By Ted Dieck | Recruiter’s View - Employment Scene | Feb 20, 2010

They made me see a psychiatrist yesterday. I honestly didn’t think I was acting any stranger than usual, but the people I was with said I should talk to him.

So I did.

We had an appointment in the evening, around seven o’clock. And we were there more or less on time. Everything was quiet. Very pleasant, actually.  

When we went in, they didn’t tell me he was a psychiatrist. So, I didn’t know. I was just sitting, doing nothing when he showed up on my left. Tall, professional. Simply dressed. White shirt and tie. No jacket. Completely calm. Reassuring.

He introduced himself as Patrick and made some small talk. Totally disarming.

He had a quiet, accepting style that made me feel like it was OK to share important details of my life.

Finally, he turned to me, locked in his total attention, and asked me directly and simply what I wanted.

It was incredible. For once, I felt like I was talking to someone who actually cared about what mattered to me.

So I told him I wanted the ten ounce filet.

He said that was good and encouraged me to tell him more.

I said make it medium with mushrooms, asparagus and mashed potatoes.

He actually said, “I have the power to do that.”

He didn’t ask me how I felt about my mother. He didn’t delve into my family history.

He just said, “OK.” And I believed him.

I don’t know if it was his professionalism. It could have been the way he talked, or maybe a certain authority. But I just knew everything was going to turn out alright.

And, indeed, it did. One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.

We continued talking later, and Patrick shared stories from his life.

He said he doesn’t plan to continue working in a restaurant. Recently, he graduated with a degree in psychiatry. But there are no jobs. So, for now, he’s waiting on tables for a living.

I’ve seen this condition many times before. Most young college grads are having a tough time right now.

As a recruiter, I couldn’t help giving him my card. We made arrangements for a follow up visit.

It’s possible I can help him, no psychoanalysis required:

Unemployment makes you crazy.