Ever since I was introduced to the social website ‘Reddit’, this has opened my eyes to things that I knew were true but, actually reading it in the website just confirms my belief in those of us who are diagnosed as autistic. Those of us on the spectrum already have to deal with difficulty of living an every day life let alone, having other people piling on the problems we try to avoid. One of my main rallying cries for all of us on the spectrum has been the abuse we take from our own employers. We’re not talking about the customers here, I’ve referring to our co-workers. This may not apply to everyone with autism but, many of us grew up being teased and bullied with no reason why. If we had some true physical deformity then I would understand the cruel teasing these people get but, if we look like everyone else in appearance without saying anything, most wouldn’t think much about it – that’s not the case. After turning 50, I have had enough. Let me share with you some comments that are being made on Reddit about job abuse because of our disability. I elected to remove the names of these people for their own personal privacy.
I’m pretty sure I just lost my job because “I don’t show enough initiative”, but do my job properly and the way I’m supposed to.
So, I’m diagnosed with ASD and like many of us do, I too have problems with human interactions, but I try my best.. I work at a warehouse where I put together orders and ship them out (underwear & socks). I’ve been working there since January 13th and have done everything I was supposed to, the only thing I don’t do is “interact” with my coworkers a lot because I don’t know what to talk about .. I do however answer their questions and talk to them when I’m being talked to so I’m not impolite in that way.
Today, a coworker wanted to talk to me and said that I’m not showing enough initiative and therefor I’m not exactly a “fit” for that job.. apparently I don’t offer enough help when I should and so on.. (mind you, I do my daily orders, then prepare for the next day – our day ends at 4:30pm and I usually finish putting together tomorrows orders by 4:15pm) … I’ve done exactly what I’ve been told, I’ve helped out, I’ve offered help, but have always been told they don’t need it.
What irritates me the most is that when I put together my next days orders… they’re watching sports on one of the computers in the office or doing crosswords, sudokus – basically just sitting there, doing nothing.
I might not be the most talkative person and not the most “fun” person to be around, but I do my job the way I’m supposed to and have only needed help once because of the holidays and the amount of orders I had (needed help with 5 small orders, but did 32 myself).
I basically hate myself right now, I hate the diagnosis.. I hate my life and I hate ASD and I hate the day I started that job, especially because I LEFT my last job for that one.
UPDATE: I lost my job, I’m being compensated for 2 weeks, but apparently my boss believed my coworkers over me and when I politely tried to stand up for myself (in a very polite, calm manner) I was told I’m being rude and going against their values… our boss isn’t the kind of person you can reason with so I just agreed with the compensation. Tomorrow’s gonna be fun (last day), considering not speaking to my coworkers at all, while I’m there.
Thanks, this means a lot to me.. I did have a moment where I felt like it was my fault, but after I spoke to my boss I realised that this thing was doomed from the start. I think it’s more personal the more I think about it.. they never even seemed like they needed help as they sat in the office more than I had the chance to, watched sports on the tv while I was preparing for the next day and finished up 15 min before the day was done, they were solving crosswords and sudoku and somehow me not showing enough initiative turned out to be a problem. I’ve accepted that loss and I’ll just try to find a job that’s better suited for my character next time.
12 points·9 hours ago
Thank you, Idk why they didn’t go about it the right way. We don’t have a manager per say, we have a “boss” who’s also the owner of the company and my coworker lied about how my boss isn’t happy with me either and has been monitoring the cameras and has noticed that I’m not helping enough.. what a load of bs.
21 points·9 hours ago·edited 9 hours ago
Oh, I feel sorry for you and I know how it feels, because this happened to me with the only job I ever had thus far.
I was working at a call centre asking people to take part in surveys. I was appalled just how much typos I saw in the questionnaires and manuals and how illogical the questions were. Anyway, I did my job, even if I secretly dreamed no one would agree to answer those dumb questions. However, since I told my superior about the illogical questions (people I spoke to kept asking why am I asking those questions), she told me it’s not her fault and that ‘a team works on these questionnaires’ and so it is all verified and there cannot be any mistakes.
Eventually, some person I spoke to made fun of me, but I tried to wrench those answers from him anyway, because nobody agreed to talk to me. I was disciplined for that, since I put the company in disrepute by talking to him. I was then asked ten times in a row do I understand that it was not a good interview. When my superior told me the company values quality, I chuckled, and so she pressed me to tell whether I agree with that, but I just started speaking of those typos and illogical questions. That was that for the time, I was asked to present evidence, I did collect a lot of material, all the typos etc., but was afraid to tell her… I waited until I was asked to, but she never asked. At the time I didn’t understand, what have I done wrong.
Then one morning I was asked to talk to a head of department or something like that and I was once again asked again and again, didn’t I realise that man was mocking me. I had no idea what to say, because they kept asking again and again. Then I mentioned the typos and was told to do my job instead of being a know it all, basically. And then, since very few people consented to answer my questions (like, I talked to people in the middle of the day, who are working and asked them to take part in the survey that would take 15 minutes — why should they have agreed?) , I was told that I need Emotional Intelligence and to be talkative (I am not) and even though I asked, what did I do wrong, I was just told I should learn from others and I am making the climate in the workplace bad, that I had ‘a row’ with my superior (what isn’t true) and I lack the right attitude — after being basically bullied by them, I agreed to leave.
