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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 1 Mar 2016
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Posts: 1

01 Mar 2016, 10:43 am

Hi everyone. I'm dealing with a rather strange situation. I work in a small industry and gossip spreads fast. I left a (very) part-time job after almost a year for a full-time job at a different organization.

The part-time job was a poor fit for me, but I tried to make it work while I was there. My managers were disorganized, very touchy-feely and regularly tried to make me work additional hours without compensation. The turnover rate was very high in my department.

One of the managers there called a private meeting to tell me that one of the other employees had an issue with me because I wasn't friendly. I felt that I was perfectly polite, but wouldn't participate in that employee's gossip about my bosses (for obvious reasons). During the meeting, my manager suggested that I have Asperger's Syndrome. I promptly disclosed to her that I have an anxiety disorder (professionally diagnosed) and that sometimes, I might come off as shy or even disinterested under stress.

I thought my manager's comment about Asperger's was strange, but I didn't think much of it until she started telling me to "do math" and was hesitant to give me writing assignments or let me use the phone. Other employees started to avoid me, and I think some of them believed I was unable to speak.

I put my notice in as soon as I found a full-time position. I gave the standard two weeks and made sure to list my tasks step by step. Both managers were upset that I was leaving. For over a month and a half after I left, they emailed me questions at least twice a week. I eventually had to cut them off because they demanded responses during work hours.

I am doing very well at my full-time job. My boss here is an introvert (just like I am) and the extroverts respect us. I am shy during some meetings, but I'm able to crack jokes -- that others find amusing -- and get through them. I regularly take phone calls and even speak at events, and I've done well at both.

Here's the problem: I believe that my old manager, who has a personal connection to the CEO at my new organization, told her that I have Asperger's. My new boss told me that they had "been informed" about a condition I have, and even tried to make accommodations for me, like offering me a private office, allowing me to work from a cafe, or switching the light bulbs overhead.

This was all very nice, but all extremely unnecessary. My new boss quickly realized this, and has dropped the matter entirely. Is there any way I could find out what my old manager might have said about me? If I'm able to obtain proof, is it worth taking action?

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

Joined: 22 Oct 2015
Gender: Male
Posts: 36
Location: Pittsburgh

03 Mar 2016, 4:36 pm

I mean, just because you're a introvert doesn't mean you have aspergers. Only a psychologist can professionally diagnose.


User avatar

Joined: 20 Feb 2015
Posts: 317

04 Mar 2016, 9:46 am

I have a similar situation. The difference is that I am mildly autistic and can arrange a lot of things myself. My previous boss thinks that I am substantially autistic and I would be a special needs employee. That I have autism is true, not that I would need help with organizing my tasks and would be intellectually retarded with a learning disability. This latter is not diagnosed by any professional. The diagnosis PDD/NOS (and now possibly ASD) is the only thing which is true.

My job is subsidized which will mean that the boss will get payments to pay accomodations for me. I have read the report of my so-called severe autism and I would object all recommendations in that report. Parts of the "recommendations" are not realized because my current boss isn't always there. Because of the organization I have multiple bosses. The other boss (who called me intellectually retarded) isn't always there either. So when they are not there, most of the tasks will be organized by myself. Those recommendations that are supposed to protect me psychologically are definitely hurting me and prevents me to progress. I haven't learn one single thing for years because my previous boss prevents to learn things. The toleration will soon be over.

The next appraisal talk will be a tough one because I no longer tolerate things for which there is no professional proof. I will say that to one of my bosses. My closest boss will be there, and it is very likely that she will defend me. If she is criticized by my other boss, I will defend her.

If the job subsidy has to be reviewed I will reject it when the form contains lies and I won't be fired for rejecting it. If I would be fired, I will say that I am forced to sign the new form needed to continue the subsidy.


User avatar

Joined: 12 May 2015
Posts: 2,531
Location: Florida

06 Mar 2016, 9:19 pm

Where do you live (i.e. which country)?
I believe much of your previous employer's behavior would be considered illegal in the U.S. and likely other countries as well. If you have no legal recourse, then you need to have a meeting with your new boss and bluntly tell them that you are not on the Autism Spectrum, and that your previous boss (who widely assumed you did) has been spreading this false rumor.