APD Part X––You’re Fired

Last week, I alluded to a series of job failures from the time I graduated college. I was in grad school when the first occurred. Misunderstandings and miscommunications in the workplace are a symptom of APD. Click to Tweet #amwriting #rejection #APD

From Wikipedia:

  • Problems in occupational functioning

I finally get a position while in Grad school as a Graduate Assistant. But somewhere along the line, even though I thought I was doing what they asked, they didn’t think so, and I was fired from that job. All they wanted was an inventory of their projector bulbs, cords, and things like that, besides setting up media. Easy job, right? You’d think so. Evidently, I didn’t do the inventory the way they thought I should. So, after a couple months, I was dismissed.

My problems in grad school didn’t end there. I got an on-air news co-anchor position, voluntary, not paid, at the public radio station the college owned and operated. I’d get a bit nervous sometimes, and I couldn’t read smoothly. The news director was a very nice man. He was the first to tell me he saw “a lot of potential” in me. He moved me from news to an interview program host, but alas, I kept asking the same boring set of questions of every guest. From there, he had me doing long features. That’s where I seemed to shine. I did a feature on the Thunderbirds, the Mennonite World Conference, and unwed mothers. There were probably more, but I don’t remember.

Eventually I finished a master’s degree, and still had trouble finding a broadcasting job. Before, it was “you don’t have enough experience.” Now, it was “you don’t have enough commercial experience.” I couldn’t win.

I still had to find some sort of job. Unfortunately for me, the one I got was probably the worst I could get for having APD. A “selling” job with a trade school. I had it for about six months, and got fired from it. Later though, I learned that the owner had bugged, (truly) the offices of his staff. I had whined a bit to another staff member, and when the owner called me into his office, he said things to me he would not have known. I know the staffer didn’t squeal on me. He wasn’t that kind of guy. (And I asked him, and he said he hadn’t.) It was several months later I learned the offices had hidden microphones. I think that was probably the first time I didn’t list having a master’s degree on my resume.

Finally, in late 1979, I got my first radio job, for a non-commercial religious station. They put two part-time positions together so I could be full-time. Part-time public affairs/newsletter coordinator in the mornings (which I loved), with selling radio time in the afternoons. Of course, my fear of rejection kept me from the doing the sales part well, and after three months, I was again fired. They wouldn’t let me keep the public affairs position, because they said, “We put this position together just for you.”

I’ve heard it said that people who are often fired are “under judgment.” I don’t know about that. Even though I wanted desperately to succeed, my fear of rejection, which was very strong, kept me from being successful. At that time, I was only twenty-five. Be kind and patient with those you know who suffer from APD. You may be an instrument to bring healing in their lives. Click to Tweet #amwriting #rejection #APD

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