My single weirdest encounter was with a person who saw dead people. She saw auras around her visitors, and even spoke to a ghost while I was in the room. Again, it didn't matter if I believed her, if the psychologist believed her, or if an actual ghost magically appeared and wrote her a stunning letter of recommendation on the spot. It wasn't my place to do anything except determine what they could do, find work for them, and maybe get them some kind of life back. And I did -- ghost girl had computer skills and now works in customer service. Maybe not the most exciting way a Sixth Sense sequel could play out, but I'm counting it as a win.
You Can Change People's Lives
To be clear, I'm not a social worker. My job is only to evaluate people for employment. And yet I still ended up having to get some people out of bad home situations, if only because no one else seemed to bother. I had one guy, an ex-football player, now paralyzed, who lived on a couch with no privacy in a two-bedroom apartment with half a dozen family members. That interview took about nine hours with all the interruptions. His younger siblings, I found out, regularly pulled "pranks" like loosening his bed so it would collapse or pulling out his catheter and colostomy hoses so he'd piss all over the place. His family didn't tend to him at all -- he'd sit there and starve until his nurse arrived. We got him moved into a care facility, and he worked from there answering phones in customer service. Customer service may not be the most glamorous job, but it's not a literal shithole, so there's another win.
Phone customers can get angry, but at least they can't screw with your bathroom gear through a headset.
One man tested at a third-grade level and lived in a very rural area. Yet the guy was well-known in his little town for fixing friends' and families' farm equipment, cars, or anything mechanical. He'd even built himself his own ATV out of lawnmower parts.
Meanwhile, half of you reading this couldn't start one without a YouTube tutorial.
He was a backwoods MacGyver, so I found him a job working ten hours a week at an auto shop. When I last checked up on him, he was enrolled in a tech school and getting his own mechanic's license. I see signs for his very own little repair shop whenever I'm in the area.
Another guy was interested in selling insurance, but he was blind and had no training. I got him a job bagging at a supermarket, which isn't the worst job in the world, but a far cry from his dream. Then, about a year and a half ago, I got a knock on my door. It was a door-to-door life insurance salesman ... who was blind. Yep, same guy. He remembered my voice and told me his story. He used that bagging job to save up some money, got his license, and was now making a good living in his dream job. Why that was selling insurance is anybody's guess, but hey, it takes all kinds of folks to make the world go 'round.
Kevin is now dealing with his early-onset Alzheimer's, and you can visit his GoFundMe page to help out. Follow Ryan on Twitter for stuff cut from this article and other things no one should see. Details about the cases featured here have been altered to protect clients' privacy.
Zoroastrianism used to be one of the biggest religions in the world, but their idea of heaven had a slight twist on it: to get there you'd have to cross a bridge. Sometimes rickety, sometimes wide and sturdy, if you fell off you'd go to the House of Lies for eternity. Fun! Not terrifying at all! This month, Jack, Dan, and Michael along with comedians Casey Jane Ellison and Ramin Nazer as they discuss their favorite afterlife scenarios from movies, sci-fi and lesser-known religions. Get your tickets here and we'll see you on the other side of the bridge!
For more insider perspectives, check out 6 Lessons I Learned At A Home For Mentally Disabled Adults and 5 Brutal Reasons 75% Of Special Ed Teachers Quit.
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