Getting to know you, jobs and losses

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Joined: 12 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,040
Location: Maine, USA

23 Jul 2012, 9:21 am

So, at the beginning of the end of another job for me that has gone south due to my issues, some of which are related to Asperger's but most of what gets in the way is my other psychiatric disorders magnifying traits....

I am reading this self-help article... odd Google search lead me to research "how to get fired" which lead to a topic on how to stay at your job... so this line catches my eye:

"People need to know you as a person before they can trust you as a worker," she said.

What if this is what keeps me from staying employed somewhere? Anyone else "get to know" people your first month or so then stop bothering? Then the entire staff changes over and you're suddenly this withdrawn, somewhat hostile employee that wishes everyone you liked was still working there?

Does this happen at every job or do you make the effort to keep getting to know the new people even though there are more than one can hope to keep up with? I work at a fairly large resort with possibly 100 employees in the front of the house and back of the house staff. I know maybe 3 on a 'hey I knew you since I started' basis.... 8O

What do you all think about the line about knowing you as a person before trusting your work? How can those of us on the spectrum enable NTs to "know you as a person"? I feel like I'm a pretty obvious person but I can't hide my traits at all now. Odd, I thought I'd be able to hide them better the older I got but it is going in the reverse for me. :(

Can anyone relate to this or shed some light on this comment? Thanks!

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 21 Oct 2010
Age: 45
Gender: Male
Posts: 152

23 Jul 2012, 11:32 am

I'm damn good at my job. But as we aspies learn, that has little to do with keeping a job, raises, or promotions.

The hardest part and my turning point in my career was when I accepted that what I consider my job performance has little to nothing to do with NT's view of job performance. In most businesses, how you do something is more important than the results. A two hour solution you complete yourself will never be noticed. Lead a thousand man hour team approach to the same problem, and now you are a leader.

Working with others for me is like acting in a play. Thinking of it like that is the only way I have managed to succeed. You have to learn the role and act the part. I know it has been mentioned before, but there needs to be a book on business etiquette for aspies. Simple things like employee company picnics they say are optional, but they are not. Regardless if you are the best worker in the company, if you don't attend the social functions you are labeled as not a team player and that you don't care about the company culture. The guy who goes out for a beer with the boss after work will always be the first one promoted.

We recently had an all hands meeting for the entire company. We sat for hours while they went over our companies "core values." It was lead by our new "Culture Team." Hours of pure bleeding heart mumbo jumbo that had absolutely zero substance. My main challenge thru the meeting was to prevent myself from choking to death on my own vomit. If I could just come to work and do my job, I'd have no problems. But I have learned I have to put on the act.

So gaining the trust with friendships and relationships is a huge part of the job and the main point of the act I have learned to do. Good assignments are given to people that are trusted and liked. Crap jobs that no one wants to do are passed on to those that they don't like or care about. Again, actual performance has little to do with success in business.

The act is torturous. Sometimes I just can't keep it up any more. When I can't keep the act up, my actual measureable job performance goes way up, but the company view of me goes down. It eats at my soul to downgrade my performance to sink to NT practices, but to get ahead in business that is the only solution I have found. I have to force myself daily to walk away from the work that needs to be done to go and "socialize." I go talk to people, feign interest in their kids sports leagues, pretend to care about whatever reality TV show they watched last night, and ask about other people’s special projects that I have no interest in.

I actually use a task scheduler to create recurring tasks to remind myself to do these things; Chat with person A, call person B, attend optional meeting C, Email person D, walk thru dept F, eat lunch in the public lunch room, make a recommendation to the employee of the quarter program, ask a positive leading question at an all-hands meeting. It's sad, but it works. It keeps me present in their minds, it keeps me relevant in the company, and it pays off in my position & salary. But it's all just an act for me.

One alternative though is to look for small companies. The smaller the better. Entrepreneurs typically still care about results over culture. If you can find a good one you can do well.


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Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,682
Location: Twilight Zone

23 Jul 2012, 1:13 pm

I agree with Parrow, a small company may be a better fit for some of us. They have less people to get to know, and often have a tighter budget, so they need to be more concerned with results.

Another alternative is self employment. There are a lot of options available there, so don't overlook that avenue. :D