Since my long stay in P45land I have quite a bit of time to think about what kind of job I would like to do, I have actually come to the conclusion that due to the “little problems” I have had in trying to secure myself a job that it’s more a case of a workplace where I would fit it rather than a particular job specification. I’m quite an adaptable person and I like to hit the floor running so to speak when I start a new job. I’ve done allsorts, I’m not too precious about what I’d do, but it’s WHERE I do it that would be the big question. Despite both the advisors at the Jobcentre Plus and Pertemps deciding on the spot that a public facing role or even using the phone would be out of the question for me. However, I would be quite happy to work with the public, if they are happy to be in my presence, I put this query to the owner of a craft shop in Bedworth, she said that if she could afford to take on a sales assistant she’d be happy to employ me, I’m intelligent and articulate, maybe a friendly sign or poster that would explain the situation to customers and put them at ease if my coprolalia bothered them. I was put in a public facing role when I did some voluntary work for Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. The woman who organized the event wasn’t bothered about my TS, nor were any of the people who came to see the exhibition of service users’ work. Nobody batted an eyelid, just the way it should be. Whilst helping her with the organization of the event we did talk about my “career” if you can call it that and what the best plan of action could be. With regards to finding an organization where I could fit in and there would be a degree of understanding with regards to both my Tourette’s syndrome and my depression the JCP would be most likely to be useless, the best way would be to do voluntary work and to meet lots of fellow creative types and people who work with people with mental health problems and get a foot through the door that way. So I have a new voluntary job starting soon, so I’ll keep you posted about that.
Another career plan I had been planning was to set up my own business, a shop would be nice, I would be the boss, I could swear at the customers if I liked. I did have a boss once who did think that way, he was a pretty TS friendly boss, he did once throw a customer out of his pub for making a stupid Tourette’s joke, which was quite reassuring, I didn’t do the swearing, he did, I wasn’t aware of the event (I was busy serving customers) until someone told me afterwards. My boss, the Landlord had pushed the unsuspecting stranger with a bad sense of humor out “Get the F*** out of my pub and never come back. You’re barred!” I did consider becoming a victualler myself but throwing a large drunk person out is quite different to refusing to serve them. Plus contrary to common belief the hours are very long.
During my time with Pertemps I did do some planning towards setting up my own business, I did courses in e-marketing, bookkeeping and some other learned skills that a small business person would need. Like the functioning alcoholic Bernard Black (If you haven’t yet seen Black Books you’ve missed a treat) I feel that some aspects of running a business I would find difficult. My Dad has been often self-employed, my mother is pretty good at doing the boring bits and my Dad has the bright ideas, whilst growing up he had a bread round/mobile shop, I often used to help him out, I really enjoyed meeting the customers and helping him think of things we could sell, one day we decided that dog food might sell well, amongst our haul from the wholesalers we had a pallet of tins of dog food, “you’ll never sell that, why have you got that??” We sold the whole pallet the next day to a farmer, the local farmers’ co-operative had left it off his delivery. My father also ran his own garage, absolute bliss to him, tinkering with engines with people coming in and out wanting his help. He once nearly acquired a village post office with general store (in my opinion that one could have been a goer) and a petrol/service station. (Independent petrol stations have now since disappeared).
The downside of having your own business is that you don’t get sick pay or holiday pay, if we went on holiday Daddy was left behind, but we couldn’t afford to go far, it was only Tenby, he had spent many summer holidays camping there as a child himself.
I would like to continue with setting up my own business, but it is a scary prospect particularly when it’s the only income coming into the household, but the idea of working from home running an online business in the meantime is quite appealing.
Here's Bernard trying to deal with the boring bits of being self-employed. (There may be some naughty words!) channel4.com/programmes/bla...