I started working when I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school. I got a job with Hallmark greeting card company, traveling from store to store putting up displays, or building the store on the inside, ground-up. I worked with my father and his girlfriend. I was on his girlfriend’s team for obvious reasons (nepotism?) and made about $8 an hour. Things changed a bit for the company and I no longer got many jobs to work with Hallmark. So then I got a job at Wal Mart. I worked there for 8 months, first as a janitor in the maintenance department (for $8) and then as a facer (cleaning up the shelves to look presentable and putting items away that were left behind as returns). I was eventually fired from this job because “I was not doing a good job”, but what really happened was that my mother, who worked at WalMart in the day shift, was having drama with the same lady who told my manager I wasn’t doing a good job.
I then got a job working the night maintenance shift for the local Mall. I was the ONLY person there after midnight. My trainer had gotten a better job somewhere else, so I was alone. Yes it was creepy, especially when you hear weird noises, but it was very peaceful because I could do all my work in 5 hours then spend the rest of the time sleeping or having picnics on the roof with my girlfriend. I quit that job when they pissed me off, saying they had spied on me sleeping and I wasnt doing a good enough job with the floor scrubber.
Then I worked for 2 months at Value Village, a 2nd hand clothing store. We would accept bins and bins and bins of clothing from people donating, and separate then into different bins depending on the product. That is when I learned nothing gets washed – not even the clothes that come in the same bag as kitty poop.
I quit that job because suddenly it became stressful and I couldn’t keep up. I was 20 at the time. I began to feel ill sometimes when I went to work at this job.
Then I worked at Fred Meyer, a new one. I helped build the shelving units, put the products in place, and generally help the contractors with things while they built the store. Then once the store was done, I was a cashier in the garden department. I stood outside all day, even in the rain, ringing up customers with plants and flowers. I didn’t mind it so much.
Then I moved away from the area and got a job at the other Fred Meyer, as a general cashier in the Home department. I rang up hardware, toys, plants, and other such items. I hated this job because the people drove me crazy, but I did it anyway. I made $6.55 an hour.
After I quit that job (because I didn’t pay my union dues – I thought they were coming out of my paycheck but they hadn’t been) I worked at a Warehouse for REI putting orders in boxes and sending them to the shipping department. Or I’d sort different products into specific bins for wrapping. I was laid off 2 years later because they were changing things and had no need for me.
I went to bartending school after this, and then got a Negligent Driving case against me, and no longer could qualify as a bartender.
After a while, when the fine was paid off, I got a job working for AT&T. At first I was helping the offline team respond to business consumer requests. Then I got hired full-time as a call center rep for business customers. After applying for a non-customer oriented job (directly) and then failing to get the job, I had a nervous breakdown and was out of work for 2 months. Thats when I was diagnosed bipolar, during a depressive state.
When I was feeling better, I came back and worked 2 weeks at the same call center job and then was hired for data entry in the same building/department. I was elated! But after 2 years things were changing and they were going to eliminate the department. I then applied for a job as a case manager with the same company, in a different department and building. I got the job. After a while, the job made me stressed, which made me ill. Everyone on the team was stressed out all the time – because we were appeals managers. We helped with business customers who had problems or complaints. We worked with the BBB, FCC, and other regulatory agencies to resolve customer concerns. The negativity of the job made me ill frequently. I eventually cycled into a mixed state, and was out of work, again, for 2 months. This time though, I had been carried out of the job by police and put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.
I worked at that job for a while longer before meeting my wonderful mate, and we moved to Spokane, WA. Away from the Seattle metro area.
I found a job at a call center, taking calls for Sam’s Club (The equivalent of Costco for WalMart). After a while I became very sick. I started having a tremendously annoying gag reflex which would then make me throw up. I was anxious and nothing, not even medication, could control it.I felt ill nearly every day and ended up in the bathroom all the time. I was laid off because Sam’s Club was discontinuing their work with the call center employer I worked for.
After this, enter the big bomb: After being on unemployment for about 10 months, I found a temp job working for Group Health, a local health insurance company. After only 2 weeks of training, they pushed us off onto the phones in the call center. I was not confident in the least bit that I knew what I was doing. I was so confused, and things didn’t make sense to me. I began to get the telltale signs of cycling again, with rapid onset anxiety. The very first day of taking REAL live customer calls, I threw up in the bathroom, and tore a muscle in my neck. After about a week the pain in my neck was so severe that I requested to go to the urgent care. I was advised that since I was a temp I had no sick days and could not leave. I stayed, in pain, taking calls that I knew not how to answer. About a week later, my brain collapsed. I just couldn’t do it. My gag reflex kicked in, full swing.I would gag then throw up, constantly. I had to go home. I went home one day to chill out, and I got a phone call saying I was no longer welcome at that job.
Scared, I signed up for the first job that would hire me: Kmart. I became a cashier, and it didn;t bother me as much. I was fine for about 3and a half months until I started gagging then vomiting again. I hated working with people! It is just not for me. As soon as I found a better job, I quit. This was in June 2012.
I was hired in late June 2012 and started in July 2012 as a data entry clerk, at a major Research Laboratory. We bill accounts by entering date into the system. We work from the late afternoon to midnight. We listen to iPods and the like. We have no contact with customers. I don’t make much, but I swear to god, this is the perfect job for me. I’ve been there over 2 years now, and plan on staying as long as possible, at this position. It is good for me, my bipolar, my anxiety. I haven’t had any job anxiety related to this, at all. Whatsoever. I am happy now.
I had applied for disabilty in early 2012, and was denied. It said a non-customer service job would help me, and I could still work doing warehouse or things similar.
They were right.