Career Opportunities

Now that this one has completely dried up, I have to think of options. The simplest option would be to let myself get hit by a bus in Nairobi (likely on most days anyway), but the costs and logistics of getting the body for cremation would be an immense burden on my family. Just not fair, as tempting as it is.

So that’s out.

Having not much to work with, I’m considering a few possibilities. Some might argue that I have options given my degrees and all, but without a social network to support it, it isn’t much use, aside from the general failures of this career which haunt me. Moreover, my mental issues prevent me from doing much that requires long term commitment, let alone produce anything of quality. My putrid character prevents me from working in groups. Not being able to look at email makes things even harder.

So, one has to think of what to do.

As I am 47, my options are limited. Going back to school is out. I can’t really remember anything anymore, and the time commitment would be too much given the small amount of time that’s left in my life. Granted, some people do both, but it can’t be easy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, fortunately, provides data on employment numbers, sector growth and average wages. This is quite useful when making plans of what to do upon a move back to the US.

As I know how to drive, taxi driver might be an option. At $12.53 an hour and $26,070 a year on average, it is a possibility. Retail work is about the same. The average wage is $12.67 and the yearly income $26,340. Construction is a bit better, $17.57 an hour and $36,500 a year. I can’t really think of any other options. Food service would get me about $9.16 an hour.

These three possibilities are not without their problems for me. Taxi driving companies are probably not hiring, and to get into Uber I would need a car, which I don’t have and can’t afford. Retail requires that I be nice to people, which is difficult for me since I’m depressed and unpleasant. The problems with construction should be obvious. I’m too old anymore. No one would hire me. Food service pays poorly but it might be my best bet.

So the employment outlook is pretty bleak. I could go back to teaching adjunct, but that would mean that I make half as much as a person working retail, which would make it impossible for me to live and pay my other expenses. I would be better off on welfare.

One might ask why I don’t start looking for jobs related to my skills. Well, when one can’t look at email, one has a really hard time getting work.

I know a lot of this is crazy because I know I’m crazy, but there’s not much to be done about it since it doesn’t appear that it’s going away any time soon. Some people say that one is only crazy if one doesn’t realize it, but that’s nonsense. Most people with mental issues are fully aware of them.  It sucks. It’s a living hell. The awful shit you do to other people when you’re like this just makes it all that much worse.

I don’t write this expecting that anyone feel any sympathy at all because it’s my fight and no one else’s. Some days are better than others and any time I get an instrument in my hand, it leaves me temporarily. Some people self medicate with alcohol and drugs, I play the shamisen. Seems a bit healthier. At least its more fun.

Food service it is.

Please don’t email me with any offers of help. Though appreciated, I don’t look at email anymore so it won’t get to me.

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About Pete Larson

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Nagasaki University Institute for Tropical Medicine
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