and ask what exactly I was supposed to do about the fact that they had banned me from taking a bath (no, seriously) and then stuck me at the bottom of the waiting list and buggered off. Then, as if entirely by magic, The Girl got a phone call saying someone would be with us in five weeks, to sort out the most immediate problems. You see? I'm always saying complaining works. Now if only that applied to the sodding Council. But I just can't be bothered to update on the train wreck that is a tiny reasonable adjustment to the side gate of my building, and the fact that a certain North London borough council keep giving me excuses for why they can't just get on with the bloody work. Um. Where was I? Ah yes, the OT. She was nice. A BSL user, so she came with an interpreter - I wished I had the confidence to say a few things in her language, but Stage 1 BSL has only really taught me how to say 'thank you', 'toilet' and 'turn left and the library is at the end of the corridor', so it would have been a limited conversation. Anyway, it was another round of the same sorts of detailed, slightly tortuous questions that I'm getting so used to, but it was worth it. I've now been promised a bath-board, plus a few other things including a trolley to carry things round on, if I want one (I'm considering it, although it may make me feel even more like an 80-year-old than I already do, but then it would also mean fewer cups of tea ending up all over the floor). She also had a look at the access arrangements for the flat, and she may be able to intervene with the Council for me. Hurray. Except that I got the impression it would take a long time. Of course. Nothing ever happens in less than six months. Ever.

Yesterday I also had a job interview. Yes, folks, I'm actually considering returning to the wonderful world of Being An Economically Useful Member of Society. It's scary, but generally a positive thought (at the moment, while actual work is still long ago enough that I don't remember how exhausting it all is). I could do the job with my eyes shut and my wheelchair batteries removed, but I'm not sure how much I really want it. The thought of taking less-than-exciting work, even if it's still in my general 'field' of education, is depressing me slightly at the moment. But of course, we all know the joy of the six months stuck in bed if I overdo it. Dilemmas, people. I'm applying for actual teaching jobs too, then we'll see how it all goes. Access to Work, and what they can help me with, might make or break it all yet.

Note to self, for future job interviews: Do not agree to hand-write a case study for half an hour. Remember to sit properly. Insist on regular breaks. And do not, ever, under any circumstances, let them make you sit a numeracy test. The helpful-sounding offer of “We’ll give you an extra half hour, since you’re dyspraxic” turns out only to extend the terrible pain. Argh.

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