Nine to Five
Youth Media Group correspondent Gina Lu joins the world of work
So here I am.
I've finally reached a point that many disabled people dream about. What am I talking about you may ask? I'm talking about working. After nine years in primary education, seven years in secondary, two FAS courses, four years in two colleges and obtaining a Degree as a result.... I got employment.
At least 40 CVs had been sent out in the space of a year; I got my first response to attend an interview in November. A week after the interview I got a call to say I was successful and asked when I could start. The call came just a day after I turned 30 years old. So needless to say it was the best birthday present I could have received. The position I'm in is Programme Assistant. In this particular programme, I input data which is collected from schools and parents about students/children in disadvantaged areas.
It's a programme which is run to help children from the ages of 0-13 to develop academically and socially. I started my first day in December (about three weeks after the call) which was pretty nice because I knew that if I got tired quickly in the job, I would say to myself, "Christmas holidays are soon, yay!" The first few days were taken at a steady pace. I was given tasks to complete which weren't over the top. Settling in wasn't too hard because I find that when you meet someone who knows someone you know, it's easy to get on with people which is what happened me in this position.
From an accessibility standpoint the premises has received high points in my books. On my first week I was working on the first floor which is where the programme I'm involved in is located. By the end of the first week the elevator I used broke down and on my second week unfortunately had to be located to the ground floor. Now, I say 'Unfortunately' but I use the word loosely because I know it's not the worst thing in the world, but I had formed a bond with my colleagues in my first week. However, I guess it's best because it is safer. Plus, the office door I was coming in, didn't have a low keyhole for me to lock the door if I was the last person to leave.
There was also difficulty with lunchtimes as regards which places would be accessible to eat in and also close enough to work. There was a case of trial and error on the first few days but I finally found a place to eat that was close to work, decent prices and the wheelchair bathroom is 90% accessible.
I just finished my fourth week at work and it can only get better from here on up...