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A&E's "The Employables"

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Judge, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I found this show by accident, just browsing through my cable tv's video-on-demand. It's a reality-based show where in each episode they chronicle the experience that two persons have in attempting to gain meaningful employment. One has Tourette's Syndrome while the other has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    At first it was kind of tough to watch this. My "Achilles Heel" was always the prospect of looking for work, and much worse the job interviews that went with it. But something intrigued me about the show, so I watched all four episodes with eight very real people with Tourettes and ASD.

    It is a tv show, and they made no secret that the production team assisted all the personnel assigned to help these people find a real job. This process also included some of their unsuccessful attempts, usually more related to mainstream jobs as opposed to work that best reflected their real talents. And yes, the applicants would eventually get a shot at those select jobs that might take full advantage of their real skills that were not usually evident with interviews involving more mainstream employment.

    Part of the cast was not merely the job seekers, but also clinical and occupational psychologists helping them to understand how to make the most of the skills that they had, and weren't completely aware of relative to the job market. While much of this was orchestrated to accommodate a television production, one thing remained very real. That all of the applicants not only held onto those specialized jobs that best reflected what they were best at, but also that they were excelling in them. :cool:

    I suppose what I liked the most about this production is the consistent emphasis by medical professionals in how important our skillsets may be to very specific jobs. Though our reality isn't likely to include a television production earnestly assisting us to find work. Still, I found the show to be refreshing in showing real people on the spectrum and those with Tourettes.

    I guess the most important thing isn't for each and every Neurotypical to be exposed to this, but rather each and every employer looking for applicants with very narrow sets of skills the average person isn't likely to have. That despite how we may seem or appear in an interview, it doesn't diminish what we really have to offer.

    The Employables Full Episodes, Video & More | A&E
     
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  2. H-Kath

    H-Kath Active Member

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    I think I'll watch it. I'm curious if there's something that could be adapted to help people get around the social aspect of job seeking and into roles they'll do well in.
     
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  3. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Smarter than the Average Bear V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, it's based on the UK series Employable Me. Which aired a few years ago. There was 2 series. There first series focused on just people with Tourette's Syndrome and Asperger's Syndrome/Autism. Then they opened it up to other disabilities and it aired in other countries with localised versions in Canada and Australia.

    One of the guys on the first series Paul Stevenson, who I've got to know through the Tourette's community and is a friend of mine on Facebook now, said that the programme didn't help him get employment but he wholeheartedly believes in Nancy Doyle and Genius Within. I think what he was getting at was that the programme is a bit smoke and mirrors. It's a bit of a performance for the cameras, people are getting employment because they're there more so rather than because they're qualified for the jobs in question. I think anyway.

    Might be wrong but that's what I sort of remember him saying.

    So it's feel good programming.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Point taken. -Casting considerations. Whether or not these people were pre-screened not only by the producers, but also by the medical staff of occupational and clinical psychologists. If they were hand-picked in such a way it would likely increase the possibility of them being hired in such specialized capacities. That could well be. Another thing to consider is whether or not the eight persons have a "manuscripted" employment contract developed between both the television producers and the employers themselves. One that any other prospective employee may not have.

    And we don't really know what the true ratio might be to those eight persons who were cast who achieved employment, versus those who didn't. Somehow I doubt this sort of production was able to achieve a hundred percent success rate. And of course, not everyone that applies for being in a television production can necessarily take direction successfully. This much is true.

    Though despite the potential skepticism, this remains competitive reality television. That they can go only so far in crafting the outcome of each episode. Otherwise it would amount to a hoax, and a media scandal that would extend to the network, and not merely at the level of the producers. Something corporate sponsors would likely negatively react to. Ultimately we cannot say where such media orchestration ends, and reality begins.

    However I'd like to think that the most important consideration is whether or not these people remain on the job in good standing as the show stated. There has to be some point in time in which the employer has sufficient control to keep them or terminate them. And I don't see many employers in the private sector willing to keep much of anyone on the payroll beyond the terms of their employment contract just to sustain a media hoax. I guess time will tell as to whether their employment was genuine as implied.
     
