Is the workplace going to become MORE challenging for AS?

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Jayo
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21 Apr 2013, 4:55 pm

In general, I mean -do you foresee a time in the near or intermediate future when the workplace will be much more AS-hostile than AS-friendly? Or more negatively biased towards AS traits??

The one comment/poster I read from an autism/workplace article on the guardian.co.uk, said the following:

"Asperger's is probably more of a problem than it used to be because the way society and the economy works now requires a high level of social sophistication.
This could be part of the explanation why Asperger's did not become apparent as a separate condition until the middle of the twentieth century."

I'll correct him on the last few words, it wasn't apparent until the END of the 20th century.
But he didn't offer much evidence for the first statement; I'm not sure how the workplace of say the 60s or 70s had any more or less social sophistication than now - I just know (being born in the 70s) that the workplace was more military-like, command-and-control, so if anything that might have been more beneficial to an Aspie worker who received less ambiguous instructions, whereas today it's more "read between the lines", and figure out unspoken norms between departments when the CEO is trumpeting that everyone has to stop working in siloes, not realizing the cultural barriers that remain. Also a lot more women in the workplace, and it's from women that I've gotten the majority of my workplace bullying, clearly due to my inherent differences, not randomly targeted. Of course, this is not to say that an Aspie in the workplace of 40 or 50 years ago wouldn't still invoke the boss's ire a-la "YOU'RE FIRED, you're useless etc" as they would still have odd posture, eye contact, intonation etc that would set them apart, even if they don't have as much non-verbal or contextual nuance to decipher.

But all of which is to say, I can't say conclusively if the workplace will become worse for us, rather than better, over the next decade or two. Mandatory personality tests may be a harbinger of that, some people have speculated.



AgentPalpatine
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21 Apr 2013, 4:58 pm

Jayo wrote:
In general, I mean -do you foresee a time in the near or intermediate future when the workplace will be much more AS-hostile than AS-friendly? Or more negatively biased towards AS traits??

The one comment/poster I read from an autism/workplace article on the guardian.co.uk, said the following:

"Asperger's is probably more of a problem than it used to be because the way society and the economy works now requires a high level of social sophistication.
This could be part of the explanation why Asperger's did not become apparent as a separate condition until the middle of the twentieth century."

I'll correct him on the last few words, it wasn't apparent until the END of the 20th century.
But he didn't offer much evidence for the first statement; I'm not sure how the workplace of say the 60s or 70s had any more or less social sophistication than now - I just know (being born in the 70s) that the workplace was more military-like, command-and-control, so if anything that might have been more beneficial to an Aspie worker who received less ambiguous instructions, whereas today it's more "read between the lines", and figure out unspoken norms between departments when the CEO is trumpeting that everyone has to stop working in siloes, not realizing the cultural barriers that remain. Also a lot more women in the workplace, and it's from women that I've gotten the majority of my workplace bullying, clearly due to my inherent differences, not randomly targeted. Of course, this is not to say that an Aspie in the workplace of 40 or 50 years ago wouldn't still invoke the boss's ire a-la "YOU'RE FIRED, you're useless etc" as they would still have odd posture, eye contact, intonation etc that would set them apart, even if they don't have as much non-verbal or contextual nuance to decipher.

But all of which is to say, I can't say conclusively if the workplace will become worse for us, rather than better, over the next decade or two. Mandatory personality tests may be a harbinger of that, some people have speculated.


Yes. As employers, for reasons far beyond the scope of this post if not this board, move further and further towards "social skills", Aspies are at an increased disadvantage.


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NowhereMan1966
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21 Apr 2013, 5:12 pm

Jayo wrote:
In general, I mean -do you foresee a time in the near or intermediate future when the workplace will be much more AS-hostile than AS-friendly? Or more negatively biased towards AS traits??

The one comment/poster I read from an autism/workplace article on the guardian.co.uk, said the following:

"Asperger's is probably more of a problem than it used to be because the way society and the economy works now requires a high level of social sophistication.
This could be part of the explanation why Asperger's did not become apparent as a separate condition until the middle of the twentieth century."

