Tuesday, 29 January 2013

SIGHT IMPAIRMENTS Complicate EVERYTHING.

By high school graduation, almost every student has had some work experience. Unfortunately, nobody taught me how to find employment. As I wrote in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) never taught us such important skills.

As a result of this omission, I had no clue about how to look for a job. This excerpt from my newly released memoir demonstrates how helpless I was and how uninformed certain sighted people were about my dilemma.

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"You must get a job, Bruce," Sister Roberta admonished as we ate supper in Sister Eileen's kitchen one Wednesday in January of 1976. "Don't, you know the Bible says if a man will not work, he should not eat? The Bible speaks against sloth you know."

"How can I find a job? CNIB didn't teach me how to do that when I was in Toronto,"

"Oh," she blurted, suddenly realizing her indiscretion.

Sister Roberta's words nagged at me more and more as I wiled away the days in my room. When I called Mom one morning and poured out my conflicted feelings, she asked, "Why should you worry about that? You've got money coming in. People shouldn't expect you to work. After all, you're blind. How can you be expected to find a job?"

Even with her encouragement, I felt guilty as I lounged in my room while others laboured. Since I lacked skills or training, I decided to wait for a CNIB counselor to find me work. I expected this organization would soon place me in a position somewhere.

The phone rang one morning in late January. A CNIB counselor named Bob gave me the good news that I would be employed as a dishwasher in the cafeteria at the Alberta legislature. As I gazed into the bathroom mirror while brushing my teeth, I realized that I needed to tidy up my appearance. That afternoon, I rode the bus downtown. At a barber school, I had my long hair cut and my scrawny beard shaved off.

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I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.