American workplace generally anti-Aspie?

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Jayo
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28 Sep 2011, 6:37 am

I'm a Canadian Aspie who is highly successful in my field (IT & Science combined :) ) and am accepted by my co-workers, but had my rough and bumpy ride through workplace social intricacies & cliques in the past, and learned thru trial-and-error to improve in that realm.

However, I have the impression from other posters and some unfortunate stories that the US workplace is not so enlightened when it comes to accepting, let alone tolerating, those of us on the spectrum. This could well be b/c of the prevailing cultural mentality; I've read that about 60% of Americans are extroverts, 40% introverts - and those numbers are virtually inverted for Canadians. Then in countries like Germany, I'd wager it's about 70-75% introverts. Think about it: in the US, if somebody says "I'm in sales", it seems to carry more prestige and status than saying "I'm in science" - but in Germany, I can't see that being the case.

I've also noticed the pattern of US Aspies to be clustered around places like Boston, Northern California, Seattle & Portland, all the more enlightened places, no doubt b/c like the gays, they faced persecution in the more conservative areas of the country.

Same issue with workplace bullying...the US doesn't have the same propensity to intervene in this workplace cancer which further stifles worker initiative and productivity, and the Aspie tends to be on the receiving end of this behaviour quite frequently.

This is where I refer to the "SCAG" countries (my own acronym) - Sweden, Canada, Australia, and Germany - they are countries high on social justice, acceptance of eccentric or different people, enlightened, low on crime and pollution, and have legislation against workplace bullying. These are places where I find that an Aspie is more likely to be gainfully employed free of harassment.

What strikes me as a paradox about the US is that the values are everyone should stand up for themselves and overcome their own obstacles, including bullies in the workplace and the rather flippant approach "if you don't like it, stand up for yourself or find another job, nobody likes a whiner" BUT at one time they were all about "divided we stand, united we fall". Where the heck did that go?? Tyrants are not tolerated, but evidently not so when it comes to the workplace.

I only hope that the USA adopts the same accommodating mindset of Aspies as the SCAG countries, realizing what they have to offer, and that they represent one of the fastest-growing segments of Western society.



NowWhat
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28 Sep 2011, 7:48 am

I think what is missing in America is some system that can assess Aspies strengths/weaknesses and help individuals find careers they can be successful in. And help with social skills. My son is getting help with social skills through the school system. Nobody knew about AS when I was in school, and its hard to work on a problem when you don't know it exists.

America values financial success. More Aspie awareness showing success stories, the more accepted we will be.



Wayne
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28 Sep 2011, 7:49 am

It may have less to do with nationality and more to do with your field. "IT & Science combined" sounds like it would be crawling with aspies, in any country, and they'd be respected because they're needed and productive.

Quote:
What strikes me as a paradox about the US is that the values are everyone should stand up for themselves and overcome their own obstacles, including bullies in the workplace and the rather flippant approach "if you don't like it, stand up for yourself or find another job, nobody likes a whiner" BUT at one time they were all about "divided we stand, united we fall". Where the heck did that go?? Tyrants are not tolerated, but evidently not so when it comes to the workplace.


It's a delicate balance. Give the government too little power, and little tyrants flourish unchecked. Give it too much power, and it becomes tyrannical itself. Plus, put the screws to management/business owners too hard, and more people who are capable of it won't bother, which would be bad for everyone.



Jayo
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28 Sep 2011, 7:55 am

WHOOPS...I realized that I mistakenly transposed a couple of words, the phrase below should, of course, say "united we stand, divided we fall" :oops:

Jayo wrote:
What strikes me as a paradox about the US is that the values are everyone should stand up for themselves and overcome their own obstacles, including bullies in the workplace and the rather flippant approach "if you don't like it, stand up for yourself or find another job, nobody likes a whiner" BUT at one time they were all about "divided we stand, united we fall". Where the heck did that go?? Tyrants are not tolerated, but evidently not so when it comes to the workplace.

