After four years of irregular doula-ing and a then couple of months with no inquiries whatsoever I decided that I had to look for a more regular job. (I have decided that I am a great doula but a poor business person so not a total failure but not successful enough)
So, for most of this year I have been applying for all kinds of work. After my bitterly disappointing experience with the guy who thought I would be unable to cope with the job on offer (here) I decided to register with a disability employment agency because at least that way I am guaranteed to be applying to people who are willing to engage someone who has some limitations, rather than bashing my head against a wall with the arrogantly able and unimaginative.
The agency experience has not been surprising but it has been a close up look at some issues. And looking closely is different to knowing what happens in a theoretical kind of way.
Last week I met a man with mild cerebral palsy, he is tertiary educated with a good work history and an air of competence but his impaired dexterity eventually means he can't work at the speed required of an experienced operator in a call centre. It seems bizarre to me and inefficient, to get rid of an experienced employee and take on all the costs and uncertainties of new hires. And that is without thinking of the costs to the individual and the public purse. Does nobody take a long term view? does nobody invest in their business by investing in their employees?
Today I went to a "workshop" as required by the agency. I drove to the agency, which just happens to be close to me but serves clients from a wide area, parked, waited 15 minutes past the appointment time and spent another 15 or so filling in a form I could have emailed to them. That whole process also seems silly: requesting unemployed people to spend money and effort on travel, which might be quite challenging for them, just to do something that could be done online or through a phone interview. Now, I understand that getting applicants to come in person may allow better communications and guarantees that the applicant is doing their own work, I guess it would also weed out anyone who was not very committed to the process but all the same it seems inefficient and not particularly sensitive to the needs of the clientele.
At this point I am wondering what oddity will show up at next weeks workshop.