Brown Bagging It (part 2) – The Long Awaited Interview

Part 2 – The Interview

In Part 1, I discussed Mental Illness and Work and Mental Illness in the Workplace.  Also, discussed was my experience reentering the workplace (in 2005) after many, many years of illness – mental illness.


So I had my polished resume in hand and now I was prepared for the next step.  This was comparable to waiting at the bus stop…for the bus.

How times have changed compared to years gone by.  I’m ageing myself, but way back when, the procedure in my city entailed catching the bus downtown to Manpower on a Monday morning and scouring their job boards.  Once an enticing ad placed on a recipe sized card was found, you presented it to the recruiter who in turn would with any luck forward your name along to the prospective employer.  Nowadays, everything is so much easier; sending resume with cover letters via electronic mail.  Speaking of which, that was another aspect of the computer I had to get the handle on; e-mail and the cut/copy paste method.

I was essentially new at this job search, and concentrated my efforts on the personnel agencies and employment internet sites such as: and

Months of e-mailing, telephone calls and mainly waiting for ‘that call’, at last paid off. I received ‘that call’, but yet felt frozen facing an actual interview.  Years had passed since an interview was necessary of me, only that of doctors requesting information on my well being in hospital.

The actual interview:  I tried on seven different outfits; most didn’t fit due to an expanded waistline from weight gain over the years, but did find one suitable.  Arriving early and before even interviewed, I was whisked away to a small room with a computer designated for testing.  This was an “intelligence” test.    I felt extremely nervous from the get-go, and by question #36 I was losing interest.  The computer automatically scored it; I was unable to see my score, but surmised it not too well when kept waiting for the person I was scheduled to see.  Finally, I was brought into her office and she announced I did not pass the test (failed with flying colors), asked me a few questions, and in essence said my interviewing skills were weak.  I was not on top of the world that day.


Weeks went by, another agency called, passed the interview this time around (intelligence test included), however, they were acting on behalf of their client, and therefore another interview was mandatory from the client.  The agency suggested I practice my spiel as this was a sales/customer service position within the banking field, so that I did.  I met with this banking client, was exceptionally proud of myself at this interview, gave it everything I possibly had, and lo and behold I landed the job.  I was extremely energized – more than anyone could ever know; I felt a bona fide victory proving these bozo doctors (who said I would never work again) wrong. 

However, prior to beginning this position, it was compulsory to attend a two-week training session.  I considered this a breeze.  I was gravely mistaken.  My balloon was to become majorly deflated and I was about to land flat on my ass.

To be continued……..(see part 3)

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I am a Mental Health Advocate for mental illness Stigma. In 2007, I created the "Living in Stigma" blog, with the purpose and anticipation of educating people about mental illness. Depression is part of this illness, which intertwines with those struggling with PTSD, chronic pain, and other invisible illnesses. I am a chronic migraine sufferer myself, and a sexual and emotional abuse survivor. My passions are writing, poetry, and art. All abuse Survivors are also Warriors.

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