Super Important Interviewer (SII): So, Sharon, as you know you are here today to be interviewed for post of Highly-Efficient-Super-Organised-Nearly-Perfect-Person. My first question is – Tell me about yourself.
Sharon Ross (SR): Well, I went to a very nice doctor last week and he said that my personality can be described by my frontal lobes. The doctor said my frontal lobes are not working properly because I have epilepsy. This means that I find processing, problem solving, decision making and planning very difficult. I have a poor short term. I also have a poor autobiographical memory – I can’t describe the details of holidays that I have been on or trips to the theatre. However, the doctor pointed out that the good news is, like most people with this condition -I have above average IQ and I am sociable. But I am depressed a lot so that doesn’t make me feel sociable and I’m not super intelligent I’m just higher than the average IQ. Of course, no-one can be described purely by their frontal lobes – I am a mother to three very beautiful children, I am a wife to the long-suffering Michael Ross, I am a sister, an in-law, and I have some very special friends. I am a committed Jew – although I am finding it difficult to understand why God would screw up my brain so fundamentally – and I live in the ‘ugly on the outside, beautiful on the inside’ town of Borehamwood.
SII: ‘ Erm, thank you Sharon. That was very honest of you.’ Can you tell me about your strengths and weaknesses?
SR: I will start with weaknesses – as I said there are many. Most people do not know this but when you are trying to organise your children’s lives it involves a lot of cognitive or executive functions such as planning and decision making. And these are things that I just can’t do, no matter how hard I try. If two of my children have to go to two different parties on the same day at different times I just can’t work it out. The algebraic equation that seems to happen quite naturally in someone else’s mind does just does not happen in mine. So in such a case I might ask my husband to work out if it is logistically possible for two (or three) different people to go to different parties at different locations and if it is possible how they will get there and get back. I simply cannot do the algebraic equation in my head to work this all out.
And my strengths – On the plus side I am very determined. My children always go to birthday parties, no matter what. Even if it is difficult for me to think through the logistics – I know it is important for them – so they go. Indeed according to my sister and brother who ‘commissioned’ a very uplifting word art picture for my 40th birthday apart from determined I am also resourceful, caring and want justice.
I can also write. I am writing a blog about my experiences at the moment which I have received good feedback from. I am also co-authoring a book about London City airport – the editor, my father, is very sympathetic towards my needs and likes my work.
SII: ‘Last question Sharon, – Why do you want this job?
SR: I would like this job for three reasons. Firstly I need routine. I haven’t had a routine for a very long time and I find it difficult to get into one. If I had a job I would have a routine. Secondly, I would like to be productive. Due to my deficiencies I very rarely feel productive and maybe this job would help me feel productive. And thirdly – I didn’t think that I would get this job but my blog has thus far purely been me wittering on about nothing – I wanted to spark it up a bit and thought this interview would do the trick.
SII: ‘Ok thank you for coming today’. I am sorry and I don’t usually do this at interview stage – but I am not giving you this job. This is for two reasons – firstly, your weaknesses are too vast – although I appreciate your candour. To be honest, I am not sure if you will ever be able to get a job. And secondly I have already got a candidate lined up who I want to give the job to – it’s company policy to have fair and open interviews. We are very keen on equality and diversity in this company. The person I want to give the job to has been working here on a temporary contract for six months and she’s very good.
SR: So we are both wasting each other’s time then?
SII: I guess so
SR: Well nice to meet you – thanks.
In other news
The interview in this blog was made up for the benefit of readers’ enjoyment however, it roughly parallels what a very well versed and Compassionate Professor of epilepsy at a top neurology hospital said to me this week when I went for my 99th(?) opinion (obviously he said it in a much nicer way). As I have said previous blogs although I did think that Very Important Doctor was correct when he said I had a dissociative disorder/ functional neurological disorder I did not think that cognitive behavioural therapy or antidepressants, which is what he suggested, would treat it. It wasn’t working so I decided to stop the therapy. I went for yet another (private) opinion and this professor said that although there was no clinical evidence (ie EEGs or MRIs) that indicated that I had frontal lobe epilepsy the symptoms that I described to him suggested that I almost certainly did. Compassionate Professor recommended a three stage treatment plan. Firstly I need more sleep – I feel drowsy a lot and he was the first doctor who has told me that I need more sleep. Secondly he recommended a different type of anti-epileptic medication – but he pointed out that the drugs won’t work unless I am having enough sleep. Finally he said that I need to go and see a neurorehabilitation unit – so that I can work out some strategies to deal with my condition – however at least six months ago I was referred to one by a different doctor but this referral has not yet come through. People that go to these units are usually those recovering from traumatic brain injury or a stroke. Really I just want the magic pill to take away the pain that I am feeling. Coming up with strategies to deal with my disorder seems too exhausting. But the nice compassionate doctor just said: ‘You’re intelligent. You’ll be able to work it out.’