Sunday, August 22, 2010


In the last few days I've felt partly strange, partly stupid, but mostly I've felt nothing at all. Yesterday, and so far today, I've just wanted to crawl into a hole.

On Thursday I saw a recruitment agency in town. I drove up and down Symonds Street several times looking for somewhere to park. When I did find a park, miles away, I was past caring. I arrived at the agency (located on the twelfth floor of a building that clearly didn't have twelve floors) half an hour late. It wouldn't have mattered if I'd been two hours late or even if I hadn't turned up at all; it was obvious they had no work for me. That evening Richard came round for dinner. I made some pasta dish - I guess you could call it a carbonara - and an apple crumble. We sat around talking for a while. It was good to see him.

On Friday I had that job interview I mentioned briefly last time. It was for a data analyst role for a large non-profit organisation. I couldn't motivate myself for the interview at all. I'd got my suit dry-cleaned and I'd polished my shoes but I was totally unprepared for any questions that might be thrown my way. Keen not to repeat my error of the previous day, I arrived at the interview in Penrose with more than an hour to spare. I tried to read the extensive job-description bumph as last-minute preparation, but none of it was going in. I saw the word "parameters" and stared vacantly at it. It was a word I'd encountered several times in my last job. Sometimes it was used as a poncy word for "limits", as in "this is outside our business parameters", and sometimes it meant "variables". I didn't know which definition was being used in the job description and I didn't care. The interview started OK I guess but I fell apart in the middle; when I was asked what I knew about the role I was hopelessly tongue-tied and confused. I redeemed myself slightly towards the end, but surely not enough that they would want to see me again. I was kicking myself because it looked like the sort of place I wouldn't mind working in. It came as a surprise, therefore, when later that afternoon I was told I'd be having a second interview (of a possible three) on Thursday. I think I was lucky that my interviewer was an HR person - although she was a good interviewer she wasn't all that clued up about the ins and outs of the role.

Also on Friday I got confirmation that I'd been accepted on to the Lifeline course. I suppose this is good news. Right now there is no such thing as good or bad news.

Yesterday I attended the monthly autism group. Unlike in previous months, I didn't enjoy the session one bit and was glad to get out of there. Too many people, too much noise. People often spoke very passionately about a particular subject, as you might expect, whereas I didn't give a damn about anything. I had to turn the radio off in the car on the way home; any noise had become too much for me.

This afternoon I really had to force myself to play tennis. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but I'm glad I did it even if some of my play was atrocious. The exercise lifted my mood to an almost bearable level. After tennis I rang Julie who gave me a very useful piece of advice. I've tried to fill my calendar with stuff (Italian, French, looking for jobs, tennis, the autism group, poker, making puzzles, Lifeline, maths tuition, mental health groups and so on) but I've been all over the place, unable to give any one of these things its full attention. She said it's time I ditched a couple of them.

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