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  5. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is off point but I don't know how to post a link to start a new post, so I'm mentioning here that
    there is an article in today's New York Times written by Michele C. Hollow titled "What's So Funny About Autism". It is about the HBO documentary series "On Tour with Asperger's Are Us", and the fact that people on the spectrum can have wonderful senses of humor and are comedy writers.

    I know firsthand how hilarious autistic people can be and frequently read some really funny comments on this forum. Maybe someone here smarter than I can figure out how to post the article? I subscribe to the NYT online but think anyone can access it for free for a couple of days. Check it out!
     
  6. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not really off point when you consider "the Employables" projects one thing in particular. That you just have to see these people relaxed and focused to see how their talent- and humor can come out beyond how they appear or how they carry themselves socially.

    It really got my attention to see how much better these people could do when they weren't faced with the usual social stresses of interacting with another in a weighted job interview. Something I can very much relate to. And how their symptoms declined when they were able to discuss and relate to things that amounted to special interests relative to the job in particular. An amazing transformation to witness in real-time.

    Though there's a big catch in all of this. Not all of us are going to magically score in the 98th percentile of tests administered by occupational and clinical psychologists as was the case in this television show. Not all of us are creative artists, or excel in pattern recognition. In this respect the production may again be creating its own "Rain Man" stereotype to some degree. So I'll be interested to see what the next episodes project as well.

    Sadly there remains the logistical reality that for most of us, we are simply never going to have or find the support of an entire production company with a staff of psychologists who specialize in placing certain people in specialized job capacities. That for the most part we are simply left at the mercy of a job market which in most cases is likely to reject us for mainstream employment. Yet this in itself at least gives us a sort of "road map" to focus on specifically seeking jobs not in the mainstream. Something for many of us to think about, at least rather than to agonize in perpetually being turned down for an interview or steady employment.

    It's just something close to my heart, given a lifetime of having a terrible track record at seeking a job, while not having much difficulty maintaining the job in the long term as an employee.
     
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  7. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've seen that transformation from shy, hesitant, scared-to-talk ASD students to relaxed, happy-to-be-there students who contribute greatly to everyone's successful learning in classes. When someone becomes relaxed and feels accepted, all kinds of amazing things can happen. Most "social rules" are baloney, anyway, but are expected by most NTs in job interviews and as part of job performance. The world is a sadder and diminished place when everyone has to be "plain vanilla" to get by and cannot be their true selves.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It just hurt to see people with such anxiety have to endure this process when it was so easy to circumvent and discover that they had so much more to offer. A traditional job interview just doesn't normally accomplish that.

    So all the employer sees is an uptight person who looks and acts outside that mainstream "vanilla packaging" that employers seem to depend upon.

    The best job interview I ever had occurred because I wasn't aware that it was a formal interview. I simply was going to listen to a branch manager of an insurance company and what he could tell me about insurance, as it was something I discovered while attending a job counseling program through UCB. It was easy. Though had I known I really was being interviewed I probably would have done terribly. :oops:

    A week later I was offered a job as an insurance rater. Later to be promoted into underwriting, which was always my goal. Though sadly over the years the job became less about underwriting and far more about marketing. A people skill I never really had.

    At least this show is exposing the public to real people with Tourettes and ASD. So they can see our real life struggles on a day-to-day basis. Something one never really walks away with having seen some Hollywood-created stereotype.
     
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  9. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Heard about this. Disability employment is something we need more of. Hope this show brings attention to what we, as Autistics, can do.
     
  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's providing publicity over the basics. That such people have a near impossible time of getting a job, while they still have something very much to offer. Provided prospective employers are willing to give them a chance.

    In this instance I think the show can do a great service, provided anyone is listening. Television programming tends to be a fleeting process...so there's not telling how long such a show might be aired.