Disability makes it difficult to find work. Jeremy Peeples, one of our freelance editors at CanIPlayThat took the time to share his Journey to Employment. A transcript of his video follows below, it has been edited only slightly for clarity and structure.
Howdy this is Jeremy with Can I Play That and I’m going to be doing the run through here, on my journey with employment and disability. With Can I Play That playing a big part and kind of mentally dealing with that.
About, oh gosh, 20 years ago we tried to get disability [benefits] and found out that my vision was just a little too good. So, with that being kind of a good thing in a way, because it meant okay I could, you know, I could see which is nice. The right eye is blind, the left eye I had repaired retina, and I never could drive, I was never part of the formula there. But you know it definitely got in the way of getting work and just getting to and from you know, interviews, job sites, things like that, and it really killed my confidence for a long time.
And went through taking care of my mother when she was passing from cancer. And when she finally passed in 2009 it was pretty scary. You know, beyond just seeing everything unfold… what to do? You know, on a cynical level not being able to get from A to B makes a lot of things harder, and she was not only my mother but she was my primary ride and stuff like that. So you know it made things a lot tougher. And it was pretty… pretty destructive for me. You know, not being able to drive and not being able to feel… like I deserved a job a lot of the time.
I’d put in applications and just get discouraged, and would do things like flex jobs and anything to do remote work. And nothing would work and it would just be you know constantly, okay hey you’re draining savings, you’re draining savings, you’re draining savings. And nothing felt like it was clicking and I felt really alone in this journey, because when you’re disabled it’s easy to become very isolated and especially when you can’t drive it’s even easier to get isolated, that’s not very good. Now luckily it’s an online world so you know it’s not as bad as it could be, but still does get, you know, pretty bad.
Josh sent me an email probably 10 years ago now. It was around the Xbox One launch, because the first game I ever covered for the site back when it was Dagersystem was Dead Rising 3. And fortunately by this point my head folks moved in after mom passed away and needed a place to stay, so I was able to get to GameStop to get the game that he had called to set up a gift card… was that a gift card for the game or? Somehow he paid for it.
And I thought wow that’s really, that’s really interesting you know, and it was kind of… it was pretty inspiring because I had never thought of that kind of problem solving before. Because we didn’t have any real contacts for review copies back then and I’ll never forget that. It’s a weird thing to remember but it’s always stuck with me with how much perseverance Josh has. It’s pretty inspiring and it’s helped me a lot.
Because I can always go okay I can’t do this, I can’t solve the problem this way but I can can solve it this way. And to try to find that back road to find a solution to something. And that’s come in handy, you know, in the years since in weird ways. Like taking care of my cats and all, and then you know, helping friends who feel wow and feel like they’re in rough spots, I go well you know I’ve been there and then luckily things worked out. And even with pro wrestling I can cite some of this stuff and go, hey you know things can get rough but they can also get better. And with the website now, it’s been this huge help.
Bringing more stability
Over the last few years it’s really grown and and it’s allowed for more stability, financially like a lot more. When you’re working in retail as I am now, I mean just Ubers are about 5 to $6,000 a year on top of a retail salary which ain’t exactly a lot, so it really gets to a point of okay this is pretty tough. And with the website it really cuts into that a lot. Especially a couple years ago when I was working from home a couple days a week I was finally able to save money on my own. Which is really cool. I think I only had to use money for a medical thing that kind of came up out of nowhere, and then last year’s medical stuff bleeding into this year kind of totally just wiped everything out this year.
Sharing accessibility learnings
But you know this site has been a pretty cool part of my life, something I can always cite and something I brought up to people when I’m on the sales floor. And I can talk to people and tell them you know hey you know if you need help with you know… I can see folks you know if they have arthritis and I’ve had customers who have visible hand deformities and I can bring up hey you know we don’t sell it here but you can get the accessibility controller for Xbox and PC and now Sony has one for the PlayStation as well. And I like having that in my mind thinking about accessibility more, and not thinking of it as something just for disabled people. You know regardless of what the disability is, it helps other people.
You know if you’re in a racing game, actually I’m covering Forza now, it’s the reason it’s on my mind. But that game series being a pioneer of racing lines helped me a lot with even just honestly with geometry in school I can just go, oh yeah here’s… you know I can apply the racing line mentality to you know a geometry problem. Go oh yeah, think of it like this, think of it like that. But it’s more visual. I could do that in high school with Crazy Taxi and it was a similar principle and then you know later on it became even better with that racing line. I could even go a little further with it and kind of put that into a visual mindset.
Growing as a writer
But being a part of this site has helped a lot and it’s something that’s allowed me to grow as a writer and kind of focus on okay, tightening up things and making sure that everything you know flows better. That’s helped everywhere, you know. Whether I’m writing for wrestling magazines or doing any other kind of writing. Even if I’m just summarizing something for a write up for the sales floor. Kind of going through, you know, I can instead of going with long explanations, there’s time for that at the end. But I just try to keep the body of everything a lot more concise but I’ve definitely been changed for the better with my time with the website and it’s been a really cool decade. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next one takes us. It’s definitely a cool journey. And it’s not something I expected.
It just goes to show that sometimes in life the unexpected can be trying, and it can also be very rewarding as well. Because we can get so much out of bonds you form and friendships that you build, and you can’t always predict that. It’s kind of cool, you know. Sometimes it’s fun. I remember when I was recovering from eye surgery I was going through a phase where I just could not help but feel like everything had to have a certain structure to it and it was kind of weird. And getting out of that mindset, which was also kind of cutting down the isolation of things really helped. And now whenever I kind of feel that old time you know, I kind of go back and I reminisce I’m like, well you know that was an interesting time but not really a great time.
Beyond giving me a lot more time to spend with the cats which wound up being pretty cool when they all made it to over 20, which is kind of weird. But I look forward to seeing where we’re going to go with the revamped site and seeing how we’re going to grow and make everything better, you know. For us, viewers, readers, and partners as well. Have a great day, bye!