Beacon Brags

From Hopelessness to Happiness – Mark’s Employment Journey

From Hopelessness to Happiness – Mark’s Employment Journey

My name is Mark. I am a very shy, sensitive, idealistic, artistic and creative person. I enjoy old movies from the 40s and 50s, as well as big band, folk, and classical music. I was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1971 and I moved to Tucson in the summer of 1988.

I have autism spectrum disorder. It affects my ability to communicate and interact with people in the workplace. It has been quite a while since I have been employed. In October of 2019, I left my job as a bus washer and I have not had employment until coming to Beacon Group.

My tendency, for the duration of my career journey, has been to be terrified of interactions between myself and

employers, supervisors, co-workers, and anyone I would come in contact with on the job. Potential conflicts, misunderstandings, disagreements, annoyances, and irritations would present themselves before my mind’s eye. Day after day, these visions of disaster would take an emotional and psychological toll on me, consequently leading me to quit whatever employment I had at the time. Then I would avoid work for a good length of time out of a depressing fear and despair, believing that I was doomed to experience the same thing all over again.

As far as jobs go, I have delivered newspapers, bagged groceries, had entry-level experiences in plumbing and carpentry, prepared products for delivery in the shipping department of a windows/doors manufacturing facility, assisted an arborist in her work of lawn and tree care, and washed busses for a tour bus company.

My practical experience with Beacon Group began in the latter part of February of 2021. I started working at Beacon on the production floor, participating in various assignments, which included putting together first aid kits, assembling cables, testing Pulse Protects® brake lights, creating solid rivets, packaging energy saving articles for Tucson Electric Power, producing presentation binders, and placing medical supplies in plastic containers.

After my experience on the production floor, I spent a week working as a receptionist at the front desk answering, screening, and forwarding phone calls and providing service and information to Beacon Group customers.

Presently, I am happily situated in the accounting department working with spreadsheets and numbers while learning to maneuver Excel sheets and documents. My typical workday starts out at 8:00 AM and ends at 12:00 PM. I spend my time reviewing the daily employee attendance sheets as well as the computerized timesheets, looking for discrepancies or missing details and reconciling them. I find the task very enjoyable.

Right now, I am looking for a job and I would love to work for Beacon Group or somewhere else. When I heard about opportunities for an official job with Beacon I jumped at the chance because my experience here has been so positive and helpful to me as far as learning to have a more optimistic attitude about work. The employment specialists, supervisors, job coaches, and people served by Beacon have helped to make my time here truly rehabilitative and restorative to such an extent that I very much believe I will carry this experience in my heart for the rest of my life.

Beacon Group has helped me to be more courageous as well as comfortable working with and around people. I have learned to be less apprehensive and more optimistic about my day-to-day interactions.

My best quality when it comes to work is my desire to complete any task that is required of me in as friendly, competent, and satisfactory a way as possible. Beacon Group has given me the tools I needed in order to make this desire a long-term reality. It is something I will keep in my heart all my life. Thank you, Beacon!

Click here for more information about skills training and Beacon’s Work Adjustment Training Program.

Please consider making a donation in honor of Mark’s success.

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