Insomnia can be a real drag but last night’s wakeful hours gave me time to formulate this post which has been hanging around the periphery of my brain for the last few days.
Last week I attended an interview at a well-known organisation who support blind and partially sighted people. The post was in admin and was a post that I had previously been turned down for twice. I wasn’t going to apply a third time but when I saw the advert I had a bit of time on my hands so thought I’d give it a last go, nothing to lose.
The interview seemed to go quite well, although one of the panel kept talking about other opportunities which may or may not come up at said organisation in the future. I had to keep steering him back to my answers and how they were relevant to the post I was actually applying for. For that reason I was as sure as I could be that I hadn’t been successful.
The first time I was turned down, I did a good interview but didn’t talk enough about the Data Protection Act. So I swotted up on that before attending the second time where I was told that I again did a good interview but I hadn’t had enough financial experience, despite the fact that I support office staff and business managers in 300 schools in the county in the use of their financial management system.
So last week I was prepared. I had the Data Protection Act and financial procedures at my fingertips ready to talk about them, which I did. As I say, I knew by instinct that I hadn’t got the job before I received the call on Friday to say that I hadn’t.
I’d done a brilliant interview, in fact I was a real pleasure to interview, their words not mine. I’d written an excellent letter in the test beforehand. My customer facing skills were excellent but, guess what, I didn’t have enough financial experience. This seemed to boil down to the fact that I have never actually sat at a computer and filled in an online requisition.
What I do have, however, which probably most of the other applicants did not, is a lifetime’s experience of living and working as a partially sighted person, then a blind person. I have even experienced sight loss which seems to be the buzz word at the moment. I also have over half a lifetime’s experience of training and working with six guide dogs. I have experienced the elation, the frustration, the excitement and the bereavement that goes with guide dog ownership. But that accounted for absolutely nothing. I can only assume that they do not want to employ a blind person.
I have mentioned the DWP survey that was carried out a few years ago but I’ll mention it again. 90% of employers surveyed said that they would find it difficult or impossible to employ a blind person.
Who can blame them really? If our own organisations won’t employ us, why should other employers take that leap, particularly with the job market being saturated at the present time.