Employment

A couple of months ago I made the decision to quit my job for the sake of my health. Due to the fear of not knowing what would happen in the next few months it was a very hard decision to make but, in hindsight, it was the right move for me.

There were a few factors that went into me making the decision that I did but had I been employed somewhere more understanding things might have been different. The job that I had was the same as when I first scored in the spectrum so it has been my only experience of what it is like to be employed by managers who have knowledge of what’s happening in my life. The first manager appeared to have no understanding of what it meant to be on the spectrum and just carried on as normal, which I was happy with as working there wasn’t exactly hard and I had a lot of shifts in charge so I could get on with my work, but he also was a little ignorant in the matter. When I told him I had been put on the waiting list for assessment his response was ‘everyone is a little bit autistic’, I would be here for hours ranting about how much I hate phrases like that so I’ll leave that for another post.

My second manager was a whole different ballgame. Due to moving location I transferred with my job as well and I made the manager aware of my situation before I was even offered the transfer so that there would be complete transparency about it. She was completely understanding and told me about someone close to her also being on the spectrum and this gave me hope of working with someone who might understand more the way that I work and my thought processes. I could not have been more wrong. I was constantly suffering with sensory overload by being given 15+ hours on top of my contracted 30 every week. I was belittled in front of other staff in the staff room, told I was rude and insensitive and was told that I irritated her. I was made to feel completely worthless, paranoid and on edge all the time and I got to a breaking point were I couldn’t face going back into work, I couldn’t face another shift not knowing what I was going to be yelled at for next. I do admit that I feel a little like I took a cowards way out by going to the drs, getting medication and going on sick from work but, at this point, I had no confidence or fight left in me. I spent my time looking into if it was viable for me to never have to go back and I, luckily, discovered it was and so I handed in my resignation letter and never went back. I can’t describe how brilliant the feeling was walking out of there knowing I would never have to be subjected to treatment like that again.

But then the worries of the future set in. I’m not someone who can just sit around all day, I need to be doing something. Temporarily I can manage as I have my house still to sort, a load of ideas for writing to do and other little jobs. In the long run I want to get back into work but worry about ending up in another workplace we’re there is no understanding about autism and how it affects people day-to-day, I worry about the rigidity if having shifts again and having to go into work mid-meltdown and I worry about going downhill again due to the constant sensory overload I tend to get when in a workplace.

For the moment I’m trying to concentrate on the here and now, I have my assessment coming up that I hope will finally lead to an official diagnosis, which in turn will lead to support with my everyday living.

It would be interesting to know if anyone else has had workplace problems due to their autism or the opposite, has anyone found employment somewhere that is understanding and helpful?

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Author: AdultsWithAustism

I decided I wanted to do something positive with my life and speak out about what it feels like to be an adult with autism.

2 thoughts on “Employment”

  1. Great post! I must have repeated the failed experiment of neurotypical employment over a dozen times before finally realizing that it was my autism, and not a personal failing, that kept me from being successful. Learning to hold myself to my own standard and not a neurotypical one remains a work in progress. Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, knowledge is such a powerful thing and the lady doing my assessment said something so simple but profound. She told me to find a job to fit around me rather than fitting around a job.

      Like

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