I'll correct him on the last few words, it wasn't apparent until the END of the 20th century.
But he didn't offer much evidence for the first statement; I'm not sure how the workplace of say the 60s or 70s had any more or less social sophistication than now - I just know (being born in the 70s) that the workplace was more military-like, command-and-control, so if anything that might have been more beneficial to an Aspie worker who received less ambiguous instructions, whereas today it's more "read between the lines", and figure out unspoken norms between departments when the CEO is trumpeting that everyone has to stop working in siloes, not realizing the cultural barriers that remain. Also a lot more women in the workplace, and it's from women that I've gotten the majority of my workplace bullying, clearly due to my inherent differences, not randomly targeted. Of course, this is not to say that an Aspie in the workplace of 40 or 50 years ago wouldn't still invoke the boss's ire a-la "YOU'RE FIRED, you're useless etc" as they would still have odd posture, eye contact, intonation etc that would set them apart, even if they don't have as much non-verbal or contextual nuance to decipher.

But all of which is to say, I can't say conclusively if the workplace will become worse for us, rather than better, over the next decade or two. Mandatory personality tests may be a harbinger of that, some people have speculated.


Hmmmm, I think you might be on to something. I know "back in the day," perhaps we will still be seen as being a bit "odd" but overall, I think we would have functioned better as long as we produced and did our jobs.



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21 Apr 2013, 5:39 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
Yes. As employers, for reasons far beyond the scope of this post if not this board, move further and further towards "social skills", Aspies are at an increased disadvantage.


Agreed. As bad as it is for me, it'll be worse for my poor son... :(



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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21 Apr 2013, 10:06 pm

I think more and more companies will figure out, There's a lot of different ways to do a job.*

Just not on any kind of time schedule, and that's the hard part.

=========

I also think people will become more open and matter-of-fact about sensory issues, or even just sensory preferences. 'Some people don't do real well with fluorescent lights,' that kind of thing. (a bigger thing for me personally is repetitive noises)

*And I freely acknowledge this is more of an optimistic possibility. Most probably, some of the good trends and some of the bad trends will be going on at the same time.



AgentPalpatine
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21 Apr 2013, 10:07 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I think more and more companies will figure out, There's a lot of different ways to do a job.*

Just not on any kind of time schedule, and that's the hard part.

=========

I also think people will become more open and matter-of-fact about sensory issues, or even just sensory preferences. 'Some people don't do real well with fluorescent lights,' that kind of thing. (a bigger thing for me personally is repetitive noises)

*And I freely acknowledge this is more of an optimistic possibility. Most probably, some of the good trends and some of the bad trends will be going on at the same time.


I don't think it's the job and the enviromental factors, I think it's the mindset that everyone has to sell every moment of the day.


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mikassyna
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21 Apr 2013, 11:14 pm

I do believe, that as the economy gets worse and there are more people fighting for the fewer and fewer jobs, that they can become more selective and less PC about their hiring practices. Not only that, but as the economy worsens, companies will be loading on triple the workload onto the skeleton crew that they will keep on board, and that will mean I might not be able to function and may either get laid off or quit. If this were 15 years ago when I did not have a husband and children to keep track of, I might be able to manage it but I believe that at this point the stress would be way too much for me to deal with. I will hold onto my job as long as possible but there is a point of diminishing returns. There is talk through the grapevine at work that a hatchetman was hired as COO of our firm and is planning a round of layoffs in the near future. So far, my department is not under the radar, but that is more than likely to change.

I am always happy to leave a downsizing company. But I hate the uncertainty!! !!



Jayo
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22 Apr 2013, 8:43 am

You know, I remember reading somewhere that during a round of layoffs, HR management were asked what their number one criteria was for retaining somebody, and the overwhelming response was somebody who had people skills and got along well with others. It seemed like they didn't give a flying f*** about someone with esoteric knowledge or experience who knew an essential technical function inside-out.

