All this was done passively, that is, I didn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary (like fill out grueling applications and fake a resume) to get these positions.
One day I received an email stating that I had been chosen for the Yelp Elite Squad. I didn’t know such a thing existed. This is actually a bigger deal than you might think. Why? Because now, my reviews carry more weight. I’m considered a credible and honest reviewer. I have reviewed “hospitals” and clinics. My reviews of MGH and Walden came up near or at the top of the pack. I plan to keep on doing this. The facilities can’t take down my reviews! Of course I have been sprinkling in some reviews of restaurants, grocery stores, and other businesses of interest.
I also received an email invitation about a blogging job. I never thought such a thing would happen since most of the time I have to go through all kinds of hoops (only to be ignored or turned down). I’ll be writing mostly on ECT. I am waiting to find out the guidelines so I can start.
The third is a journalism position. I’ll be writing local stories of interest. This will involve extensive “field research” prior to writing each article. I will be interviewing people and traveling places (on my days off), most of which I can get to by bus. I’m meeting some people this afternoon and possibly doing an interview.
Although none of these are paid positions, all of them further my career and boost my credibility. Credibility has been a crucial issue ever since the 2011 MGH incident. Many people (online) did not believe me, and I continue to get these accusations that what I say happened was “impossible.” (Of course! Not possible that cops could possibly break the law!) If any of you saw the commentary in the Globe you may have noticed the typical attitude I have had to deal with online. That is about how I was treated on Facebook, mostly by complete strangers, called psychotic, called paranoid, called disordered, and they had never met me and never spoken to me.
What has resulted is that I have a constant urge to go overboard proving myself, because I am so afraid of not being believed. I have to be careful and not do this at work. It is a matter of having a little self-restraint and doing a decent acting job.
If the boss says so, agree (and keep your fingers crossed behind your back)! I have my sly ways of getting my point across without sounding too much on the defensive. For instance, a supervisor gave me what I am sure were the wrong instructions yesterday. I asked her to override something but instead, she had me filling out a form. I knew I had to be careful and not argue. I told her that in the past things had been done differently, since I know all the other supervisors do the override. This one told me that this was the way things had always been done. I said nothing, thanked her and told her I would do as she said. I filled out a form for the customer. I did this with the sinking feeling that the form would be sent back with a note saying “Wrong department” or “Go look at the procedures because you are doing this wrong.” So I wrote right on the form that the supervisor (without naming her) had instructed me to fill out this form. This, of course, covers my butt. The worst thing that could happen would be that the form will be ineffective and I will have to do it all again. If that happens, I’d be calling the supervisors, getting one that knows how to do the override, and getting the customer the refund she deserves.
I’m guessing that this kind of thing is typical of just about every workplace. I have slowed down the applications for a second job at this point because I need time to do the writing jobs.
I’m awfully happy about how things are going. I am gaining a voice in the community, not a “marginalized voice” that is a euphemism for tokenism, but a real voice just like anyone else.
This is the way it should be for everyone, but it isn’t. Of course there are plenty of groups that claim they’re marginalized (middle aged white men…) but I see little basis for their claims. I never wanted to be shouting from some remote ghetto for unwanteds. I would rather be welcomed just like anyone else. It looks like that is just what is happening.