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Featured I figured some things out about myself, and now I have new problems....

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by CDove, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. CDove

    CDove Active Member

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    ...but isn't that just the way?

    I'm middle-aged and have struggled in the USA South my whole life. I am a software developer who does well in very tech-oriented jobs, but poorly when programmers are treated like engineers and technicians and neurotypicals with business degrees control the workflow. This means I do well with other nerds, but poorly in corporate environments.

    Unfortunately, my job has become more and more corporate. The "hide from people and work on a computer all day doing logic problems" appeal is fading. I do well in new jobs, but I don't have staying power. I don't sportsball, I don't watercooler, and it has always hurt me. My teenage son was diagnosed an Aspie when he was 5, and as he has grown and followed the patterns that I did as a child with frightening accuracy, I came to realize, perhaps my issues have come from me being an aspie as well. I was seeing a shrink at one time, but she seemed hesitant to test; she feared that a medical diagnosis of a disability would be more harmful to my career than simply attempting to medicate the symptoms. (I now assume that was really an excuse to prescribe.)

    Still, she made a valid point. I took the test. My AQ is 40. Working from home has been the best thing that ever happened to me and the pandemic did me a favor there, but I was fired today over a situation where poor communication and a lack of goal structure on an important case caused issues for me for which i got little support. The result was a performance termination, which I now have come to understand as being a problem many people on the spectrum deal with. But as I said to her point, now I have to be able to state this issue. I need to be able to say, in a new interview, "I have an autism spectrum disorder, and require goals and instructions be clear in planning, or I can get stuck out in the weeds on a project."

    I have to say that both to set their expectation and to set up the legal wall of "you can't make hiring/firing decisions over this". However, I have to say it and somehow still be hired?

    Who else has run into this sort of problem? How do you cope? How can I afford to go get a piece of paper saying "yup, dude is autistic" in a nation with no free healthcare for the unemployed? How can I present myself in interviews in a way that doesn't set me up to fail after about a year, or do I need to look at other forms of work entirely?
     
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  2. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    If you can't get an autistic diagnosis without it becoming some kind of permanent mark on your record, don't do it. You don't need to disclose your history to anyone. Not employers or interviewers or coworkers.
     
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  3. CDove

    CDove Active Member

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    I agree, I mean, it's illegal to force someone to disclose a disability in the USA. However, if I don't disclose it, then the issues I have in the workplace with open, no-wall spaces or aggressive, team environments or fuzzy, nebulous goals don't have any excuse and come off as incompetence or laziness. That's my catch-22, and from what I'm reading, a lot of people's catch-22.
     
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  4. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I wish I had some joy for you but experience indicates otherwise.

    The "excuse" won't matter. My experience in the corporate workplace is that they are not going to change the workplace for you nor is anyone going to react to you differently because you're ASD-1. They aren't going to put up walls or quiet the office or tone down the aggressive coworkers or put in concrete objectives. They do not have to provide accommodation for you. I don't believe that autism counts as a disability under the ADA.

    Again, 40 years of employment has taught me 1) learn to mask, 2) learn to cope with the stress, 3) figure out ways to isolate from the more obnoxious elements, 4) Keep looking and be ready to change jobs in a heartbeat if something better comes along, 5) save your pennies in case you get canned.
     
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  5. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member

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    Damned if you do, damned if you dont. Self employment is standard advice but i didnt get told that till i was old.
     
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  6. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Or put your slant on the termination and explain there were never clear requests presented with a timeline. I don't think this is the first time this has happened.
    Say you need clearly outlined goals and deadlines for you to be productive. Some companies want the tech expert leading because only layman run the company and they need this. Other companies may have a tech feel but maybe out of touch with what is possible.
     
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  7. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process
     
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  8. Rexi

    Rexi uwu owo uwu SlightlyFilterless Atheist Science=<3 V.I.P Member

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    Im gonna try part time jobs from now on, even though id be willing to do full time because I really need the money, I don't think that people can handle me and I cannot function to my best capabilities for that long.
     
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  9. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    My last job, people just acted normal. My new job, people are pulling all kinds of stunts and acting stupid. But l made a very nice gratuity and received a compliment.
     
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  10. Rexi

    Rexi uwu owo uwu SlightlyFilterless Atheist Science=<3 V.I.P Member

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    I wish there were jobs for autistic people but then again only diagnosed ones could probably attend.

