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I have a love of life. Some may call me a cynic but I'm truly an optimistic realist. I work on the philosophy “If you expect the worst but aim for the best, you'll land somewhere that's comfortable.”

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26 November 2012

Employment Wanted

I'm not normally one for self pity, however, weather it's the winter blues or just a collapse in self-belief I don't know.

I've started a new drive to find employment. I've taken the fact I'm blind out of my CV, so that can't go against me. But, I'm still getting nowhere, I know there's something silly like 100+ candidates going for every job that's advertised – it just seems like the world doesn't want me to work at this time.

I'm not one for giving up easily. When you've been out of education for seven years and no “employment history” it does make you regret a few choices. The first being, leaving school at sixteen thinking that you'd have an equal chance in the employment market as any other sixteen-year-old.

Well why did you do it if you regret it? Because, firstly I didn't know I was going to regret it then or I'd not of done it. Secondly, at the time, I was coming home from school to telephone interviews. My thinking at the time was If I'm getting Telephone Interviews just now, it's only a case of time before I get a face-to-face interview – and I did. I had the grand total of five in the first two years.

Since these I've had nothing other than a self induced sense of narcissistic self belief and ability. Now, it's got to the point where the match sticks that hold up this large ego are flexing and showing their weakness. It is scary for someone like me to get to the point where they are questioning their genuine position in life and my abilities. Will I let these flexing slithers of wood break? Of course not, I'll ignore the bending and splintering and carry on with life pricking myself on the splinters every now and again to remind me that they are still there.

What can I do? Give up? Doing this serves no other purpose except declaring myself a failure. Becoming one of the people in life that I dislike, the leaches of society that don't try (even if it is futile). Some may say trying is never futile, if you don't try you're name can't even be on the table to be considered. When your name is on just about every recruiter's desk (so it seems) trying feels like an effort filled step too far.

Why not go back to education and make yourself more appealing to recruiters? This is simple, I don't know what I want to do – other than, something. You're not going to become a drifter are you? Not intentionally anyway, I want to work doing something.

When you consider that around seventy-five percent of blind people are unemployed it gives you very little belief that the wall will ever fall. It's easy to say, “people won't give me a job because I'm blind and they have a stereotypical view of me because of my impairment.” but only one percent of registered blind people are totally blind.

To summate, I feel like I'm in a canyon and keep popping my head over the lip to find I'm still in a desert. But, I keep marching on, catching myself upon rocks every so often in hope I'll find an oasis – with the obligatory mirages on the way.

17 November 2012

Road Safety - Why's The Driver The Scape-goat?

Why are there laws for drivers/riders but not pedestrians?

It is a driver's duty to keep an eye out for people crossing; children playing at the side of the road and other road users.

If two (or more) vehicles crash, the police look for fault to make the right person pay for the crime if one's been committed.

But, if a person is knocked down because they weren't paying “due care and attention” (providing they don't die) aren't convicted. If a person sustains injuries because of poor clothing choices, they're not liable to the same rules as a driver would be if they were to drive with no lights on. If a cyclist cycles with headphones on and riders right over a junctions with no change in speed to allow for something unexpected to pop out; they're not punished.

My point is, why should it be all up to drivers? We are responsible for our own actions, if you choose to wear dark clothes it's your problem if you get hit by a car at night. Humans have variable levels of vision but none are known to have infra red capability. The driver my not have physical injuries after a collision but most will suffer some sort of psychological impact. Where is justice for them? Intension of causing injury isn't there but a lack of duty of care to the driver's mental well-being has been missed.

If a driver sadly dies but is at fault, they're not convicted. Why shouldn't this apply to a pedestrian? Maybe, just maybe, if pedestrians were accountable for their own actions – people would take more care crossing roads, in their choices of clothing and overall behaviour around roads.

My suggestions might seem mad, but if we are all tide by laws that make us take more care, surely this will make roads safer for all users?

If you have a ship controlled by a blind person and another my a sighted person, what one is at fault if they collide. The weather is perfect, both vessels are in top working order and there's no mitigating circumstances other than, one ship has no eyes looking out?

Exactly, the one with eyes looking for risk factors.

But, the sighted captained doesn't know there's nobody looking out.

If there was a sighted person looking out on both vessels, then they could both take actions – change course or speed to avoid the incident.

My point isn't about blind people not being in control of sea going craft but, two alert people can make changes to their behaviours to avoid an incident.

Coming Out - Advice/Story Not For Everyone

An important thing about coming out is, it is different for everyone but there will be similarities for us all!

1) Unless you're ready to come out, don't even try it!

2) Once you are ready, make sure you could survive with nobody. It's unlikely to happen, but it does. I always say prepare for the worse hope for the best and you'll land somewhere in between. It's hard to loose people at anytime of your life. However, it's not as bad if you expect it.

When I came out, I did it in a sneaky way. I told my sister knowing she'd tell my mum. In turn who would tell my dad. This is how it went. When my dad and I were in the car going to a football match (soccer) he asked me about it. At 70 mph going along the motorway there's not too many options for escape, I did the grown up thing and denied it and said it must have been a figment of my mum's imagination. He took this and said no more.

A few weeks, maybe months after I e-mailed him explaining it all. At first he was scared for me, unsure where that left his identity and our relationship.

I reassured him that I was the same person, still thought he was a knob like any child thinks of their parents and happy to take his money:).

I wont deny, it also took a lot of hard work for both of us to restore our relationship. But it was never the same. Not because there was an elephant in the room but because there were no more secrets. I've been lucky, very lucky, coming out has brought my dad and I closer. Our relationship is better by far than what it was in the past.

  1. Telling people, make sure that you're in control of how fast people find out.
If you know somebody will open their mouth by accident or not, don't tell them! Start with the one person that will never leave you until you die, yourself. Tell yourself that you're Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. See how it feels when you call yourself this.

  1. Tell your family first. But who do I tell first? If you know you're family well, choose the person who will react the worst. This sounds really backward, they'll freakout, go nuts tell nobody. But with any luck it will make a bad feeling between you that others will pick up on. When people ask 'what's wrong?”, that's your chance to tell them. You want the bad feeling from the other person, so the unknowing person will be inclined to automatically sympathise with you. Once you tell them, it will be harder emotionally for that person to be against you, unless they're homophobic in the first place. If this goes as planned you've then got a team mate! Tell the Next person, and the next and the next.

5) Ultimately it's your life, live it as you see fit. As long as it's not illegal and your safe. Let people judge. It doesn't mean you have to accept their verdict.

If anyone says this way is bad and so are the mind games that are invovled, please take not of the title before putting it down.