Disappointing myself

I survived day 2 of the job and waking up much earlier than normal didn’t really affect me too badly. Day 2 was better than day 1, for the most part.

But. I have serious concerns about whether I’m even going to pass training. I have a lot of doubts about whether I’m capable of doing technical support. My cognitive impairment caused by my disability is becoming really apparent on the job already and I’m not sure that I can actually learn everything that I need to in order to provide tech support to people.

There were actually two quizzes I couldn’t pass yesterday. I get to redo them and I’m not the only one who didn’t pass, but that’s still not a good sign overall about my future ability to learn. It was also quite humbling to be unable to pass two quizzes because I remember a time when I would have aced them both.

The extra tough part is that one of them was an Apple-specific quiz and as of Monday, everything I’ll be training on is Apple-specific. (The past two days’ training pertained to the policies of the company for whom I’m working as a contractor for Apple. So far, I am really impressed by the opportunities the employer offers and wish I were working on something other than tech support.)

The Apple quiz was really tough because I reread through the lesson we were being tested on several times and the quiz questions weren’t actually answered during the lesson. You have to use deductive reasoning, applying what was covered in the lesson to answer the questions and I just Could. Not. Get. It. I tried several times to retake it and I was like a goldfish—I couldn’t remember what the answers were from the previous attempts. Yes, I wrote down the ones I got right, but several of them I could not get right at all.

I fear that if this is any indicator of what the rest of the Apple training will be like, I will very quickly fail to progress. I just feel all my goals of paying off debt quickly slipping away, and not to mention that I know how disappointed in me my husband will be if I fail at this. He wants me to be working because it will reassure him that I can take care of myself in his absence.

I admit that I did have some concerns about doing tech support, but thought I might stand a chance since it’s for Apple and I use both a Mac and an iPhone. But alas, it’s still tech support. The last time I had a tech support job was when I worked in downtown Dallas and although I passed training, I never really understood the software I was supporting. I had to keep asking the same dumb questions of my coworkers over and over because it just wouldn’t stick in my memory.

While it’s definitely true that it was about the least-intuitive software program out there, I just felt perpetually dumb. That did not do well for my self-esteem or my stress levels (which were extremely high and I had more neurological symptoms as a result.)

I wish this job were just basic customer service because I rock at that. But there’s still the issue that customer service jobs don’t tend to pay very well and I might be better off staying on disability instead.

But yet I still have the question in the back of my mind: am I writing myself off too soon and falling back into “Michigan mind” (aka learned helplessness) or am I being realistic about what my options really are?

I don’t have a lot of great work experience, despite having a degree. Despite having been a freelance writer for 18 years, I don’t have the qualifications to get a full-time writing job. I’m essentially starting over as though I don’t have a degree at all.

Realistically, as far as I can tell, my only real option right now as far as work goes is to get a customer service job and hope that I could get promoted to a better-paying role. There are other customer service jobs that pay quite well, like in financial services, but those would require me to learn enough to pass licensing exams, which brings me back to square one again.

I’m not necessarily giving up on myself yet but I’m also preparing for the possibility that I might bomb out on this, and soon. And I just don’t know what my Plan B will be. (Well, my current job is technically my Plan B because of my husband’s cancer, so I guess now I need to come up with Plan C.)

5 Comments

      1. I think without the memory issues, plus your existing customer service skills, you would be a really good tech support person.

        I spent 7 years in tech support (without formal knowledge or training) but my dissociative amnesia and struggles with reasoning never affected my tech support knowledge because it wasn’t am “across the brain” neurological issue.

        Do you plan to stay on in this job? Would another industry be better?

        About disability, is there any way to increase how much money you’re allowed to save?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks! I’m actually really good at customer service so I’m sure I would be good at tech support if I knew what I was doing.

        I don’t know yet if I plan to stay in this job. I guess a lot of that depends on how well I feel I’m learning the material over the next couple weeks of training.

        I am allowed to increase the amount of money I save while on disability and I’m certainly trying to!

        Liked by 1 person

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