So, I got the job!
What was I worrying about in previous posts when I was convinced I’d be discriminated against due to my disability? Was it all in my head? Was it paranoia and a crushing lack of self confidence or is my success due to a combination of being right for the job and the employer being genuinely non discriminatory?
I will never really know but when I look back to the day of the interview I can’t help cringing!
I turned up, nerves jangling, in plenty of time to park in the special place reserved for me, the threat of suddenly needing a wee and being miles away from the toilet a constant black cloud above my head.
The lady came to meet me in the car park and, naturally, someone else was parked in my space. She was so kind and hurtled back up to the office to organise another space which turned out to be a fair walk, for me, across the car park. As I got out of my car I knew it had been a mistake not to use my scooter but a combination of
vanity and assurances from HR that there was only a small amount of walking involved made me decide to walk.
I made it into the lift and leant heavily against the wall while we travelled up to the 4th floor. My legs had gone to jelly due to nerves and I was having trouble remaining upright. When we got out of the lift I announced in dismay, “I’m going to need a chair” The 2 members of staff present fell over themselves to get me one and came back with a reassuringly sturdy office chair on wheels. I slumped into it, vaguely aware that I now needed a wee and was going to have to get to a toilet pretty quickly!
The nice HR lady said, “why don’t I just wheel you in on this so you don’t have to worry about walking?”
Suddenly I could hear, “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah resonating loudly in my head as I gratefully accepted! She wheeled me into the ladies and I couldn’t help making a joke about first impressions being important! She told me about her son who has Cerebral Palsy and how she’s used to last minute improvisations and didn’t seem to be phased by my lack of mobility.
Then she wheeled me past HR and into the first interview room where I had half an hour to complete a written task as part of my interview. This all went OK but the room was stifling so did nothing to improve my shaky legs! She returned after half an hour and dragged me to the room where the formal interview and presentation was taking place. This all went well too until the end when my bladder started protesting at all the excitement so one of the interviewers wheeled me to the loo again! Mortifying does not do justice to describing how this felt!
Anyway, not only did I get the job but I’ve also been offered a permanent contract at an accessible office with a parking space. Due to my extensive experience and the fact I’ve worked there before HR have also recommended to the director that I be paid the same salary I was on when I left which is considerably more than the advertised salary!
Take that MS!