Just chalk it up to evolutionary tribal psychological conditioning - you'd think that would diminish with time, but no, it's just being amplified in the near future. So I agree with the previous poster that the workplace may well get less politically correct...



mikassyna
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22 Apr 2013, 9:29 am

Jayo wrote:
You know, I remember reading somewhere that during a round of layoffs, HR management were asked what their number one criteria was for retaining somebody, and the overwhelming response was somebody who had people skills and got along well with others. It seemed like they didn't give a flying f*** about someone with esoteric knowledge or experience who knew an essential technical function inside-out.


Our firm is going to implement another round of "personality tests" to take to see what "skills" we need to work on. I actually am pretty good at answering the questions because I think I know they want to hear, but I feel really conflicted about lying because (1) I hate being dishonest and (2) deep down I actually resent the fact that they make me take the test to begin with. One could argue that I don't HAVE to take the test, but NOT taking it would indeed give me a big black mark in my personnel file. I wish they would stop this nonsense and just depend on the results of our work and leave me the hell alone. :evil:



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22 Apr 2013, 10:11 am

Jayo wrote:
You know, I remember reading somewhere that during a round of layoffs, HR management were asked what their number one criteria was for retaining somebody, and the overwhelming response was somebody who had people skills and got along well with others. It seemed like they didn't give a flying f*** about someone with esoteric knowledge or experience who knew an essential technical function inside-out.

Just chalk it up to evolutionary tribal psychological conditioning - you'd think that would diminish with time, but no, it's just being amplified in the near future. So I agree with the previous poster that the workplace may well get less politically correct...


HR is'nt qualified to evaluate performance.......it's their stated purpose, but they arn't qualified for it. Handing over decisions to HR was a horrific mistake and pretty much everyone did it.


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WestBender84
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22 Apr 2013, 11:01 pm

Greater connectivity = More social interaction = More opportunities for us to alienate others and ourselves = More difficult labor market for individuals having AS


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managertina
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22 Apr 2013, 11:09 pm

Yes, in short.

In long, more education is greater pay is higher expectation of leadership skills that I lack, despite my growth as a manager.



MissMoneypenny
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24 Apr 2013, 6:39 am

In a word - yes.

I have our firm's support staff appraisal form right here and the categories against which staff are evaluated are:

- Client service
- Job knowledge
- Technical skills
- Organisational skills and initiative
- Quality of work
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Communication skills
- Teamwork
- Professionalism and compliance with policies

My comments:

Some of the above are so nebulous as to be almost meaningless, meaning that they could be evaluated any way the evaluator wanted to define them.

Few criteria can be objectively measured - knowledge, technical skills and more concrete examples of quality of work (such as whether a document has been prepared accurately) being the notable exceptions.

A few years ago all anyone cared about was whether you had fast, accurate typing, knew Microsoft Office packages, and had a good command of the English language, and it was dead easy to get office jobs (and keep them). Now they want all this BS.



BlueMax
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24 Apr 2013, 1:03 pm

MissMoneypenny wrote:
In a word - yes.
A few years ago all anyone cared about was whether you had fast, accurate typing, knew Microsoft Office packages, and had a good command of the English language, and it was dead easy to get office jobs (and keep them). Now they want all this BS.


Exactly! The last 15 years have been hard (and getting harder) because of this very issue. HR likes it this way, though! This gives them the unfettered freedom to can employees at will by making up anything they like in those nebulous options like "teamwork", etc. You can bet they include whether or not you eat lunch with others or alone at your desk.

Catbert would be proud.



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24 Apr 2013, 3:33 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
HR is'nt qualified to evaluate performance.......it's their stated purpose, but they arn't qualified for it. Handing over decisions to HR was a horrific mistake and pretty much everyone did it.

HR has been very successful at turf building and turf protecting.

It's especially disappointing in Information Technology. It's like our tribe won the keys to the kingdom and then we turned it over to the 'popular' ones.