3 points·8 hours ago
Hey, I have been in almost this exact situation. I have never been able to play workplace social politics and it SUCKS. Especially in these kinds of jobs where workers are just seen as cogs in the machine, it often all depends on who likes who the most. I didn’t get fired, I actually quit on the spot because I was being jerked around so much. I was told that if I did x y and z I would be promoted to a certain position, only to come in and find the least competent employee promoted to that exact position because the owner liked her. My manager came up with some seriously BS reasons for why I wasn’t pulling my weight when in fact I worked twice as hard as anyone else there.
Basically, I’m willing to bet that these people are threatened by your competence. They see you as being aloof and trying to show them up. So they have to do things to bring you down to their level, including getting you fired.
For me, quitting was the best possible thing I could have done. I was in panic-mode for a while but in my next job, my boss actually appreciated my strong work ethic and encouraged me to do things on my own initiative. There were no social games. I was not expected to ‘participate’ in everything.
The most important thing for you to do is find a job where you are valued for who you are. Some people are going to value your skills and other people are not. You need to keep looking until you find the people who get you, because they ARE out there. Don’t feel like you have to be stuck with the status quo.
2 points·8 hours ago
I left my last job over something kind of similar. I’d been there for over a year and was next in line in seniority to take over the “Senior Staff” position when the old one left. Instead, they reached out to an employee who had quit a few months before and hired her back.
When they broke it to me, they said their reason was that I’m “too nervous” when talking to people (which has been a thing for me my whole life), even though they’d never once indicated it was a problem before that. I went home immediately that day so I didn’t have a meltdown and handed in my two weeks the day I returned. The employee they gave the position to ended up quitting again within like two months and I got a better job with much better hours and benefits.
I know it’s not exactly the same, but I guess my point is that it could open up the doors for a much better job for you that you’d be more comfortable at. I also think you’d have a very strong case for unemployment, so definitely look into that.
2 points·2 hours ago
Similar thing happened to me too, op.
I left a job that I had for two years to go work at another place. The new, “better” job was a disaster. It was a local small business, and it was single handedly the most disorganized place I’ve ever worked.
They had a whole long list of customers who supposedly hadn’t paid them, which they made me call almost daily to try and get payment. Well I had gotten through my list one day and there was no other work, so I decided to start organizing their filing cabinet. Lo and behold, I found receipts of payment from nearly half of the customers on their list – some from over a year prior.
After that, there was almost no work for me to do. I would get my duties done within my first hour or so of work, and then be sitting by myself at a desk in a supplies room for the other seven. I passed my time by browsing the internet and such, and other employees (whose jobs had absolutely NOTHING to do with mine btw) got mad/jealous and reported me.
I got fired after only two months of working there – for “being lazy”. All while the only other girl I worked with never got anything done, shopped for cars online all day, and would go on rides to “pick up lunch” while still on the clock. Her cousin was our manager though. 🙂
Anyways, I just basically wanted you to know that things will get better from here. It took me six months, but I finally found another job, and a way better one too. By a long shot. My year anniversary with this company is next week, and they could not be more amazing to work for.
I feel that you’re in store for something similar. My advice is to try not to take this to heart like I did. It sounds like we both just worked for idiots. I felt really bad about myself after my termination (still do sometimes), but I’ve been promoted twice already at my new job, and they encourage me every step of the way. I’m told constantly now that I’m a great worker, and that they appreciate me.
Things will be okay. You will find a company soon who truly values you and all of your strengths. Keep your head held high. 🙂
I apologize. I know that was quite a bit to read but the sad part is this only just a small tip of a huge iceberg that I feel isn’t being addressed. Some of the issues are that it’s tough to ‘prove’ their has been discrimination by the employer based on the disability. If there is proof, very few lawyers don’t like trying to take on these cases. We have a right to work a job, to live a life! Yes, I did write a book about my own experience that all of these other people went through themselves. My aim here is not to simply sell more books…my aim to get the word out!!! No one seems to want to listen to us! And others don’t believe this is really happening. I’ve decided to come up with a hashtag acronym that needs to be shared to as many social media networks as possible. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, NEXT MONTH IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH AND NO ONE SEEMS TO BE PAYING ATTENTION!!!
#BACKSTAB – Bullied Autistic Citizens Knowingly Seek Tolerance Amid Bosses.
I will tell you that my Weirdo 2.0 ebook will be on sale starting March 26th and wrapping up on April 2nd, just in time for World Autism Awareness Day. This will be available in US and UK. https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B083G1P5B3&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FBwCEb8A9MCWH&tag=mobile0663b9c-20
I will be happy to read any and everyone’s stories. If you want, I can organize everyone’s stories into a book with you getting complete credit for the material.