    There's been a job with ppl who have disabilities to make cardboard boxes but Im not sure if theyd accept a normal seeming person with social anxiety undiagnosed.
     
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  11. Jumpback

    Jumpback Well-Known Member

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    It is difficult to be sort of a minority without actually being a minority.

    I don’t know what the answer is.
     
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  12. Statest16

    Statest16 Member

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    I don't see a diagnosis as being part of a permanent record,who would know about it?
    What exactly do you need the DX for,how will that benefit you?
    I'm slightly confused at to what your specifically asking about?
     
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  13. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    So relatable. I’m still hoping to find a job someday where keeping to myself and quietly doing my work is something my colleagues and boss applaud me for instead of ostracizing me.
     
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  14. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    An official diagnosis (assuming you have confidence in it) settles a lot of questions about why you are the way you are. That, right there, is extremely important. Sure, you can attempt to self diagnose but people lie to themselves all the time without realizing it. Doesn't often work well. A diagnosis closes off many unproductive tracks one could wander down and has predictive value for the future.

    If you have any kind of health care, your employer has access to your medical records. They can use that as a basis for hiring, promotion, or firing. There is no protection for autism under the ADA. Ergo, never get your diagnosis in a manner that can be tracked.

    They can even hire and fire based on your behavior off the clock even if it doesn't impact your work. Smoking, drinking, risky recreational activity, even political activity. Not many employers have gone that far but it has happened.
     
  15. CDove

    CDove Active Member

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    Got some misinformation here. Having health benefits does *not* give the employer access to your medical records due to HIPAA protections. Also, while ASD is not covered by the ADA explicitly, many this which are symptomatic of ASD (learning, ability to function in a workplaces, etc) *are* covered which is why having a diagnosis with specifics from a healthcare professional is important. While a company might do all they can to get rid of you or refuse you if they don't like the burden, they do not have a choice about making adjustments unless they can prove it causes notable loss of functionality for the business to do so. If they do not comply, your first call should be to your local ACLU.

    Also, its true in most states that you can be fired for just about any reason, although political alignment is considered protected status. You can't be fired for supporting BLM, for instance, but if you go to a protest that turns into a riot and commit a crime, you can be fired for the crime.

    Unfortunately, the legal remedy for these being violated is usually to force the company to re-hire you with back pay. Imagine you were dumped by a partner and then the law came in and forced them to take you back; awkward for everyone and no fun for anybody. However, it does get you some paychecks, so I'm trying to ensure that I have access to any and all legal protections I can touch, and that means diagnosis and details. However, while unemployed, I don't think health departments do that.....
     
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  16. Statest16

    Statest16 Member

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    Good to know,I never knew all that,I always worked jobs with no insurance and have been on SSDI since 2010 so I' out of touch with the modern workforce.Best of luck with your situation,wish I had advice that could help.
     
  17. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Most major corporations have medical departments or outsource it to a company that runs interference for them. So while your immediate boss does not have access to your specific diagnosis, you can bet that people in the medical dept. and the company's insurance company does. While your sup/boss/manager won't get the specific diagnosis, they'll know something is "special" about you.

    Your company may be different but the telecom I worked for will fight any accommodation tooth and nail.

    Ironically I came to count on a 4 figure "bonus" every couple of years from a suit filed against the company. They'd violate the law. Someone would get POed and quit and file a suit because the union was worthless. I'd get a check for all the times my check was shorted or I was forced to work off the clock or FMLA was denied to everyone who requested it or some other labor law malfeasance.

    Suits were always filed by a disgruntled former employee as the union refused to act on it. Because the union is the official agent for the employees, it is a Herculean task for a curent employee to bypass them if they refuse to act. And of course, most don't have unions and therefore no job protection.

    Two years later and the physical accommodations that had been won by lawsuit and unwillingly approved by medical still hadn't been installed. That was about the time I retired.

    I won't even get into the times I worked in highly classified areas. HIPPA or no HIPPA, you got no secrets.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  18. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Yup, ain't no more secrets anymore, anywhere. The word "secret" probably will fall out of use due to databases.
     
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  19. Statest16

    Statest16 Member

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    Do to privacy and HIPPA,can the insurance and medical dept. talk to your boss about your history.Could they be sued for doing that
     
  20. kettenkrad

    kettenkrad Member

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    No, you don't need to say that. You just need to say "I require goals and instructions be clear in planning, or I can get stuck out in the weeds on a project." And not the ASD part. Don't over-communicate!
     
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