Today I had what I call a panic attack (disclaimer: this may or may not be what the medical profession terms a panic attack – I have no idea).

After getting home from work I had a lie down for a nap. I was woken by a call from an agency regarding an engineering job. The initial pitch was of an 'all-rounder' job description, but I became fixated on the idea of customer liasing and cost estimations. It made me think of a management/sales role, which I have absolutely no interest in.

I wasn't however able to vocalise this to the rep, mostly because I didn't really comprehend how I felt. It took 10 minutes with extended periods of silence in order to thrash out just what the concern was. That involved going through what sort of job I actually wanted (I'm still not very clear myself on that one) and my actual chances based on my qualifications.

At the end of the call, I hung up in tears. This isn't the first time this has happened, although the last time was before Christmas. What was wierd was the setting seemed so innocuous and non-threatening. This was merely a query as to whether I was interested in the job and yet I fell apart. There are implications to this:

– This means it's far more likely to happen in actual interviews (indeed there is precedent for this, quoting one interviewer: "That was rather like pulling teeth.")

– This means that I'm unreliable in a pressure situation (such as, say, general business!)

– This means I am effectively unemployable in my chosen field.

– This means I'm going to be stuck here at home for the forseeable future (like a couple of years) while I work off my student debts the very long way.

– This means it's going to be a while before I have anything resembling a life.

It may sound extreme but that's how I think at times like this.

The ironic thing is, on reflection, the job doesn't seem particularly troubling (I mistook the customer-related part as implying overall management responibility), but that's assuming they'll even bother interviewing me (I haven't had so much as a reply to an application since Christmas).

I'm seriously starting to think that I've wasted the past 5 years or so.