Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

To the Employers Who Refused Me a Job, You Lose!

Filed under: Living with a disability, Work — by Glenda at 4:09 pm on Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflecting upon the video I created yesterday, I indulged myself briefly in a sense of pride and accomplishment. I had followed a creative idea through development to completion using various software programs and skills that I had learned myself.

Surely those are characteristics of a valuable employee! Yet, during my job search years, only one employer chose to take a chance on me, and that was for a grant-funded position. Once the year was up and the funding gone, I was out of a job. No other employer gave me the opportunity to prove what I was capable of and what I could bring to the organization. They could not see past my jerky cerebral palsy movements, my significant speech impairment and my painfully slow typing speed.

In recent years I have questioned why did I bother with five years at high school and seven years at university, working hard to keep up (and sometimes surpass) my classmates and friends, only to watch them land jobs with decent salaries, Christmas bonuses and pension plans while I’m still stuck on social assistance, labeled as unemployable. Was all of that work for nothing? Why did I bother?

But then I think back to what I have accomplished by not having a J O B. I’ve written and self-published a book, which took umpteen skills, creativity, determination and perseverance.

Just this year I’ve wowed the pants off of many with my SOBCon and WordCamp presentations – not only with the content but also by the method. Who else combines PowerPoint with captions and a text-to-speech voice the way I do?

My blog, now four years old (another sign of determination and diligence), has a loyal worldwide readership and currently has an Alexa ranking of 357,412, which is higher than many so-called experts’ blogs and websites.

Daily I connect with hundreds of colleagues, friends and contacts, regardless of location or time zone, on Twitter and Facebook – essential tools nowadays. Last night I Skype chatted via video with friends on the Gold Coast of Australia and then with my brother in Alberta.

To those employers who refused to hire me because of my typing speed and “poor” communication skills, you failed to think creatively and to think outside of the box – an ability I could have brought to your organization. The name, reputation and exposure, which I have created for myself, I would have willingly and gladly created for your business, had I been given the opportunity. But, you didn’t look beyond my cerebral palsy to see what I could offer. For that reason, you lose!

By persevering and thinking creatively, I know that opportunities – with benefits better than Christmas bonuses and pension plans – await. By combining these skills and tools that I have acquired I know I’m on the way to hitting it big and to getting off of social assistance permanently. For that reason, I will win!

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21 Comments »

Comment by Grant Griffiths

December 30, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

Glenda — You continue to be an inspiration!!!

Comment by Deb Brown

December 30, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

Glenda,
I’m standing up in my living room screaming YOU GO GIRL!

Me personally, I’m glad those employers looked you over — because you have rocked my world.

You know 2010 is the year of living into your greatness — I believe, you’ve got a huge headstart on the rest of us.

@debworks

Comment by Lori-ann

December 30, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

Glenda,

For all of those attributes and talents…we say you are an inspiration! Hooray for you! Can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for you and what you continue to develop and share with the world. Lead on!

Comment by Julie Broad

December 30, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

AWESOME!! I just found your site via Twitter… the headline naturally caught my attention!! It’s funny you know… there’s a saying be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. In your case not getting what you were looking for is the best thing that could have happened!! Way to make the most of the cards you were dealt. I will stumble, tweet & do what I can to spread this super important message & inspirational story!!

Comment by Tina Brooks

December 30, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

Glenda, my dear, dear friend, if you ever need a slightly higher than minimum wage job, I’m your gal. :D

I’d hire you in a shot.

Comment by Damien Patton

December 30, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

Glenda, you are right, you will WIN; and in so many way you have won.

Comment by Troy Wittren

December 30, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

Glenda, you would be a highly valued employee. I read your post with great humility.

I have been in my government job for 20 years now. I had a degree, but my disability was way more visible than any degree. I was hired by a manager who could see past my disability. I was a typist to start…a very slow typist. He would kid me about my “flying fingers”.

