The Quest for Full Time Work

In less than a month I will turn 36. I find it quite depressing that at this age I am still considered a loser because I am poor. In my entire life I have only had one full-time job. That was with Brillient, the government contract company. Unfortunately, that fell apart with the knee injury. 

But ever since the age of 16, I have always been trying to get a full-time job with an income great enough to be able to live independently. And for a while I thought I had succeeded. I had full time with Brillient and I had my own apartment in Independence. 

My work history is simple because as of this time, there are only 3 companies I have worked for in my entire lifetime. 

Hy-Vee was the first company to hire me at the age of 25. Walmart, Burger King, Burger Boy, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Hen House, and Hobby Lobby would not hire me or even give me an interview. Even Hy-Vee did not give me any chance until I went there and begged for a job. This was the Lee’s Summit East Hy-Vee 

Oddly enough, I was not able to get a job in my first 9 years of trying, but I was able to join the Navy at the age of 20. I did not survive long in boot camp and became extremely sick with pneumonia. But one thing that I will always remember is how cruel the men in my church at the time were. They told me I was not tough enough to handle it and mocked me. They were right of course but that does not change the fact that they should have been proud of me for trying and encouraging me. My mom was proud of me and in fact that is the reason why her email is because it was chosen at the time I was in the Navy. 

But anyhow, back to the work history. I worked for Hy-Vee part time as a courtesy clerk from October 21, 2012, to sometime in May 2018 when I transferred to the Health Market. I was happy with my work and good at it but never was able to obtain full time. I asked and begged but nothing ever changed. 

And then what happened is that a Job Recruiter found me on LinkedIn and told me about the availability of a full-time job for Brillient. It was not an easy job to get but it was full time and required tons of paperwork and obtaining government clearance because I would be working in a government facility. But I got the job and although I did not enjoy it very much, I was making $12.95 per hour at 40 hours per week, and sometimes 45 or 50 hours because of mandatory overtime. But the job fell apart for two reasons. The Covid related mask mandate and the knee injury which led to a long recovery and being fired for not being able to work fast enough at shelving files at a time when my legs could not even walk, and I could not get up off the floor without significant effort using my arms and one semi good leg. I would never work for that company again under any circumstances because of how they treated me. 

So, what I did is apply to the Hy-Vee in Independence closest to where I lived in Independence at the time. Because I had previously worked for Hy-Vee, it was not difficult to get a job there because they still had me on file. I started in April 2021. It was a different store and things were located differently but all my skills still applied. In June 2021, after a few months of being a courtesy clerk, I transferred to the Floral Department because I was interested, and they needed help! I found it more difficult than being a courtesy clerk or health market clerk, but I loved the aspect of being creative when people bought flowers and wanted me to wrap them or put them in a vase. 

I had many opportunities to be creative and learned to be responsible for many important things. I was quite often the closing shift clerk and would be by myself for an average of 4 hours. Answering the phone, writing the orders, cleaning up the shop, and locking away all important documents containing customer’s information. I also learned how to deposit the money in the till into the safe at the end of the night. 

I was good at my job and loved it, but I was still limited to less than 30 hours and never allowed to go full time. I tried to get a second part time job at Gamestop, and to my surprise, I succeeded. But I did not get many hours there either. My rent was close to $900, not counting utilities, food was expensive, and I made about $1200 a month. As you can imagine, I ended up in debt and did not qualify to renew my lease. 

So, I moved back to Lee’s Summit with my mom and transferred to the original Hy-Vee and the GameStop in Lee’s Summit. I have also been applying to other jobs with no success. 

After a while, the constant rejection really started getting to me. My thought process is like this: 

“Is it because I am transgender? Maybe but I got rejected long before I came out as transgender. Maybe it’s because I am autistic, and people assume I am retarded? Maybe my voice sounds gay and people in this area are homophobic? I am tired of being a loser and rejected by companies and people in general!” 

I should not be having these thoughts, but constant rejection is damaging my mental health. I know I deserve a better life than this. I am highly intelligent and responsible. I have decided to be much more vocal about what I need in life and to fight even harder until I get full time employment. 

I recently even started online school with Full Sail University. The idea is to get a college degree to help me find a well-paying job I have the skills for. But I still need a full-time job long before that day comes because I cannot survive on the less than 20 hours I am currently getting. 

And my effort of applying to every job I can find on Indeed and Zip recruiter has yielded no success. I do not know what it is that I am doing wrong. But the thought has occurred to me that I do have a lot of skills and a quite impressive work history with the small opportunities I have been given. Maybe the problem is not me, but it is the fault of people who judge by the appearance of someone like me who they do not know. 

You cannot know a person just by how they look nor just reading their online job application. Those few people who truly do know me appreciate me. I will find my solution if I keep fighting. 

I have also decided that if Hy-Vee does not hire me full time before my 36th birthday, I will quit as soon as I get hired full time elsewhere. I will tell new employers that I can start immediately rather than setting a date in the future just so that I can give Hy-Vee two weeks’ notice. I am too old for this constant waiting around to get the career I deserve, and my patience has run out.