Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Mayor's Advisory Council
As many of you know, I haven't been able to find a job since my position was eliminated in March of 2008. After I returned to my career in the hospitality industry I became increasingly frustrated by the fact that I could no longer perform my responsibilities the way I had before the accident. Yes, I could still do my job, but it was no longer emotionally, mentally, or physically rewarding. Essentially, as a result of my physical limitations, I couldn't do the part of my job that I enjoyed. While my employer would never admit this, I believe that my value as the Director of Operations was diminished by my physical limitations. It's a safe bet that this impacted the decision to eliminate the Director of Operations position at my property. (The point I'm trying to make is that if I still had the ability to lead the staff in the physical way that I had before I lost my legs then my position would have been too valuable to the operation to eliminate.)
Living with a disability has opened my eyes to a whole new world. It makes it very hard to deal with the petty complaints that a manager in the hospitality industry has to address. After my position was eliminated I made a decision to look for work that would be related to helping others with disabilities. Of course, my job search was interrupted by the surgery, infections, and additional surgeries last summer. Once my recovery was well underway I started looking for work again, but our economy has not helped. I'm able to survive (barely) on the Social Security Disability that I receive each month, so I'm focusing on networking in the hopes that the right job will surface. The Mayor's Advisory Council would give me an opportunity to help people and network at the same time.
When I heard about the vacancy on the Council I applied to be a member, and went through an interview process in November. I hadn't heard anything since then and decided that they had chosen someone else to fill the vacancy. However, at the beginning of March, I received a letter from the Mayor's office informing me that I had been appointed to the Advisory Council! I have attended two meetings so far and have enjoyed meeting the other council members. We have several goals for the year, and I will be part of a subcommittee that has been tasked with developing a disability awareness training video that will air on the local government access channel. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this new path will take me!
Love from warm and stormy Virginia Beach,