I only hope that the USA adopts the same accommodating mindset of Aspies as the SCAG countries, realizing what they have to offer, and that they represent one of the fastest-growing segments of Western society.



XlugonPyro
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28 Sep 2011, 9:27 am

I don't know what it's like in other countries, but if the average aspie on WP is American, no wonder work here would be anti-aspie. Aspies have difficulty functioning in areas that NTs are naturally proficient at and thus society is shaped around it. However, having the attitude that many posters have here on WP makes them mostly unproductive which is no use in the workplace. You can't blame someone for their lack of social comprehension, but you can blame them for having a poor attitude and be unwilling to do something about their predicament which they CAN do something about. Certainly they can't "fix" Aspergers. There's nothing to fix. But Aspergers allows us at the same time to use our analytical nature to change how we think and view the world, and instead of focusing on others, we instead focus on ourselves.

I wouldn't employ an Aspie if he had a crummy attitude. I'd hire the guy who's confident and presents himself well. Unfortunately aspies are weak at this, but we can overcome it if we actually try.

As for the workplace itself, there are people who will judge you and treat you poorly, but the area of the country you're in won't fix it. I was bullied and harassed by a lot of people growing up and it turns out most of them became liberals and they still hate my guts, so I don't really think a region's ideology will change the amount of abuse you get. California is just as insensitive as Texas.


But I'd agree with the other poster. The career path you're in does scream aspie to me. Some career paths/jobs can favor an aspie well while others will create more conflict. Wherever you work, you're expected to be productive and do your job without hand holding, and aspies will struggle with that in many circumstances because some social rules are not easily picked up by aspies.



Nil_Nil
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28 Sep 2011, 9:31 am

Greece promotes retirement at age 50 far surpassing the accomplishments of the German or French "social systems" THEREFORE German and French "social systems" are inferior to the Greeks even though the Germans and French have to pay for it. :lol:

American Political correctness created more problems for me in the work place than much of anything else.

Tanner Boyle Response



SadAspy
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28 Sep 2011, 8:28 pm

Only 60% of Americans are extroverts? I swear the number must be 75%.

Anyway, I think the American job market in general is anti-Aspy rather than the workplace specifically. Employers in the U.S. don't care about your academic achievements or even your experience....it's all about social skills and "who you know." That's what hurts us Aspies here.



Mayel
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29 Sep 2011, 2:01 am

Nil_Nil wrote:
Greece promotes retirement at age 50 far surpassing the accomplishments of the German or French "social systems" THEREFORE German and French "social systems" are inferior to the Greeks even though the Germans and French have to pay for it. :lol:

Not true. Average retirement age in Greece in 2008 was 61.4, in Germany it was 64.7 and in France 59.3.
The standard legal retirement age is 60-65 in all of them. The earliest retirement exit age you can get in Greece is 55 which is only attainable through a myriad of conditions which you must first reach (one of them always being having worked in a heavy, unhealthy type of work). Given the recent austerity measures I'm not sure if this minimum retirement age still holds true today.
If you want to see more data on the european pension system look here:EU pension system (scroll to 2010, and choose the paper on pension systems, if you go to page 31 or so, you'll see a list of retirement ages in Europe)

Other than that, go on with your discussion.



Sweetleaf
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29 Sep 2011, 10:33 pm

Soceity is BS, It would be cool to just become self sufficiant and say screw being enslaved by the system.



BasalShellMutualism
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01 Oct 2011, 8:49 am

SadAspy wrote:
Only 60% of Americans are extroverts? I swear the number must be 75%.

Anyway, I think the American job market in general is anti-Aspy rather than the workplace specifically. Employers in the U.S. don't care about your academic achievements or even your experience....it's all about social skills and "who you know." That's what hurts us Aspies here.



Many Americans underestimate the true extent of the "who you know" factor and often don't realize that all political influences run on this. In addition many PR people and execs probably get hired because they have "social capital" - as in they bring with them their connections and all the potential "deal" benefits that offers.