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Hi, everybody. I'm in a scary place regarding employment. I've been working as an administrative assistant for decades. It was never my life's calling or desire. I just did it to pay the bills while I pursued the things I really loved (writing, acting, photography). I also went to graduate school and obtained a Ph.D. in literature because I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but discovered that teaching wasn't for me. I was born to write and my #1 dream is to achieve enough success in that area to be able to retire. I have just completed the book and lyrics to a full-length musical, submitted it to the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and am waiting to hear if it was accepted for production this fall. If it is, it might go on from there to something really terrific.
So my idea was to hang in there with my current office job till I saw what happened. If my show made enough money I might be able to supplement it with Social Security (which I'll be eligible for in 2012) and perhaps retire. But I lost my job in February due to budget cuts (it was a small and struggling religious organization). Now I have to get another job, and the reason I'm scared is that I am not the AA I used to be. I am now 58 years old and my short-term memory isn't what it was.
Example: I just started a one-day-a-week temp office job. I came back from lunch on March 10 and found a voicemail from a person who was confirming an appointment with the boss on "Tuesday." I assumed she meant Tuesday, March 17 and put it in the boss' calendar and gave her the message. The boss said, "Are you sure it was meant to be the 17th?" "I assumed it was," I said. The boss said, "Next time ask the person to confirm things like that." "Okay," I said. Now here's what kills me -- I never thought to tell the boss the message was a voicemail, and that of course I couldn't ask the caller such a question because I did not actually speak to the caller. And the caller never left a phone number. It must have appeared that I was negligent and I could have defended myself, but I didn't even think of this till about five minutes later. I didn't want to seem petty so I just let it go.
This business of "not thinking" of things has gotten so much worse it's scaring me. It happened a lot in my last job, but the problem may have been a matter of depression and boredom as much as age -- the job was awful: utterly thankless, with an excessive work load, very low pay and difficult bosses. The office was in Gloucester, a small village in Mass. and was five minutes' walk from my apartment, which was great, but also felt rather limiting (I used to work in Manhattan and commute to Westchester County, so I'm used to a much more exciting environment. I moved to Gloucester because New York was too expensive and high-pressure). This limitation added to my depression and the job's dullness, plus working alone all day (I was the only full-time staff member) contributed to a kind of mental deterioriation. Lucikly being alone most of the time enabled me to conceal most of my mistakes, but now I have to go "out into the world" again.
I feel now that I need a "foolproof" job, one that will save me from myself. I'm afraid it'll have to be so straightforward and dull that I'll go crazy but at least I'll feel more secure. I sometimes feel like chucking the whole office scene and becoming a cleaning person.What do you think about that? I know it's dull and very hard work, and I'd still be alone all day, but I wouldn't be able to screw up, and the physical exertion would be good exercise. There's something liberating about that idea. I have no business aspirations anyway. I just want something I'm able to handle, to pay the bills while I see if I can make my writing dream come true.
I'd be very grateful for any advice. Thank you.
Don't worry! I know that if you are short on memory, and worried about messing up, you are not alone. I think that you have talent. As for now, the best thing ot do is to sit down and talk to God. In the bible, there is a verse that says, 'Be not afraid, for I am with you." That was from Joshua 1:9. If you feel weary, STOP!!! Say a prayer and let God handle it. There were some things that made me feel felel afraid because of when I worked a trash chute, there were some people on the floors above that would toss stuff down that thjey know that they shouldn't. I even got priced with something sharp and that was all caused by someone that was careless by placing it in a regular trash bag and threw it down the chute and they knew it was wrong. I wanted to be a floor tech and now here it is later after having words with God, I have the floor tech job.