jobs: disclosure, adjustment, discrimination + poll (UK)

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Your experience of disclosure at work
Poll ended at 15 Mar 2016, 1:22 pm
I disclosed: experience was bad 20%  20%  [ 2 ]
I disclosed: outcome mainly good 20%  20%  [ 2 ]
I have adjustments in place 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I was totally out with all colleagues 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I asked for info to be restricted to mgr 20%  20%  [ 2 ]
I have decided not to disclose 30%  30%  [ 3 ]
I am debating whether to disclose 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I sought help from a union rep 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I had contact with occupational health 10%  10%  [ 1 ]
The best source of disclosure help was ? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 10

Chickadeesingingonthewrongplanet
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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08 Mar 2016, 1:14 pm

Is there anyone willing to share their experience and advice about workplace disclosure and adjustments?

I found some helpful trade union information online--there's a page about the TUC guide, and a link to it here:
https://www.tuc.org.uk/equality-issues/ ... -workplace

When I raised the issue in a preliminary way with a line manager, it became clear there was little prior experience or awareness.

I've been doing my job fine for more than a decade, and taken up slack for others when they needed more than once and never asked for the same. First reactions were: maybe we could identify some things that are unsuitable for you, or would you like to be less than full-time? Woops. But the intentions were good.

So now I need to figure out how to be really tactful. I need to figure out how to explain the rules about not discriminating and making adjustments without seeming annoying.

But honestly, I don't even know what will be helpful. Do I want a special mentor?? Do I want to not do some stuff? And I feel like some things I'd like (people basically being civil and not rude or threatening) should be part of the culture anyway. What's good for neurodiversity is good for everyone.

I hope a few people might share perspectives, advice, anecdotes, warnings, links.



kraftiekortie
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08 Mar 2016, 2:53 pm

LOL...I'm in the US, so I shouldn't have answered this survey!

It's really not in the best interest for most people to disclose within a US context.

It would be better if your boss seems to be aware of autism issues, or is autistic.

I receive "unofficial" accommodations, in that people consider me a court jester, and don't rat me out to the higher bosses. Once a while, somebody rats on me, I get called in, get a verbal warning, then the cycle begins again.



Chickadeesingingonthewrongplanet
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08 Mar 2016, 3:27 pm

Hi kraftiekortie,

thank you for replying :)

Being accepted as a sort of court jester sounds like a pretty useful thing, so you don't really have to mask. I'd like that very much. I can see some people who seem eccentric where are work are tolerated but sort of dismissed--as opposed to having their perspective valued.

actually, US answers are just as interesting and useful. I had thought the US had stronger antidiscrimination measures? but it has weaker unions and maybe more prejudice?

I hope a few more people will join in.



kraftiekortie
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08 Mar 2016, 6:41 pm

In general, anti-discrimination laws in the US are weaker than those in Europe.

On the surface, they might seem stronger. However, they are difficult to enforce because:

We have something called "at will employment" where, basically, absent a union contract, people can get fired (sacked) for just about anything. Theoretically, in the US, if a boss doesn't like your green socks, he can fire you. It's considerably more difficult to fire someone in Europe/Canada than in the US.

You can get fired for practically any reason. You can also quit for practically any reason.

Unions are getting weaker in the US. They are already quite weak in the South and Southwest. They are probably strongest in the Northeast.

Forget about disclosing in fast food/retail. That won't get you anywhere.

One might be able to disclose in an IT environment, an industry where autism is sort of taken for granted.



Chickadeesingingonthewrongplanet
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09 Mar 2016, 1:41 am

Kraftiekortie, I am sad to hear about the weakness of unions and employee protection in the US.

Is there anything else I can do to encourage more people to join in this thread?



kraftiekortie
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09 Mar 2016, 1:51 am

I believe some people think this is a survey conducted by a researcher. Convince everyone that you are a fellow autistic person, rather than a researcher.



Chickadeesingingonthewrongplanet
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09 Mar 2016, 2:00 am

ah, I see...
I thought I'd posted enough here and there on the board to get to know people a bit.

