I'm a 25-year-old college grad with a severe physical impairment (cerebral palsy) looking for a legitimate, flexible, decent-paying home-based job, and I could use some guidance and direction.
A few months ago I finally decided to start looking for work taking my disability into account. I hadn't done that until then because my disability has no effect on my mental capacity; it only affects my stamina to some degree, not to mention my employment options in general--I cannot drive and therefore must work from home (at least for the foreseeable future).
In addition to a few freelance opportunities I've been involved with since I graduated from college two years ago, I've recently completed a seasonal commitment with Alpine Access, the well-known call outsourcing firm, taking calls for 1-800-FLOWERS. At first I thought I had found the perfect job, but a couple of weeks into it, I slowly realized it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Due to my disability, I just couldn't make my body move quickly enough to get up to Alpine's suggested standards, and I found it almost impossible to think, type, and speak all at once, while time was of the essence.
Before I was trained for the FLOWERS position, I had been in touch with a company called J. Lodge, a call analysis firm. I found their site through some disability page, because J. Lodge prefers to hire disabled employees. J. Lodge contacted me in late November, about 5-6 weeks after I had sent in my resume. The woman I spoke with about being an analyst immediately picked up on my technological expertise (I love computers), and the conversation quickly shifted to the idea of me being a technical support rep for a cable Internet provider J. Lodge apparently works with. At the time, it looked like something I would enjoy and excel at. About a week later, someone else called me and asked me lots of questions about my technological knowledge and expertise, saying that the man in charge of hiring reps would soon be in touch. He never called.
Working with Alpine Access, however, has helped me see that a position as a tech rep wouldn't have worked. Because of my disability, as I said, I can't speak, type, and think under pressure all at once.
That said, I think something like J. Lodge's call analysis would probably be ideal for me, since the calls are recorded and therefore analyzed after the fact. Something also tells me scheduling would be more flexible, perhaps quota-based, especially because J. Lodge prefers to hire disabled employees and would therefore most likely understand my limitations at least somewhat more than Alpine. Working as an agent has helped me see that I can't work any more than 3-4 hours at a time without needing to recharge a bit (an hour or two); with Alpine I would very frequently work 5 hours at once (one day I worked 6 hours), with only a 10-minute paid break thrown in there somewhere.
The bad thing about J. Lodge, as you may be able to see, is that they don't seem to be very good about keeping in touch with people. I recently submitted a new copy of my cover letter and resume and left a message with the human resources department, but still no contact.
Having said all that, has anyone dealt (whether positively or negatively) with J. Lodge? Does anybody know of similar companies providing home-based call monitoring and analysis services? I'm having my doubts about J. Lodge, no matter how good they look on paper and the Web.
Any other tips or job ideas most welcome.