Would you consider me handicapped?

merrily said:

Very true. But make sure you get that note from the student med center saying you can tak euntimes tests…Each year I have a student or two who needs to take untimes exams for one reason or another. As long as they have the paperwork I have no problems.

On a different note, Thea, have you ever considered only applying to jobs that do not have a quota for something that requires speed? For someone with a dexterity problem I’d think being a dealer at a casino would be a veritable hell!

merrily, I have in fact completed a semester of school in the massage therapy program at a local community college. The skills testing was really more of a formality than anything. I am now into my second (and final) semester. All I have to do is pass the national exam and get my license…
And, oh, God, sales. I actually temped at a department store years back and kind of enjoyed it. Anything straight commission is out of the question, though. I’ve never been much of one for the kind of hustle it would take to make a living on straight commission. Right now, I’m thinking my best bet would be to get a job at a bookstore or video store, bookstore preferred. Something that would be student-friendly. Since right now I have some tax refund money due to me, I really don’t need to be earning enough to make a living, just enough to help make the money I do have last until I find a job as a massage therapist.

Philosophr, yes I have more than considered looking for work that does not require “speed quotas”, but most of them (aside from department store sales, which I haven’t tried for yet, but may soon) require a level of education or training I simply don’t have, and since I am going to school for a profession, getting that training would be pretty pointless since it would interfere with my current studies, and would only be seeking temporary employment until I found work in my field anyway. I only have a little over three months of school to go, so I’m thinking that the best thing to do might just be to hang on by my fingernails until I get the certificate.

Green Bean, if you could help me find one of those advocacy organizations, I’d appreciate it. Aside from the dexterity problem, I’m also, um, search engine challenged. I’m hoping that I can get in to see my doctor fairly soon (when you’re covered by the county, just getting an appointment can take weeks), and see if she’ll order me up a round of tests that can be done at UMC. Basically, I just need the documentation that would prove to a potential employer that I genuinely can’t work faster than I do.

hlanlee, for your information I did in fact volunteer at a nursing home for several months, until I was forced to give it up because of excruciating back pain, now doing much better thanks to a good physical therapist. So, yes I do know what total disability is. I didn’t start this thread to compare relative degrees of disability. I started it because I wanted to get a feel for whether a problem I have that limits my ability to obtain or retain employment but is basically invisible to a casual observer would be legitimately considered a handicap. Also, it is plain that you have not gotten over feeling sorry for yourself, or you would not have felt the need to jump into this thread and tear me a new one with your “Oh, you think you have problems…” post. So, shut the hell up.

Well, I’m going to go stir the ground-up rose petals I have cooking on the stove now. Rose petal bead rosaries. Now, how many people still know how to make those?

Bad analogy.

My bare eyeballs are legally blind but my glasses allow me to see 20/20 and even perform such visually demanding tasks as piloting an airplane. I know of no such device that would allow someone with poor/slow manual dexterity to perform at normal speeds. What Thea Logica is talking about is the equivalent of having bad eyesight and no access to eyeglasses, contacts, or what have you.

Thea, have you considered working as a receptionist? Good customer service skills are a must, but speed is not always an issue. You might try working through a temp agency like Kelly or Manpower or the like. They will, of course, test your job skills and find you don’t type quickly, but if you tell them you’re interested in reception work that may not be a problem. Many people do not care for receptionist work (I’m one of them) so in some places there is an active demand. Such an employer will also permit you work when available and will not hold it against you should you do something else for awhile - so if the massage therapy work comes slowly, in fits and starts, this might also help you round out your income.

Just a suggestion.

You might have dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder. Do a yahoo search on it and see if it sounds like you.

Hmmm… Interesting. From what I remember of my childhood, I seem to fit the profile for dyspraxia fairly well. A couple of other things I’ve thought of… when I’ve had physicals, I’ve had more than one doctor comment after tapping me below the knee with that little rubber mallet that my reflexes are slow. I also choke on my own saliva several times a day. My gastrocnemius and hamstring muscles are so tight that last week in my sports massage class, I volunteered to be the “demo model”, when the instructor wanted to show us some stretching techniques, she kicked me off the table in to find a more flexible student, which would be consistent with the muscle hypertonicity the articles described for Developmental Coordination Disorder (I have often joked that I am physically incapable of relaxing, and this also seems to fit the profile).

I overdid it physically while running errands yesterday, so I decided to skip my morning classes- couldn’t see my way clear to walk the mile from the end of the bus line to the tech center while carrying a heavy backpack when I was in pain. After I got enough mobility back to walk short distances, I hopped a bus downtown to take care of a bit of business that I was planning to do tomorrow afternoon, and while I was out, I bought a suitcase with wheels to tote my gear back and forth from school (there are a lot of shops just off Fremont street where you can get some fantastic deals). Then, having some time to kill, I dropped in at a casino I worked at briefly while in search of a “better job”, and found out they are looking for part time craps dealers, so I think I’m going to apply tomorrow after I get out of class. (This was where I learned the bitter lesson that you should never, ever quit a job you like to take one that pays more money. You will get burned every time.) There wasn’t the pressure to push the chips around quickly that I’ve found at other places, and some of my old coworkers are still working there, including a guy I broke in with, so this might be a good way to earn some money until I finish school. I actually enjoyed dealing craps (hated blackjack, and actually, the dexterity issue was more of an issue with blackjack than it was with craps). So, wish me luck. Hopefully, I can get in on swing a coupla nights a week.