Hi Friends and Comrades,
I need your inputs, your opinion and your encouragement or sane advice for a most important event next week. I would also like your good luck charms, well wishes and blessings for my success. If I accomplish my goal, I will consider it a community accomplishment.
I am an IT professional with extensive and enormous experience and expertise in my specialty area. I was laid off in January and have been on State disability since. However, the disability runs out next January and the disability income doesn’t cover all of our expenses. A job is necessary.
So, I have been applying for a number of jobs since January and I have not been successful until two weeks ago. I got a job which is decent but pays far less than I used to make and is a contract job but in a town 2 hours away and will require my personal relocation. My family can’t come with me because my daughter is in high school and can’t change schools in her junior year. The cost of renting a separate apartment in that town is going to be an additional burden.
Something amazing happened last week. I got cold called by a recruiter from one of Silicon Valley’s foremost technology companies and was invited to apply for a job. It is a Sales Engineer where my responsibility will be to assist sales folks in their interactions with their customers and help explain the technology and assist the customers with custom solutions. I will have to make presentations, lead workshops and communicate customer requirements to developers and other engineers. It is a very big deal. Most people don’t even make it to the onsite interview stage.
I thought I would give it a try because I was “very sure” that I would not pass the screening interview over the phone. However, I was surprised to hear that I passed and I have been invited to the onsite interview next week. It will be a three hour interview with multiple people. There will be whiteboarding too.
I have not been people facing for a while and I am tremor prominent and I have dystonia dyskinesia episodes which affects my gait. I have slurred speech issues that manifests itself when there is a Levodopa imbalance. I have social anxiety issues that came with my Parkinson’s diagnosis. My self esteem is low and my self confidence is lower. All these issues are being addressed by medication such as Rytary and Zoloft as well as Propranolol, Trazodone and to some extent with a new diabetic medication: Bydureon (exenatide) that is supposed to help Parkinson’s patients. My tremors are well controlled with Rytary and Mucuna. My gait problems can erupt anytime. It is so random.
So, given my issues above, I was thinking about telling the company that I wasn’t interested any further. I thought about disclosing my disability and decided against it because I noticed a pattern where no company to which I disclosed it would select me even for a interview. The job I received already did not need a face to face interview and I did not tell them about my Parkinson’s. So, I am convinced that disclosing my condition would be a liability. Also, my job would require people interaction, some travel and lots of communication. I don’t think that the company can give me any reasonable accommodations for this particular job.
That leaves me with a huge question. Should I go ahead and attend the interview? I am afraid of embarrassment and making a fool of myself if I start tremoring or develop dystonia or dyskinesia. I am still adjusting to Rytary , so things are still unpredictable. I vacillate between going and not going.
I have throughout my entire life believed in fighting and never giving up or accepting defeat. I tell others to fight for all that they deserve with everything they got. I have given motivational speeches and have done extensive public speaking. I feel so bad that my disability has reduced me to this. I do feel that if I steel myself and face my demons and if I ace my interview, I can be a shining example to other young onset Parkinson’s patients who might have lost their nerve. I am only 54.
Sometimes I feel like God is testing me to see if I would use my disability as an excuse for laziness and settling into a sedentary lifestyle. I have been thinking about this for quite some time and I don’t have an answer. I think about whether I will be up to it and do my job with dedication and strength if I do get it. I have obligations too. I have to put my daughter through college and get her married and pay for it. In our orthodox Hindu culture, educating our kids and celebrating/paying for the daughter’s marriage is a requirement. I feel like if I give up on this opportunity, I might not be motivated to do anything else.
What are your thoughts?