And if I were a researcher (which I'm not) it would be totally unethical and unprofessional to just put out a poll without telling people that it was for research.

In fact, I just included the poll because I thought it might attract more replies that way. (Since counting threads are so popular from time to time) but most threads I start just, well, they just sink pretty fast with little interest. I'm thinking--somehow I don't really fit in here, either! But also, a forum might not be the place to start the conversation on this topic.

Thanks again for answering me.



kraftiekortie
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09 Mar 2016, 2:20 am

Try doing this survey in the autistic politics subforum.

You might have more success there.

I have to go to sleep now.



kraftiekortie
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09 Mar 2016, 10:45 am

You're getting some responses now.



impendingtacticallama
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12 Mar 2016, 5:24 pm

At my current job my manager is very understanding. My employer is large enough to have an Aspergers Support Group. I haven't attended yet but I plan to this month.

At my last job, despite the fact I told them, and kept reminding them, that I have Aspergers, and had trouble understanding figures of speech, I got into big trouble for emailing the CEO with a question after my manager said I should direct my question to him. :lol:



BeaArthur
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12 Mar 2016, 10:01 pm

OP, if you have a decade of successful work history with your employer, why do you want to disclose?


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carbonmonoxide
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15 Mar 2016, 10:05 am

I started this job a couple of months ago and disclosed my Asperger, suspected at the time, after a couple of weeks. There was a lot of things getting on my autistic nerves and the fact is, that even though I didn't know I may have Asperger at the time of the interview, I told them that I am very practical/logical/solution focused person. When I started they didn't want any of that, they wanted me to be sympathetic and people focused.

I very often had two people talking to me at the same time trying to explain me something. There was loads of indirect communication and doing things 'together' which I never know what that meant. Never been in a place like that and, thank god I realized I may be on the spectrum as otherwise I would have had major breakdown.

My company supports disadvantages people so they should be understanding... at least you'd think so. No, they weren't. I was refused written handover even though we need it anyway, whether I have Asperger or not as the passing in information is really bad here, I still often have two people talking to me at once, we still do things 'together', I was told I don't have any Asperger as 'you understand most of jokes' as my colleague said and 'I was a support worker for a man with Asperger once and you are completely different than him'.

I was diagnosed last week. The moment I will receive my diagnosis in writing I will get in touch with disability employment advisor and start looking for a different job.



BeaArthur
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15 Mar 2016, 10:36 am

carbonmonoxide wrote:
I started this job a couple of months ago and disclosed my Asperger, suspected at the time, after a couple of weeks. There was a lot of things getting on my autistic nerves and the fact is, that even though I didn't know I may have Asperger at the time of the interview, I told them that I am very practical/logical/solution focused person. When I started they didn't want any of that, they wanted me to be sympathetic and people focused.

I very often had two people talking to me at the same time trying to explain me something. There was loads of indirect communication and doing things 'together' which I never know what that meant. Never been in a place like that and, thank god I realized I may be on the spectrum as otherwise I would have had major breakdown.

My company supports disadvantages people so they should be understanding... at least you'd think so. No, they weren't. I was refused written handover even though we need it anyway, whether I have Asperger or not as the passing in information is really bad here, I still often have two people talking to me at once, we still do things 'together', I was told I don't have any Asperger as 'you understand most of jokes' as my colleague said and 'I was a support worker for a man with Asperger once and you are completely different than him'.

I was diagnosed last week. The moment I will receive my diagnosis in writing I will get in touch with disability employment advisor and start looking for a different job.

Wise of you to wait until you've found a new one, before ditching the old. You might also seek some advice on how and to whom to disclose. It seems as if the whole office knows this in your current job. "You get my jokes" and "you're different than him" are remarks you should never have to hear. Keep it to supervisors or possibly not even them, just the HR department.

And good luck!


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carbonmonoxide
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15 Mar 2016, 11:16 am

They know I was awaiting diagnosis, yes, I was trying to avoid telling them at first but I'm not a native English and could see that my inability to follow my colleague instruction was put down as bad language skills.

As I said it didn't change much.

They don't know yet I got it as it only was given verbally.
And anyway, I don't care any more :-)