It was by dumb luck that I was given my opportunity to prove myself. You very much deserved such opportunity and I am 100% sure that you would be a star employee.

Words are failing me here. Your blogging skills are far superior to mine. Your spirit, your spunk, your knowledge regarding accessibility issues related to websites. I am in awe.

You make this world a better place.

Thank you!

Comment by Glenda

December 30, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind words and encouragement. Not having had a 9-5 job with all of the financial benefits and office comraderie because an employer couldn’t see beyond my flaws still stings. But, while writing this post, it began stinging a little less. And, now, reading your words, its stinging even less.

I know I am where I’m meant to be. I mean, what kind of job would allow me to trek down to Harpo Studios and then write about it, or to create a Faith the Talking CFO video on a whim, or to tweet daily with people from around the world, or to use my personal experiences to teach people about accessibility and disabilities in a non-lecture-y way. What job would allow me to write for and interact with a loyal readership or give me the opportunity to meet, online and in-person, the people I have had the pleasure of meeting. And to do all of this with technology that I can use from the comforts of my own home, without the hassle of a daily commute. I know of no such job existing in the National Occupation Code.

My challenge is to find the right combination of skills and talents to create a reliable and steady income source (or sources) to completely remove that sting and then some! I still firmly believe this is possible.

Comment by Lorelle

December 31, 2009 @ 11:18 am

I don’t know about removing the “sting” my friend. Sometimes, it’s when the bees are chasing us that we run the fastest and do our best to escape. You could have ended up with a dead-end, go nowhere, boring job pushing papers in a filing room. You could have been shoved in a closed office to hide your bobble head while you work.

Instead you are visible. You are out there. You are getting in people’s faces and showing them that you are powerful, strong, faithful, committed, determined, and no one to mess around with.

You are a leader, not a follower, and I know that if you are really looking for a company to represent (not them representing you), you will find it. If not, why not create your own?

You have a powerful voice. I’m honored to be within your ken.

Comment by Maria

December 31, 2009 @ 11:34 am

Bravo and keep up the great work. You show ‘em!

Comment by Tina Brooks

December 31, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

Glenda, if WE aren’t your office co-workers, then I feel marginalized. :)

You would not be who you are today if that “sting” did not exist. It is the contrast in life that shows us which way to go. You are going the right way.

And as you can see by the others posting with me, we’re glad to be going the right way right alongside you.

Comment by Doug Smith

December 31, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

My father also had the same you condition you have. When he was laid off due to age discrimination he was never again able to find work. His handicap also played a role.

I applaud your gutsy effort and your spunk. Good things come to those who wait. I hope so anyway because I may now have dystonia. But today I’d say you gave me hope.

Comment by Brett Nordquist

January 9, 2010 @ 12:33 am

What an uplifting post! I loved every word of this. Those employers took the easy way out and hired “safe” which means they probably got fast typists who show up at 8 and leave at 5 and don’t give a damn about the business or products they sell once they are out of the office. Too bad for them. They blew it. Keep fighting. But you’ve already shown how foolish they were to pass on your enthusiasm and skills.

Comment by Liz

January 11, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

I’m rooting for you! And I feel sure you’ll get a kick-ass job soon! 8-) Congratulations on the book, by the way!

Comment by Loree

January 14, 2010 @ 6:32 am

Puff out your chest and roll proudly! You proved you don’t need them, but you are so right, they lost out on an amazing opportunity.
Thank you for all that you do Glenda!

Comment by Glenda

January 18, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

Thanks Loree and everyone!

One of Darrell’s friends recently commented how we’re lucky we get to stay home. He likely meant “stay home and do nothing”, which couldn’t be further from the truth. But, he’s correct in that we are lucky. What job exists that would permit both Darrell and I to do what we do and to touch lives in the way we do? The answer: probably none!

I’m almost there; I can almost taste it! Then all of the loser employers can eat my dust! ;)

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