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Issues at work

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Reirei, Apr 14, 2019.

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  1. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    I've been experiencing issues at work. It's going to be a bit hard to explain because I work in a small field and want to hopefully stay anonymous.

    At my place of employment only one supervisor and the director know about my disgnosis. That supervisor had previously suggested that I have a meeting with human resources. He helped me send the initial email back in January.

    No follow up. Then I somehow managed to send an email asking about follow up (very brave for me) and then they did set up a meeting with me.

    Unfortunately, the meeting was very unproductive. I asked what resources they have that could benefit me and she essentially told me that "that is not how it works". I can apply for reasonable accommodation to items listed specifically in my "essential duties". She emailed me a copy of these after the meeting.

    The essential functions are vague and not all encompassing so I am having great difficulty determining what applies to my issues. Additionally, for things that are not covered in the essential functions, based on what she said, I can't apply for reasonable accommodations and there is 1 job duty in particular that is not listed but is a large portion of the job. Finally, I am fairly introspective but a lot of my issues, I don't know how to resolve or what to suggest as a reasonable accommodation.

    I did talk to my therapist and we will be going over the essential functions in our next session.

    But I have a few thoughts/questions/commentary on this whole situation:

    1) Does anyone else want help, ask for help and then find it's up to you to essentially help yourself?
    2) Has anyone else had similar experiences?
    3) How were these experiences handled?
    4) Did you get through it?
    5) How?

    Lastly, some of the issues I dont think can be resolved with reasonable accommodations but maybe just finding a process that works for me? one example is an issue with hyperfocusing on 1 aspect ofomy job and then missing other steps in the process.

    Please help!
     
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  2. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    One issue is my job has a severe lack of routine but there is no way to instill a routine.
     
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  3. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    What country are you in @Reirei ?
    That's highly relevant to advice we can give you because your local laws may play a big part in any answer.
     
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  4. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    I live in the United States.
     
  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Ouch.

    I get the impression your employer really doesn't have a clue as to how to go about accommodating you, or whether they even want to make the effort. Sounds pretty ominous if they truly gave you the impression of what you posted, stating- "That's not how it works".

    But then having ASD without any established disabilities puts one in quite a "grey area" when it comes to employment in the US.

    Is this a small business without any corporate charter?

    The thing is, there's no telling how many of us really do have highly dynamic jobs that can be horrendously challenging at times. Where an employer may honestly not know how to alter the job without diminishing assigned duties that everyone employed in the same capacity is expected to contend with. While still trying to be fair not only to you, but to others doing the same or similar work.

    Unless you have a specific and formal disability their recourse on accommodating you may be quite limited as opposed to other countries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  6. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    I don't know if there is a corporate charter or not but I do know that it is not considered a small company since it has more than 100 employees.
     
  7. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    As @Judge said - "Ouch"

    If you were in the UK you'd have the law completely on your side along with state programmes that can assist your employer's with associated costs.

    Are you a member of a union?
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    This is the sort of thing that sadly greatly contrasts with the laws and sentiments of other nations and legal jurisdictions. In the present US work and legal climate, personally I'd be highly reticent to mentioning being on the spectrum of autism, unless I already had some formal recognition of a disability that does or may impact my ability to do a job. Where one might look to protection under the American Disabilities Act.

    Basic physical labor concerns (office ergonomics) can often be accommodated, but that's relative to workers compensation concerns for employers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  9. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    Honestly, the only reason I initially mentioned it to my supervisor was because I found out his wife works for AUSM (Autism Society of Minnesota) and I got really excited about it and I hadn't considered any repercussions. Then he told me later that he disclosed it to the director and he thought I could benefit from a meeting with HR. After talking it over with my therapist, we decided that I would pursue a meeting with HR because I do have struggles related to my Autism despite being high functioning.

    I am part of a union (I pay the dues at least) but because I'm still in a training program I don't have full benefits or protections. The training program is 2 years and we change which trainer we follow every 2 months so that's added to my issues I believe. The 2 year training program is a good timeframe in general for the position but constantly switching trainers is not. I am about 3/4 through the training program and at the end of it there is a large amount of testing that I need to pass to be considered competent and so I really want to try and get help knowing that my struggles have continued so it wasn't necessarily a bad thing that my supervisor shared the information unless I don't actually get any support.
     
  10. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Eventually having union support might offer you some leverage. At least that's something. Though I suspect they probably have no firm policies pertinent to forms of autism relative to the workplace. But you can always ask.

    Frankly in the present legal environment I suspect you have very little recourse to fall back on. Though I know what it's like to work at a job for a very long time and always feel like you're over your head. Where nothing is routine on a daily basis. It's rough. A job (commercial insurance underwriting) and career I eventually quit. Truth is, I couldn't see any realistic way for them to mitigate such a job to accommodate me anyways. Though it was at a time when I had no idea that I might be on the spectrum.
     
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  11. Reirei

    Reirei Dragonair is debonair.

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    What did you do after you quit?
     
  12. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Went to vocational school and became a website designer for a few years. A job that turned out to be far more compatible for me. Though high-tech can potentially be every bit as dynamic as other such jobs.

    Not to mention a significant number of other people I worked with at a Silicon Valley software entertainment company seemed to be on the spectrum as well. :cool:

    Though my work experience over the years has taught me how critical it can be to find a job that is more likely to fit in with one's neurology. Never a guarantee that you can get such a job, but it's always worth considering in foresight.

    I've always wondered over the years what it's like for those few who make a decent living at a job that hardly ever changes. One with little required social contact. Must be nice! o_O
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  13. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    I didn't ask for accomodations at work, but my autism became an issue after 10 years with the company when I made a mistake (in their eyes) due to my autistic honesty.

    It took over a year to iron it out but when I came back, accomodations were offered and I took the opportunity.
    I no longer have a phone so people have to either email me or speak to me face to face.
    Although I am still in an open plan office I am in a corner well away from everyone else and screens will be put in place to give me some privacy.
    I can wear headphones all day long and play ambient sounds, white noise or music, depending on my mood and what I'm doing.
    All those help, but the following are the ones that have made the most difference:
    Learning. I have had to learn a lot of new skills to do the job I've been assigned and I have been allowed to learn my own way and at my own pace (fast!). No corporate training or classrooms, just me and the internet. Bliss.
    No chain of management. I report directly to the Head of CRM. No team leaders or middle managers in between to mix things up or cast their own interpretations on anything. Double bliss.
    Trust. I'm not kept at arms length anymore. They are making use of my honesty, integrity and dislike of gossip by putting a hell of a lot of trust in me. As a result I'm delivering good work which gets results and solves problems. Triple bliss with cream and chocolate sauce!
    In the UK a refusal to accommodate can land the employer in very hot water (if the employee chooses to pursue it) but it took a hell of a fight to get to where we are now.

    My reason for describing this to you @Reirei is purely to give you ideas of what might help you at work that may, or may not, impinge on your duties. Any one of the changes I mentioned would have made a big difference to me, but to have them all has completely changed my working experience. I don't dread work any more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Wow. :cool:
     
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